MIAMI (AP) — A gimpy LeBron James and the Miami Heat are one win away from the second NBA championship in six years.
James had 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds before dealing with leg cramps late as the Heat rallied from 17 points down to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-98 to take a 3-1 series lead of the NBA Finals. James left the game briefly in the fourth quarter then hit a tiebreaking three-pointer with 2:51 left that broke the Thunder's back.
Dwyane (dwayn) Wade and Mario Chalmers each scored 25 for the Heat, who could win the title in Miami on Thursday. Chalmers scored 19 in the second half.
Winning coach Erik Spoelstra (SPOHL'-struh) said this game again came down to "four or five plays," and called the series "incredibly close."
Russell Westbrook had a career playoff-high 43 points and Kevin Durant added 28 for the Thunder. They were the only Thunder players to score in the final 16:46.
A defiant Thunder coach Scott Brooks said afterward: "I can guarantee this -- we have fight in us."
If the Thunder win Thursday, the series moves back to Oklahoma City Sunday night for Game 6.
Domestic issues for Wade...Lifetime achievement award for Riley
MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane (dwayn) Wade may have had more than basketball on his mind when the Heat beat the Thunder in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
Wade has asked a Chicago judge to suspend his ex-wife's right to visitation with their two children after a weekend incident that led to her arrest. Court papers say Siohvaughn (shuh-VAHN') Funches-Wade "barricaded herself" in her home several hours Saturday and refused to allow Wade's sister inside to pick the boys up for their flight to Miami.
In other NBA news:
— Miami Heat president Pat Riley is this year's recipient of the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the National Basketball Coaches Association.
Braves end Yanks' 10-game win streak...Hamilton's back hitting for Rangers
UNDATED (AP) — Chipper Jones atoned for a costly error by cutting down the potential tying run at the plate and the Atlanta Braves held on to end the Yankees' 10-game winning streak, beating New York 4-3.
The Yankees were trying to match their longest winning string in nearly a half-century. Instead, the Braves threw out two runners at home and won for only the second time in nine games.
Jason Heyward singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. Rookie Andrelton Simmons drove in two runs and Jones delivered an RBI double for the slumping Braves.
Tim Hudson labored through five innings and four relievers preserved the lead for the win -- he's 5-3. Craig Kimbrel closed for his NL-leading 20th save.
In other interleague action:
— Josh Hamilton returned to the Texas lineup after missing four starts due to illness and hit a two-run triple to lead the Rangers to a 7-3 victory over the San Diego Padres. Hamilton, who leads the major leagues with 66 RBIs, went 2 for 5 and scored two runs as the Rangers extended their winning streak to five games.
— Brandon McCarthy showed no signs of an ailing shoulder in seven impressive innings, winning his third straight start and sixth consecutive decision to lead the Oakland Athletics past the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0. McCarthy is 6-3.
— The L.A. Angels whacked San Francisco 11-5. Albert Pujols (POO'-hohlz) hit a three-run homer. Mark Trumbo added a three-run triple while driving in five runs, and Mike Trout matched his career high with four hits. The Angels have won eight of 11.
— Casper Wells hit a pinch-hit, two-run single in the top of the 10th inning and the Seattle Mariners rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 12-9.
— The New York Mets blanked Baltimore 5-0. Johan (YOH'-hahn) Santana and three relievers combined on a five-hit shutout. Lucas Duda clubbed his 11th homer, a two-run shot. That's the second straight shutout for the Mets.
— Justin Verlander allowed one earned run in seven innings, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Verlander is 7-4 after outdueling Cards starter Lance Lynn, who allowed five runs in five innings and fell to 10-3.
— David Ortiz hit his 17th homer and Clay Buchholz (BUHK'-ohlts) won his fourth straight start as the Boston Red Sox beat the Miami Marlins 7-5 for their fifth win in six games.
— The Tampa Bay Rays handed the Washington Nationals their fourth straight loss, 5-4. Carlos Pena had a two-run homer for the Rays. Michael Morse hit his first homer of the year for the Nats.
— Andrew McCutchen had three hits, including his 12th homer of the season, and Kevin Correia (kohr-AY'-uh) ended a lengthy winless streak at PNC Park as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Minnesota Twins 7-2.
— Asdrubal Cabrera (ahs-DROO'-buhl kah-BREHR'-uh) hit a two-run homer with one out in the 10th inning off hard-throwing Aroldis Chapman to give the Cleveland Indians a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
— Luke Hochevar (HOH'-chay-vur) and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout, and Billy Butler hit a solo home run to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 2-0 win over the Houston Astros.
— Colby Rasmus and Jose Bautista erased a one-run deficit with back-to-back home runs off closer John Axford in the ninth inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-9.
— Travis Wood pitched six strong innings for his first win as a starter in more than a year, and the Chicago Cubs beat the White Sox 2-1 even though Jake Peavy went the distance in a tough-luck complete game loss.
— In the lone National League game, Cole Hamels threw eight sharp innings, John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz hit two-run homers and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the slumping Colorado Rockies 7-2. The Rockies are 1-11 since June 4. The last-place Phillies started a 10-game homestand with just their fourth win in 16 games.
Phillies infielder suspended 50 games ...Rays' Peralta ejected for foreign substance
UNDATED (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies' nightmare season continues. Not only are the Phils in last place in the National League East, their rookie infielder Freddy Galvis is suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for using a banned substance.
In other baseball news:
— Tampa Bay reliever Joel (joh-EHL') Peralta was ejected in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 5-4 win over the Washington Nationals for having an excessive amount of pine tar on his glove. Peralta used to play for the Nationals. Rays manager Joe Maddon was steamed over Nats manager Davey Johnson's protest, calling it "insider trading" and "bush." He also hinted that Peralta was not the only pitcher using foreign substances.
— The Pittsburgh Pirates are turning to a Hall of Famer to help the young club deal with the new pressures of a pennant race. Former second baseman Bill Mazeroski will join the Pirates on the bench during their three-game series with the Minnesota Twins this week. Mazeroski, who often advises second baseman Neil Walker during spring training, accepted an invitation from manager Clint Hurdle to do a little regular-season work, as well.
BASEBALL-COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
Florida State eliminates Bruins
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Scott Sitz gave up five hits and struck out eight in a season-high 6 2-3 innings, and Florida State eliminated UCLA from the College World Series with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night.
Florida State coach Mike Martin suspended infielder John Holland indefinitely after the freshman was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting at an Omaha sporting goods store.
Florida State (50-16) plays Arizona on Thursday, needing to beat the Wildcats twice to reach the championship round.
Testimony nears end in Sandusky's abuse trial
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — Jerry Sandusky had an inspiring reputation for helping youth, and boasted such a soft spot for children that he invited them to Penn State football games and spend the night at his home, witnesses for the retired coach have testified at his child molestation trial.
On Wednesday, Sandusky might finally tell his side of the story in court.
The judge in the case has said Sandusky's defense team is close to wrapping up. He's aiming to have closing statements Thursday, with deliberations beginning that afternoon.
So far, defense attorneys have called on a parade of character witnesses and tried to discredit police investigators.
Sandusky's wife, Dottie, took the witness stand Tuesday, defending him against charges he sexually abused boys in their home and on Penn State's campus, allegations he's denied.
Coach-for- life at Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Mike Brey says this is his last stop. He's staying at Notre Dame for the rest of his career.
The Irish were 22-12 last season, good for third place in the Big East. In his 12 seasons, Brey's teams have earned tournament bids eight times. He has led the Irish to six straight 20-victory seasons. Brey is fifth overall in Big East victories with a 133-89 record.
Hargrove denies it's him...Tebow officially a good guy
NEW YORK (AP) — Former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove says it's not his voice saying "Give me the money" in a video used by the NFL as evidence in its investigation of the New Orleans bounty program.
Hargrove spoke Tuesday outside NFL headquarters.
Hargrove, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Jonathan Vilma each attended appeals hearings for their suspensions with Commissioner Roger Goodell at the league offices in Manhattan on Monday. The NFL showed reporters a clip from the 2010 NFC championship game in which Hargrove purportedly made the "money" comment about injuring Brett Favre.
Hargrove, now with Green Bay, was docked eight games.
In other NFL news:
— Tim Tebow has won the 2011 Good Guy Award given by the Professional Football Writers of America. He's the fifth straight QB to win the award.
— The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms on a multi-year deal with safety Michael Griffin. The Titans had tagged the five-year veteran as their franchise player back in March.
— Star receiver Percy Harvin is voicing frustrations with the Minnesota Vikings. At the team's first day of a mandatory minicamp, Harvin told reporters that he hasn't "been real happy lately" and that a lot of things need to be sorted out before training camp begins. Harvin has two years left on his rookie deal, but would not say that his displeasure is related to his contract.
— Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was sentenced to nine months of lockdown addiction treatment followed by time in a prerelease center after pleading guilty last month to breaking into a house and illegally possessing painkillers.
Rooney give England the win...Sweden wins, but France advances
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Wayne Rooney returned from suspension Tuesday and scored on a header in the 48th minute to give England a 1-0 victory over Ukraine and a spot in the European Championship quarterfinals. England won Group D and will next face Italy in Kiev on Sunday.
Following a goal-line controversy in the match, FIFA President Sepp Blatter says using technology to determine whether the ball has crossed the line has become a "necessity."
Ukraine was denied what appeared to be a legitimate equalizer because the official beside the goal couldn't see if the ball crossed the line before it was cleared away.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — France backed into the quarterfinals of the European Championship on Tuesday, losing 2-0 to Sweden but advancing thanks to England's win over Ukraine. The loss ended France's 23-game unbeaten streak but the French still will face Spain the quarterfinals.
It's official! Preakness Stakes record for Secretariat
BALTIMORE (AP) — Secretariat may be the only thoroughbred in history to set a track record 39 years after he crossed the finish line.
Secretariat's winning time in the 1973 Preakness has been changed to reflect that the Triple Crown-winning colt's time was actually faster than the stakes record.
The Maryland Racing Commission voted 7-0 in a special hearing to change the official time of the race from 1:54 2/5 to 1:53. That gives Secretariat records in each of his three Triple Crown races — the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes — that still stand.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
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