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   On the calendar:  Friday, 4/18/2014
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Sharks beat Kings 6-3 in Game 1

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Tomas Hertl and Raffi Torres both scored in their first game together as teammates and the San Jose Sharks jumped on top of Jonathan Quick and the rival Los Angeles Kings with a 6-3 victory in their playoff opener Thursday night.

Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic also scored for the Sharks, who managed just 10 goals against Quick in losing a seven-game series to Los Angeles in the second round last year. Antti Niemi made 31 saves.

Quick allowed three goals in the first period for the first time in his playoff career, including two in the final minute as the Kings were completely outclassed.

Game 2 is Sunday in San Jose.

Quick was replaced by Martin Jones after allowing five goals on 28 shots in two periods and only watched as the Kings showed life in the third period with goals from Jake Muzzin, Slava Voynov and Trevor Lewis.

But Brent Burns sealed it with an empty-net goal as the home team won for the 17th time in the past 18 meetings between these teams.

The Sharks were the healthiest they have been all season with Torres back after missing all but five games in the regular season and Hertl playing for just the third time since Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown injured him with an illegal knee-on-knee hit on Dec. 19 in a play that still riles the Sharks.

They got payback in the best way possible with a dominating victory that showed off their much-improved depth when they are healthy. They got goals from all four lines and their defense to beat the Kings by more than one in their most lopsided win over the Kings since Nov. 7, 2011.

The game had even added meaning for Hertl and Torres. Hertl talked before the series of his dislike for the Kings and said this series would be personal because of the injury.

Torres was suspended for the final six games of last year's series for a hit to the head of Jarret Stoll in a punishment the Sharks and Torres felt was unjust.

The Sharks had nothing to complain about after this game as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead and held on for the victory.

The third playoff series in four years between these heated California rivals got off to an odd start as there was a power outage at SAP Center just minutes before the start of pregame warmups. The lights came back on about five minutes later and the players warmed up without the usual blaring music.

But by the time the puck dropped, the towel-waving crowd was at its usual fever pitch chanting "Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!" right from the start.

The cheers only got louder during a dominant first period that featured a combined 55 hits from the two teams, three goals from the Sharks and a scrum after Mike Brown pushed Voynov into Quick after the whistle.

Thornton's deflection of Joe Pavelski's shot from the slot on a chance created by Burns' hustle to negate an icing gave San Jose the early lead.

San Jose broke things open with two goals in the final minute off broken plays. James Sheppard miss-hit a one-timer that slid right to Hertl, who tapped it in to make it 2-0 with 51.7 seconds to play.

Marleau then made it 3-0 with 3.2 seconds to play to cap a 2-on-1 with Matt Nieto, who failed to get off a one-timer but instead slid the puck back to Marleau for his 58th career playoff goal.

NOTES: Brown played a night after his wife, Kati, gave birth to their second son, Zane Michael. ... Jones made four saves in his first career playoff game.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:23:00 +0000
Duke freshman Jabari Parker declares for NBA draft

Jabari Parker is hoping to become Duke's latest one-and-done star to become the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-8 All-American forward said Thursday he'll enter the NBA draft after being the highest-scoring freshman in Duke history. He was also the first freshman to lead the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounding, and the first freshman in three decades to be selected team MVP.

Now he has the chance to do what Kyrie Irving did in 2011: follow a one-year stay at Duke by being the first name called in the June draft.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement Thursday it was "an honor for us to have him in our program." In an essay posted on SI.com, Parker said the NBA offers him the best chance to develop both as a player and off the court.

"I realize how much of a privilege and an honor it is to join the ranks of the NBA," Parker wrote. "I will do everything in my power to help deliver championships to the franchise that drafts me. At the same time, I recognize the obligation to represent the league in an admirable way off the court."

Parker played in high school at Chicago's Simeon Career Academy and was frequently mentioned along with Kansas' Andrew Wiggins as possible No. 1 picks before ever playing a college game.

Parker led the Atlantic Coast Conference with an average of 8.7 rebounds while his 19.1 points were second only to North Carolina State's T.J. Warren, who entered the NBA draft last week.

"Jabari could not have been better," Krzyzewski said. "He is the epitome of what you would want a basketball player to be - outstanding every day on the practice court and in the classroom and a very humble young man.

"He had a fantastic freshman year and is so deserving of the opportunity to play in the NBA and follow his dream."

Parker is listed as the No. 2 draft prospect on Chad Ford's Top 100 on ESPN.com, the No. 2 pick in a mock draft on NBAdraft.net and No. 3 on DraftExpress.com.

It had long been believed that Duke would be a one-year pit stop for Parker on his way to the pros. But even late into the season, he insisted he was undecided, saying he wanted to play at the level that would best help him grow.

When he received the USBWA's Tisdale Award as the nation's top freshman this week, he said he planned to meet with Krzyzewski and reach a decision Wednesday.

In his SI.com essay, Parker said he had "gotten pretty attached to life at Duke and I don't want to utter the word goodbye." He also noted that the careers of professional basketball players - his father, Sonny, played six seasons in the NBA - last only so long.

"The lucky ones play until their mid-30s," Parker said. "With that perspective, I shrink my professional career with each year that I remain in college. It's ironic, but true."

Parker - the fifth Duke player to enter the draft as a freshman - said he planned to continue working toward a college degree. He is Mormon and said he would put a two-year mission on hold.

From Day 1, he and Rodney Hood - a redshirt sophomore transfer from Mississippi State - were the focal points for a Duke team that spent much of the season in the top 10 and looked like a Final Four contender. But Duke (26-9) ended the season with a loss to Virginia in the ACC tournament final and a shocking loss to Mercer in its NCAA tournament opener.

Hood hasn't announced whether he will enter the draft, though Krzyzewski said "I wish we had him for more than one year" after Duke's ACC tournament win against Clemson last month.

Regardless, Duke is bolstered by the nation's No. 1 recruiting class, led by top overall recruit Jahlil Okafor along with top-10 prospects Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow.

---

AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary contributed to this report.

---

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:12:00 +0000
Dodgers' Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field.

Puig returned to the starting lineup in right field for Thursday's series finale against the Giants amid reports that smugglers who helped him defect from Cuba had threatened his life.

"I'm only concentrating on the season and being the best teammate and helping my teammates," Puig said, speaking in Spanish during an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday morning at his locker in AT&T Park.

While Puig won't address the details specifically because of a pending legal case, he said he will focus on baseball and on helping the defending NL West champion Dodgers keep winning. He went 1 for 4 with a strikeout in Thursday's 2-1 victory. While he dropped a routine fly to right, he also made two nice catches on the run.

"I have great teammates who are helping support me so much this season and to focus on the season when I get to the stadium so I am comfortable," Puig said. "That way I don't start thinking about anything negative in the stadium. I'm only thinking about working on the things that are going to make me a better ballplayer."

The 23-year-old, scratched from the starting lineup after arriving late for his team's home opener April 4, is hitting .250 with one home run and five RBIs in his second major league season.

He said after the game he is committed to baseball "so those things that are happening don't torment me."

"We're at the field right now. We've just got to be thinking about baseball," teammate Hanley Ramirez said. "What I've seen is he's been learning and he's just happy to be here. He's playing today and he told me he's going to do everything it takes to win today's game."

Manager Don Mattingly said he has read articles about Puig's journey and will offer support. He has spoken briefly with the outfielder, but not regarding specifics of his journey to the United States - saying if Puig wants to keep those details private, he will respect that wish.

Mattingly is committed to helping Puig, who signed a $42 million, seven-year contract.

Court documents, part of a federal lawsuit in Miami, say smugglers who helped Puig leave Cuba on a speedboat have made death threats against him and against a Cuban boxer who says he defected with Puig. Boxer Yunior Despaigne says in an affidavit he is afraid of being harmed by the smugglers or their associates if Puig hasn't paid them money he owes.

"He hasn't talked about his background. Nobody's told me about his background. Nobody's told me about his story," Mattingly said. "If it's true, it's a wild story."

Other Cuban big leaguers have shared similar experiences. In Oakland, Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes discussed in February 2013 how he worried constantly about his family members the previous season as they made their way to the U.S. He wasn't sure whether they might be targeted because of his legal issues stemming from a former agent who claimed the outfielder owed him money.

"If you care about Yasiel, you worry about some serious stuff there that he has to deal with," Mattingly said. "If you care about him as a person, you worry about what he's going through."

---

AP Legal Affairs Writer Curt Anderson in Miami contributed to this report.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:26:00 +0000
Ex-quarterback McNabb spends day in Arizona jail

MESA, Ariz. (AP) Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb was released Thursday from an Arizona jail after serving a one-day sentence for a DUI arrest late last year.

Records released by West Mesa Justice Court show McNabb served his time Wednesday and was released about 1:30 a.m. Thursday.

McNabb, 37, was arrested Dec. 15 in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community east of Phoenix, according to court records.

A copy of the citation shows McNabb was stopped on the Loop 101 freeway just after 3 a.m. and radar clocked his Range Rover at 81 mph in a 65-mph zone. He also was cited for DUI, but no information about blood-alcohol level was on the citation.

McNabb pleaded guilty on March 27 and nine days of his sentence was suspended.

Court documents show McNabb was ordered to pay a nearly $1,500 fine and enter an outpatient treatment program in Scottsdale from April 10 to July 8.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office released McNabb's mug shot Thursday morning, starting a media frenzy about his arrest, which hadn't been previously reported.

The agency later said in a statement that McNabb was booked into a detention facility on Wednesday by order of the West Mesa Justice Court and released after serving one day for a misdemeanor DUI charge.

McNabb's Phoenix-based attorney Stephen Benedetto didn't immediately return a call Thursday seeking comment on the case.

McNabb played 13 years in the NFL after being drafted with the second overall pick in 1999.

He led the Philadelphia Eagles to four straight NFC championship games from 2001 to 2004 and one Super Bowl berth that ended in a 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots in 2005.

McNabb played for the Washington Redskins in 2010 and Minnesota Vikings in 2011 before retiring. He currently co-hosts a sports talk radio show and has a home in the Phoenix area.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:29:00 +0000
Aaron Hernandez associate accused of lying to feds

BOSTON (AP) An associate of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested in a gun trafficking investigation related to the murder case against Hernandez.

Oscar Hernandez Jr., 23, of Orlando, Fla. - no relation to Aaron Hernandez - was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Boston on charges of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying under oath. He appeared Thursday in federal court in Orlando, where a magistrate judge ordered him detained pending his transfer to Boston to face the charges.

Aaron Hernandez and two other men are charged in the June 17 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was found dead in an industrial park about a mile from Aaron Hernandez's North Attleborough home.

The indictment against Oscar Hernandez says a grand jury in Massachusetts began investigating the transporting of guns from Florida to Massachusetts after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - at the request of Massachusetts State Police - traced three guns that had been recovered during the investigation of Lloyd's killing. The ATF determined that all three guns were purchased in Florida in April 2013.

Massachusetts officials have said they have been unable to find the gun used to kill Lloyd, which they've identified as a .45-caliber Glock.

None of the three guns mentioned in Oscar Hernandez's indictment is a .45-caliber Glock.

The indictment says one of the three weapons - a rifle - was found in a gray Toyota Camry with Florida license plates that was parked in the garage of a residence in North Attleborough. The indictment doesn't identify the owner of the home.

The indictment doesn't identify the owner of the home, but Massachusetts state police have said that five days after Lloyd's killing they seized an FEG 7.62 mm rifle from a gym bag on the back seat of a Toyota sedan parked inside Aaron Hernandez's garage, according to court records in his case.

Aaron Hernandez's lawyers have said a man identified as Oscar Hernandez was interviewed by law enforcement on June 27, 2013, 10 days after Lloyd died.

The new indictment accuses Oscar Hernandez of lying to the grand jury when he denied purchasing the Camry and arranging for it to be sent from Florida to the home in North Attleborough.

Assistant Federal Public Defender Todd Doss, who represented Oscar Hernandez in court Thursday, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. It was unclear when he would be brought to Boston to face the charges.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on the witness tampering charge, up to 10 years on obstruction of justice and up to five years on the false testimony charges.

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:30:00 +0000

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