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SportsUpdate

Oct. 29, 2001 at 7:38 PM   |   Comments

In sports from United Press International

Series switches to New York

NEW YORK, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The World Series shifts to New York for Game Three Tuesday with Arizona holding a 2-0 lead over the defending champion Yankees.

The right-left combination of Arizona's Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson had the Yankees reeling in their bid for a fourth straight title. Johnson blanked New York on three hits 4-0 Sunday night. Schilling had opened the Series with a 9-1 victory.

"Obviously, we feel pretty good, a lot better than if we were down 0-2 or had split the first two games," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said.

The Yankees expect to change their fortune when they face struggling lefthander Brian Anderson who will start for Arizona, his first start in nearly two months.

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks will face five-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, who will try to emulate the performances of Schilling and Johnson in the first two games.

"Roger is the key," said Yankees manager Joe Torre. "We need to get him a lead and he needs to go out and dominate like those two guys have."

Arizona's "big two" -- 7-1 in the postseason--have put the Diamondbacks halfway to a world title. Arizona, in its fourth year of existence, has outscored the Yankees, 13-1, in the first two games.


NBA season opens Tuesday

The World's Most Famous Arena hosts the world's most famous athlete Tuesday night as Michael Jordan makes his return to the NBA at Madison Square Garden.

Jordan and the Washington Wizards visit the New York Knicks as the NBA's 56th season opens with 12 games, including the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Everyone will be playing by some new rules, including the use of zone defenses and a shortened time line.

But all eyes will be on midtown Manhattan and Jordan, whose return to the court after a 40-month absence should even overshadow Game Three of the World Series involving the New York Yankees just several miles north in the Bronx.

Jordan likely will be matched up with Latrell Sprewell and Allan Houston, the type of athletic wing players that figure to give him problems on the defensive end.

"That's an area where I don't think Michael is going to get himself caught up in, matching up against some of the young turks," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who won six NBA titles with Jordan in Chicago.

Last season, the Knicks were upset in the first round of the playoffs. It marked the first time in 10 years New York had failed to reach the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Last season, the Lakers went 23-1 after April 1, winning their last eight regular-season games and posting a record 15-1 mark in the playoffs en route to the franchise's 13th championship.

Superstars Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant comprise the best tandem in basketball and make the Lakers nearly everyone's pick to win it all again.

The Lakers lost Horace Grant to free agency and Ron Harper to retirement. Guard Derek Fisher is sidelined until mid-season. They have been replaced by free agents Samaki Walker, Jelani McCoy and Mitch Richmond. Guard Lindsey Hunter was acquired in a trade.

First-time head coach Maurice Cheeks replaces Mike Dunleavy in Portland, which still has the best personnel to challenge LA.

The Philadelphia 76ers are banged up as they open defense of their Eastern Conference championship in Minnesota, a game that was bumped off national TV by Turner. The 76ers are powered by Allen Iverson, the NBA's Most Valuable Player and leading scorer last season. Iverson missed all of training camp recovering from elbow surgery but is expected to play.

Philadelphia also will be without guards Eric Snow (broken thumb) and Aaron McKie (shoulder surgery). Thursday, the Sixers acquired power forward Derrick Coleman in a three-team deal and will start him on a front line featuring Defensive Player of the Year Dikembe Mutombo.

In Orlando, the Magic host the Toronto Raptors in an early-season battle between teams hoping to overtake the Sixers in the East. Superstar cousins Vince Carter of Toronto and Tracy McGrady of Orlando face each other, as do long-time rivals and aging centers Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing, both of whom joined new teams this summer.

John Lucas debuts as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who host the Boston Celtics. Rick Carlisle debuts as coach of the Detroit Pistons, who visit the Dallas Mavericks. That will be the first NBA regular-season game in the new American Airlines Center in Dallas.

In other games, the Indiana Pacers visit the New Jersey Nets, who now boast Jason Kidd; the Houston Rockets host the revamped Atlanta Hawks; the improving Los Angeles Clippers visit the San Antonio Spurs; the Phoenix Suns and Stephon Marbury entertain the Denver Nuggets; the Utah Jazz host the Milwaukee Bucks; and the Seattle SuperSonics visit the Sacramento Kings, who will be without All-Star forward Chris Webber.

The Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors open up Wednesday night. The Memphis Grizzlies, who vacated Vancouver in the first franchise move in 16 years, open Thursday at home against Detroit.


Pats linebacker has broken leg

FOXBORO, Mass., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Hobbling on a broken right leg, New England Patriots linebacker Bryan Cox issued a threat to Denver Broncos guard Dan Neil for what Cox called a "cheap shot cut block."

Cox suffered the fractured leg when he was blocked low by Neil in the third quarter of Sunday's game and will be sidelined indefinitely.

"I think it was a cheap shot because I was in a no-cut zone," Cox said after Sunday's game. "I was outside the tackle box. He cut me from behind. I couldn't see him coming. In my opinion, it was a cowardly block."

Cox also vowed to get even with Neil. "If I ever play football again and I play against that guy, he's going to have a blown-out knee," he said.

The Broncos' offensive linemen have been accused by many teams of low blocking techniques that are bordering on being illegal. Last week, Broncos tackle Matt Lepsis was fined $15,000 for a low block that left San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Maa Tanuvasa with a broken left ankle.

Cox, 33, broke the same leg when he played for the New York Jets last season in a December 17 game against the Detroit Lions.


Nebraska atop BCS poll

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Get ready for more controversy in the Bowl Championship Series.

As expected, Nebraska jumped over Oklahoma in the latest BCS standings released Monday afternoon after snapping the Sooners' 20-hame winning streak, 20-10.

But in somewhat of a surprise, Oklahoma fell only one spot to second, which will not sit well with Miami.

Nebraska (9-0) collected 2.02 points and has a commanding 5 ½-point lead over Oklahoma (7-1), who has 7.59. The Sooners lead Miami (6-0) by just .12 points.

The Hurricanes climbed one spot to third, but remained behind the Sooners, despite being only one of three remaining unbeaten teams in the top 25.

The system was a source of controversy last season when Miami was left out of the title game in favor of Florida State, which lost to the Hurricanes earlier in the year but was given the right to lose to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

A similar scenario could be developing again for the Hurricanes, who now have the nation's longest winning streak at 16 games. But prior to last week's win over West Virginia, Miami's schedule ranked 92nd out of 117 teams.

The Hurricanes can pick up ground later in the season when they play Washington (6-1) and Virginia Tech. Miami's best chance, however, may be to pass the loser of a possible rematch between Nebraska and Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game.

But with more than a five-point lead, Nebraska is in the driver's seat to play in the national championship game, although the Cornhuskers could be challenged in their regular-season finale at Colorado.

Oklahoma's toughest remaining test is against Texas A&M on November 10.


Tagliabue nominated for Hall of fame

CANTON, Ohio, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and three former quarterbacks were among first-time nominees eligible for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was announced Monday.

. A total of 71 former players, coaches and contributors are on the preliminary list of nominees for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2002.

Tagliabue is eligible as a contributor for the first time.

Among the players eligible for the first time are quarterbacks Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar and Jim McMahon, tight end Keith Jackson, offensive linemen Ray Donaldson and Guy McIntyre, defensive linemen Ray Childress and Sean Jones, linebackers Darryl Talley and Clay Matthews and kicker Nick Lowery.

To be considered for Hall of Fame election, a nominated player must have been retired at least five years. For a non-player, there is no mandatory retirement period, but a coach must be retired before he may be considered. A contributor, who has made outstanding contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing or coaching, may still be active in his football career.

The Hall's Selection Committee will determine 14 modern-era finalists from the nominee list.

The 15th member of the finalists group that will be announced in mid-January, is former NFL coach George Allen, the recommended candidate of the Seniors Committee, which reviews the qualification of those players, coaches and contributors whose careers primarily took place more than 25 years ago.


Clippers get Perdue from Blazers

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Clippers, the youngest team in the NBA, acquired veteran center Will Perdue from the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday for the rights to guard Doron Sheffer, the 36th pick in the 1996 draft.

Perdue, who turned 36 in August, becomes the oldest player on a Clippers' roster that has four players age 21 or younger.

A 13-year veteran, Perdue brings a wealth of experience to Los Angeles, having been a member of four NBA championship teams while playing with Chicago and San Antonio. Last season, Perdue appeared in 13 games for the Blazers and averaged just 1.1 points and 1.4 rebounds. The 7-footer has career averages of 4.7 points and 4.9 rebounds in 792 NBA games.


Steelers, Titans collide

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 29 (UPI) Two streaks were on the line when the Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Tennessee Titans in an AFC Central clash Monday night. One was sure to be broken.

The Steelers (4-1)had won eight straight home Monday night games, but the Titans (2-3) have defeated Pittsburgh seven times in a row.

The Steelers entered this contest with plenty of momentum on their side, reeling off four straight wins since a season-opening loss at Jacksonville. Pittsburgh has a surprising one-half game lead over idle Cleveland (4-2) in the division.

Pittsburgh, which ranks second in the NFL in total defense, has allowed 58 points, the fewest in the league. Steelers running back Jerome Bettis has turned Monday night into his own personal showcase, rushing for at least 100 yards in eight of nine Monday night games in which he has played, gaining a total of 1,010 yards on 228 attempts.


Rams linebacker out six weeks

ST. LOUIS, Mo., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- St. Louis Rams starting outside linebacker Don Davis suffered a dislocated right wrist in Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints and will be sidelined for about six weeks.

Davis had three tackles and forced a fumble before leaving Sunday's 34-31 loss to New Orleans due to the injury.

Rookies Brian Allen and Tommy Polley will likely fill in for Davis, who signed as a free agent with St. Louis in the offseason after spending the previous two years with with Tampa Bay.


Bucs defensive tackle out 2-3 weeks

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without starting defensive tackle Anthony McFarland for the next two to three weeks due to a sprained right medial collateral ligament.

Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy confirmed the injury at his media conference on Monday.

McFarland suffered the injury in the first half of Tampa Bay's 41-14 rout of Minnesota on Sunday.

A first-round pick in 1999, McFarland had started 22 straight games at tackle alongside Pro Bowler Warren Sapp. He had 6 ½ sacks last season and recorded two in six games this season.


Lemieux has surgery

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Mario Lemieux, the Pittsburgh Penguins superstar center underwent arthroscopic hip surgery Monday and was expected to be sidelined three to four weeks.

Martin Straka, Pittsburgh's top backup center, was also scheduled to have surgery later Monday for a broken right leg suffered in Sunday's game against Florida. He is expected to miss three to six months.

Bothered since training camp by a sore hip, Lemieux, 36, underwent arthroscopic surgery after he failed to respond to physical therapy and muscle strengthening treatments, and recent tests revealed evidence of torn cartilage.

Lemieux, also the Penguins' owner who resumed his Hall of Fame playing career last season, missed his third game of 2001-02 Sunday night due to the bad hip.


Sooners' QB may be out for season

NORMAN, Okla., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Oklahoma starting quarterback Jason White has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee and could miss the remainder of the season, the Daily Oklahoman reported Monday.

Making his second career start, White was hurt in the second quarter of Saturday's 20-10 loss to Nebraska after landing awkwardly following a pass attempt. The sophomore returned to the contest for a brief time in the fourth quarter.

The loss ended the Sooners' 20-game winning streak, dropped them to fourth in the latest coaches poll and likely also knocked them from the first spot in the BCS rankings.

Citing unnamed sources, the Daily Oklahoman reported White would require surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation after an examination Sunday revealed the injury.

According to the report, White will perform strenghtening excercises for two weeks before being re-evaluated for possible surgery.

Junior Nate Hybl, who started the first six games before losing his job to White, will start Saturday's game against Tulsa.


Battle for tennis No. 1 continues

PARIS, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- A lot is riding at this week's Tennis Masters Series as Gustavo Kuerten and Lleyton Hewitt resume their battle for the No. 1 ranking at the $2.95 million indoor tournament, while seven players vie for two spots for the elite eight-man field at the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Sydney.

The tournament got underway on Monday with 10 matches involving unseeded players. In the best match of the opening day, Ecuador's Nicolas Lapentti rallied to outlast France's Anthony Dupuis, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 7-5.

Also advancing into round two were Christophe Rochus, Andreas Vinciguerra, Hicham Arazi, Xavier Malisse, Karol Kucera, Albert Portas, Bohdan Ulihrach and Jiri Novak.

Hard-serving Mark Philipoussis is leading Franch qualifier Nicolas Mahut after one set, 6-3. Philippoussis lost last year's final here to Marat Safin in five sets, but is trying to get back to form after knee surgery.

Kuerten, the French Open champion, will try to pull off a sweep of Paris titles but must snap a five-match losing streak. He has not won since reaching the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in the first week of September.

A win here would allow the top-seeded Brazilian to open a lead of as much as 133 points over Hewitt, who would then have to win the Tennis Masters Cup in November to have a chance to overtake Kuerten.

While Kuerten leads the ATP with six titles in 2001, Hewitt has been on a roll since winning his first career Grand Slam at the U.S. Open. The 20-year-old Australian, seeded second this week, won a pair of singles matches that lifted his country into the Davis Cup final for the second year in a row, captured his fifth title of the year at the Japan Open and reached the semifinals at the Tennis Masters Series event in Stuttgart two weeks ago.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia, Britain's Tim Henman, German Tommy Haas, Sebastien Grosjean of France, Roger Federer of Switzerland and defending champion Safin will try to book a ticket to Sydney.

No. 4 Kafelnikov, who has won 20 of his last 25 matches, needs to win just one more to qualify for the season-ending championship for the seventh straight time. However, he might face a tough test if Philippoussis defeats Mahut.


Surgery delays Lynch debut

CHARLOTTE, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- George Lynch, who the Charlotte Hornets acquired last week in a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, will undergo left foot surgery and miss two to three months, the team announced on Monday.

It is not a new injury for Lynch, who suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot during the Sixers' run to the NBA Finals last season. The 6-8 forward had surgery shortly after the Finals and had missed the entire preseason.

The decision for Lynch to undergo another surgical procedure was made after he underwent a physical with Hornets doctors Friday.

Lynch was the key acquisition in a three-team trade Thursday that sent enigmatic power forward Derrick Coleman to the 76ers. The Hornets also got Jerome Moiso and Robert Traylor from Philadelphia and received Chris Porter in the deal from Golden State.


Injury may sideline Robinson

CHICAGO, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- It appears the Chicago Bulls will start the season without prized free agent signee Eddie Robinson.

The 6-9 forward was bothered by an injured left big toe in Chicago's exhibition finale on Friday. Tests Monday will determine if the toe is fractured. If surgery is necessary, Robinson could be sidelined six to eight weeks.

Robinson was signed to a five-year offer sheet worth $31.2 million as a restricted free agent and the Charlotte Hornets opted not to match it. He averaged nearly 14 points per game in the preseason.

The Bulls on Monday acquired center Soumalia Samake and a 2003 second-round pick from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for center Jake Voskuhl. They then waived Samake in an effort to get down to the 12-man limit.


Pacers waive second veteran

INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The Indiana Pacers continued their youth movement Monday, waiving veteran forward Derrick McKey.

A 14-year veteran, McKey spent the last eight seasons with the Pacers, playing in 450 games. McKey, who turned 35 years old earlier this month, is known as a terrific defensive player who has been limited by injuries and seen his offensive numbers decline in recent years.

Last season, McKey appeared in 66 games, averaging 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per contest. Due to injuries, the 6-10 McKey has played in just 111 games over the last three seasons.

Prior to the start of training camp, the Pacers also waived 40-year-old forward Sam Perkins. Indiana has two of the younger players in the league at forward in Jonathan Bender and Al Harrington.


Wulff named to head WTA Tour

MUNICH, Germany, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Kevin Wulff has been named to succeed Bart McGuire as CEO of the WTA Tour, the women's tennis circuit announced on Monday.

Wulff will join the tour at once, serving as president until McGuire vacates his post at the end of the year. McGuire, who

brought about significant changes during his three-year tenure as CEO, announced his resignation in May due to personal and family reasons.

Wulff arrives to the WTA from Nike, Inc., where he was a company officer and held various senior positions.


76ers put trio on injury list

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia 76ers reached the NBA's roster limit Monday, placing centers Samuel Dalembert and Alvin Jones on the injured list along with point guard Eric Snow, who underwent thumb surgery last week and is expected to miss three months.

Dalembert, selected with the 26th overall pick in June's draft, was placed on the IL with tendinitis of the left knee. The 6-11 product out of Seton Hall appeared in six preseason games, averaging 1.2 points and 1.0 rebounds per contest.

Jones, who is suffering from right knee tendinitis, averaged 2.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game while appearing all seven preseason contests.


Pistons sign Damon Jones

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The Detroit Piston on Monday added depth in their backcourt by signing veteran guard Damon Jones.

Jones, 25, has spent parts of three seasons with New Jersey, Boston, Golden State, Dallas and Vancouver. In 150 career games, he has averaged 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Jones signed with the Houston Rockets prior to training camp this season and appeared in five games, averaging 8.2 points and 1.2 assists per contest.

The Pistons on Monday also placed forward Brian Cardinal (patella tendinitis, both knees) and center Ratko Varda (back spasms) on the injured list.

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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