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In Sports from United Press International

Feb. 10, 2003 at 12:10 AM   |   Comments

Garnett steals Jordan's show

ATLANTA, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The event was devoted to Michael Jordan, but Kevin Garnett emerged as the hero Sunday night in the NBA's All-Star Game.

Garnett scored the first seven points of the second overtime period to boost the West to a 155-145 victory over the East and take some of the shine off Jordan's final All-Star appearance.

Jordan, who has said he is playing the final season of his legendary career, was honored with an unexpected starting berth, was the subject of a halftime tribute and then hit what appeared to be the game-winning shot with 4.8 seconds remaining in the first overtime.

That shot gave the East a 138-136 lead, but Jermaine O'Neal was called for a foul on Kobe Bryant as the Los Angeles Lakers' superstar attempted a wild three-point shot with a second remaining. Given three foul shots, Bryant made the first, missed the second and made the third to bring about the first double overtime game in the event's history.

Garnett then converted a three-point play to open the second extra period and made two more jumpers to give the West a 145-138 lead. The East came no closer than five the rest of the way.

Garnett was named the game's MVP after a 37-point performance. The Minnesota sensation hit 17 of 24 from the field and all three of his free throws in addition to pulling down nine rebounds and making five steals.

Jordan was not voted into the starting lineup this year and turned down offers by Indiana's O'Neal and Orlando's Tracey McGrady to take their starting spots.

Toronto's Vince Carter, however, finally talked Jordan into starting berth just moments before the game.

"It was very gracious of him," Jordan said. "It was very respectful of him. The guys were demanding that I get to start."

Jordan, however, missed his first seven shots and even failed on a dunk attempt in the first period. He wound up making nine of 27 shots from the field and scored 20 points. Jordan also missed three shots in the final 3:30 of regulation, during which the West rallied from a 10-point deficit to force a 120-120 tie.

Two free throws by Bryant with 12 seconds left in regulation tied the game and Jordan then missed a chance to give the East the win at the buzzer.

In the first overtime, the West raced to a seven-point lead, but Jason Kidd and McGrady teamed to produce eight straight points to give the East the lead at 136-135. Shaquille O'Neal was then fouled with 23.1 seconds to play and he made one of two free throws to tie the game.

That led to what appeared to be a fitting conclusion to the contest when Jordan threw up a shot from the right corner over the outstretch arm of Shawn Marion, putting the East in front by two.

"It was a tough shot, a high shot, and it went in," Jordan said. "I thought it was the game-winner, but anything can happen in an NBA game and it did.

"It was double overtime, we lost and it was fun. I got a chance to enjoy some good, young company tonight."

Jordan sat out the entire second overtime. When East Coach Isiah Thomas asked Jordan early in the second extra period if he wanted to return to action, Jordan declined. He played 34 minutes.

Allen Iverson led the East with 35 points and McGrady had 29.


Love ends two-year drought

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Davis Love III birdied the famed, par-5 18th at the Pebble Beach Golf Links to claim his first PGA Tour title in two years.

By winning the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the second time in three seasons, Love became the first American champion on the tour in 2003. He had gone winless since his triumph on the Monterey Peninsula in 2001, but at the age of 38 demonstrated he still has the game to rank among the game's elite.

"After not winning in two years and having physical problems, this is really special," Love said. "And I could feel it. I was pretty nervous out there."

Love became the winner thanks chiefly to a stretch of six birdies in eight holes that gave him what seemed to be a safe cushion. In the midst of that run, Love received a huge break when his tee shot at the par-3 12th sailed over the green, only to hit the leg of a photographer and bounce back to within four feet of the hole.

He made that putt for birdie and then rolled in a six-footer for birdie at the par-4 13th that put him at 14-under for the tournament and shoved him three shots in front of Tom Lehman and Canadian Mike Weir, who won last week at the Bob Hope Classic.

But Lehman put together a birdie run of his own and got to 13-under when he holed a 20-footer at the par-3 17th. And when Love drove into a fairway bunker at the par-4 16th and made bogey, he found himself tied with Lehman.

Playing in front of Love, Lehman tried to reach the green at the 18th in two, but his second shot missed to the right. He hit an excellent pitch over the greenside bunker, but missed a six-footer for birdie.

That gave Love an opportunity to win the tournament with a birdie on the closing hole and he hit a huge drive that left him only 199 yards to the front edge of the green. Love then hit a 4-iron to within 10 feet and two-putted for the birdie and the victory.

Love bounced back from two early bogeys to shoot a 4-under 68 that gave him a 72-hole total of 14-under 274 at the end of a week of perfect weather. Lehman fired a 67 for his 275 total while Weir shared third place with Tim Herron at 276. Herron played well this week after letting a chance to win last week get away when he made a quadruple bogey just three holes from the finish.

Jim Furyk and Rocco Mediate tied for fifth at 279 and were followed by Brad Faxon, Paul Stankowski and Phil Tataurangi at 280.

In Key Biscayne, Fla., Dave Barr holed a 35-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that gave him his first victory on the Champions Tour.

Barr's putt briefly stopped on the lip of the cup, then dropped in to give him the first-place check of $217,000 -- the biggest of his career.

Barr trailed Bobby Wadkins by three strokes after 14 holes, but made a dramatic charge, ending his round with four straight birdies to complete the tournament at 9-under 207.

It was an unlikely victory for Barr, who had to made a birdie on the 72nd hole of qualifying school just to become eligible for the tour.


Notre Dame wins thriller over Pittsburgh

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Chris Thomas fed Torin Francis for a layup with less than a second left Sunday to give No. 10 Notre Dame a 66-64 win over No. 4 Pittsburgh.

Thomas was outplayed badly by Notre Dame's Brandin Knight, the reigning conference Player of the Year, on Jan. 6 in a 72-55 victory for Pittsburgh (16-3, 6-2 Big East West). Knight scored 12 points in that one and limited Thomas to five.

The tables were turned in this one as Thomas led all scorers with 24 points and Knight missed his first eight shots. But Knight finally connected on a clutch three-pointer with 32 seconds left to knot the contest at 64-64.

Notre Dame (19-4, 7-2) decided against calling a timeout as Thomas dribbled the ball near the center circle as he was guarded heavily by Knight. Thomas finally started his move with six seconds to go and beat Knight off the dribble just enough to fire a pass inside to Francis, who banked home his layup with six-tenths of a second to go.

The win marked the fourth of the season for Notre Dame against a top-10 opponent, including a one-week stretch in December when it knocked off Marquette, Maryland and Texas. The Fighting Irish moved into a tie for first place in the West Division with Syracuse and won their 15th straight home game.

Of the top four teams in the country last week, only No. 2 Arizona escaped defeat and the Wildcats had to go into overtime to beat Washington.

No. 8 Maryland also fell Sunday, losing to Georgia Tech, 90-84.


Brodeur makes hockey history

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Martin Brodeur needed just 19 saves to make hockey history Sunday in helping New Jersey to a 3-2 victory over Minnesota.

Jamie Langenbrunner tallied the eventual game-winner in the third period.

Brodeur, who has won a pair of Stanley Cups with the Devils, became the first goaltender in NHL annals with eight straight 30-win seasons

Langenbrunner scored his 15th goal at 11:21 of the third period, giving New Jersey a 3-1 lead.

Pascal Dupuis notched his 13th a little more than two minutes later to pull Minnesota within a goal.

Colin White and Patrik Elias each recorded a goal as the Devils bounced back from Friday's 4-2 loss to Atlanta to improve to 13-1-1-1 in its last 16 contests.

New Jersey also remained undefeated against its former coach, Jacques Lemaire, who fell to 0-3-1 against the team he led to its first Stanley Cup in 1995 and two Atlantic Division titles in 1996-97 and 1997-98.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard notched a power-play goal and Dwayne Roloson turned aside 28 shots for the Wild, who had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Other NHL results: Montreal 2, Washington 0; Dallas 3, Los Angeles 1; Anaheim 2, Carolina 1; Colorado 4, Calgary 2.


Americans ousted from Davis Cup

ZAGREB, Croatia, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Croatia downed the United States in the opening round of the Davis Cup Sunday when Ivan Ljubicic defeated James Blake.

The United States, therefore, is headed back to World Group qualifying for the second time in the last three years.

Blake, who thrashed Mario Ancic on Friday, had to win the fourth match of the competition to keep the U.S. hopes alive, but he slumped to a 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-3 defeat in front of a vocal crowd at the Hall Dom Sportova.

In the 103-year history of the Davis Cup, the United States has 60 finals appearances and 32 championships, both records. But it has not captured the title since 1995.

Blake lost for the third time in 10 Davis Cup matches. He was unable to fill the void left by the absence of Andy Roddick and former world No. 1's Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.

Roddick was injured at last month's Australian Open while Sampras and Agassi have made participating in Davis Cup a lower priority in recent years.

Blake might have been the highest-ranked player in the United State's first meeting with Croatia at No. 24, but Lubicic was the dominant player over the weekend. He won both his singles matches and teamed with Goran Ivanisevic to take the doubles, lifting his country to its second straight World Group quarterfinal.

Croatia is participating in the elite World Group for only the third time in 10 years. It now travels to Spain for a matchup in April.

France also won its tie four matches to one over Romania in Bucharest. After the French clinched the victory with Saturday's doubles, Romania's Victor Hanescu defeated Fabrice Santoro, 6-1, 6-4, and Nicolas Escude of France topped Gabriel Trifu, 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-4.

In the quarterfinals, France will host Switzerland, which edged the Netherlands on the road in Arnhem.

Australia and Spain will square off in the quarterfinals after sweeping their foes this weekend.

Australia, led by world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, thrashed an overmatched British team that was without its two best players -- Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski.

Spain cruised past visiting Belgium in Seville. Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya won both their singles matches and Alex Corretja and French Open champion Albert Costa clinched the tie with a five-set victory in Saturday's doubles.

Defending champion Russia held on for a 3-2 win over the Czech Republic when Davis Cup newcomer Nikolay Davydenko defeated Radek Stepanek, 1-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.

Russia will visit Argentina in rematch of last year's semifinals.


Serena grabs another title

PARIS, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Serena Williams ruined the hopes of the French crowd by thrashing Amelie Mauresmo, 6-3, 6-2, Sunday in the final of the Open Gaz de France.

The world No. 1 needed just 70 minutes to extend her WTA Tour winning streak to 11 matches. She is 15-0 in 2003 after helping the United States win the Hopman Cup - an exhibition - in January.

The 21-year-old Williams captured the Australian Open last month to become only the fifth woman in tennis history to hold all four majors at the same time.

Williams, who earned $93,000 for her 21st career crown, has won 50 of her last 52 matches -- capturing eight of 10 tournaments over that span. She tied the tournament record for least number of games lost en route to the title (17) set by Steffi Graf in 1995.

The American's first title came at this event in 1999, when she defeated Mauresmo in the final. She also kept the crown in the family. Her older sister, Venus, won the title last year.

Williams will take some time off before returning to action at the State Farm Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz. Feb. 24.


Daytona 500 qualifying postponed

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Persistent rains Sunday forced a 24-hour postponement of pole qualifying for the Daytona 500.

An all-day storm eliminated any possibility of sending out the track drying equipment, much less a NASCAR Winston Cup race car.

Roughly 2-1/2 hours after the run for the Daytona 500 pole was set to begin, officials postponed all racing activity and issued a revised schedule. Qualifying was pushed back to 1 p.m. EST Monday with each driver having two laps to set the top speed.

Only the top two qualifiers will be locked into the starting lineup for the 45th Daytona 500 on Feb. 16.

Positions 3-30 will be determined in Thursday's two 125-mile qualifying races. Positions will be determined by speeds posted in Monday's qualifying. Positions 37-42 are reserved for provisional starting positions based on the 2002 Winston Cup owners points.

The 43rd and final spot in the race is held for a past Winston Cup champion. If there is no former champion to take that spot, it will go to the next highest provisional starting entrant.

© 2003 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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