Spurs toss aside Nets
SAN ANTONIO, March 7 (UPI) -- Tony Parker scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter Thursday night to lead the San Antonio Spurs past New Jersey, 83-77.
All-Star Tim Duncan added 21 points and 21 rebounds for the Spurs.
After Kenyon Martin's jumper cut the Nets' deficit to 83-77 with 1:41 left, Parker ended his spurt of six straight points with a running hook to restore an eight-point lead. The Spurs outscored New Jersey the rest of the way, 9-1.
All-Star guard Jason Kidd had 11 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds but shot just four of 18 from the floor and was not a factor late in the game.
Argentine rookie Emanuel Ginobili finished with 18 points, seven assists, six rebounds and a season-high five steals for the Spurs, who won for the 14th time in their last 16 home games.
Elsewhere in the NBA, Chicago downed Golden State, 119-105.
Canucks finally suffer OT loss
COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 7 (UPI) -- Rookie Rich Nash scored on a breakaway 2:02 into overtime Thursday night as Columbus rallied for a 5-4 victory over Vancouver.
Vancouver had been the only team in the NHL without an overtime loss this season. The Canucks fell to 5-1-10 in games that have needed an extra period.
Auld stopped the first 12 shots he faced in relief of Peter Skudra, including a glove save on former Canuck defenseman Scott Lachance's breakaway just over a minute into overtime.
Vancouver appeared in control after Markus Naslund's league-leading 42nd goal made it 2-0 just 94 seconds into the second period.
But the Canucks began taking penalties and the Blue Jackets made them pay as Ray Whitney, Spacek and ex-Canuck Geoff Sanderson scored power-play goals in the second. Sanderson's tally with 5:51 left gave Columbus a 4-3 lead.
The teams combined for six goals in the period, including three in an early 37-second span. Whitney had two goals and an assist, all in the second.
Other NHL results: Buffalo 4, Toronto 2; Washington 4, Atlanta 4; Carolina 4, Pittsburgh 0; Boston 4, New York Islanders 1; Nashville 2, Minnesota 2; St. Louis 6, Phoenix 3.
Arizona fights off Oregon State
TUCSON, Ariz., March 7 (UPI) -- Channing Frye had 24 points and 12 rebounds Thursday night as the top-ranked Arizona Wildcats fought off Oregon State, 72-60.
Oregon State Coach Jay John made his first appearance at the McKale Center since being named coach of the Beavers.
A Tucson native, John spent the previous four years as an assistant under Lute Olson at Arizona before getting the job in Corvallis.
Olson improved to 6-1 against his former assistants.
Luke Walton added 12 points and reached the 100-assist mark for the fourth straight season for the Wildcats (24-2, 16-1 Pac-10), who stretched their winning streak to nine games.
But it was not easy as Oregon State (13-13, 6-11) closed to within 58-54 on Brian Jackson's three-pointer midway through the second half.
Walton hit one of two from the line to make it 70-60 with 1:56 to go and Frye's dunk with six seconds left capped the scoring.
The only other member of the top 10 in action was No. 9 Duke, which defeated Florida State, 72-56.
Pampling leads at Doral
MIAMI, March 7 (UPI) -- Rod Pampling collected eight birdies en route to an 8-under 64 Thursday that gave him a one-shot edge over Bob Tway at the Ford Championship.
A 33-year-old Australian, Pampling is best known for having the first-round lead at the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie only to miss the cut after a second-round 86.
Pampling, out in the third group of the day, got most of his round in before a testing breeze made its presence felt. He only once was in danger of dropping a stroke, overshooting the par-3 15th green before saving par from six feet.
Pampling, who finished 89th on the PGA Tour money list in his rookie season last year, has had a solid start to 2003. He was in the hunt halfway through the final round at Pebble Beach last month before tying for 10th.
Jack Nicklaus, making his first regular PGA Tour start in almost two years, birdied the last two holes to shoot a 1-over 73 that left him tied for 97th place.
Jets, Redskins to open NFL season
Jets, Redskins to open NFL season
NEW YORK, March 7 (UPI) -- The New York Jets will visit the Washington Redskins on Sept. 4 in the NFL's 2003 season opener.
It will mark the second straight year the league has begun its campaign on a Thursday night.
Last year's season opener -- between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers -- was televised by ESPN, but this year's game will be on ABC.
The rest of the season openers will be played Sunday, Sept. 7 and Monday, Sept. 8. The full NFL schedule has yet to be released.
Capriati wins in return
INDIAN WELLS, Calif., March 7 (UPI) -- Jennifer Capriati breezed past Antonella Serra Zanetti of Italy on Thursday to advance to the third round of the Pacific Life Open.
Playing for the first time since a first-round loss at the Australian Open, the second-seeded Capriati defeated Zanetti, 6-4, 6-2. Back from surgery to remove sunspots from her eyes, Capriati had to overcome bright conditions on center court and some surprising nerves.
"I got better as the match went on," said Capriati, who has won three of the last nine Grand Slam titles. "I had some jitters in the beginning. It's been a while since I've been here. I moved well and overall I'm pretty happy."
Capriati had not played since her three-set loss to Marlene Weingartner in the first round of the Australian Open. She lost her only two matches of 2003 heading into this event.
Fourth seed Lindsay Davenport joined her fellow American in the third round, getting past Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Fully recovered from knee surgery, Davenport has reached two finals in 2003, winning the Pan Pacific Open.
Fifth seed Amelie Mauresmo of France also advanced, defeating Myriam Casanova of Switzerland, 6-4, 6-0, but seventh seed Anastasia Myskina of Russia and ninth seed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland failed to get out of the second round.
Giants sign Hilliard, Kuehl
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., March 7 (UPI) -- The New York Giants finalized a deal with receiver Ike Hilliard Thursday and signed long snapper Ryan Kuehl.
Hilliard played in only seven games last season due to a dislocated shoulder suffered against Philadelphia, when Eagles safety Brian Dawkins hit him as he stretched to catch a pass. He had 27 catches for 386 yards and two touchdowns before the injury.
Hilliard suffered a neck injury in his 1997 rookie season and played in just two games. But between 1998-2001, he averaged 57.5 catches, 789 yards and nearly five touchdowns.
Kuehl's arrival could end the costly carousal the Giants had last season at long snapper. The Giants used five snappers last season, including Trey Junkin, who was brought out of retirement and made the ill-fated snap on the last play of the wild card playoff loss in San Francisco.
Kostelic clinches World Cup title
ARE, Sweden, March 7 (UPI) -- Newly crowned world champion Anja Paerson collected her third straight World Cup giant slalom Thursday night.
Croatian sensation Janica Kostelic finished sixth to clinch the overall World Cup title.
This caps a brilliant season for the 21-year-old Kostelic, who also won gold medals in the combined and slalom at last month's World Championships in St. Moritz.
Though Kostelic had run away with the title, Thursday's result made it impossible for her nearest challengers -- Karen Putzer of Italy and Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister -- to catch her. Putzer finished ninth while Dorfmeister crashed out in the first run.
Paerson delighted home fans, winning on the Gastrappet course -- the World Cup's only illuminated giant slalom piste. She had a two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 29.88 seconds, then performed her trademark belly flop on the snow to celebrate.
It marked her fourth straight giant slalom win, counting the recent Worlds.
Despite Paerson's home win, the night belonged to Italy, with rookie Daniela Merighetti taking second in 2:30.00 and Denise Karbon, the silver medalist behind Paerson at the recent World Championships, finishing third in 2:30.02.