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UPI NewsTrack Sports

Feb. 18, 2013 at 5:15 PM   |   Comments

Lakers owner Jerry Buss, 80, dies

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Jerry Buss, who owned the Los Angeles Lakers for more than 30 years at a time when the team won 10 NBA championships, has died. He was 80.

A release on the Lakers' website said Buss died Monday. He had been diagnosed with cancer and last week was said to be close to death.

Buss, a real estate investor, bought the Lakers, Los Angeles Kings of the NHL and the Forum, from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979. He sold the Kings in 1987.

The Lakers took just one season under Buss to pick up an NBA championship, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers for the title in 1980. The Lakers regularly added titles, including winning three consecutive NBA championships over 2000-02 and two more in 2009 and '10.

In addition to success on the court, Buss was credited with making the team's games a must-attend event in Los Angeles. Movie stars, notably Jack Nicholson and Dyan Cannon, occupied courtside seats.

"Jerry Buss helped set the league on the course it is on today," NBA Commissioner David Stern told the Los Angeles Times. "Remember, he showed us it was about 'Showtime,' the notion that an arena can become the focal point for not just basketball, but entertainment. He made it the place to see and be seen."


Police: Pistorius' girlfriend shot 4 times

PRETORIA, South Africa, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Model Reeva Steenkamp was shot four times through a bathroom door at the home of South African Paralympics sprinter Oscar Pistorius, an official told CNN.

The 29-year-old model was alive after she was shot and was carried downstairs by Pistorius, who was arrested and charged in her Valentine's Day death, the official said Monday, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to release details to the media.

Pistorius, 26, a double-amputee national sports hero nicknamed "Blade Runner" because he runs on prosthetic legs, denies killing Steenkamp, a law school graduate, in his house in an upscale gated community on the outskirts of Pretoria, South Africa's administrative capital.

He is charged with murder.

Investigators said an iPad found at the house, along with phones belonging to Pistorius and Steenkamp, were being examined for clues, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported.

A bloody cricket bat is considered key evidence in the case, Johannesburg's City Press newspaper reported.

Detectives were trying to determine whether the bat was used to attack Steenkamp or if she used it in self-defense. Investigators were looking into the possibility that Pistorius used the bat to break down the bathroom door.


Indiana back to No. 1 for third time

MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Indiana is again the No. 1 team in the USA Today Coaches' basketball poll after a sixth consecutive week in which the previous top-ranked team lost.

Indiana (23-3) collects 19 first-place votes in moving up one spot to the No. 1 position. The Hoosiers were the pre-season No. 1 and held the spot until Dec. 17 when Duke took over.

The Blue Devils were on top for four weeks before losing, starting a string of short tenures at No. 1. Louisville, Duke, Kansas, Indiana and Duke (again) all had one-week runs atop the poll.

The Hoosiers have one game this week -- Tuesday at No. 5 Michigan State.

Miami (Fla.) (21-3) jumps past No. 3 Gonzaga (25-2) for the No. 2 spot after pulling in seven first-place votes. Gonzaga receives three top mentions. The other two first-place votes go to fourth-ranked Florida (21-3).

Michigan State (22-4) is up three places to fifth and Duke (22-3) falls to sixth. Michigan (22-4) drops two to No. 7 with Syracuse (21-4) down one to eighth. Kansas (21-4) improves four spots to ninth and Louisville (21-5) comes in 10th.

Georgetown (19-4), unranked three weeks ago, is No. 11 while Arizona (21-4) and Kansas State (20-5) both slip two places to 12th and 13th, respectively. Oklahoma State (19-5) takes the No. 14 slot and Butler (21-5) falls five to 15th.

New Mexico (22-4) moves up to No. 16 with Wisconsin (18-8) coming in 17 ahead of No. 18 Ohio State (18-7), which is down four places this week. Memphis (22-3) rises six places to 19th and Marquette (18-6) remains at No. 20.

Colorado State (21-4) is voted 21st and Pittsburgh (20-6) is 22nd after a week at 17th. Oregon (21-5) and Virginia Commonwealth (21-5) return to the rankings in the Nos. 23 and 24 places, respectively. Notre Dame (20-6) is 25th.


Serena Williams returns to No. 1

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Serena Williams finished second to Victoria Azarenka in the Qatar Total Open but still came away with the world No. 1 ranking.

When Williams reached the semifinals of the event, she sewed up her return to No. 1, even though Azarenka, with a three-set win Sunday, repeated as the tournament champion.

Williams is 44-3 since last year's French Open, winning titles at Wimbledon, the Olympics, the U.S. Open and the WTA Championships along the way. That has allowed her to amass 10,590 points in the rankings while Azarenka is second with 10,325.

Monday officially marks the sixth time Williams reached the No. 1 ranking. It is her 124th week atop the rankings, which is sixth most. Monica Seles is fifth on that list with 178 weeks. At 31, Williams is the oldest woman to be ranked No. 1.

Maria Sharapova remains No. 3 with 9,715 points while Agnieszka Radwanska (7,750) is fourth and Li Na (6,130) comes in fifth.

Angelique Kerber has 5,400 points, which is sixth most, and is followed by No. 7 Sara Errani (4,820) and eighth-ranked Petra Kvitova with 4,510. Samantha Stosur, with 3,835 points, remains No. 9 and Caroline Wozniacki (3,570) is 10th.

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