In Sports from United Press International

June 3, 2002 at 12:21 AM
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Lakers live to play another day

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 3 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Lakers kept alive their chance for a third consecutive NBA title Sunday night by again leaning on superstars Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant to pull out a 112-106, overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings in the seventh game of the Western Conference finals.

The Lakers will take on the surprising New Jersey Nets for the NBA crown with O'Neal and Bryant having brought Los Angeles back from a 3-2 deficit in the series with a pair of clutch performances.

Los Angeles will host Game 1 of the Championship Series Wednesday night.

O'Neal, Bryant and Derek Fisher hit eight free throws without a miss in the overtime while the Kings missed all four field goals they tried in the final two minutes and twice turned the ball over.

O'Neal tied the game at 106-106 on a layup with 1:51 to play and put the Lakers in front with a pair of free throws 14 seconds later. The overpowering center, famous for his lack of skill at the free-throw line, made 11 of 15 foul shots and the Lakers as a team made 27 of 33.

In a classic finish to a tremendous series, the seventh game was close all night with the Lakers owning a one-point advantage after one quarter and the Kings in front by two at the half.

Sacramento still had a one-point lead going into the fourth quarter, during which neither team held more than a four-point cushion.

Mike Bibby, who carried the Kings throughout the series and who led them again Sunday night with 29 points, put Sacramento in front at 94-93 with 1:42 remaining in regulation on a jumper.

But Robert Horry's three-pointer put Los Angeles back in front, after which Sacramento center Vlade Divac made a jumper to tie it.

Bryant made one of two two free throws with 46.3 seconds remaining for a 97-96 Los Angeles lead and Bibby again came through with a jumper to put the Kings back in front.

Once more Bryant was fouled and this time made both attempts with 22.3 seconds remaining, giving the Lakers a one-shot edge and, after Predrag Stojakovic missed a three-point try for the Kigns, O'Neal was fouled with 10.4 seconds to play and made one shot.

That put the Lakers in front, 100-98, and Bibby tied it with two free throws with 8.2 seconds to play when he was fouled by Bryant.

The Lakers had the last shot at a regulation win but could not get off a good effort.

O'Neal hit 12 of 25 from the field, played 50 minutes and scored 35 points. Bryant played 53 mintues and scored 30 points while Horry produced 16.

The intensity of the contest and its length left all the players exhausted at game's end, particularly the 300-pound plus O'Neal.

Men's draw shaken up at French Open

PARIS, June 3 (UPI) -- Top-seed Lleyton Hewitt, two-time defending champion Gustavo Kuerten and third-seeded Tommy Haas were all beaten Sunday as a wave of shockers struck the men's draw at the French Open.

The top women's players, meanwhile, kept rolling along as No. 1 Jennifer Capriati, the Williams sisters -- Venus and Serena -- and three-time champion Monica Seles advanced to the quarterfinals.

Guillermo Canas of Argentina, Albert Costa of Spain and Andrei Pavel of Romania provided a memorable day at Roland Garros Stadium. Canas beat Hewitt, 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (15-13), 6-4, 6-3 to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

The 15th-seeded Canas will meet No. 20 Costa, who dismissed the seventh-seeded Kuerten, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. Pavel, who is ranked 22nd, defeated Haas, 6-1, 7-6 (11-9), 6-4.

Hewitt rallied from two sets down to beat Canas in the fourth round here last year, but the Australian struggled Sunday after losing a 91-minute second set in a 15-13 tiebreaker.

Canas finally ended the tiebreaker on his 10th set point with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Kuerten was seeking to become the first men's player to win three straight crowns at Roland Garros since Bjorn Borg won four in a row from 1978-81 and the first since Borg to capture this event four times in a career. But the three-time champion knew that was probably unrealistic after undergoing hip surgery in February and returning to action in late April.

Pavel had lost in the first round in his past three visits to Roland Garros, but advanced to his first quarterfinals at a Grand Slam. Ten years ago, he won the junior crown here. Only two former junior champions have advanced to the final since 1988 -- 1983 boys' champion Stefan Edberg in 1989 and 1991 junior winner Andrei Medvedev in 1999.

Of the four men left in the top half of the draw, none are seeded higher than 15th. In the bottom half, No. 2 seed Marat Safin and No. 4 seed Andre Agassi remain.

Capriati, the Australian Open winner, beat No. 20 Patty Schnyder, 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday, avenging a loss to the Swiss player last month in the semifinals at Charleston.

Capriati will meet seventh-seeded Jelena Dokic, who defeated Slovakian Katarina Srebotnik, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, to advance to her first quarterfinal at the French Open. The 19-year-old Yugoslavian's best effort at a Grand Slam was a semifinal appearance at Wimbledon two years ago.

Venus Williams cruised to victory while Serena had a harder time, but both advanced to meetings with former champions.

Argentina looks sharp at World Cup

IBARAKI, Japan, June 3 (UPI) -- Spain finally won an opening match at the World Cup Sunday, the heat and humidity took its toll, officiating became suspect and Argentina upheld its roll as one of the pre-tournament favorites.

As the first weekend of the month-long soccer explosion came to a close, however, perhaps the biggest news came on a practice field.

Brazilian captain Emerson suffered a dislocated shoulder during his team's practice session on the eve of its first game in Ulsan and doctors said he was out for the entire event.

Brazil officials immediately petitioned soccer's governing body for permission to bring another player onto the roster.

The absence of Emerson will be a big blow to Brazil, the only nation to have played in every World Cup. Brazil struggled throughout qualifying and is one of the tournament's big question marks heading into its opening game Monday against Turkey.

On the field of play, meanwhile, Argentina showed why it has replaced Brazil as South America's biggest threat by recording a 1-0 victory in Ibaraki over a talented Nigerian team.

Sweden came up with a second-half goal against a weary English side to earn a 1-1 tie in Saitama; South Africa scored twice in the game's latter stages to tie Paraguay in Pusan, 2-2; and Spain won an opening World Cup match for the first time in 52 years with a 3-1 decision over Slovenia in Gwangju.

The South Africa-Paraguay and Spain-Slovenia matches, however, were marred by questionable officiating. South Africa tied its game with a penalty kick that came after what appeared to be a bad call and Slovenia was on the short end of two strange decisions that, had they gone the other way, could have altered the result.

Even though Argentina scored only one goal, and had to wait until the 63rd minute to do it, the two-time World Cup champions dominated throughout and took control of Group F -- the most difficult of the competition.

The goal came from Gabriel Batistuta, who leaped high at the far post to flick in a header off a corner kick.

In the other Group F match, England appeared to slow down in the humid conditions and was fortunate to hang on for a tie.

English captain David Beckham, thought to have been out of the World Cup when he broke a foot two months ago, started and delivered the corner kick that Sol Campbell headed home for a 1-0 halftime lead.

But after a poor clearing attempt fell right to Niclas Alexandersson, he rocketed it home from just outside the box 14 minutes into the second half to tie it and Sweden supplied the vast majority of the pressure the rest of the way.

Castillo pitches Red Sox past Yankees

NEW YORK, June 3 (UPI) -- Frank Castillo allowed one run and four hits in eight innings Sunday to boost the Boston Red Sox past the New York Yankees, 7-1.

There had been some criticism of manager Grady Little for not pitching Pedro Martinez against the Yankees. He last pitched on May 28 and would have been able to start on four days rest, but Little stayed with Castillo (4-5), who had lost three of his previous four starts.

The decision paid off as Castillo baffled the Yankees with his off-speed pitches and effective cutter.

The middle of New York's lineup -- Bernie Williams, Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada and Rondell White -- was a combined none for 13 against the veteran righthander.

Other American League results: cleveland 4, Chicago 3; Oakland 4, Tampa Bay 2; Seattle 11, Baltimore 8; Anaheim 5, Minnesota 4; Toronto 7, Detroit 6; Texas 8, Kansas City 6.

Bonds ties Frank Robinson on homer list

SAN FRANCISCO, June 3 (UPI) -- Barry Bonds tied Frank Robinson for fourth place on the all-time list with his 586th career home run in the seventh inning Sunday night and Jason Schmidt allowed one run in seven innings as the San Francisco Giants salvaged the finale of their three-game series with the Colorado Rockies, 9-2.

With the Giants already leading, 8-1, Bonds belted a majestic shot on a 3-2 pitch from Rockies reliever Brian Fuentes into the right-center field seats to lead off the seventh.

Bonds hit 73 homers last season, which surpassed his previous career high by 24 and began this season in seventh place on the all-time list.

He went by Harmon Killebrew on April 13 against Milwaukee and moved past Mark McGwire on May 25, also against Colorado. It has taken him just 193 games since hitting his 500th career homer to tie Robinson.

Other National League results: Cincinnati 5, Atlanta 1; Atlanta 18, Montreal 3; Pittsburgh 5, St. Louis 2; Chicago 4, Houston 2; Florida 7, New York 3; Los Angeles 6, Arizona 3; Milwaukee 4, San Diego 3.

Estes wins Kemper Open

POTOMAC, Md., June 3 (UPI) -- Bob Estes shot a bogey-free round of 1-under-par 70 Sunday and won the Kemper Open by one shot over Rich Beem.

It was the eighth time in his career that Estes has held or shared the lead after 54 holes and he has won on four of those occasions. By avoiding a series of mistakes that plagued his closest competitors, Estes captured his first tournament of the season. His other wins came in the St. Jude Classic and Invensys Classic last year and the 1994 Texas Open.

Estes, who had done no better than a tie for fifth in the Buick Invitational this season, finished with at 11-under 273.

Beem, Justin Leonard and Steve Elkington all were in contention before hitting into the bunker at the par-3 17th. None did no better than a bogey, which worked out perfectly for Estes, who recorded his lone birdie on the par-4 14th hole.

Bob Burns, the third-round co-leader with Estes, had a far more eventful but less successful day. He had a hole-in-one at the 11th, but lost his chance at victory with a double bogey at 16.

Beem, the 1999 champion, shot a 69 and was alone in second at 274. Elkington shot a 69 and Burns a 72 to share third place at 275. Jonathan Kaye (69) and Leonard (70) tied for fifth place at 276.

Qualifier wins Senior tourney

CLIFTON, N.J., June 3 (UPI) -- James Mason, who has traveled around the country attempting to qualify on Mondays in order to play in tournaments on the PGA Senior Tour, holed two spectacular shots Sunday and held on down the stretch to win the NFL Classic.

Mason, a teaching pro from Georgia, earned a one-year exemption on the Senior Tour by becoming the eighth Monday qualifier to win a tournament.

"This is beyond my comprehension," Mason said. "I can't put it into words."

Mason owned the first-round lead by shooting a 65 at the Upper Montclair Country Club and then fell back into fourth place heading into the final 18 holes.

But he got things going by holing a wedge shot from 107 yards for an eagle at the second and then saw a bunker shot run into the hole for birdie at the sixth. Owning a two-shot lead going to the 17th, Mason almost chipped in for birdie at the par-3 hole and then made a six-foot, par-saving putt.

Mason drove into deep into the trees to the right of the 18th fairway and then hit his second shot down the 10th hole, leaving him a shot over a pond for this third.

Mason was left with a 15-foot birdie putt, which he left two feet short. But he tapped in for a par that gave him a 3-under 69 for a three-day total of 9-under 207. Tour rookie Morris Hatalsky, Bruce Fleisher and Dave Eichelberger shared second place at 209 while Walter Hall tied Jay Sigel for fifth at 210.

Johnson captures NASCAR race

DOVER, Del., June 3 (UPI) -- Rookie Jimmie Johnson passed veteran Ricky Rudd with 38 laps remaining Sunday and held on to win the NASCAR Winston Cup MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover Downs International Speedway.

Rudd's late-race gamble on fuel and tires failed to withstand the hard-charging Johnson, 26, who dominated most of the 400-circuit chase around the Monster Mile.

Bill Elliott finished second, followed by Jeff Burton, rookie Ryan Newman and Dale Jarrett.

Jeff Gordon, Ricky Craven, Robby Gordon, Bobby Hamilton and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top 10.

Ken Schrader's Pontiac sent the caution flag flying with 28 laps remaining and 18 cars left the pits on the lead lap. Rudd was among several drivers who pitted, along with Bill Elliott, who was running third.

Johnson, who had the strongest car thoughout the second half of the race, remained on the track. On the restart with 22 laps left, Johnson quickly opened a lead of five car-lengths.

Following a restart with 89 laps left, Rudd built a 2.5-second lead while Johnson bumped his way toward the front by tapping the cars of Mark Martin, Jarrett and Atwood in his quest for the front of the pack.

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