Senators force Game 7
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., May 22 (UPI) -- Defenseman Chris Phillips scored 15:51 into overtime Wednesday night to give Ottawa a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Ottawa forced a decisive seventh game in the Eastern Conference finals thanks to the biggest goal Phillips has scored since Ottawa selected him with the top overall pick in the 1996 draft. He allowed the Senators stave off elimination for the second straight game and sent the series back to Ottawa for Friday night's showdown.
The Senators are trying to become the fourth team in this year's playoffs to win a series after trailing three games to one.
Marian Hossa, mired in an eight-game scoring drought, got a step on defenseman Scott Stevens as he moved down the right side before throwing the puck in front of the net. Alone at the top of the crease, Vaclav Varada was stopped twice by Martin Brodeur before Phillips swooped in and put the puck past the goaltender.
It was his second playoff goal and first since Game 3 of the conference quarterfinals -- a span of 14 games.
Patrick Lalime made 30 saves to help top-seeded Ottawa hand second-seeded New Jersey its first loss in nine postseason home games.
Joe Nieuwendyk tied it 2:41 into the third period, cashing in after missing a handful of good scoring chances in the second.
Senators defenseman Wade Redden went off for cross-checking at 1:50, giving the Devils their third power play of the game.
From behind the net, Jeff Friesen slid a pass in front that hit Ottawa defenseman Karel Rachunek and Lalime before finding Nieuwendyk, who tapped the puck past the goaltender for his third playoff goal and second of the series.
Spurs tie up West final
SAN ANTONIO, May 22 (UPI) -- Tim Duncan halted another Dallas comeback bid Wednesday night, helping San Antonio down the Mavericks, 119-106.
The Spurs evened their Western Conference final series at a game each.
As they did in Game 1, the top-seeded Spurs led virtually the entire game. This time, they held on handily thanks to Duncan, who had 32 points and 15 rebounds as he flashed the form that has made him the two-time NBA MVP.
The third-seeded Mavericks were trying to stage a repeat of their comeback in the opener, when they erased an 18-point deficit and stunned the Spurs with a 113-110 win. They dug themselves a 28-point hole in the first half on Wednesday, then shot their way out of it, pulling within 103-94 on a three-pointer by Michael Finley with 5:40 to go.
Duncan answered with a 15-footer. Nick Van Exel converted a driving three-point play to make it an eight-point game, but Duncan scored inside, rebounded a missed three-pointer by Van Exel and blocked a shot by Dirk Nowitzki, leading to Tony Parker's layup and a 109-97 lead with 3:53 to play.
After Van Exel made a three-pointer, Duncan passed out of a double-team to rookie Manu Ginobili, whose three-pointer made it 112-100 with 2:32 left and took the fight out of the Mavericks.
Malik Rose scored 25 points off the bench and led a procession to the foul line by the Spurs, who sank 37 of 45 free throws. Rose made 15 of 18 and Duncan 10 of 13.
It was a huge turnaround from Game 1, when San Antonio made 31-of-48 free throws and Dallas sank 49 of 50.
Sorenstam set to make golf history
FORT WORTH, Texas, May 22 (UPI) -- Annika Sorenstam will become the first woman in 58 years to compete in a PGA Tour event Thursday.
Sorenstam, however, will have had a minimum of preparation time when she opens her first round at the rain-soaked Colonial Country Club course.
Her practice round was disrupted by rain Tuesday and she was able to complete only 10 holes of Wednesday's pro-am event when rains again forced a halt to the action.
By her estimation, Sorenstam played 10 holes in 1-over before the rains finally brought an end to the pro-am.
The highlight of Sorenstam's day was a 40-foot chip-in for birdie at the 246-yard, par-3 fourth hole. She hit a driver off the tee.
Colonial already was going to be the longest course Sorenstam has played, a par-70 measuring over 7,000 yards. Rain on Tuesday and Wednesday is making it seem some 300 yards longer.
"The only good news is that the greens are softer, so I can fire more at the flag," she said. "So I'll do my best. I'm going to hit a few longer clubs than I expected. But luckily I've got them in the bag, so we'll see what happens."
Despite Wednesday's weather, Sorenstam was followed by hordes of fans, more than she's ever seen at an LPGA Tour event, with the exception of a U.S. Women's Open.
"I can't imagine," she said. "This is tremendous. All the support and to show up on a day like today is incredible."
Clemens wins No. 299
BOSTON, May 22 (UPI) -- Roger Clemens notched his 299th career victory Wednesday night in carrying the New York Yankees past Boston, 4-2.
Raul Mondesi added a clutch RBI single in the seventh inning and the bullpen made the Yankees' narrow lead stand up.
Clemens (6-2) worked six innings and allowed a pair of runs and nine hits while striking out seven against his former team.
He received a scare in the sixth inning when Bill Mueller 's single glanced off his right hand, leaving runners at the corners with two outs. After a brief examination and some warmup tosses, Clemens stayed in the game and struck out Doug Mirabelli to end the threat.
New York still needed to score to give Clemens a shot at the victory and snapped a 2-2 tie with a two-out rally. Jorge Posada laced a single to left field and Boston starter Tim Wakefield (4-2) walked Robin Ventura. Mondesi then came through with a single into center field to give the Yankees the lead.
Yankees manager Joe Torre turned over the game to his beleaguered bullpen one night after watching Cuban rookie Jose Contreras cough up a lead. Chris Hammond retired a pair of hitters and Antonio Osuna got the next three outs before issuing a two-out walk to Trot Nixon in the eighth inning.
Closer Mariano Rivera entered and picked off pinch-runner Damian Jackson before throwing a pitch. After New York added an insurance run in the ninth inning, Rivera worked around an error by center fielder Bernie Williams to start the frame for his fourth save in as many chances.
Clemens improved to 6-0 on the road this season and likely will go for career win No. 300 against Boston on Memorial Day.
Other American League results: Minnesota 4, Oakland 3; Cleveland 4, Detroit 0; Chicago 6, Toronto 5; Texas 8, Tampa Bay 7.
Expos move a dozen games over .500
MONTREAL, May 22 (UPI) -- Rookie Claudio Vargas allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings Wednesday night, boosting Montreal past Florida Marlins, 7-2.
Acquired from Florida last July in the eight-player trade that brought Cliff Floyd back to Montreal, Vargas (2-1) made his fifth career start a strong one. He walked one and struck out three in his first appearance against the Marlins.
Carl Pavano (3-5), the key player for Florida in that deal, took the loss, yielding five runs and seven hits in six innings. He had been 1-0 with a 1.77 ERA in his previous three starts.
Vargas gave up a sacrifice to Mike Lowell in the first inning and a solo homer to Alex Gonzalez in the fourth.
But the Expos took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the fourth on Vidro's RBI single and Calloway's two-run double.
Other National League results: Milwaukee 10, San Diego 0; Pittsburgh 5, Chicago 3; Cincinnati 9, Atlanta 3; New York 5, Philadelphia 4; St. Louis 7, Houston 4.
Report: Georgia accuses Jim Harrick Jr.
ATLANTA, May 22 (UPI) -- The University of Georgia has laid blame for problems with its men's basketball program squarely at the feet of Jim Harrick Jr.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday that the school has told the NCAA that Harrick Jr., whose father, Jim Sr., was fired earlier this spring, was "solely responsible" for the academic fraud which has affected the program and ultimately led to his father's ouster.
According to the paper, Harrick Jr. lied about his teaching credentials and asked two players to lie about their participation in a course.
The paper said a letter from Compliance Director Amy Chisholm has been sent to the NCAA, outlining the allegations.
The paper said that in the letter, Chiseholm contended Harrick Jr. misled superiors about how a Physical Education course in 2001 would be taught, and asked players Chris Daniels and Rashad Wright to lie about their participation in the course.
The Journal-Constitution obtained a copy of the letter under Georgia's public records law.
O'Brien stays at Celtics coach
BOSTON, May 22 (UPI) -- Danny Ainge's plans for the Boston Celtics include keeping Jim O'Brien as coach.
O'Brien, whose team was swept in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the New Jersey Nets, was given a contract extension through the 2005-06 season by the Celtics Wednesday.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
The extension is one of the first notable moves by Ainge, who was hired earlier this month as executive director of basketball operations.
"We are excited to have Jim be our head coach," Ainge said. "Coming in new, this was not a process that was a given. There was a lot of conversation, observation and analyzing of circumstances. Of all the guys out there, he is the guy that we want."
The Celtics are the NBA's most successful franchise with 16 titles, but last won the championship in 1986 when Ainge was the starting shooting guard on a team that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Dennis Johnson.
Last season, the Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference finals before losing to New Jersey, ending a six-year playoff drought.
Paris to bid on 2012 Olympics
PARIS, May 22 (UPI) -- Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe announced Wednesday the city would bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The city last hosted the Summer Games in 1924.
London, New York, Madrid, Spain and Leipzig, Germany already have formally thrown their hats into the ring. They will now be joined by Paris, which will host this summer's Track and Field World Championships.
France also successfully staged soccer's World Cup five years ago.
Paris was among the leading contenders to host the 2008 Olympic Games, but lost out to Beijing.
Moscow, the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paul and Vancouver also have been mentioned as possible cities to submit bids, which must be made by July 15.
The International Olympic Committee will choose a host in July 2005.