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NEWSWIRE

NBA fines Cavaliers' Mike Brown $25,000 for criticizing official

Comments came after wild finish in loss to the Pacers.

February 13, 2009|Diane Pucin | Staff and Wire Reports

Cleveland Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown was fined $25,000 by the NBA for publicly criticizing referee Joey Crawford after the Cavaliers' last-second loss at Indiana on Tuesday.

Crawford whistled LeBron James for a foul on Pacers forward Danny Granger in the final second.

Brown claimed Crawford made a predetermined -- or makeup -- call against James, who had been involved in a similar play moments earlier when Granger was whistled for a foul while trying to defend an alley-oop pass intended for James.

CYCLING

Armstrong rips former racer

Lance Armstrong responded angrily Thursday to a question from Paul Kimmage, a journalist who writes for the Sunday Times of London and who was once a racer in the Tour de France.

At a news conference promoting the Amgen Tour of California, which begins in Sacramento on Saturday, Kimmage asked Armstrong a question about his apparent support of Floyd Landis and Ivan Basso, two cyclists who are returning to competition after having served two-year suspensions for doping offenses.

Armstrong's response was emotional and immediate because last September when he announced his own comeback from a four-year retirement, in part to raise more money for cancer research, Kimmage had called Armstrong "the great cancer martyr" in a radio interview.

On Thursday, Armstrong, a cancer survivor, told Kimmage: "When I decided to come back for what I think is a noble reason you said, 'Folks, cancer's been in remission for four years but our cancer has now returned,' meaning me.

"I'm here to fight this disease. . . . You are not worth the chair you're sitting on making a statement like that about a disease that touches everyone around the world."

--Diane Pucin

TENNIS

Serena Williams in quarterfinals

Top-ranked Serena Williams showed no signs of the illness that kept her bedridden last week as she ousted Karolina Sprem, 6-1, 6-2, to reach the Gaz de France quarterfinals at Paris.

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Top-ranked Rafael Nadal was pushed hard by 17-year-old junior champion Grigor Dimitrov before pulling out a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 victory to advance to the ABN Amro quarterfinals at Rotterdam, Netherlands. . . . James Blake easily defeated Florent Serra, 6-4, 6-3, to advance to the quarterfinals of the SAP Open at San Jose.

GOLF

LPGA returning to L.A. area

The LPGA announced that it has agreed to a five-year partnership with the JoongAng Broadcasting Corp. for Korean broadcast rights to LPGA events, and that J Golf, a division of JBC, will underwrite an event in Southern California from 2010 to 2014. A site is yet to be announced.

The tour has been absent from the Los Angeles area since 2005, when the Office Depot Championship was last played at Trump National in Rancho Palos Verdes.

PRO FOOTBALL

Haynesworth blamed in crash

Tennessee Titans All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is being blamed for causing a car accident that left a Tennessee man needing hip replacement and has a district attorney reviewing the Dec. 13 incident for a possible probation violation.

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The city of Industry's planning commission has approved a proposal for a football stadium intended to lure an NFL team back to the Los Angeles area. . . . Tim Hauck, UCLA's safeties coach, was hired by the Titans as assistant secondary coach. Hauck spent one season with the Bruins. . . . The Denver Broncos have promoted Brian Xanders from assistant general manager to general manager.

ETC.

Vonn struggles with injury

Skier Lindsey Vonn's sliced thumb has her struggling to find a way to protect her hand against the gates for Saturday's slalom at the world championships at Val D'Isere, France. She missed Thursday's slalom, won by Kathrin Hoelzl of Germany. . . . USC's Oct. 17 football game at Notre Dame will kick off at 12:30 p.m. Pacific time and will be televised nationally by NBC.

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