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NEWSWIRE

Mercury wins WNBA championship

League and finals MVP Diana Taurasi scores 26 points as Phoenix defeats the Indiana Fever, 94-86.

October 10, 2009|Staff and Wire Reports

The Phoenix Mercury is the WNBA champion for the second time in three seasons, leaning on its "big three" to pull out a 94-86 victory over the tenacious Indiana Fever in the deciding Game 5 on Friday night at Phoenix.

League and finals most valuable player Diana Taurasi scored 26 points, Cappie Pondexter had 24, and Penny Taylor sank two crucial free throws with 37.7 seconds left as the Mercury held off a late rally to win the intense series, 3-2.

Tammy Sutton-Brown scored 22 points, and Jessica Davenport had a career-high 18 for Indiana in its first finals appearance. Tamika Catchings had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Fever.

Indiana rallied from 10 down in the second half to tie the score at 80-80 on Sutton-Brown's layup with 4:29 to play, then Tangela Smith made two three-pointers, her only field goals of the night, to put the Mercury ahead for good.

TENNIS

Nadal, Djokovic advance in Beijing

Rafael Nadal moved into the semifinals of the China Open by defeating Marat Safin, 6-3, 6-1.

Nadal outplayed the former top-ranked Russian from the start and remains on track to meet Novak Djokovic in the final Sunday. Djokovic defeated Fernando Verdasco of Spain, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.

Today, Nadal will face Marin Cilic of Croatia, who defeated Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, 6-4, 6-4. Djokovic will face Robin Soderling of Sweden, who defeated Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

HOCKEY

Blues investigating escalator accident

The St. Louis Blues said that a three-story escalator at the Scottrade Center would remain shut down during an investigation into why it malfunctioned, injuring 13 people, following the team's home opener.

The escalator was crowded with game spectators when it broke down about 9:30 p.m. Thursday. "From what I could tell from looking at it, it looked like the bottom four steps collapsed," said Capt. Bob Keuss of the St. Louis Fire Department.

Four adults and a child were taken to hospitals. Keuss described the injuries as not serious, from twisted ankles to sore backs and necks.

The Kings play at St. Louis tonight.

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Former NHL star Theo Fleury says he was sexually abused by a junior hockey coach.

Fleury's account is detailed in an autobiography called "Playing With Fire." The book is to be released next week. Excerpts appeared online.

The former Calgary Flames forward accuses Graham James of abuse. James was jailed in 1997 after admitting to sexually abusing two players on his junior hockey team -- one being ex-NHL player Sheldon Kennedy. James could not immediately be reached for comment.

Fleury's NHL career was derailed by drugs and alcohol. He tried to come back at age 41 with the Flames in training camp this fall but was cut.

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Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen is out for at least four months with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

ETC.

Cohen withdraws from Paris event

Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen has withdrawn from the first Grand Prix figure skating event of the season because of tendinitis in her right calf.

The 2006 runner-up at the Turin Games is making a comeback after not competing since the 2006 world championships. But she said she will not skate at the Trophee Eric Bompard in Paris after consultation with an orthopedic surgeon.

The 24-year-old Cohen says she is confident she will be ready for Skate America, Nov. 12-15 in Lake Placid, N.Y.

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After more than a century on the sidelines, golf will return to the Olympics at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Rugby, last played in 1924, is coming back as well.

Both were reinstated for the 2016 and 2020 games after a vote Friday by the International Olympic Committee.

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First base and outfield coach Andy Van Slyke will not be returning to the Detroit Tigers.

The team announced that Van Slyke "decided to pursue other opportunities" and will not come back next season.

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Dario Franchitti won the pole for today's Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Scott Dixon is the IRL points leader entering the race, the last of the season.

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Sacramento Kings swingman Francisco Garcia will have surgery after breaking his right forearm while lifting weights.

The Kings said Garcia was injured Friday and will have the surgery today. They provided no timeline for when he might return.

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Bernard Hopkins is returning to the ring Dec. 2 in his hometown of Philadelphia to fight Enrique Ornelas.

Hopkins hopes the light-heavyweight bout leads to a long-anticipated rematch with Roy Jones Jr. early next year.

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