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Lakers' Gasol leads Spain over Lithuania

September 15, 2009|Lisa Dillman,Bill Dwyre | Staff And Wire Reports

Lakers star Pau Gasol scored 19 points and had eight rebounds Monday to lead world champion Spain over Lithuania, 84-70, in the second round of the European basketball championship at Lodz, Poland.

With Spain trailing, 24-15, at the start of the second quarter, guard Rudy Fernandez of the Portland Trail Blazers made a three-pointer to spark a 25-3 run over the next seven minutes that put Spain ahead, 40-27. The world champions continued to get out on the fastbreak, and led by 24 in the fourth quarter before pulling most of their starters.

"We played with a very good rhythm today," Gasol said. "We raised our level of intensity and were able to run and play our game. That's more the game that we've been so successful with."

Spain has not played at the level that produced a silver medal at last year's Beijing Olympics and the world title in 2006. The team lost its opening game to Serbia, then fell to Turkey in the first game of the second round.

Spain faces Poland in its final second-round game and is expected to reach the quarterfinals.

Blake Griffin has been cleared to participate in "all team activities" by the Clippers' team physician, Dr. Steven Shimoyama.

With training camp starting this month, there will be no limitations on Griffin's activity.

The No. 1 overall draft pick suffered a strained right shoulder during the Clippers' third game of the Las Vegas summer league but went on to be chosen the league's most outstanding player, averaging 19.2 points and 10.8 rebounds.

-- Lisa Dillman

The Dallas Mavericks are keeping forward James Singleton and releasing guard Greg Buckner.

Singleton, a 6-foot-8 restricted free agent, showed his versatility by playing every position but point guard last season. He averaged 5.1 points and four rebounds per game, with six starts.

A 1998 draft pick who already has had two stints with the Mavericks, Buckner arrived as part of the four-team trade that brought Shawn Marion to Dallas in July.

BASEBALL

Rodney's penalty cut to two games

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Fernando Rodney's three-game suspension has been reduced to two games.

Rodney's suspension will continue through tonight's game against Kansas City.

Rodney was suspended for throwing a ball into the stands in frustration after he hung on for a save in a 4-3 win at Tampa Bay on Sept. 4. He appealed, and the penalty was decreased.

Rodney said he was also fined $3,000.

JURISPRUDENCE

Mayweather is sued over loan

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is being sued by a bank in Las Vegas for more than $167,000 unpaid on a loan for a half-million-dollar luxury car.

Caleb Langsdale, a lawyer for JP Morgan Chase Bank, said in a lawsuit filed last week in Clark County District Court that the former five-division boxing champion bought the Mercedes Maybach 57S in February 2007 and stopped making monthly payments of more than $9,000 a year later.

A lawyer for Mayweather did not immediately respond to a message from the Associated Press seeking comment. A representative for Mayweather said the boxer and his manager were not available.

Mayweather was in Los Angeles for an open workout to promote his comeback fight on Saturday against Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

ETC.

Memorial service set for Kramer

A memorial service for tennis great Jack Kramer will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 26 at Straus Stadium at the Los Angeles Tennis Center at UCLA.

Kramer, who died Saturday at age 88, was considered by many to be the most influential person in tennis in the last 60 years.

-- Bill Dwyre

Four Jamaican runners who had acknowledged using a banned substance have been suspended from track and field for three months.

The suspensions for Yohan Blake, Lansford Spence, Marvin Anderson and Allodin Fothergill took effect immediately after Monday's sentencing hearing assembled by Jamaica's Sports Ministry.

Dutch rider Lars Boom won the 15th stage of the Spanish Vuelta, finishing 25 minutes ahead of the pack as Alejandro Valverde of Spain retained the overall lead.

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