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Tom Thibodeau is NBA coach of the year

The Bulls coach earns the honor after guiding the Bulls to a 62-win season in his first year.

May 01, 2011|Wire reports

Tom Thibodeau waited about two decades to become an NBA head coach. It didn't take him long to be recognized as one of the best once he got the chance.

Thibodeau is the NBA's coach of the year after leading the Chicago Bulls to 62 wins in his first season to tie a league record set by Paul Westphal.

The Chicago Tribune first reported Thibodeau's selection, which was no surprise the way the Bulls dominated during the regular season. Now, after a tough five-game series against Indiana in the opening round of the playoffs, they'll open the Eastern Conference semifinals against Atlanta on Monday.

"After being here for a year, I realize how fortunate I am to be here," Thibodeau said. "It's a great city, great fans, great organization, great players, and if it meant waiting 20 years to get this job, it was well worth the wait."

GOLF

Watson gets victory in playoff

Bubba Watson won the Zurich Classic for his second PGA Tour victory of the year and third overall, holing a three-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff with Webb Simpson at Avondale, La.

Watson, also the winner at Torrey Pines in late January, matched Simpson with a three-under-par 69 to finish at 15-under 273 at TPC Louisiana. Both players birdied the 18th on the first extra hole.

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Maria Hjorth took advantage of Alexis Thompson's collapse in a failed bid to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner, rallying to win the Avnet LPGA Classic at Mobile, Ala., for her fifth tour title.

The 37-year-old Swede shot her second consecutive five-under 67 to finish at 10-under 278, two strokes ahead of Song-Hee Kim (71).

The 16-year-old Thompson, tied for the lead with Kim entering the round, had a 78 to drop into a tie for 19th at one under.

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Top-ranked Lee Westwood rallied to win the Ballantine's Championship for his second consecutive victory, shooting a five-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over Miguel Angel Jimenez at Seoul.

Westwood finished at 12-under 276 in the event sanctioned by the European and Asian tour and Korea PGA.

ETC.

UCLA, USC split in track

UCLA's men's track and field team defeated host USC, 89-74, in the teams' annual dual meet. It was Bruins Coach Mike Maynard's first dual meet win against the Trojans. UCLA clinched the win in the second-to-last event, the 5000 meters.

In the women's dual meet, USC defeated UCLA for the fourth year in a row, 95-68.

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The original center court jump circle from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion netted $325,085 at auction.

SCP Auctions said that it's the most someone has ever paid for any piece of college basketball memorabilia.

The names of the buyer and the UCLA alumnus who sold the piece were not released.

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IndyCar's Sao Paulo 300 in Brazil was postponed until Monday because of heavy rain.

IndyCar officials made the call after Sunday's race was stopped for more than two hours and track conditions failed to improve.

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Del Worsham raced to his second consecutive top-fuel victory and third in five events this season, beating teammate Larry Dixon in the NHRA Spring Nationals at Baytown, Texas.

Jeff Arend (funny car), rookie Vincent Nobile (pro stock) and Andrew Hines (pro stock motorcycle) also won their divisions in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

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Henry Cooper, the heavyweight boxer who once knocked down Muhammad Ali, died Sunday, according to British media. He was 76. Obituary, AA5.

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