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Grizzlies' Marc Gasol chosen NBA defensive player of the year

Memphis center wins the award for the first time after anchoring the league's stingiest defense.

April 24, 2013|Staff and Wire reports
  • Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has been named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award after receiving 30 first-place votes to edge Miami Heat forward LeBron James.
Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has been named the NBA Defensive Player… (Mark Humphrey / Associated…)

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol won his first NBA defensive player of the year award after anchoring the league's stingiest defense.

Gasol received 212 points and 30 first-place votes to beat the Miami Heat's LeBron James, who had 149 points and 18 first-place votes, the NBA announced Wednesday.

The 7-foot-1 Spaniard averaged 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals for a Memphis defense that gave up a league-best 88.7 points per game. The five-year veteran ranked 12th in the league in blocks.

Memphis became the first team to hold opponents below 90 points per game in a season since 2005-06, when the Grizzlies (88.5) and San Antonio Spurs (88.8) accomplished the feat.

The Oklahoma City Thunder's Serge Ibaka was third with 122 points and 14 first-place votes. The 28-year-old Gasol becomes the first Grizzlies player to earn defensive player honors, and he did it in a season when he wasn't an All-Star.

COLLEGES

USC's Dedmon to declare for NBA draft

Dewayne Dedmon, USC's 7-foot basketball center, announced through the school that he would forgo his final season of college eligibility to make himself available for the NBA draft.

Dedmon, from Lancaster, averaged 6.7 points and a team-high 7.0 rebounds in 22.3 minutes per game last season and also led the Trojans with 66 blocked shots and 34 steals.

Dedmon and senior James Blasczyk sat out USC's final game — a loss to Utah in the opening round of the Pac-12 Conference tournament — after they were suspended indefinitely for violating unspecified team rules during the Trojans' final regular-season trip in Spokane, Wash.

New USC Coach Andy Enfield, who was out of town recruiting, did not return a message seeking comment.

Diane Pucin

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Russ Smith is staying at Louisville to chase another NCAA championship and a degree.

The 6-foot-1 guard is passing on the NBA draft to return for his senior season, aiming to become his family's first college graduate and also win another title.

Smith's decision contradicts his father's declaration after the Cardinals' NCAA championship win over Michigan that his son would make himself available for the draft.

Smith led Louisville (35-5) with 18.7 points per game in the recent season, including 22.3 in the NCAA tournament.

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USC's Oct. 19 football game at Notre Dame will kick off at 4:30 p.m. PDT and will be televised by NBC, the schools announced.

In 2011, USC defeated Notre Dame, 31-17, in the Fighting Irish's first night home game in 21 years.

USC opens the season Aug. 29 at Hawaii.

Kickoff times and broadcast information for games other than Notre Dame have yet to be announced.

Gary Klein

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Vanessa Zamarripa and Alyssa Pritchett, senior gymnasts who helped UCLA to a fourth-place finish in the recent NCAA championships, will compete May 10 and 11 at the Pro Gymnastics Challenge in Bethlehem, Pa. The event will be televised on ESPN2 on May 20 to 22 and include former Olympians Chellsie Memmel, Jonathan Horton and Jake Dalton as competitors and Nastia Liukin and Russia's Svetlana Boguinskaia as coaches.

Diane Pucin

ETC.

Lewandowski scores four, Dortmund wins

Robert Lewandowski scored four goals and Borussia Dortmund took a huge step toward reaching the club's second Champions League final with a 4-1 walloping of Real Madrid at Dortmund, Germany.

With a victory in the first leg of the semifinal, Dortmund, the only unbeaten team remaining in the competition, made it six wins in six at home and extended Madrid's run of six consecutive defeats in Germany.

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Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for 10 games by the English Football Assn. for biting an opponent during a Premier League match, ruling him out for the rest of the season.

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said Suarez and the club were "shocked and disappointed" at the punishment.

The FA said in a statement that a three-man independent panel ruled that the regular suspension of three games for violent conduct was "clearly insufficient" after Suarez bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the upper right arm during the 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday. He wasn't sent off because the referee didn't see the bite, which was reviewed later.

Suarez has until Friday to appeal the seven games added to his sanction.

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Caroline Wozniacki lost in the first round of the Porsche Grand Prix, falling to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, 7-6 (6), 6-1, at Stuttgart, Germany.

Also, fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic beat wild-card entry Annika Beck of Germany.


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