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NBA changes Finals format

NBA owners unanimously vote to return to 2-2-1-1-1 format beginning with the 2014 Finals.

October 23, 2013|Staff and Wire reports
  • The NBA owners unanimously voted Wednesday to eliminate the 2-3-2 NBA Finals format instituted during the first year of Commissioner David Stern's first full year in charge of the league.
The NBA owners unanimously voted Wednesday to eliminate the 2-3-2 NBA Finals… (Bebeto Matthews / Associated…)

The 2-3-2 NBA Finals format is following David Stern out of the league.

NBA owners unanimously voted Wednesday to return to the 2-2-1-1-1 format, believing the travel inconveniences that teams faced when Stern became commissioner nearly 30 years ago no longer exist.

Beginning with the 2014 Finals, the higher-seeded team will host Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower seed gets Games 3, 4 and 6, following the same format the NBA uses in all other rounds.

The current format was instituted in 1985, Stern's first full year in charge, in part to ease the amount of cross-country travel with the Lakers and Boston Celtics frequently meeting for the championship. But critics thought it gave an edge to the lower-seeded team.

HORSE RACING

Breeders' purses top $27 million

There were 172 horses pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup World Championships scheduled for Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park, including 24 from overseas.

The 30th running of horse racing's world championships has purses totaling more than $27 million for 14 races.

The $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic attracted 13 horses, including defending champion Fort Larned, Game On Dude and the European star Decoration Of War, trained by Aidan O'Brien. Since 1984, 11 winners of the Classic have gone on to be voted horse of the year.

There will be five Breeders' Cup races on Nov. 1, topped by the $2-million Distaff at 11/8 miles. Beholder, the top 3-year-old filly on the West Coast, will seek to challenge defending champion Royal Delta and Princess of Sylmar, who has won four consecutive Grade I races.

There will be nine Breeders' Cup races on Nov. 2.

—Eric Sondheimer

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Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel sustained a concussion when he was thrown from his mount after it broke down at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

Borel was taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for evaluation after the fall from Sonic Dancer shortly after the start of the sixth race. Keeneland medical director Barry Schumer said in a statement that the 46-year-old Borel was "stable, somewhat alert" and suffering concussion effects.

ETC.

Jankovic wins opening match

Jelena Jankovic topped second-ranked Victoria Azarenka, 6-4, 6-3, in her first match in the WTA Championships at Istanbul, Turkey.

Earlier, fifth-ranked Li Na edged Sara Errani, 6-3, 7-6 (5). Errani also lost her opening group match on Tuesday to Azarenka and probably will be eliminated from the round-robin event featuring the top eight players in the world.

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John Isner of the United States edged Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), at the Valencia Open in Spain.

Top-seeded David Ferrer eased into the second round by stopping Gael Monfils of France, 6-3, 6-2. Monfils appeared to be in pain during the second set but continued playing.

Philipp Kohlschreiber upset second-seeded fellow German Tommy Haas, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

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Roger Federer rallied past Denis Istomin, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, in the second round of the Swiss Indoors at Basel.

Federer conceded a set for the first time in five matches against the 48th-ranked Istomin, and rallied from 0-40 down in his first service game in the third.

Federer's chances of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals in London improved when Richard Gasquet lost, 6-4, 6-2, to fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra in a first-round match.

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Still recovering from right knee surgery, Lindsey Vonn has decided to skip Saturday's season-opening World Cup race in Austria, preferring to return next month.

Vonn has been training on the glacier in Soelden for the last week and made her decision Wednesday.

She'll return for the races in Beaver Creek, Colo., from Nov. 29-Dec. 1.

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