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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 6:18 AM

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Pujols' 500th HR helps Angels beat Nationals 7-2 (Yahoo Sports)
4/22/2014 11:52:50 PM

Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols (5) steps out of the visitors dugout to acknowledge the applause from the crowd after hitting his career 500th homer run against Washington Nationals Taylor Jordan in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Washington, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Heading toward the plate after the 500th homer of this career, Albert Pujols glanced ahead and saw a throng of Los Angeles Angels teammates waiting right there to greet him. ''I was pretty emotional running the bases and when I ... looked at all these guys coming out, it was hard,'' Pujols said. ''But I just told them, 'We've got a game to win.''' Not a problem, especially with Pujols hitting like the Pujols of old. Continuing a strong stretch, the Angels first baseman became the first major leaguer to hit his 499th and 500th homers in the same game, driving in five runs Tuesday night to help Los Angeles beat the Washington Nationals 7-2.

Wizards beat Bulls 101-99 in OT to take 2-0 lead (Yahoo Sports)
4/23/2014 3:18:00 AM

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 22: Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls lands on top of Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards as they battle for a loose ball in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 22, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

This one looked like it was slipping away from the Washington Wizards. Bradley Beal came on strong late in regulation to finish with 26 points, Nene scored six of his 17 points in overtime and the Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 101-99 Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series. Game 3 is Friday at Washington. We've got to continue to stay poised.'' The Wizards couldn't maintain a 17-point first-quarter lead and had to rally from 10 down in the fourth.

Pacers rally past Hawks 101-85 to even series (Yahoo Sports)
4/22/2014 11:31:40 PM

Indiana Pacers' C.J. Watson makes a pass while being defended by Atlanta Hawks' Shelvin Mack during the first half in Game 2 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

When the Indiana Pacers needed a lift. Paul George stepped up. George had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and the Pacers used a big second-half run to rally for a 101-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series. George Hill scored each of his 15 points in the second half, helping top-seeded Indiana earn a split of the first two postseason games at home.

Kentucky freshman Julius Randle to enter NBA draft (Yahoo Sports)
4/22/2014 4:06:44 PM

Kentucky forward Julius Randle, left, fights for a rebound with Wisconsin forward Duje Dukan during the second half of an NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Kentucky forward Julius Randle took a lot of time and talked to a lot of people before deciding to leave after one season for the NBA draft, where he is expected to be among the top five selections. With five days left before the deadline for underclassmen to declare, the 6-foot-9 Dallas native announced the decision many expected even before he arrived as part of Kentucky's best recruiting class ever. Projected as a lottery pick from the outset, Randle solidified his draft stock by leading Kentucky (29-11) to the NCAA final behind a string of double-doubles despite being double- and triple-teamed. ''Kentucky will always have a special place in my heart, but growing up as a kid, there's always been my dream to play in the NBA, and there's no better opportunity for me to achieve that goal than now,'' Randle said at a news conference attended by his mother, Carolyn Kyles, and teammates Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein, who rode in on a scooter.

DeRozan scores 30 as Raptors beat Nets 100-95 (Yahoo Sports)
4/23/2014 12:01:16 AM

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett, right, dunks against the Toronto Raptors during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

DeMar DeRozan put his playoff jitters aside and turned in an All-Star performance for the Toronto Raptors. DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds and the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 on Tuesday night, evening their first-round playoff series at one game apiece. He went 3 for 13 from the field and scored 14 points in Toronto's 94-87 loss. On Tuesday, DeRozan eclipsed that total in the fourth quarter alone, scoring 17 of Toronto's 36 points.

Spurs' Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year (Yahoo Sports)
4/22/2014 4:33:03 PM

FILE - APRIL 22: The NBA announced April 22, 2014, the San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich has been named the NBA Coach of the Year. NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich looks on during the first half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on November 10, 2013 in New York City. The Spurs defeat the Knicks 120-89. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. Gregg Popovich took it head on, embraced the heartache, and in a career full of masterful coaching performances, delivered perhaps his finest effort in season No. 18. ''The way we lost in the finals wasn't an ordinary loss, it was pretty devastating,'' Popovich said on Tuesday after being named NBA coach of the year. Don't blame it on the basketball gods or bad fortune or anything like that, the Miami Heat beat us and won the championship and that's that.'' Popovich joined Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches in league history to take home the Red Auerbach trophy three times in their career.

Jose Fernandez Ks 14, Marlins shut out Braves 1-0 (Yahoo Sports)
4/22/2014 10:35:33 PM

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) works in the sixth inning of a baseball game against Atlanta Braves Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Jose Fernandez gave credit to his catcher and even claimed he had ''a lucky game.'' The Braves weren't buying it. Fernandez matched his career high with 14 strikeouts in eight innings and combined with Steve Cishek on a three-hitter as the Miami Marlins shut out Atlanta 1-0 on Tuesday night. ''He pitched amazing,'' said Atlanta's Chris Johnson. ''We went up against a buzz-saw today.'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said his hitters ''were coming back shaking their heads.'' Fernandez (3-1) outpitched Atlanta's Alex Wood (2-3), who also was dominant.

Sharks beat Kings 4-3 in OT, take 3-0 series lead (Yahoo Sports)
4/23/2014 2:18:00 AM

Members of the San Jose Sharks, left, celebrate a game-winning goal by center Patrick Marleau as Los Angeles Kings center Tyler Toffoli, right, looks on during the overtime period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in Los Angeles. The Sharks won 4-3. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

After Patrick Marleau's fourth career playoff overtime goal silenced Staples Center for maybe the next-to-last time this season, the veteran San Jose Sharks forward attributed his knack for postseason heroics to one simple trait. ''This one was not a hard shot by any means, but you just get it to the net.'' That's how good things happen for Marleau and the Sharks, who weathered the Los Angeles Kings' best game of the series and emerged on the brink of advancement. Marleau scored 6:20 into overtime, and the Sharks beat the Kings 4-3 on Tuesday night to take a 3-0 first-round series lead. Rookie Tomas Hertl tied it with 10:43 left in regulation for the Sharks, who had to grind out a nail-biting victory after two blowout wins in San Jose.

MLB suspends 4 after Brewers-Pirates brawl (Yahoo Sports)
4/22/2014 7:04:31 PM

Pittsburgh Pirates' Russell Martin (55) is restrained by teammate Gaby Sanchez, center, as they walk to the dugout with manager Clint Hurdle, right, after a brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers during the third inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 20, 2014. Brewers' Carlos Gomez and Pirates' Travis Snider were ejected from the game. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Major League Baseball has suspended four players involved in last Sunday's brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado was suspended five games while outfielder Carlos Gomez was suspended three games. Pittsburgh outfielder Travis Snider received a two-game penalty, with catcher Russell Martin also missing one game. Maldonado began his suspension with Tuesday's game against the San Diego Padres.

Report: Jags' Allen retires after in-game stroke (Yahoo Sports)
4/22/2014 2:56:14 PM

FILE - This is a 2013 photo of Russell Allen of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL football team. Former Jaguars linebacker Allen is retiring after suffering a concussion and a stroke in a game last December. Allen tells that he has a dead spot _ no bigger than a dime _ on his cerebellum. The cerebellum controls motor movement and coordination. The Jaguars released Allen last week. (AP Photo/File)

Former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen will retire after suffering a concussion and a stroke in a game last December. The Jaguars released Allen last week after his personal physician consulted with Jacksonville's medical staff before a scheduled physical. The Jaguars declined comment Tuesday, citing medical privacy laws. Report it immediately.'' In the months after Allen's initial stroke diagnosis, he saw three neurosurgeons.