AP) — The NBA championship will be determined tonight in Miami as the Heat entertain the Spurs. It's Game 7 of the Finals and with Miami's last-second, overtime win two nights ago, the Heat and Spurs find themselves matching up one final time with the winner taking home the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
To successfully defend their championship the Heat will have to do something neither team has been able to do in this series, win back-to-back games. If the Heat lose, it'll be their second Finals failure in three years. The Spurs are looking forward to the possibility of celebrating a fifth NBA championship.
The questions are many entering this game.
Can LeBron James come up with another big outing? Can his teammates provide enough support for a win? Can the "old men" of the Spurs, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (MAN'-oo jih-NOH'-blee), muster enough will power to earn another title?
It all begins tonight at 6 p.m. pacific time.
(AP) — David Murphy had three hits and scored twice to snap out of a long slump, and the Texas Rangers beat the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics 9-4 on Wednesday night.
Justin Grimm (6-5) trailed when he threw his last pitch, but the Rangers scored twice in the bottom of the fifth to go ahead and make him the first Texas starter this month to get a victory.
Rangers starters had gone 17 consecutive games without a win since Derek Holland beat Kansas City on May 31. The team's previous longest such stretch was 16 in a row in 1975.
Ian Kinsler had a sacrifice fly off Tommy Milone (6-7) that tied the game in the fifth before Leonys Martin raced home on a grounder with the go-ahead run.
(AP) — Gregor Blanco had a pinch hit, two-run triple in the seventh inning, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.
Brandon Belt and Marco Scutaro also drove in runs as the Giants won their second straight following a three-game slide. Scutaro and Hunter Pence each had two hits.
Will Venable and Jesus Guzman each hit home runs for the Padres, who have lost two straight after a seven-game winning streak.
Madison Bumgarner (7-4) won his third straight start after allowing two runs on three hits over seven innings. He walked four and struck out eight.
Padres starter Eric Stults gave up two runs on seven hits over 6 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out three. Luke Gregerson (4-3) did not retire a batter, giving up two runs on four hits. He took over for Stults after Tony Abreu singled with one.
(AP) — The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Raffi Torres to a three-year contract that will keep him off the free-agent market next month.
General manager Doug Wilson announced the signing on Thursday. Torres was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 5.
Bringing Torres back was a major offseason priority for Wilson despite the forward's suspension for the final six games of the second round for an illegal hit on Los Angeles' Jarret Stoll.
Torres provided a spark after being acquired from Phoenix at the trade deadline and had expressed a strong desire to stay in San Jose.
Torres had two goals and four assists in 11 regular season games with the Sharks and also scored an overtime goal to beat Vancouver in the first round.