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sports briefs for April 29, 2012


NBA schedule probably not to blame for Rose injury

The NBA’s compressed schedule, with 66 games in four months followed by one day off before the playoffs, was tough on everyone.

Did it cause more injuries?

Probably, say the players.

What about the torn ACLs that ended the season for Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert on Saturday?

Unlikely, says a surgeon.

Dr. David Altchek from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York says Sunday there is “no evidence” that ACL tears can be caused by wear and tear.

Rose, last season’s MVP, was hurt in the final minutes of Chicago’s Game 1 victory over Philadelphia, and the Knicks’ Shumpert went down a short while later. The blame game started soon after, with many pointing the finger at the hectic post-lockout schedule.

Will Power wins 3rd straight Sao Paulo 300

SAO PAULO — Will Power loves racing in Brazil.

Power won IndyCar’s Sao Paulo 300 for the third straight time on Sunday, finishing ahead of Ryan Hunter Reay on the 2.5-mile, 11-turn Anhembi circuit. The Australian was hardly challenged on the streets of South America’s biggest city.

Takuma Sato had a great run to finish third for his first podium after starting only 25th and Brazilian Helio Castroneves was fourth after starting 18th. Three-time defending series champion Dario Franchitti recovered from an early spin to finish fifth.

It was Power’s third straight victory after four races this season, and Penske’s fourth straight. It’s the first time the team has won four in a row to start the season, dating to the introduction of CART in 1979. Penske also won the first three races of the year in 2010.

Power was coming off victories in Alabama and Long Beach and his triumph in Brazil helped him increase his series points lead heading into the Indy 500 next month.

Brandon Inge is signing with A’s

OAKLAND, Calif. — A person with knowledge of the negotiations says third baseman Brandon Inge has agreed to sign with the Oakland Athletics.

The deal is pending a physical and final paperwork, the person said Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because nothing had been finalized and the A’s were yet to make a formal announcement.

Inge was released by the Tigers on Thursday after batting .100 (2 for 20) with one home run and two RBIs this season.

He fills a huge void at third, where the A’s lost projected starter Scott Sizemore to a season-ending knee injury the first day of spring training. Oakland manager Bob Melvin has tried Josh Donaldson, Eric Sogard and Luke Hughes in the spot so far.

WNBA team donates 20K to Goodwin College

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — The WNBA’s Connecticut Sun is donating $20,000 over the next two years to establish a scholarship at Goodwin College.

The team says the Connecticut Sun Foundation Scholarship will support adult students returning to school to complete a degree.

The money will be awarded in $2,500 blocks to eight students over the next two years.

The East-Hartford based school says the idea is to celebrate adults who have made the “bold choice” of returning to school to finish a college degree.

The Connecticut Sun established its foundation in 2007 to support educational and athletic endeavors in Connecticut.

Sharapova beats Azarenka in Porsche final

STUTTGART, Germany — Second-ranked Maria Sharapova cruised past top-ranked Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Porsche Grand Prix for her first title of the year.

Sharapova lost the finals of the Australian Open and Indian Wells this year to Azarenka, and the Russian had never beaten her rival from Belarus in four previous encounters in a final.

“I am really pleased to win such a tough tournament, against such tough opponents,” said Sharapova, before collecting the white sports car donated by the sponsor. “Victoria could not perform at her best because of her injury.”

Azarenka, who fell to 29-2 this year but will keep the No. 1 spot, had her playing, right wrist taped after the first set. She was seeking her fifth title of the year.

Jets’ Tebow voted 95th on NFL Network’s top 100

NEW YORK — Tim Tebow might be Mark Sanchez’s backup in New York, but he has bragging rights on the Jets’ starting quarterback.

Tebow was recently voted by current players as No. 95 on NFL Network’s list of the league’s top 100 players. Sanchez, however, didn’t make the cut.

The popular quarterback tells the network it means a lot to him “for just a few of them to respect me enough to put me on this list.”

Tebow led Denver to the AFC West title and a playoff win over Pittsburgh last season before being traded to New York last month after the Broncos signed Peyton Manning. Despite being a backup, he is expected to have a key role in the Jets’ offense and says he is “working great every single day” with Sanchez.

Puma hanging on to slim Volvo Ocean Race lead

MIAMI — American boat Puma is holding on to a slim lead Sunday as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet heads for Miami on the 4,800-nautical mile sixth leg of the nine-stage event.

Captained by 50-year-old Ken Read, Puma is hoping to build on its victory in the difficult fifth leg from New Zealand to Brazil earlier this month. That stage left five of the six-strong fleet needing repairs while the wily Read steered a pristine Puma through to a memorable win.

The current leg features calmer and mostly downwind, fast sailing conditions but Read is struggling to shake off overall race leader Telefonica and joint Spanish/New Zealand entry Camper after gaining the early advantage.

The pair was around 14 nautical miles behind early Sunday with about 3,000nm of the leg still to sail.

“I can’t get used to it after leg 5,” said Read, who is taking part in his last Volvo Ocean Race. “No thrashing, bashing, soaking, freezing, boiling, upwind hate mission. Maybe I am dreaming. So I pinch myself and sure enough this is reality. And we are doing all right as well.”

In the overall standings, Telefonica has 149 points and leads Groupama on 133, Camper (124) and fourth-place Puma (117). Abu Dhabi with 56 points and Team Sanya (25) complete the six-boat fleet.

The 39,000-nautical mile race is scheduled to finish in the first week of July in Galway, Ireland.

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