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Sports briefs for May 5, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Rookie Ernst beats Lynn in playoff for Quail Hollow win

PGA Tour rookie Derek Ernst parred the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to beat Briton David Lynn and win the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday.

Ernst, 22, won with a tap-in par at the 18th hole.

Lynn had hit his tee shot into deep rough on the left, put his second shot in the greenside bunker on the right and overshot the green when blasting out. His chip ran seven feet past the cup, allowing the American to win with his par.

Lynn and Ernst, who entered the field as the fourth alternate to the tournament, both shot final rounds of two-under-par 70 to finish 72 holes in eight under par on a wet, chilly day that brought the golfers out early in the morning in hopes of beating stormy weather forecast for later in the day.

Phil Mickelson, the overnight co-leader, was also eight-under with two holes to play, but bogeyed the par-three 17th hole to miss out joining the playoff.

Nets fire Carlesimo as head coach

The Brooklyn Nets have fired P.J. Carlesimo as interim head coach of the National Basketball Association team, the team general manager said one day after the club was eliminated from the playoffs by the Chicago Bulls.

Carlesimo led the Nets to a 49-33 finish for second place in the Atlantic Division. He replaced the fired Avery Johnson in December.

After earning the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Nets flopped in their first-round playoff series, falling 99-93 in Game Seven on their home court on Saturday.

“The Brooklyn Nets organization would like to thank P.J. for his efforts with the team in his roles as both head coach and assistant, and for his contributions to the team’s success both on and off the court,” general manager Billy King said in a statement.

“We wish P.J. and his family only the best in the years to come.”

Carlesimo, 63, went 35-19 in the regular season, winning 12 of his first 14 games, after taking over from Avery, who had lost 10 of 13 games as the Nets slipped to 14-14.

No decision yet on another Gronkowski surgery

The New England Patriots are keeping an eye on tight end Rob Gronkowski’s fractured left forearm and still haven’t decided whether a fourth surgery will be necessary, according to ESPNBoston.com.

Sources told ESPN that Gronkowski is participating in the Patriots’ offseason conditioning program and looks great. Doctors are waiting to examine the arm for any signs that a persistent infection is present. A final determination could be several weeks away, according to reports.

If a fourth surgery is needed, Gronkowski’s availability for the start of the regular sesson could be threatened. Another operation was considered very likely last month because of the infection, but now there is hope that it could be avoided. ESPN’s sources indicated that there have been no setbacks with the arm in April.

Gronkowski suffered a broken forearm last November and returned late in the season and for the playoffs before he reinjured it. Complications arose after surgery to repair the fracture in January.

Pacers’ Pendergraph fined for flopping

Indiana Pacers forward Jeff Pendergraph became the first player to be fined for flopping in the playoffs as the NBA hit him with a $5,000 fine on Sunday.

There are no warnings for flopping in the playoffs, so the first offense results in a fine.

Pendergraph was cited for falling down while defending Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks in Wednesday’s Game 5 of a first-round series.

No foul was called on the play.

James near-unanimous choice as league MVP

Miami Heat forward LeBron James was named the NBA Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year and the fourth time in the past five seasons in the results of voting announced Sunday.

James was one vote short of being a unanimous selection. He received 120 of 121 first-place votes and 1,207 points in the balloting among sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada and from online fan participation via NBA.com.

Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant (765) was second and New York’s Carmelo Anthony (475) finished third. Anthony, the league scoring champion, received the other first-place vote.

Rounding out the top five were Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (289) and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (184).

James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists this season and shot a career-high 56 percent from the field for a Miami team that compiled the league’s best record at 66-16.

James became the fifth player in NBA history with four MVP awards, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Michael Jordan (five), Bill Russell (five) and Wilt Chamberlain (four).

White Sox’s Peavy to miss another start

Back spasms will force Chicago White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy to miss a second straight start, the team announced Sunday.

Peavy was to be the starting pitcher for Monday’s game against Kansas City. He’ll be replaced by Chris Sale, the White Sox’s Opening Day starter.

White Sox manager Robin Venture did not rule out a trip to the disabled list as a possibility for Peavy.

After Peavy’s back stiffened on Thursday, he was scratched from a start. The last time he pitched in a game was April 26.

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