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Kentucky's Randle Declares for NBA Draft


Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(LEXINGTON, Ky.)  --  After just one season at Kentucky, forward Julius Randle announced he is leaving the school to declare for the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-9 Randle announced his decision with just five days left before the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft.  He helped the Wildcats go 29-11 this past season before losing to Connecticut in the NCAA final.

"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 than now," Randle said.

Randle averaged 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds this season and was voted to The Associated Press' All-America third team.  He could very well be a lottery pick in the June 26 draft.

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Wizards Edge Bulls in OT for 2-0 Series Lead


Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(CHICAGO) --  Bradley Beal scored 26 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Washington Wizards topped the Chicago Bulls 101-99 in overtime to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

Nene added 17 points as the Wizards rallied from 10 down in the fourth quarter to steal their second consecutive road victory.

With 2.4 seconds remaining in overtime, Kirk Hinrich was fouled by Nene on a drive to the hoop and had a chance to tie the game.  After missing the first free throw, he deliberately missed the second.  Trevor Ariza pulled down the rebound to seal the win for Washington.

D.J. Augustin led the Bulls in defeat with 25 points, while Taj Gibson added 22 points and 10 rebounds.  After dropping the first two games of the series at home, the Bulls will travel to Washington in desperate need of a victory.  Game 3 will be played on Friday night at the Verizon Center.

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Pacers Clip Hawks 101-85 to Even Series


Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Paul George was not going to let the Indiana Pacers continue to struggle.

George had 27 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists as the Pacers rallied to defeat the Atlanta Hawks 101-85 on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

"That's why he was in the MVP conversation early," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "He always does those types of things, guarding the best perimeter player, rebounding the ball, deflecting the ball. His hands were all over the place. It makes him one of the most complete players in the game when he plays like he did tonight."

The Pacers trailed 38-27 during the second quarter and were down four at halftime.  They came out surging in the second half, outscoring Atlanta 31-13 in the third quarter to seize control of the game.

Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 19 points.  Game 3 will be played on Thursday night in Atlanta.  The Pacers have only two wins there since December 2006.

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Albert Pujols Hits 500th Career Home Run


Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  Albert Pujols hit his 500th career home run in thrilling fashion.

Pujols became the first major leaguer to hit his 499th and 500th homers in the same game, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 7-2 win over the Washington Nationals Tuesday night.  He also drove in five runs.

"It tastes better with a win," Pujols said after becoming the 26th player in big league history to reach the milestone.  "I knew this year, it was going to happen, whether it was tonight, tomorrow, two months from now. So my goal was just to prepare myself every day to try to help this organization win."

Tyler Skaggs (2-0) gave up two runs in seven innings for the win.  Pujols now has eight home runs this season, all in the past 13 games.  His 19 RBIs lead the team.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 4/22/14


Getty Images/Hemera (NEW YORK) -- NBA First Round: Indiana Pacers 101 – Atlanta Hawks 85 (Series tied at 1-1)

Toronto Raptors 100 – Brooklyn Nets 95 (Series tied at 1-1)

Washington Wizards 101 - Chicago Bulls 99 OT (Wizards lead series, 2-0)

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – First Round:  Montreal Canadiens 4 – Tampa Bay Lightning 3 (Canadiens win series, 4-0)

Boston Bruins 3 – Detroit Red Wings 0 (Bruins lead series, 2-1)

New York Rangers 4 – Philadelphia Flyers 1 (Rangers lead series, 2-1)

San Jose Sharks 4 - Los Angeles Kings 3 OT (Sharks lead series, 3-0)

MLB: Los Angeles Angels 7 (10-10) – Washington Nationals 2 (11-10) Angels first baseman Albert Pujols hits 499th and 500th career home run.

Kansas City Royals 8 (10-9) – Cleveland Indians 2 (9-11)

Cincinnati Reds 4 (9-11) – Pittsburgh Pirates 1 (9-12)

Miami Marlins 1 (10-11) – Atlanta Braves 0 (13-7)

Detroit Tigers 8 (10-7) – Chicago White Sox 6 (10-11)

Toronto Blue Jays 9 (11-9) – Baltimore Orioles 3 (9-10)

Tampa Bay Rays 8 (10-10) – Minnesota Twins 3 (9-10)

New York Yankees 9 (12-8) – Boston Red Sox 3 (9-12)

St. Louis Cardinals 3 (12-9) – New York Mets 0 (10-10)

Colorado Rockies 2 (12-10) - San Francisco Giants 1 (11-10)

Chicago Cubs 9 (7-12) - Arizona Diamondbacks 2 (5-18)

San Diego Padres 2 (10-11) - Milwaukee Brewers 1 (15-6) 12 Innings

Texas Rangers 5 (13-8) - Oakland Athletics 4 (13-7)

Houston Astros 5 (7-14) - Seattle Mariners 2 (7-13)

Philadelphia Phillies 3 (10-10) - Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (12-9) 10 Innings

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Spurs' Gregg Popovich Named NBA Head Coach Of The Year


San Antonio Spurs/NBA(SAN ANTONIO) -- San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was named the NBA coach of the year on Tuesday. He joins Pat Riley and Don Nelson as the only coaches to win the award three times.

Last season, Popovich led San Antonio to the NBA Finals, where they lost in seven games to the Miami Heat. He and the Spurs regrouped and finished the 2013-14 campaign with the league’s best record, 62-20, and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

It’s the 15th straight season that Popovich and the Spurs have won at least 50 games, and the fourth time during that run that the club has eclipsed the 60-win plateau.

Popovich finished with 59 first-place votes, followed by Phoenix’s Jeff Hornack with 37 first-place votes and Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau with 12 first-place votes.

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MLB Suspends Four Players For Altercation


Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Major League Baseball suspended Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez and three other players for their roles in the bench-clearing altercation during Sunday’s game with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Gomez received a three-game suspension, while his teammate, catcher Martin Maldonado, was banned for five games. Pirates outfielder Travis Snider was given a two-game suspension and catcher Russell Martin will sit for one game. All four received fines as well.

Gomez, Snider and Martin will appeal their suspensions and be allowed to play, while Maldonado will serve his immediately.

The altercation began when Gomez and Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole exchanged heated words after Gomez was admiring what he thought was a home run. Gomez wound up with a triple.

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Rockies Place Outfielder Michael Cuddyer on 15-Day DL


Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(DENVER) -- Now at age 35, the Colorado Rockies are playing it safe with Michael Cuddyer as they have decided to place the outfielder on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.

"Extremely frustrating," Cuddyer said of his setback. "This is nagging more than anything else."

Even though the injury isn't considered serious, the team is not taking any chances.

Cuddyer, the NL's Batting Champion last season, was off to another great start this season in his second year in Colorado. In 16 games, Cuddyer was batting .317 with three home runs.

"Cuddy is one of the best players on this team," shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. "More than even on this team, in the game. It's definitely going to make an impact. But we're deep enough; we're going to be OK."

Tulowitzki wasn't exaggerating when he talked about the team's depth. The Rockies this season lead Major League Baseball in runs, batting average, and are second in on base percentage.

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White Sox Place Pitcher Chris Sale on 15-Day DL


Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the midst of a breakout season during his young career, the Chicago White Sox have placed starting pitcher Chris Sale on the 15-day disabled list with a strained flexor muscle in his throwing arm.

There was initial concern just how serious Sale's injury was, but an MRI revealed no ligament damage, meaning Tommy John Surgery will not be required. He is expected to return once he is eligible to come off the disabled list.

In his third season as a starting pitcher, the 25-year-old Sale made four starts and went 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA.

He ranks seventh among American League pitchers in innings pitched, third in strikeouts, and fourth in WHIP.

Sale's innings pitched has risen dramatically since being converted as a starting pitcher. He pitched 94.1 innings combined his first two seasons, but has thrown 433.2 innings total going back to the 2012 season.

Replacing Sale on the roster will be left-hander Charlie Leesman from Triple-A Charlotte.

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NBA Fines Raptors GM Masai Ujiri $25,000 for Expletive


Bruce Bennett/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A poor moment of judgement has forced the NBA to fine Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri $25,000 for his comments during a pep rally prior to the team's playoff game against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.

At the rally outside the Air Canada Centre prior to the game, he said: "F--- Brooklyn!"

The Nets wound up winning Game 1, 94-87.

"Wrong choice of words out there," Uijiri said later. "It is really not about me. It is about the players and the playoffs...[I was] just trying to get the crowd out there rattled -- wrong choice of words. I apologize to kids out there and to the Brooklyn guys. Nothing against them. Just trying to get our fans going. That's it."

This was the first time this season Uijiri took questions from the media.

Uijiri was hired by the Raptors back in May 2013 after he served as the general manager for the Denver Nuggets.

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