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Sports Briefs

May 10, 2013
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

NBA semifinals knotted up

These NBA conference semifinals are fit to be tied.

Four series, all knotted at one game apiece, the first time that's ever happened in the second round of the NBA playoffs under the current league format, according to STATS LLC. For favorites like Miami, New York, San Antonio and Oklahoma City, home-court advantage has disappeared, and now underdogs can control their own fates simply by taking care of business on their home floors.

The Heat, Knicks, Spurs and Thunder are four of the league's top five winningest road teams this season - which probably isn't great news for Chicago, Indiana, Golden State and Memphis, the lower-seeded clubs who will all be hosting pivotal Game 3s.

Castro makes debut, leads all

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy had their best start ever in The Players Championship.

It still wasn't enough to catch a guy who had never played the TPC Sawgrass.

Roberto Castro hit shots to tap-in range on the famed 17th and 18th holes on his way to a 9-under 63. That tied the course record held by Greg Norman and Fred Couples, and gave him a three-shot lead over McIlroy.

Woods had a chance for his first bogey-free round until missing the 18th green and flubbing a chip. He still had a 67, the first time he has broken 70 in this event.

Federer defeated by Nishikori

MADRID - Second-ranked Roger Federer lost to Kei Nishikori 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 in the third round of the Madrid Open on Thursday.

After recovering from Nishikori's strong start, it looked as if Federer found his stride after roaring back in the second set. But Nishikori reasserted his ground game in the decider after breaking the defending champion for a 3-1 advantage and held on for the surprising victory to reach the quarterfinals.

Federer's early exit leaves Rafael Nadal as the favorite after world No. 1 Novak Djokovic lost on Tuesday. Nadal beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-3 earlier.

 
 

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