Pacers clinch series with 93-80 victory over Wizards
WASHINGTON — David West scored 29 points, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Washington Wizards 93-80 Thursday night to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight year.
Lance Stephenson added 17 points and eight assists for the Pacers, who won the series 4-2 over the Wizards. They will host Game 1 against the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat on Sunday. Indiana took the Heat to seven games in the conference finals a year ago.
The Wizards took a one-point lead with 8½ minutes to play, but they scored only two field goals the rest of the way as the Pacers closed with a 20-6 run.
Marcin Gortat scored 19 points for the Wizards, who ended their best playoff run in decades.
Hanson leads Byron Nelson, one stroke ahead of Duval
IRVING, Texas — Peter Hanson made his only back-nine birdie with a 6-foot putt at the 18th hole Thursday, closing out a 5-under 65 for a one-stroke lead over David Duval and two others after the first round of the Byron Nelson Championship.
Marc Leishman and Tim Wilkinson matched Duval at 66.
Duval birdied his last three holes, Nos. 7-9. The 42-year-old Duval, ranked 890th in the world 15 years after being No. 1, almost withdrew before the round because of a painful muscle issue in his right elbow.
Hanson made the turn at 5 under after shooting 30 on the front side. The Swede couldn’t keep up the pace on the back nine that he hadn’t played before Thursday because of travel issues and a sore back.
Colt Knost (Garrettsville) shot a 2-over 72 in the first round, while former Kent State standout Ben Curtis was one stroke behind after carding a 3-over 73.
Brazil police clash with anti-World Cup protesters
SAO PAULO — Protesters and police clashed in Sao Paulo Thursday, as demonstrations against the World Cup and rallies calling for improved public services erupted in several Brazilian cities.
Officers in Brazil’s largest city fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who set piles of trash alight to barricade a central avenue. Demonstrators blasted the billions spent to host next month’s soccer tournament and said they wanted to draw attention to what they called a lack of investment to improve poor public services.
“We are beginning to gain strength to go against the injustices of the World Cup,” said Luana Gurther, a social sciences student. “We are the ones who should decide where the public money goes. More funding for schools, hospitals, housing, transportation— not the Cup.”
Gurther and a thousand other mostly young protesters gathered on a main business avenue in the city of 11 million, loudly beating drums and cans and raising banners with messages such as “less money for the Cup and more for housing.” Protesters staged a soccer game with dirty tactics, and one man put on a costume of a giant skeleton dressed as a Brazil player.
The demonstration turned violent when some people smashed the windows of a Hyundai car dealership and the offices of a bank. Police arrested seven people carrying Molotov cocktails.