National Sports Briefs: Lakers West’s first team in playoffs
SAN ANTONIO ó The Los Angeles Lakers are the West’s first team in the playoffs. Kobe Bryant made sure of it.
Bryant scored the last of his 23 points on a 3-pointer with 1:46 left, and the Lakers secured a postseason spot with a 102-95 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.
The Spurs have been the West’s No. 2 team most of the season, and Los Angeles validated that pecking order. The Lakers also wrapped up the Pacific Division in the final rematch this season of the 2008 Western Conference finals.
– ATLANTA ó Hawks forward Marvin Williams has decided not to have surgery on his ailing back, opting for a more conservative treatment program.Williams is back in Atlanta after meeting with a specialist in Durham.
The fourth-year player, averaging 14.0 points and 6.4 rebounds, has missed two straight games with lower back pain.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. ó For Bills fans filling out their programs: Yes, folks, T.O. will be No. 81.
The Buffalo Bills said Thursday that newly signed receiver Terrell Owens will be getting his familiar number, and that second-year receiver James Hardy will be switching to No. 84.
Hardy, the team’s second-round draft pick out of Indiana last year, wore No. 81 in his rookie season.
It’s unclear whether Hardy will be compensated by Owens to switch numbers. In the past, veteran players joining new teams have been known to pay for or provide compensation for the right to switch numbers.
Owens has worn No. 81 throughout his NFL career, but wore No. 80 in college at Tennessee-Chattanooga.
– NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has been indicted on two misdemeanor traffic charges after a crash that seriously injured another driver.
Haynesworth, a former Tennessee Titan who signed with the Redskins last month, was released on $1,000 bond after surrendering Wednesday. Maximum punishment is six months in jail and a $500 fine on the reckless driving charge and 30 days in jail and a $50 fine for the other charge.
The charges come from a Dec. 13 incident in which Haynesworth tried to pass another driver, who crashed into a concrete median.
– TAMPA, Fla. ó NFL player Marquis Cooper’s wife is seeking a presumptive death certificate a week after the Coast Guard called off its search for the missing boater and two friends.
Rebekah Cooper filed a petition for the certificate in civil court in Florida.
The Oakland Raiders linebacker departed from Clearwater Pass west of Tampa Feb. 28 in a 21-foot boat. He was with two former University of South Florida players and free-agent NFL defensive lineman Corey Smith, a former North Carolina State University standout.
Their boat overturned after encountering rough waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
BASEL, Switzerland ó Roger Federer is going to be a father.
The Swiss tennis star said in a message on his Web site Thursday that girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec is pregnant with the couple’s first child. The baby is due in the summer.
“This is a dream come true for us,” the 27-year-old Federer said.
LONDON ó David Beckham may be honored by World Cup organizers with a special ceremony if he breaks England’s all-time appearance record at the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
The 33-year-old Beckham has played 108 times for England and could match Peter Shilton’s record of 125 appearances at the World Cup. England lhas nine more matches scheduled this year.
The Rowan Blues and Jazz Society presents “Trombone Day” this Saturday at the Looking Glass Artist Collective, 405 N. Lee... read more