Sports briefs 6/25/05

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Basketball

San Antonio's Game 7 win over Detroit was the highest-rated of the NBA Finals, though the average for the series was down 29 percent from last year.

ABC got an 11.9 rating with a 22 share for the Spurs' title-clinching win Thursday night. It was the highest-rated show on television for the evening and was the second-highest rated clinching game since 2000.

Over the seven games, the network averaged an 8.2 with a 15 share. Last year's finals between the Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers averaged an 11.5 rating with a 20 share, including 13.8 with a 23 share for Detroit's series-ending win in Game 5.

College

* Nebraska junior third baseman Alex Gordon won the Golden Spikes Award on Friday as college baseball's top player.

Gordon, the No. 2 pick in the major league draft by Kansas City, batted .372 with 19 home runs and 66 RBIs in 72 games for the Cornhuskers.

Other finalists, all juniors, were Miami third baseman Ryan Braun, Southern California catcher Jeff Clement, Arizona outfielder Trevor Crowe and Tennessee pitcher Luke Hochevar.

The two-time first-team All-American and two-time Big 12 player of the year led Nebraska to the College World Series for the third time in five years. He ranked in the top 10 in the Big 12 in all 12 offensive categories.

Football

* The Miami Dolphins cut Quintin Williams on Friday, just one day after the second-year safety was arrested on DUI and drag racing charges.

At 4 a.m. Thursday, Williams was clocked driving 111 mph on Interstate 595 near the Dolphins practice facility in Davie with teammate Travares Tillman in his passenger seat, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The 22-year-old Williams failed a roadside DUI test and was charged with DUI, racing on a highway and unlawful speeding, Lt. Bill Ferrell said. Williams was released from jail Thursday.

Williams was signed as an undrafted college free agent last year. He spent the first nine weeks on the practice squad last season and appeared in six games in a reserve role.

* Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor would face a minimum prison sentence of three years if convicted on charges of pointing a gun during a dispute about an all-terrain vehicle.

A trial date was set for Sept. 12, the day after the Redskins open their season.

State prosecutors filed charges Friday against the 22-year-old former University of Miami star. He faces a single count of aggravated assault with a firearm and a misdemeanor charge of simple battery, said Michael Greico, assistant state attorney.

Taylor allegedly was among a group of people who got into a June 1 armed confrontation over a vehicle the player and his associates believed had been stolen. Another man in the group, 19-year-old Charles Caughman, also faces aggravated assault charges. He is accused of threatening and chasing someone with a baseball bat.

Taylor, the No. 5 overall draft pick by the Redskins in 2004, did not appear in court and has filed a written plea of not guilty.

Hockey

* Pittsburgh Penguins owner-player Mario Lemieux said NHL players are all but certain to get a much worse economic deal in the soon-to-be-approved labor agreement than they would have gotten by accepting the owners' offer four months ago.

"They should have taken the deal back in February," Lemieux said Thursday, referring to the last-gasp negotiations that took place just before the 2004-05 season was canceled. "The cap was at $42.5 million, that was the offer from the owners, now it looks like it's going to be a lot less than that." Players Association senior director Ted Saskin denied Lemieux's inference the players would accept an inferior deal than that proposed just before NHL commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season Feb. 16.

Motorsports

* Jeff Gordon broke his own qualifying record at Infineon Raceway to win the pole Friday, and combined with teammate Jimmie Johnson to give Hendrick Motorsports the front row for Sunday's race.

Gordon, the last of 48 drivers to attempt qualifying laps, raced around the twisting 1.99-mile road course at 94.325 mph, breaking the mark of 94.303 he set last year. It was his fifth pole at the course.

Gordon won from the pole last year.

Nextel Cup points leader Johnson, also driving a Chevrolet, took the second spot for Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 at 94.165, followed by Mark Martin at 94.012, road course ace Boris Said at 93.975, and Robby Gordon at 93.885.

-- From wire reports

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