Sports briefs 9/19/05

Monday, September 19, 2005

Baseball

n The Texas Rangers set a major league record for home runs at home when David Dellucci, Alfonso Soriano and Rod Barajas connected Sunday against Seattle.

Texas has 150 homers at 150 at Ameriquest Field, one more than Colorado hit at Coors Field in 1996.

Basketball

* Yolanda Griffith had 19 points and 11 rebounds with relentless inside play, and the Sacramento Monarchs moved to the brink of their first championship with a 66-55 victory over the Connecticut Sun in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals on Sunday.

Kara Lawson scored 16 points and hit six free throws in the final minute for the Monarchs, and Nicole Powell made four 3-pointers. But Sacramento took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series with its signature defense, which frustrated the Sun into 16 turnovers and an afternoon of terrible shooting.

Nykesha Sales scored 17 points after a slow start, but the Connecticut stars' teammates managed just eight field goals.

Game 4 is Tuesday night at Arco Arena, where the Monarchs hope to wrap up the best season in franchise history with a title.

* Oklahoma City has reached a tentative agreement with the New Orleans Hornets to play at least part of the NBA team's upcoming season at the Ford Center, The Oklahoman reported on its Web site late Sunday.

Mayor Mick Cornett said a proposed lease is being drafted and he was not sure the public would have a chance to review it before the city council is asked to approve it at a special meeting Wednesday morning.

Boxing

* Leavander Johnson was in a drug-induced coma Sunday following emergency brain surgery he underwent just minutes after losing his lightweight title the night before. He was in critical condition at a Las Vegas hospital.

Doctors at first feared his condition was hopeless, but tests Sunday showed improvement in his brain and gave them hope that Johnson would survive. Johnson was rushed to the hospital after being stopped by a flurry of punches Saturday in the 11th round of his IBF lightweight title defense against Jesus Chavez at the MGM Grand.

Tennis

* Russia won the Fed Cup for the second straight year Sunday, with the doubles team of Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina beating France's Amelie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 for a 3-2 victory.

Dementieva sank to her knees in celebration after Mauresmo hit a forehand long on match point at Roland Garros. Russia beat two-time champion France 3-2 in the final last year in Moscow.

"I've been waiting so long for this," Dementieva said. "I'm so happy."

In earlier singles matches, Pierce rallied past Anastasia Myskina 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to even the best-of-five final at 2-2. Dementieva defeated Mauresmo in the opener 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

* Rafael Nadal cranked up his game after losing the first set, beating Guillermo Coria 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 Sunday to win the China Open on a noisy, festive night for his 10th title this year.

Nadal, the French Open champion, also defeated Coria in the finals at Monte Carlo and Rome this season.

* Lindsay Davenport overpowered Italy's Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 6-4 Sunday to win the Wismilak International.

The top-seeded Davenport, playing in the Bali tournament for the first time, broke serve at the start of each set.

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