Sports briefs 5/25/05

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Baseball

* Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Sean Burnett, on the 60-day disabled list following reconstructive elbow surgery last September, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder Tuesday that will sideline him until spring training.

Burnett, 22, was the Pirates' first-round pick in the 2000 draft and was 5-5 with a 5.02 ERA last year. He injured the elbow Aug. 21 in St. Louis.

* Orioles catcher Javy Lopez broke a bone in his right hand Tuesday night and will probably be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Lopez was hit on his non-glove hand by a foul tip off the bat of Seattle's Bret Boone in the third inning.

Basketball

* The Orlando Magic reached back to their successful past Tuesday and hired Brian Hill as their new coach.

Hill, an assistant with the New Jersey Nets last season, took the Magic to their only NBA Finals appearance in 1995. In three-plus seasons with Orlando, he won a franchise-leading 191 games against 104 losses, and his .647 winning percentage also is the best in team history.

Hill, who also coached the Vancouver Grizzlies, has a career coaching record of 222-227, with three postseason appearances.

He takes over a roster with a good core of talent in Grant Hill, Steve Francis, Hedo Turkoglu, Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson. But the team faded late last season, coach Johnny Davis was fired in March, and Orlando finished with 36 wins.

* Chicago Bulls center Eddy Curry has undergone more tests to determine the source of the irregular heart beat that cost him the end of the season and the Bulls' first trip to the playoffs since 1998.

Curry, 22, was in Minneapolis Monday and the team's doctors were expected to talk to Curry's doctors today.

The 7-foot Curry, who lost 30 pounds in the offseason, was a big part of the Bulls turnaround season. Before he was sidelined, Curry, who's a restricted free agent this summer, led Chicago with 16.1 points a game and was shooting 53.8 percent, fourth best in the NBA.

College

* Oklahoma State safety Vernon Grant was killed in a car accident in Texas, coach Mike Gundy said Tuesday.

Grant, a three-year starter at safety from Duncanville, Texas, died Monday night in the accident in Dallas.

A car was turning across traffic onto an Interstate 45 onramp when it was rammed broadside by an oncoming car, said Senior Cpl. Donna Hernandez, a Dallas police spokeswoman. The Dallas County medical examiner's office and school officials said Grant died later at a hospital. Hernandez said the other motorist had minor injuries.

"This is a terrible loss for everyone associated with Oklahoma State University and the football family," Gundy said in a statement. "Vernon Grant was a terrific young man who had an infectious smile and a positive approach to everything he did. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and teammates."

Grant, 22, started all 12 of the Cowboys' games last season and had 67 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He led Oklahoma State with nine tackles in the Alamo Bowl.

Hockey

* Hoping to build off momentum from last week, NHL labor talks will resume Wednesday and Thursday in Chicago, back in a smaller-group format.

The sides are returning to the table just five days after concluding four straight days of meetings that featured 22 hours of full negotiations between Thursday and Friday.

Most of the time was spent reviewing the finances of the 30 NHL teams, how each club reports its figures, and what qualifies as revenue -- which has long been a source of contention.

Those talks led to full bargaining sessions with the respective leaders at the end of the week that spawned this next round of discussions.

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