Thursday's Sports In Brief


CLEVELAND (AP) From the edge of elimination to the brink of history.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have pushed the NBA Finals to their limit. Game 7 is necessary.

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James scored 41 points, delivering another magnificent performance with no margin for error, Kyrie Irving added 23 and the Cavs sent the finals packing for California by beating the rattled Golden State Warriors 115-101 to even this unpredictable series and force a decisive finale.

Cleveland saved its season for the second time in four days and will head back to Oakland's Oracle Arena for Sunday's climactic game with a chance to become the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, and give this title-starved city its first major sports championship since Dec. 27, 1964.


OAKMONT, Pa. (AP) - Even a rain-soaked Oakmont didn't keep the U.S. Open from delivering its usual dose of frustration.

Just not the kind anyone expected.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, who had spent five days preparing on the firm and fiery greens of Oakmont, posed over a wedge into the 17th that landed behind the hole, spun back and kept rolling until it trickled down a slope into the bunker.

Masters champion Danny Willett sat in a cabin behind the seventh tee for more than an hour as his group waited out the first of three rain delays. When the weather cleared, players were sent back onto the course without having a chance to warm up again.

Most frustrating of all? Only nine players finished the first round, and 78 players didn't even tee off. The first round was suspended for third and final time just as 28-year-old qualifier Andrew Landry was finishing up a dream round in his U.S. Open debut.

BELMONT, Mich. (AP) - Defending champion Lexi Thompson shot a 6-under 65 for a share of the Meijer LPGA Classic lead, with Brooke Henderson, Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn close behind.

The 21-year-old Thompson played the front nine - her final nine at Blythefield - in 6 under. She was tied for the lead with 52-year-old Laura Davies, Sei Young Kim, Carlota Ciganda and Paula Reto.

U.S. Women's Open champion In Gee Chun was at 66 along with So Yeon Ryu, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Jaclyn Jansen, Alena Sharp, Amelia Lewis and Q Baek.


SEATTLE (AP) - Another benchmark for the United States. Another huge goal for Clint Dempsey.

As unlikely as it seemed a few weeks ago, the U.S. is in the semifinals of the Copa America.

Dempsey scored for the third straight game and set up Gyasi Zardes for a tap-in goal, boosting the United States into the Copa America semifinals with a wild 2-1 win over Ecuador.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Victor Martinez matched a career-best with three home runs, the Tigers pounded six as a team and sailed to a 10-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Nick Castellanos, James McCann and Miguel Cabrera also homered for Detroit, which lost outfielder J.D. Martinez in the second inning after he slammed into the wall while chasing a fly ball. He taken for X-rays that revealed a non-displaced fracture of his right elbow, and he's due to have a CT scan Friday.

NEW YORK (AP) - Now it's certain: David Wright will be sidelined for the foreseeable future. That's a scenario the New York Mets have become painfully familiar with the past few years.

Wright had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, and it's unclear how long the oft-injured third baseman might be out. The team did not provide an estimated timeframe for Wright's potential return, but the 33-year-old captain is expected to miss most of the remainder of the season - perhaps all of it.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins will miss the rest of the season because of a persistent left shoulder injury that will require surgery.

Manager Paul Molitor confirmed Perkins won't pitch again until 2017. The three-time All-Star appeared in only two games before landing on the disabled list because of what was diagnosed then as a posterior strain.


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Fired Baylor coach Art Briles ripped his former employer, accusing the school of wrongful termination and indicating he has no interest in settling a federal lawsuit filed against him and the university by a woman who was raped by a football player.

In a motion filed Thursday as part of the lawsuit, Briles said he wants new attorneys separate from the school, and his personal attorney said Baylor was using the coach as a scapegoat for its failings in handling allegations of sexual assault.

Baylor officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Briles had been mostly silent since he was fired on May 26, but the brass-knuckles response from the 60-year-old coach suggest he's willing to fight the school over his dismissal.