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Sports in brief

BASKETBALL

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WEST POWERS FACE OFF FOR WNBA TITLE

All season, Minnesota and Los Angeles have been the best teams in the WNBA. Because of a new playoff format in which the league's top eight teams qualified for the postseason regardless of conference, the Western Conference teams meet in the best-of-five WNBA Finals that begin today in Minnesota (3, Ch. 28). A Minnesota win would give it four of the past six titles, including two straight. A Los Angeles win would be its first title since 2002 and the first for star Candace Parker.

NBA: Clippers rookie forward Brice Johnson, the team's first-round draft pick, has a herniated disc in his lower back and is out indefinitely, the team said.

ET CETERA

Golf: First-round co-leader Jay Haas shot 8-under 63 for a five-stroke lead at 15-under 127 in the Champions Tour's Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach, Calif. Fred Funk (65) was 10 under. John Daly (66) was in a group of six at 9 under. First-round co-leader Billy Mayfair (76) was 2 under.

HORSES: Hoppertunity, trained by Bob Baffert, won the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., and secured a spot in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 5 at Santa Anita.

SOCCER: Host England got a 2-0 win over Malta, ranked 176th, for an uninspired start to 2018 World Cup qualifying after coach Sam Allardyce was fired for comments made in a newspaper sting that called his integrity into question.

TENNIS: Top seed Andy Murray and unseeded Grigor Dimitrov eased into the final of the China Open in Beijing. Murray beat No. 5 David Ferrer 6-2, 6-3. Dimitrov advanced with a walkover against No. 3 Milos Raonic, who injured an ankle during his quarterfinal win Friday. On the women's side, No. 11 Johanna Konta will be in the next WTA top-10 rankings — the first British woman to do so since Jo Durie in 1984 — by beating No. 8 American Madison Keys 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-4. She faces No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat No. 16 Elina Svitolina 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.

Triathlon: Germany's Jan Frodeno won his second Ironman world championship, finishing in 8 hours, 6 minutes, 30 seconds at Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Switzerland's Daniela Ryf was the top woman, winning her second straight title in 8:46:46.

Times wires

Sports in brief 10/08/16 [Last modified: Saturday, October 8, 2016 11:12pm]
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