Sports briefs: Kirk Triplett repeats as First Tee Open champ
GOLF • Kirk Triplett successfully defended his First Tee Open title Sunday at Pebble Beach, Calif., closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over Doug Garwood and Dan Forsman.
Three strokes behind leader Tom Lehman entering the round, Triplett finished at 11-under 205 for his second career Champions Tour title. Last year, the three-time PGA Tour winner overcame a four-shot deficit.
Garwood, a Monday qualifier making his fourth career start on the 50-and-over tour, and Forsman each shot 69. Lehman was fourth at 8 under after a 74.
League considers change for finals
NBA • The NBA Finals could return to a 2-2-1-1-1 format. The league's Competition Committee voted unanimously to recommend the change from the current 2-3-2 system and owners will vote on it next month at their meetings.
"The idea was raised at the Competition Committee and was well-received and the committee ultimately unanimously voted to recommend the change in format," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Sunday.
If approved, it hasn't been decided if the change would begin with the 2014 finals.
The format was switched beginning in 1985, a recommendation Commissioner David Stern has said came in part from former Celtics boss Red Auerbach to reduce the cross-country trips between Boston and Los Angeles.
Critics argue it gives home-court advantage to the lower-seeded team in Game 5, which is often a pivotal game in a best-of-seven series.
Minnesota, Atlanta to play for title
WNBA • Maya Moore scored 27 points, Seimone Augustus had 22 and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Phoenix Mercury 72-65 Sunday to advance to the WNBA Finals for the third straight year with a sweep in the best-of-three Western Conference finals.
Diana Taurasi had 21 points for Phoenix, but was 6 of 21 from the field, while No. 1 draft pick Brittney Griner was held to six points and 10 rebounds.
Minnesota will open the finals next Sunday at home against Atlanta, which completed its sweep of Indiana earlier Sunday in Indianapolis. Angel McCoughtry scored 27 points in the Dream's 67-53 victory over the Fever.
Portugal's Costa wins world title
cycling • Rui Costa of Portugal prevailed over a star-studded field to win a grueling road race at the cycling world championships Sunday in Florence, Italy, edging Joaquin Rodriguez of Spain in a two-man sprint finish. Rodriguez attacked several times in the final lap of a hilly circuit but Costa caught him in the finishing straight and easily won the sprint.
Costa clocked 7 hours, 25 minutes, 44 seconds over the 169-mile route to become the first Portuguese winner in the race's 86-year history. The 26-year-old Costa has won three stages at the Tour de France, one in 2011 and two this year, and he also won the Tour de Suisse this year and last.
Alejandro Valverde of Spain edged local favorite Vincenzo Nibali of Italy for third, 15 seconds behind.
From wire reports
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