Gasol leads Spain to first European title

Wire Reports

Pau Gasol had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead world champion Spain to an 85-63 win over Serbia in the final of the European basketball championship Sunday at Katowice, Poland.

The victory gave Spain its first European title after six runner-up finishes, including a one-point loss two years ago to Russia in front of its home crowd.

The Spaniards dominated from the start at both ends of the court, playing pressure man-to-man defense and getting out on the break for easy baskets to take a 15-point first-quarter lead. Serbia never recovered.


Gasol, the Lakers’ star forward, scored down low and blocked three shots on his way to winning tournament most-valuable-player honors.

“It was a great game, and obviously we won the final that we lost twice before this year, so I’m extremely happy and it’s an unforgettable day for us,” Gasol said.

Guard Rudy Fernandez scored 13 points for Spain, and Uros Tripkovic led Serbia with 15 points.

Earlier Sunday, Greece slipped past Slovenia, 57-56, to win the bronze medal.


Cubs suspend Bradley for season

Milton Bradley’s season is finished. Perhaps his days with the Chicago Cubs are too.

The Cubs suspended their volatile outfielder for the rest of the season Sunday, one day after he criticized the team in a newspaper interview.

Bradley was disciplined for conduct detrimental to the team. General Manager Jim Hendry said he decided to send Bradley home after learning of the player’s remarks in the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald of Illinois. Bradley was quoted as saying, “You understand why they haven’t won in 100 years here.”

Bradley has two years remaining on a three-year, $30-million contract that he signed as a free agent last off-season. Hendry said he doesn’t know whether the relationship can be salvaged.

A prospect for the San Francisco Giants is the main suspect in the killing of a 25-year-old man in the Dominican Republic, police said.

Angel Villalona turned himself in 12 hours after the man was shot at a bar in the southern coastal city of La Romana, Col. Adrian Urbaez told the Associated Press.


Gay, Jeter blaze to wins in 100 meters

American sprinters Tyson Gay and Carmelita Jeter flirted with history at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix.

Gay ran the second-fastest men’s 100 meters on record, winning in 9.69 seconds.

Gay matched Usain Bolt’s winning time in last year’s final at the Beijing Olympics, then a world record.

The Jamaican has eclipsed that mark with a 9.58 clocking to win the 100 at last month’s world championships in Berlin, where Gay was second in 9.71.

Jeter also had a big day, winning the women’s 100 in 10.64 to become the second-fastest woman of all time.

Only the late Florence Griffith-Joyner ran faster over the distance -- a total of three times, including her world record of 10.49 set in 1988.


McClenathan, Hight pick up big wins

Cory McClenathan and Robert Hight shot up the playoff rankings by winning their first races of 2009 at the NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C.

McClenathan won top fuel with a pass of 3.857 seconds at 312.64 mph to beat rookie Shawn Langdon and take over first place in the Countdown to 1.

Hight flew from 10th place to third by beating another rookie, outpacing Matt Hagan in 4.097 seconds at 307.02 mph in his funny car.

Regular-season champion Tony Pedregon remained in first place and Ashley Force Hood moved up a spot to second place.

Mike Edwards won pro stock in 6.618 seconds at 209.39 mph to take over the top spot for the first time all season.


Federer clinches Swiss victory

Roger Federer gave Switzerland a spot in next year’s Davis Cup world group by beating Potito Starace for an insurmountable 3-1 lead against Italy at Genoa, Italy.

The top-ranked Federer kept his focus through a two-hour rain delay before completing a 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 win to clinch the best-of-five playoff series.

Alejandro Valverde of Spain won the Spanish Vuelta in Madrid, and Andre Greipel took the final stage.

The 29-year-old Valverde was the most consistent rider throughout the 21-stage race that began Aug. 29 in Assen, Netherlands.