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home : sports : regional February 26, 2015

5/8/2013
Quick Hits

NBA

Suns Hire McDonough as Next GM

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns have hired Boston Celtics executive Ryan McDonough as their next general manager.

The 33-year-old McDonough replaces Lance Blanks, who was fired on April 22 after failing to take the Suns to the playoffs in three seasons.

"Ryan distinguished himself among an impressive group of candidates for our GM position," Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said Tuesday. "His natural leadership and communication skills will serve the Suns well. And, his prodigious work ethic and ability to identify talent will enable us to take full advantage of the 10 draft choices, including six in the first round, that we have over the next three years. We welcome his championship pedigree to our organization."

McDonough worked his way up from a 23-year-old special assistant to basketball operations in Boston to becoming assistant general manager the past three years.

McDonough has a strong scouting background, working four years in the Celtics' video scouting department, another as director of amateur scouting and as director of international scouting. McDonough spent two seasons as director of player personnel and was promoted to assistant GM in 2010.



Go Green

As assistant GM, he worked with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and was principally responsible for draft evaluations of college and international players.

McDonough helped the Celtics acquire All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo with a draft-day trade in 2006 and had a hand in pulling together the 2007-08 team that won the NBA championship.

NHL

Julien: 'Toronto Stronger' Sign Not Hockey Related

TORONTO -- Bruins coach Claude Julien has played down a "Toronto Stronger" sign carried by a Maple Leafs fan before Game 3 of their NHL playoff series.

Julien suggested it was the misguided product of a playoff-driven supporter.

The sign was seen by many as an insensitive play off the "Boston Strong" slogan that the Bruins' hometown adopted in the wake of the recent marathon bombings.

"Last night's sign, to me, had nothing to do with hockey," Julien says Tuesday. "'Boston Strong' is about something that struck our city, not our team. Maybe it's a little sensitive for the Boston people.

"Those kind of things happen in playoffs. Unfortunately the best and sometimes the worst comes out of the passion of our game."

NHL

Tavares' 2 Goals Lift Isles Into 2-2 Series Tie

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- John Tavares scored his second goal of the game with 9:49 left, and the New York Islanders tied their first-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night with a wild 6-4 victory.

Only the final lead was safe in Game 4.

Tavares slammed in his own rebound in front after Brad Boyes fed him following a turnover by Penguins star Evgeni Malkin. It was the Islanders' third one-goal advantage in the game and the one that earned them a 2-2 tie in the highly entertaining series that has featured 5-4 and 6-4 finishes at Nassau Coliseum.

Tavares was serenaded with cheers of "M-V-P" from the frantic crowd that is believing an upset is possible. Casey Cizikas shoved in a shot with 1:16 left to add some much-needed insurance.

Brian Strait, captain Mark Streit, and Kyle Okposo also had goals, and Evgeni Nabokov made 27 saves for the eighth-seeded Islanders.

AUTO RACING

Partial Win for Penske in NASCAR Penalties Appeal

CONCORD, N.C. -- NASCAR's chief appeals officer has upheld the fines and points penalties against Penske Racing for parts infractions at Texas last month.

John Middlebrook issued his decision Tuesday. He did reduce the suspensions of team members from the next six races to the next two, which means they can return to the track at Dover for the June 2 race.

Team owner Roger Penske said that was the "most important" part of the decision. He says the "key thing" is having his crew back at the track.

NASCAR inspectors confiscated parts from the rear suspensions of the cars of defending champion Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano before the April 13 race at Texas. Penske said the parts were approved but the organization was working in a gray area of the rule book in how they were used.

The team was hit with $200,000 in fines and seven Penske team members were suspended. Keselowski and Logano were docked 25 points each. A three-member appeals panel upheld the penalties last week, but Penske appealed. Middlebrook's decision is binding.







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