April 14, 2009|By From Sun staff and news services

Harrison, Steelers near $51.75M deal


Linebacker James Harrison and the Pittsburgh Steelers reached terms Monday on a six-year, $51.75 million contract that will make him the second-highest-paid player in franchise history. The contract set to be announced Tuesday will pay the NFL Defensive Player of the Year a guaranteed $20 million - more than any other player in team history except Ben Roethlisberger. The quarterback signed an eight-year, $102 million contract last year that will pay him a guaranteed $36 million. Harrison, a former Raven, broke into the Steelers' lineup in 2007 and had 8 1/2 sacks. He had a Steelers-record 16 sacks in 15 games last season, and his 100-yard interception return for a touchdown - the longest scoring play in Super Bowl history - helped the Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-23, for their second NFL title in four seasons. Harrison, who turns 31 next month, was cut four times earlier in his career, including by the Ravens in 2004.

Et cetera: : Giants cornerback Kevin Dockery signed a one-year free-agent tender for $1.54 million, his agent Drew Rosenhaus, said in an e-mail.

Bosh's three drops Washington, 97-96


Chris Bosh made the go-ahead three-pointer with 9.9 seconds left, and the Toronto Raptors rallied to beat the host Washington Wizards, 97-96. Trailing 93-80 with 6:30 remaining, Toronto outscored Washington 17-3 to pull off the win. The Wizards' Juan Dixon (Calvert Hall, Maryland) threw an upcourt pass out of bounds to give the Raptors (32-49) the opportunity for the game-winner. Bosh had 25 points and 15 rebounds. Caron Butler scored 28 points and Antawn Jamison, who hobbled off the court with a right ankle injury early in the fourth quarter, had 23 for Washington. The Wizards (19-62) must win Wednesday in Boston to avoid tying their franchise record for losses, set in 2000-01, when they were 19-63.

Off the court: : Interim coach Ed Tapscott said he's trying to ignore published reports that team president Ernie Grunfeld was in serious discussions with Flip Saunders to replace him next season. Saunders, who has coached Minnesota and Detroit, was let go by the Pistons after the 2007-08 season. Tapscott became interim coach in November after the firing of Eddie Jordan, who started the season 1-10. Under Tapscott, the Wizards are 18-52.

Cavs' win at Indy clinches home court

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The Cleveland Cavaliers clinched the NBA's best record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs behind LeBron James' 37 points in a 117-109 victory over the visiting Indiana Pacers (35-46). Getting the home-court edge was especially important because Cleveland (66-15) has a 39-1 record at home, the best in the league. Danny Granger scored 38 for Indiana, but Cleveland won its fifth straight.

Nets 91, Bobcats 87: : Jarvis Hayes hit two late three-pointers in a 37-second span and host New Jersey (34-47) rallied from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Charlotte (35-46).

Off the court: : Cavaliers forward Ben Wallace has a strained tendon in his left knee, putting his availability for the playoffs in doubt.

De La Hoya might call it a career today

et cetera

: With several signs indicating that Oscar De La Hoya will retire from boxing, a news conference has been scheduled for Tuesday in Los Angeles for an announcement that is being tightly guarded by those close to the famed "Golden Boy." De La Hoya, 36, is expected to confirm publicly what he told his former trainer Freddie Roach in the seconds after his lopsided defeat at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in December: "I don't have it anymore." He is 39-6, with 30 knockouts.

College football: : Bruce Snyder, whose 20-year career as a college coach included an unbeaten regular season at Arizona State, died in Phoenix after a 10-month fight against cancer. He was 69, the school said. His 1996 Sun Devils team upset two-time defending national champion and then-No. 1 Nebraska on the way to going 11-0 in the regular season before a last-minute 20-17 loss to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Two of his players at Arizona State became first-round draft picks of the Ravens: tight end Todd Heap and linebacker Terrell Suggs.

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