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Digest: Breanna Stewart scores career-high 38, Storm beats Dream 84-81

From staff and wire reports

WNBA: Breanna Stewart scored a career-high 38 points, Sue Bird made an off-balance jumper with 8.2 seconds left and the host Seattle Storm beat the Atlanta Dream 84-81 on Tuesday night.

Stewart’s three-point play with 41.7 seconds left gave Seattle an 82-81 lead. Atlanta turned it over on its next possession and after Bird’s basket, Meighan Simmons missed a 3-pointer.

Stewart was 12 of 16 from the field and 11 of 13 at the free-throw line. Bird finished with 15 points.

Crystal Langhorne added 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting for Seattle (6-9), which is ranked No. 10 in the AP power poll.

Stewart made 7 of 10 shots in the first half and scored 20 points to help the Storm to a 45-35 lead.

Angel McCoughtry scored 22 points and Elizabeth Williams added 21 for fifth-ranked Atlanta (8-7). Tiffany Hayes and Sancho Lyttle did not play due to leg injuries.

Tennessee native and Seattle coach Jenny Boucek wore an orange top in honor of longtime Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt, who died Tuesday at age 64.

Parker leads Sparks: Candace Parker had 31 points and a season-high 13 rebounds in an emotional performance after losing her former coach Pat Summitt, and the Los Angeles Sparks rallied from a 22-point deficit to beat the Dallas Wings 89-84 on Tuesday night.

Parker, a former Tennessee Volunteer, wore orange shoes with the word “rebound” written on them to honor Summitt, who passed away Tuesday. Parker scored 25 points in the second half.

Los Angeles trailed 58-36 in the third quarter, but the Sparks went on a 16-2 run to pull to 60-52. Essence Carson tied it for the first time on a three-point play, and Parker made one free throw with 6:28 left to give Los Angeles its first lead at 69-68.

Carson finished with 17 points for Los Angeles (14-1), which tied a WNBA record for the best start to a season after 15 games. The Sparks took over the top spot in the AP power poll after splitting a pair of games with Minnesota last week.

CCU forces Game 3

College baseball: Connor Owings’ bloop RBI single sparked a three-run eighth inning, and Coastal Carolina beat Arizona 5-4 to send the College World Series finals to a deciding Game 3 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Mike Morrison was sensational in his first start of the season, helping the Chanticleers rebound from a 3-0 loss to the Wildcats in the opener. The teams meet again Wednesday night to decide the national championship.

Owings was batting .125 (3 for 24) in the CWS when he stepped to the plate against Cameron Ming in the eighth. The Big South player of the year fought off a high inside pitch, sending it into short left field to drive in Anthony Marks from second base with the go-ahead run.

Ex-Colts RB Tipton dies

NFL: Zurlon Tipton, a former Indianapolis Colts running back, died after accidentally shooting himself at a car dealership in suburban Detroit. He was 26. Police say he was handling a duffel bag when a gun in the bag fired as he dropped off his car in Roseville, Michigan.

Tipton appeared in 16 games over two seasons for the Colts, gaining 38 yards on 15 carries. He was released by the team in December.

The Detroit native played college football at Central Michigan. Tipton’s best season was 2012 when he scored 19 touchdowns and rushed for nearly 1,500 yards. Injuries limited him to only five games in 2013, his senior season.

CMU says the death is “shocking and tragic.”

League fines Canucks

NHL: The NHL fined the Canucks $50,000 for tampering after general manager Jim Benning mentioned the Canucks’ interest in Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos last week during a radio interview before the NHL draft in Buffalo, New York.

NHL rules bar teams from discussing their interest in players who are under contract. The one exception is during a window of opportunity that opened on Saturday, when all teams are allowed to contact pending free agents, but not allowed to sign them until July 1.

Messi urged to return

Miscellany: The president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, said he hopes to meet Lionel Messi next week and convince him to return to the national team. Messi announced his shock retirement from the Argentine national team following the loss Sunday to Chile on penalty kicks in the Copa America final in the United States.

Messi returned Monday to Argentina, but has not spoken publicly.

Macri said he told Messi to “ignore some of the nonsense because, truth be told, we are all very happy” with how the Barcelona star has played for Argentina.

Messi, who moved to Barcelona at age 13, has often faced tough criticism in Argentina because he has failed to deliver the country a major title – in contrast to his repeated success at Barcelona.

He is often compared unfavorably to Maradona, who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title.

Macri said he didn’t understand the criticism of Messi.

“The truth is that it’s good fortune, a joy, a gift from God to have the best player in the world in a country like ours that is so football-crazy,” said Macri, a former president of Argentine club Boca Juniors.

Macri’s lobbying could be helped by a gathering planned Saturday at the obelisk in central Buenos Aires, the city’s most famous landmark.

Support for Messi has been overwhelming on social media with sports figures, artists and politicians urging him to return. Billboards and signs across the city are also asking him to stay.

In the midst of the turmoil, the Buenos Aires city hall unveiled a statue of Messi – with a football at his foot – alongside other national sports stars.

In another show of support, some members of Argentina’s 1986 World Cup team posed for a photograph that contained a written plea: “Don’t Go Lio.”

Maradona, the biggest star on that team, was not in the photo.

Williams wins opener: Struggling on serve and failing to dominate against a 148th-ranked Swiss qualifier playing in her first Grand Slam tournament, Serena Williams labored to a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Amra Sadikovic in London – the 80th match win of her Wimbledon career. The six-time Wimbledon champion jumped out to a 3-0 lead, running off 13 points in a row at one stage, defying her reputation as a slow starter.

Draw made for Olympic rugby: Pairings are set for the first Olympic rugby competition in 92 years with the draw placing favorites New Zealand, Fiji and South Africa in different groups in the men’s tournament. The rugby sevens event at the Rio de Janeiro games will be played Aug. 6-11.

Group A of the men’s tournament is made up of Fiji, United States, Argentina and Brazil. Group B has South Africa, Australia, France and Spain. New Zealand leads group C, which also includes Britain, Kenya and Japan.

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