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Thursday, May 26, 2011
How the West was won

By Whitney Holtzman

NBA: The Dallas Mavericks will get a chance to play for all the marbles after advancing to the NBA Finals on Wednesday night with a 100-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dallas overcame an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to close out the Western Conference finals in five games. The Mavericks, who will face either Miami or Chicago in the Finals, have never won an NBA title.

Matching Phil Jackson's success will be no easy task, but the Los Angeles Lakers believe Mike Brown is the best man for the challenge. Brown, who was fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers a year ago, agreed in principle to become the 22nd head coach in Lakers franchise history. The organization announced in a statement that it hopes the two parties will have a contract signed within the next few days. The deal will be four years, $18.25 million, according to league sources.

NHL: We're now down to one game to determine the Eastern Conference representative in the Stanley Cup finals. The Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Boston Bruins 5-4 Wednesday to tie the conference finals 3-3, forcing a Game 7 in Boston on Friday night.

MLB: The Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds played a doubleheader (plus some) in the span of one game. It took 19 innings before the Phillies got a 5-4 win in a game that ended at 1:19 a.m. Thursday morning, six hours and 11 minutes after it began. The teams started running out of pitchers and Wilson Valdez, the Phillies' second baseman, came in to pitch the 19th inning. The worst part? The two teams have a 1:05 p.m. start time Thursday afternoon.