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AP Top Sports News at 9:11 p.m. EDT

Want to succeed at the NFL draft? Copy the Patriots
The New England Patriots are, without a doubt, the NFL's model franchise over the past decade, so it makes sense that the rest of the league would take a close look at how Bill Belichick and Co. have gone about constructing their roster, especially when it comes to the draft....

Raiders bring RB Marshawn Lynch out of retirement
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- Marshawn Lynch is coming out of retirement after agreeing on a two-year deal with the Raiders that paved the way for a trade to his hometown team in Oakland....

Home, sweet home: Beal, Wall lead Wizards past Hawks, 103-99
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Back at home, and back in charge, Bradley Beal scored 27 points, and John Wall added 20 points and 14 assists, leading the Washington Wizards to a 103-99 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night for a 3-2 lead in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series....

Dearth of offensive linemen in draft creates dilemma
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The deficiency on Minnesota's offensive line made that position the obvious priority for offseason improvement on a team that stumbled to an 8-8 finish....

Warriors GM Myers confident Kerr will return to full health
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers fully expects Steve Kerr to find a solution to his debilitating health issues and return to the bench without being forced out of coaching altogether because of complications from two back surgeries....

Work load: LeBron not slowing as playoff minutes increase
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) -- Except for his backpedaling hairline, LeBron James shows no visible signs of age....

Thompson emotional, ready to return after major LPGA penalty
IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Lexi Thompson paused, tears welling up in her eyes, when asked about how difficult things have been since a viewer-cited penalty cost her what appeared to be a sure victory in the LPGA Tour's first major of the year....

Sharapova wins 1st match on return from 15-month doping ban
STUTTGART, Germany (AP) -- Looking relieved, Maria Sharapova went through her familiar routine of waving to the crowd and blowing kisses after winning her first match on her return from a 15-month doping ban on Wednesday....

ESPN laying off 100 broadcasters, writers as viewers dwindle
NEW YORK (AP) -- ESPN is laying off about 100 employees, including former athletes-turned-broadcasters Trent Dilfer, Len Elmore and Danny Kanell, in a purge designed to focus the sports network on a more digital future....

NBA fines Rockets owner $100,000 for confronting referee
NEW YORK (AP) -- Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has been fined $100,000 by the NBA for confronting a referee during live game action....

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