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Associated Press

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 4:05 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 6 at 4:06 AM

RANGERS-ROCKIES

Tulowitzki's 2 homers lead Rockies past Rangers

DENVER (AP) — Troy Tulowitzki homered twice, Jordan Lyles pitched eight strong innings and the Colorado Rockies beat the Texas Rangers 8-2 on Monday night.

Nolan Arenado also homered to extend his hitting streak to 25 games. It is the longest in the majors this season.

Tulowitzki, who was named the NL Player of the Month for April before the game, had his first multi-homer game of the season and the ninth of his career. He hit a two-run shot off Texas starter Martin Perez in the fifth and hit another two-run homer off reliever Shawn Tolleson to give Colorado a 7-1 lead in the seventh.

It was more than enough for Lyles, who came within three outs of the second complete game of his career.

TRAIL BLAZERS-SPURS

Spurs face a Dirk clone in Portland's Aldridge

UNDATED (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs just finished going toe-to-toe with a transformational power forward whose mid-range game stretched their defense to the max, needing seven games to oust Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.

Tiago Splitter and the Spurs made life difficult for Nowitzki in the opening round. And now they get Nowitzki 2.0 in the Western Conference semifinals when Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge comes to town.

Like Nowitzki, Aldridge relies heavily on the mid-range game, using every inch of his 6-foot-11 frame to get his jumper off against smaller defenders. When faced with someone his size, Aldridge has the strength and nimble feet to get past them, as he did time and time again in the Trail Blazers' defeat of the Houston Rockets in six games.

MAVERICKS WRAPUP

Nowitzki will return, other vets in limbo for Mavs

DALLAS (AP) — The last time Dirk Nowitzki was a free agent in the offseason, Dallas won the championship the next year.

Now the Mavericks and their star have to figure out how far they are from title contention after giving top-seeded San Antonio a tougher test than anyone expected in the first round only to get blown out in Game 7.

The big German says it's "tough to say" where the Mavericks stand following a return to the playoffs a year after their 12-season postseason streak ended. Part of his reasoning is whether fellow veterans Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Devin Harris come back.

There's no question Nowitzki will re-sign. It's just a matter of how much salary-cap space Dallas will have left when he does.

NFL DRAFT-JOHNNY FOOTBALL

How will Manziel fare in the NFL draft?

HOUSTON (AP) — Johnny Manziel, a Heisman Trophy winner and one of college football's most entertaining players, awaits the great leap to the NFL.

But as Johnny Football looks to translate his improvisational game to the next level, questions abound about the quarterback's skills and hard-partying lifestyle.

That's why opinions vary on where he'll end up on draft night. Many believe he should be picked early in the first round. Others, like former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, don't think he should be taken before the third round.

If teams are sold on him as a player, he may face obstacles from those reticent to deal with the circus-like atmosphere that seems to follow him everywhere.

COWBOYS DRAFT

DL big priority for Cowboys, but not only need

IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys didn't draft a defensive lineman last year even though they were switching to a scheme that required one more.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones kept calling it a "position of strength," a claim the son of owner and general manager Jerry Jones can't make now that the Dallas has released franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware. And even though the Cowboys added several free agents to their front four, the search is on for their next elite pass rusher.

Dallas has plenty of other needs after a third straight 8-8 season and a fourth consecutive year without the playoffs. The Cowboys have the 16th pick Thursday night.

If the Cowboys don't take a defensive player, the most likely offensive option is a lineman.

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