SPORTS ITEMS

Fowles lifts Minnesota past Sparks

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LOS ANGELES - Sylvia Fowles and the Minnesota Lynx weren't about to let their season end in Los Angeles.

The WNBA MVP helped the Lynx force a decisive fifth game in the WNBA Finals by scoring 22 points and grabbing 14 rebounds as Minnesota beat Los Angeles 80-69 on Sunday night. It's the second consecutive year that these two teams will play a deciding game in Minnesota for the crown.

"Advantage? No, we're back in Game 5. We wanted to make sure we came out and we played well," Fowles said.

Minnesota, which is trying for its fourth title in seven years, played extremely well as they dominated inside the paint with baskets and rebounds. Minnesota outrebounded the Sparks 48-28. The Sparks had outrebounded the Lynx in Game 3 and that was a point of emphasis for the team to be more physical inside.

Braves GM forced to resign

ATLANTA - John Coppolella was forced to resign as Braves general manager Monday after an investigation by Major League Baseball revealed serious rules violations in the international player market.

Gordon Blakeley, a special assistant to the GM who was the team's international scouting chief, also has resigned.

Braves president John Hart will take over GM duties while the team searches for a full-time replacement.

Hart said the Braves cooperated when they first learned of the investigation "in the past couple weeks." He wouldn't reveal details of the rules violations but he did say they did not involve criminal activity.

Elliott ruling could come today

NEW ORLEANS - A federal appeals court in New Orleans could rule as early as Tuesday on whether Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott must begin serving a six-game suspension because of domestic violence allegations.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Elliott in August after the league concluded a yearlong investigation that found Elliott had several physical confrontations with his then-girlfriend in Ohio.

From wire reports