Racial slur sprayed on LeBron James' home

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police are investigating after someone spray painted a racial slur on the front gate of LeBron James' home in Los Angeles on the eve of the NBA Finals.

It happened Wednesday morning in Brentwood.

Capt. Patricia Sandoval, a Los Angeles police spokeswoman, says James wasn't at the home at the time. She says the property manager told officers they believe the incident was captured on surveillance video.

Sandoval says an unidentified person sprayed painted the N-word on the front gate. Police are investigating it as an act of vandalism and possible hate crime.

She says someone painted over the slur before officers arrived.

James' agent, Rich Paul, declined to comment. James and the Cleveland Cavaliers play the Golden State Warriors in NBA Finals beginning Thursday night, with Game 1 in Oakland.

Pens, Preds could have same lineups for Game 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Penguins and Predators could have the same lineups for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, two nights after a bizarre start to the series that few could have expected.

Forward Colin Wilson did not take part in Nashville's morning skate Wednesday at PPG Paints Arena after missing Game 1 on Monday night because of a lower-body injury. Likewise, winger Carl Hagelin is expected to be a healthy scratch again for Pittsburgh.

The teams come off a bizarre Game 1 that featured a questionable offside review wiping out a goal by P.K. Subban, a Predators fan throwing a catfish onto the ice and the Penguins enduring a 37-minute shot drought and scoring the winner on the next shot they took.

Los Angeles Kings hire Dave Lowry as new assistant coach

EL SEGUNDO (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings have hired Dave Lowry as an assistant coach.

The Kings announced the new addition to head coach John Stevens' staff Tuesday. Stevens already retained Bill Ranford as the Kings' goaltending coach.

Lowry spent the past five years as the head coach of the WHL's Victoria Royals, taking them to the playoffs in all five seasons.

He previously served as an assistant coach for the Calgary Flames. Lowry also was the Flames' captain for two years of his 19-season NHL playing career, which ended in 2004.

Lowry's son, Joel, was the Kings' fifth-round pick in 2011. Joel Lowry spent the past two seasons with Los Angeles' AHL affiliate in Ontario.

The Kings will hire a second assistant coach for Stevens, who replaced Darryl Sutter last month.

Prosecutors to drop charges in Stanley Cup dead catfish toss

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Prosecutors are dropping charges filed against a Tennessee man for throwing a catfish onto the rink in Pittsburgh during the opening of the Stanley Cup Final.

Thirty-six-year-old Jacob Waddell was charged in Allegheny County with disorderly conduct, possessing instruments of crime and disrupting meetings or processions after tossing the dead fish over the glass surrounding the rink Monday night during the Nashville Predators-Pittsburgh Penguins game.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala said in a Facebook post Wednesday that Waddell's actions "do not rise to the level of criminal charges" so the charges "will be withdrawn in a timely manner."

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry had called for the charges to be "quickly dismissed."

Waddell called himself "a dumb redneck with a bad idea" in a conversation with Nashville radio station WGFX-FM .

He says he sneaked the fish into the arena by hiding it between layers of underwear, running the fish over with his truck several times to make it easier to pack.

Venus Williams opens play at French Open on Day 4

PARIS (AP) — Under bright sunshine, 10th-seeded Venus Williams will open play on Court Philippe Chatrier against Kurumi Nara of Japan in the second round of the French Open.

The first Wednesday at Roland Garros is traditionally known as kids' day. Parisian boys and girls will get the chance to see some of the game biggest stars this year, with Rafael Nadal later scheduled to resume his quest for a 10th title in Paris against Robin Haase.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic is also on the bill, facing Joao Sousa on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

The locals will also keep a close eye on 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic, a Frenchwoman who dealt with back pain and deficits before winning in the first round. She next takes on 2012 runner-up Sara Errani.

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