BASKETBALLRed Claws’ Gaines wins the award as most improved in the D-League

Maine Red Claws guard Frank Gaines was named the most improved player of the D-League.

In his rookie D-League season, Gaines averaged 22.4 points per game – good for fourth in the league – while playing in 48 of 50 games for the Red Claws.

Gaines also added 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while averaging about 35 minutes on the floor.

SOCCER

PREMIER LEAGUE: David Moyes was fired as Manchester United manager, paying the price for the club’s spectacular and sudden decline in his 10 months in charge since replacing the renowned Alex Ferguson.

Moyes’ position had been in doubt since Sunday, when United lost 2-0 to Everton in the Premier League to ensure England’s biggest club over the last two decades will miss out on Champions League qualification for the first time in 19 years.

It also left United seventh in the league, one season after winning its 20th title by 11 points, and on course for its lowest finish since 1990.

Ryan Giggs, a member of Moyes’ staff, will become interim manager. The Welshman is still on United’s playing squad at age 40 – in the 23rd season of a remarkable career at the club.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Visiting Chelsea capitalized on its defensive strategy, playing to a 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their semifinal.

TENNIS

PORSCHE GRAND PRIX: Defending champion Maria Sharapova survived a first-round scare at Stuttgart, Germany, by defeating Lucie Safarova, 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-6(2).

The sixth-seeded Sharapova needed 3 hours, 24 minutes for her 100th clay victory.

BARCELONA OPEN: Albert Ramos beat Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 6-4, 6-4 to set up a second-round match against defending champion and eight-time winner Rafael Nadal.

Nadal was knocked out of the quarterfinals of the preceding Monte Carlo Masters – his earliest exit from the clay-court tournament since 2003.

Also in second-round play, fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan was a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 winner over Spain’s Roberto Bautista while No. 16 Benoit Paire of France was the only seeded player to exit, retiring at 6-4, 5-1 down to Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan.

BOXING

WBC: Former heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs disrupted a news conference in Duesseldorf, Germany, ahead of Wladimir Klitschko’s title bout against Alex Leapai – demanding a fight of his own against the reigning champion.

Briggs lost a 2010 WBC title bout against Klitschko’s elder brother, Vitali.

Klitschko will defend his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles against the Australian challenger Leapai in Oberhausen on Saturday.

CYCLING

BAN: Lance Armstrong’s longtime coach Johan Bruyneel was banned for 10 years for helping organize widespread doping by the former seven-time Tour de France winner’s teams.

– From staff and news services