With Red Claws’ capacity attendance help, NBA D-League draws 1 million for first time

The NBA Development League drew 1 million in attendance for the first time, with the expansion Maine Red Claws playing to 100 percent capacity.

The NBA’s minor league drew a total of 1,043,261 fans, an increase of 6.6 percent from last year. The league had 16 teams this season, with Springfield, Mass., joining the Maine team based in Portland.

The average attendance for a game in the D-League was just shy of 3,000. There have been a record 34 call-ups to NBA clubs this season, and 80 current NBA players have D-League experience.


HOLDEN’S RETURN: Midfielder Stuart Holden plans to resume full training in two weeks and intends to be back in action for Bolton before the end of the Premier League season next month.

Holden, who joined Bolton in January from Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, broke his right leg while playing for the U.S. team in a March 3 exhibition at the Netherlands. He said he still hopes to be fit for the U.S. World Cup opener against England on June 12.

CHING SIDELINED: Forward Brian Ching is expected to be sidelined 4 to 6 weeks because of a strained left hamstring, an injury that could prevent him from returning before the U.S. World Cup team gathers in mid-May.


ANDALUCIA OPEN: Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Russia beat Yvonne Meusburger of Austria 6-3, 6-0 to reach the second round at Marbella, Spain.


CIRCUIT DE LA SARTHE: Luis Leon Sanchez won the first stage, a 114-mile ride from Sable-sur-Sarthe to Varades, France, with Lance Armstrong finishing close behind in the main pack.

Sanchez finished third at last month’s Paris-Nice race.


FLOYD DONE AT MASTERS: Raymond Floyd is done playing the Masters after 45 appearances. The 67-year-old Floyd said he decided not to play this year’s event because he didn’t want to embarrass himself trying to compete on the 7,435-yard course.

He had played in every Masters since 1965 and won the event in ’76, but he had missed the cut the last 10 years.


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