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Manziel practices with Browns

With all eyes — well, at least the ones allowed to watch him — on quarterback Johnny Manziel, the most hyped college player to enter the NFL in years took his first steps with the Cleveland Browns, who haven’t promised Johnny Football anything other than a chance to win a starting job.

And that’s cool with him.

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“I’m a rookie,” Manziel said. “I need to earn my place. I need to earn my keep. Nothing here needs to be handed to me. I don’t need to be treated based off what I did in the past, because that doesn’t mean a thing at this level.”

The former Texas A&M quarterback, who oozes swagger every moment he’s on the field, is participating in Cleveland’s rookie minicamp this weekend along with its other draft picks and unsigned free agents. Browns first-year coach Mike Pettine restricted access to Saturday’s workout, which was held inside because of rainy weather, to local media members. Sunday’s practice is closed.


Heat, Pacers rematch

Indiana and Miami spent a whole season hearing about the rematch.

On Sunday, the two Eastern Conference heavyweights will meet in Indianapolis in the most intriguing fight of the year.

There is the possibility of a head-to-head matchup between the world’s best player, LeBron James, and the NBA’s next young superstar, Paul George. There are battle lines drawn between Miami’s perimeter shooters and Indiana’s tough inside guys. There is history with Miami eliminating Indiana each of the past two seasons despite the Pacers pushing the Heat further than anyone expected both times, and, of course, everyone wants to see if the young challengers will derail Miami’s quest for a third straight NBA championship.

Last year, Indiana surprised everyone by pushing the Heat to the brink before faltering in a Game 7 loss as the Heat won a second straight crown.


Sky beats Liberty

Elena Delle Donne scored 23 points and the Chicago Sky spoiled the New York Liberty’s return to Madison Square Garden with a 79-65 win. Courtney Vandersloot from Kentwood High School had 12 points for the Sky.

In other games, Angel McCoughtry hit a three-point shot from the top of the key with 8.8 seconds to play in the second overtime as the Atlanta Dream beat the host Indiana Fever 90-88; and Jia Perkins scored 20 points, including two three-pointers in the final 45 seconds, as the San Antonio Stars rallied to win their home opener 80-76 over the Tulsa Shock.


Nadal, Djokovic in final

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal of Spain and No. 2 Novak Djokovic of Serbia will renew their rivalry in the Italian Open final in Rome on Sunday.

There will be an enticing women’s championship too, with top-ranked Serena Williams of the United States to face Sara Errani, the tournament’s first Italian finalist in nearly 30 years.

In the semifinals, Nadal beat Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-2, 6-2, Djokovic defeated Milos Raonic of Canada 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (6-4), 6-3.

Williams beat Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, and Errani fought back from a 4-1 deficit in the second set for a 6-3, 7-5 win over two-time Rome champion Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.


• Former world champion Yohan Blake failed in a bid to break training partner Usain Bolt’s 150-meter world best at the Manchester City Games. Blake timed 14.71 seconds, only the third fastest over the non-Olympic distance, and well behind Bolt’s 14.35 in 2009 and Walter Dix’s 14.65 in 2011.

• Slovakia’s Peter Sagan won the seventh stage of the Tour of California in a field sprint in Pasadena and Britain’s Bradley Wiggins closed in on the overall title.

• A final push from Diego Ulissi saw the Italian win a tough eighth stage as the Giro d’Italia took to the mountains in Montecopioloy, while Cadel Evans ended Michael Matthews’ grip on the overall lead.

• Jockey Paco Lopez set a Monmouth Park record by riding seven winners in Oceanport, N.J.

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