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Originally published November 15, 2013 at 8:14 PM | Page modified November 16, 2013 at 12:47 AM

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Matt Kenseth tops qualifying for NASCAR finale

Matt Kenseth won the pole for Sunday’s race that will decide the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.


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Auto racing

Kenseth earns pole for Sprint Cup finale

Matt Kenseth won the pole for Sunday’s race that will decide the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

Kenseth turned a lap at 177.667 mph Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida to secure the top spot for the Ford EcoBoost 400.

Kenseth is second in the 13-driver, 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, 28 points behind five-time champion Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson will start in seventh Sunday; he is guaranteed the championship if he finishes 23rd or better.

Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw will start in 13th and Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., will start in 16th.

NBA

Pacers improve to 9-0

Roy Hibbert scored 24 points and had eight blocks — both season highs for the 7-foot-2 center — to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 104-77 victory over visiting Milwaukee.

The Pacers are the first team to open a season 9-0 since the 2002-03 Dallas Mavericks.

Brooklyn won 100-98 in overtime at Phoenix, but the Nets lost point guard Deron Williams to a sprained ankle. X-rays were negative and team officials did not give a timetable for Williams’ return.

The host Atlanta Hawks beat Philadelphia 113-103, though the 76ers got productive games from two ex-Washington Huskies. Tony Wroten Jr. scored 22 points and Spencer Hawes had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Josh Smith scored 21 points and former Eastern Washington standout Rodney Stuckey added 16 as Detroit won 97-90 at Sacramento. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 26 points and ex-UW Husky Isaiah Thomas added 18.

Soccer

U.S., Scotland tie 0-0

Zero goals didn’t mean Jurgen Klinsmann saw nothing good from his U.S. squad.

Instead, in the second half of a 0-0 draw with Scotland in an exhibition match in Glasgow, Klinsmann liked much of what he saw.

The Americans had several scoring chances in the final minutes, thanks mostly to substitutes Aron Johansson and Brek Shea.

“The first half I didn’t like, too slow, not determined enough, not pushing enough,” the U.S. coach said. “We kind of corrected some things in the second half and we looked much better.”

Meanwhile, France’s hopes of being in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil took a major hit with a 2-0 loss at Ukraine in the first leg of their home-and-home, total-goals playoff.

France, which hosts the second leg Tuesday, is in danger of missing a major tournament for the first time since 1994.

Track and field

Portland to host worlds

Portland will host the 2016 World Indoor Championships.

Portland’s organizing committee plans to create a temporary track at the Oregon Convention Center to host the three-day meet, scheduled for March.

Doping

Bans double to 4 years

Drug cheats will be kept from at least one Olympics now that the ban for a first offense has been doubled from two years to four, the key change in the global fight against doping in sports.

The World Anti-Doping Agency also passed a rule that offered athletes possible immunity from punishment in return for “substantial” information on doping, giving cyclists an incentive to testify in a planned inquiry into their sport’s drug-stained past.

The code will take effect Jan. 1, 2015, in time for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

WADA unanimously elected Craig Reedie of Britain as its next president, starting Jan. 1. He will succeed John Fahey.

ELSEWHERE

Novak Djokovic of host Serbia and Tomas Berdych of defending champion Czech Republic did what was expected of them, winning their tennis matches and leaving the best-of-five Davis Cup final at 1-1 after the opening day in Belgrade.

After a doubles match Saturday, there will be decisive singles play Sunday.

Djokovic beat Radek Stepanek 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 before Berdych defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

• Three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada improved his own figure-skating world record in the short program to take the lead at the Trophee Bompard in Paris. Chan’s score of 98.52 surpassed his mark of 98.37 set at worlds in March.

Ashley Wagner of the United States led the women’s short program at 66.75.

Chris Terry scored the winner in the shootout to give host Carolina a 3-2 victory over the NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks.

Meanwhile, ex-Seattle Thunderbird Patrick Marleau had a goal and an assist as visiting San Jose beat Edmonton 3-1.

Sandy Brondello has been hired to coach the WNBA Phoenix Mercury.

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