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SPORTS BRIEFS

Football

EXHIBITION OPENER: At Cleveland, Brad Daluiso kicked four field goals before Keith Elias scored on a 12-yard run as the New York Giants dominated defensively through three quarters to beat the Cleveland Browns 19-13 Sunday in the exhibition opener for both teams.

Dave Brown efficiently led the Giants on two ball-control drives before leaving in the second quarter with an injured right elbow. Precautionary X-rays confirmed the injury was just a bruise.

Cleveland rookie Eric Zeier led two Cleveland touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, the second capped by a 32-yard touchdown pass to Rico Smith.

Brown completed 5-of-12 passes for 63 yards and ran for 28 more.

OILERS LEAVING ASTRODOME: The 1997 NFL season will be the last one the Houston Oilers play in the Astrodome, according to team owner Bud Adams.

Adams says he's not threatening to take the Oilers out of town if he doesn't get a new stadium when the current lease ends, but he's not saying he'll stay in Houston either.

Adams distributed a prepared statement late Saturday about the stadium controversy after his Oilers dropped their preseason opener 16-13 to the Arizona Cardinals at the Astrodome. The crowd was announced at 42,424, about two-thirds of capacity.

"We have repeatedly stated the Astrodome has reached the twilight of its useful life as a playing site for NFL football," Adams said. "No amount of physical changes or lease concessions would be acceptable to the Oilers or any other NFL franchise."

The Houston Chronicle last week reported Adams contacted Houston Mayor Bob Lanier by letter and issued an ultimatum that either the city build a new stadium or he'll leave with his football team.

Lanier has said the city doesn't have the money.

Adams noted that if the Oilers remain in the Astrodome, they would be in the second-smallest and fourth-oldest NFL stadium, the only team playing in a stadium designed for baseball and the only one controlled and operated by a competitive major league sports team - the Astros.

"The sum total is that the Oilers would be relegated to a vastly inferior position in the NFL and it would no longer be possible for us to avoid losing money regardless of how fiscally conservative the team operated," Adams wrote.

Lanier said the Astrodome was a Harris County-owned stadium and suggested Adams work with the county.

HAPPY HARPER: Alvin Harper and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers breathed a collective sigh of relief on Sunday.

The speedy receiver and the hard-luck franchise that signed him to a four-year, $10.66 million contract last winter feared the worst when Harper crumpled to ground, clutching his left knee, in the first quarter of Saturday night's 9-3 exhibition loss to the New York Jets.

"I thought I was gone," the fifth-year pro said after learning that team doctors expect him to be sidelined only 3-5 weeks. "When I was laying there, it was kind of bent back. I just saw it dangling. I said, `I'm finished."'

X-rays taken in the locker room were negative, however, and an MRI performed Sunday confirmed the Bucs' prized offseason acquisition only had a mild sprain of the medial collateral ligament in the knee.

CFL: At Calgary, Alberta, Doug Flutie ran 9 yards for a touchdown and Mark McLoughlin kicked five field goals Sunday as the Calgary Stampeders remained unbeaten with a 29-15 victory over the Baltimore Stallions.

The game matched the top teams in the CFL's North and South divisions, but was hardly a display of stellar football as the teams combined for nine turnovers on the rain-slick turf.

Auto racing

TOYOTA ATLANTIC: At Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Richie Hearn won the second of two weekend Grand Prix Player's Ltd de Trois-Rivieres races Sunday, beating Case Montgomery by 8.865 seconds.

Hearn, second to Toyota Atlantic series leader David Empringham on Saturday, averaged 78.356 mph in his Ralt RT-41 in the 40-lap race on the 1.51-mile street course. Empringham, 13th on Sunday, has a 149-147 lead in the standings.

Horse racing

BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIZE: At Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, four-year-old El Semblador of Argentina beat the 6-year-old American Talloires by a nose Sunday in a photo finish to win $1.1 million and the Brazilian Grand Prize.

The winning jockey of Brazil's most important international race was G. Sena and the official time was 2 minutes, 27.9 seconds.

Boxing

IBO WELTERWEIGHTS: At Ledyard, Conn., Hector Camacho knocked down Gary Kirkland in the fourth round before stopping him at 2:39 of the ninth round Sunday to retain his International Boxing Council welterweight title.

Before the fight was stopped, Camacho (54-3) had won every round on all three of the judges' cards. He used an effective right jab to bloody Kirkland, who was first cut in the second round.

By the eighth round, Kirkland (23-1) had several cuts on his face and his right eye was nearly swollen shut. Referee Steve Smoger finally stepped in to stop the one-sided affair.

"By the eighth round, his (Kirkland) eyes were closing, my jab was active, and he could have gotten badly hurt if the fight had continued," Camacho said. "I was effective and elusive. I took my time. I thought the fight would be stopped on cuts, by a knockout, or by the referee."

Camacho, a former World Boxing Council lightweight champion, complained of a sore left hand after the bout at Foxwoods Resort Casino, but doubted it was anything serious.

Tennis

TOSHIBA CLASSIC: At Carlsbad, Calif., Spain's Conchita Martinez, ranked No. 4 in the world, breezed to an easy 6-2, 6-0 victory Sunday over Lisa Raymond in the finals of the Toshiba Tennis Classic.

Martinez, seeded second, used brilliant passing shots and overcame numerous deficits in the first set to win her fifth WTA Tour title this season.

"I kept fighting and fighting and putting balls in," said Martinez. "That's how you get back in, not giving up."

U.S. PRO: At Brookline, Mass., South African Wayne Ferreira had to settle for the $25,000 runner-up prize Sunday when the second day of constant rain forced the cancellation of the U.S. Pro tennis tournament at Longwood Cricket Club.

"This is the first time since the tournament started in 1964 that there was no winner," said tournament spokesman John Thompson.

Ferreira, the No. 2 seed, advanced to the championship - and a shot at the $50,000 top prize - with a 7-5, 7-5 victory Saturday over fourth-seeded Richey Reneberg of Minneapolis.

Top-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia and third-seeded Alex Corretja of Spain never took the court Saturday night or Sunday, but were awarded $12,500 apiece as semifinalists.

The tournament was not part of the Association of Tennis Professionals tour and is considered an exhibition.