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Giants Fans Flood San Francisco Streets to Celebrate

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Giants Fans Flood San Francisco Streets to Celebrate

Nov. 1, 2010GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEOBOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Thousands of orange and black-clad San Francisco Giants fans hugged and high-fived one other Monday night as the club clinched its first World Series championship since moving west more than a half century ago.

As the final out in the 3-1 win was recorded, the thousands watching on a big-screen TV at the city's Civic Center plaza leapt for joy as City Hall glowed bright orange in the background.

"I have a permanent smile on my face," said Valerie Nicklas of Berkeley, who partied at another large street gathering near the Giants' AT&T Park. "This makes all the years of suffering worth it."

Fans waving Giants flags and rally towels danced in the downtown streets near the Civic Center as car horns blared. A lone accordion player played a tune as fans swirled around him. Others surrounded a drum corps as it pounded out a rhythm.

Almost an hour after the win fans jumped and danced in unison screaming "ooooh-REE-BAY" a popular chant at games to honor third baseman Juan Uribe.

Amy Anderson Giugliano shot a bottle of champagne into the air, dousing those nearby.

"I never thought this would happen!" the 42-year-old from San Carlos said. "I'm going to celebrate all night!"

The club last won the Series in 1954 when they were the New York Giants. They moved west four years later, but suffered World Series losses in 1962, 1989 and 2002.

That last defeat to the Los Angeles Angels has been fresh in Jun Lee's mind, but he still chose to drive in from Benicia with his wife so that their 16-month-old son could witness the celebration from his stroller.

"We came out here in 2002 for the same thing, and with six outs left they blew it," he said. "This is unreal."

Traffic was slowed in the city's Castro district as people flooded out of bars, restaurants and homes. The neighboring Mission district was also jammed.

Fans also blocked traffic near the Giants' ballpark as they made their way toward Willie Mays Plaza, where a statue of the legendary outfielder stands prominently outside the stadium's gates.

"This is a long time coming," said Jason Scully of San Francisco. "They're a great team all the castoffs and misfits truly represent this city."

Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the public viewing at the Civic Center after the Giants' 4-0 shutout victory over the Texas Rangers Sunday put them on the verge of clinching the championship.

With an autumn sun beaming, hundreds of fans laid out blankets and folding chairs on the lawn a full two hours before Monday's first pitch. Fans roared as the screen showed black-suited, bow-tied starting pitcher Tim Lincecum entering the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents the city, said Manager Bruce Bochy and players surprised skeptics with the win.

"Victory is in the air," she said in a statement.

The city quickly scheduled a ticker-tape parade for 11 a.m. Wednesday through downtown. Newsom congratulated the club and thanked them for bringing the city together.

"San Francisco eagerly awaits your return," he said in a statement.

Thunder give No. 35 -- Kevin Durant's old number -- to rookie

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AP

Thunder give No. 35 -- Kevin Durant's old number -- to rookie

On Tuesday, the Thunder signed P.J. Dozier to a two-way contract.

The rookie will wear No. 35 with Oklahoma City.

That's the number Kevin Durant rocked as a member of the Thunder.

Why did Dozier pick it?

"My cousin, my second cousin, is Reggie Lewis. He used to play for the Boston Celtics," Dozier explained to reporters. "That's all it is. It wasn't anything other than that, honestly."

Did anybody say anything to him when he asked for No. 35?

"No. Honestly, I didn't even think twice about it. I had it in preseason at Dallas. I saw it was open and just took advantage of it."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Melifonwu back at Raiders practice, designated to return off IR

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AP

Melifonwu back at Raiders practice, designated to return off IR

ALAMEDA – Obi Melifonwu participated in a Raiders practice Wednesday afternoon, his first session in months.

The second-round safety has been on injured reserve all season and hasn’t done football activities of any kind since suffering a knee injury in a preseason game in Dallas.

He had arthroscopic knee surgery and was put on the shelf for the season’s first half.

He’s on the mend and nearing a return to action. That’s why the Raiders designated him to return off injured reserve. Wednesday marks the start of a two-week practice window where the Raiders can decide whether to put him on the 53-roster.

He’s expected to do so when eligible. Melifonwu was first able to practice this week, and can join the 53-man roster after Week 8. His NFL debut could come in Week 9 at Buffalo.

Melifonwu was drafted to help cover tight ends and running backs right away in sub packages, with a long-term eye on a full-time starting spot.

The Raiders still struggle covering the aforementioned skill players, using young linebackers or an undersized safety against those guys. The Raiders have given up the most yards to tight ends and running backs in the NFL this season.

He has missed significant development time while out. He also missed most of training camp with an apparent ankle injury. The team hopes he can be ready to contribute when eligible despite missing so much time.