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Morning Report: Magic’s moment revisited

On May 16, 1980, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the 76ers, 123-107, to win the NBA title in six games.

On May 16, 1980, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the 76ers, 123-107, to win the NBA title in six games.

The game was one of the most infamous in Philadelphia's long saga of missed chances.

Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was left in Los Angeles with a eye injury and the Lakers flew in leading the series, three games to two.

The Sixers were widely expected to even the series and make a real push for the title in Game 7 in La La Land.

But 6-foot-9 rookie Earvin "Magic" Johnson laid the foundation for his glittering NBA reputation that night by jumping center in Jabbar's stead, and leading the Lakers to the title at the Spectrum.

It was the first of five Lakers titles in the '80s.

History lessons. On May 16, 1976, the Montreal Canadiens won their 19th Stanley Cup with a 5-3 victory over the Flyers, capping a four-game sweep. The Flyers, who had won the two previous Cups, have never won another.

On this date in 1972, Rick Monday hit three consecutive homers to lead the Chicago Cubs to an 8-1 win over the Phillies. Greg Luzinski's 500-foot home run hit the Liberty Bell monument at Veteran Stadium for the Phillies' only run.

And on May 16, 1939, the Cleveland Indians beat the Philadelphia Athletics, 8-3, in 10 innings in the first American League night game, held at Shibe Park.

Spygate, continued. Arlen Specter says he's not just pursuing Spygate because he's an Eagles fan. He's doing it out of a sense of service for Pittsburgh Steelers fans!

"I'm elected by 12 million people, and a lot of them are Steeler fans," Pennsylvania's senior senator said yesterday. "Frankly I'm incensed about what happened with the Steelers, and I'm incensed about the notes being destroyed. I really am."

The New England Patriots defeated the Steelers in the AFC championship game after the 2004 season, and beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl.

Specter wants a full-blown investigation into the Patriots' alleged taping of opponents' hand signals, a violation of NFL rules.

Specter was again asked whether his interest in the matter has to do with Philadelphia-based Comcast, one of his largest campaign contributors. Comcast has been involved in a dispute with the league over the placement of the NFL Network on its cable system.

"They have been a campaign contributor," Specter said, "along with 50,000 other people. . . . I've been at this line of work for a long time, and no one has ever questioned my integrity."

Violence revisited. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned the fan violence that marred the UEFA Cup final as a "disgrace" and expressed concern that it could harm England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Forty-two people were arrested and 15 police officers were injured in clashes in downtown Manchester before and after Russian team Zenit St. Petersburg beat Scottish club Rangers, 2-0, on Wednesday night.

The worst violence occurred after the game as hundreds of Rangers fans - described by police as a "pack of baying wolves" - went on the rampage.

Brown has been a key supporter of the Football Association's bid to bring the World Cup back to England for the first time since 1966. FIFA will select the 2018 host country in 2011.

England probably won't get a lot of votes from Russia.