From Comcast SportsNetSANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was sent to the hospital Thursday for a "minor procedure" after doctors discovered he had an irregular heartbeat.The team said it anticipates Harbaugh will be back at the 49ers facility Friday, though it's unclear in what capacity. No details about the procedure were given.The NFC West-leading 49ers (6-2-1) host the NFC-North leading Chicago Bears (7-2) on Monday night at Candlestick Park."It's one of those things that, like Coach Harbaugh always tells us, he's tougher than a 2 steak," 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. "We know he's going to be alright. We know we have a bunch of great coaches here that keep everything on track, and we're going to practice today as if he was here."Team spokesman Bob Lange said no incident had occurred at the facility. Instead, Harbaugh had visited with doctors Wednesday night after feeling ill, and they advised him to have the procedure done at Stanford Hospital.Players were informed of Harbaugh's hospitalization by assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Brad Seely during Thursday morning's walkthrough. Seely also oversaw team meetings and the afternoon practice.Players said the news caught them by surprise."He was pretty good. We were slapping hands and talking yesterday," 49ers safety Dashon Goldson said of Harbaugh. "I didn't see anything. He showed no emotions. He didn't show anything like that."Added Willis: "He seemed fine to me. He actually sat right behind me in meetings. He seemed fine. I didn't know anything was wrong. But like I said, we know he's going to be alright."Suddenly, quarterback Alex Smith's recovery from a concussion is San Francisco's second-biggest injury concern.The 48-year-old Harbaugh won NFL Coach of the Year in his first season with the 49ers after coming over from Stanford, where he had engineered a Cardinal resurgence. He won the Orange Bowl in his final year on The Farm and groomed Andrew Luck into the eventual No. 1 overall draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts.The always intense coach's impact was immediately felt up the road in San Francisco.Harbaugh led the 49ers to a 13-3 record in the regular season and back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2002-03 season. They lost 20-17 in overtime to the New York Giants in the NFC championship game on Jan. 22.Harbaugh, a 15-year NFL quarterback who starred at Michigan in college, has always tried to outwork the competition.Most recently, Harbaugh and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their first son Sept. 4 -- and Harbaugh didn't even have to miss a full practice, just an afternoon walkthrough. Jack Jr., named after Harbaugh's father, was the couple's third child, joining two big sisters, Addison and Katherine.San Francisco scout team safety Michael Thomas played at Stanford under Harbaugh and has known the coach since Thomas was a 17-year-old recruit from Houston. He said he has seen Harbaugh -- whom he calls a mentor and friend -- exhaust himself for years but never imagined his health could be in jeopardy.Thomas sent Harbaugh a text message to wish him well -- and not to hurry back until he's healthy."In his mind, he's serious, like I never get sick, I never take a day off, blah, blah, blah," Thomas said. "To actually see something like this happen to a man who's so passionate about his job and about this team, to see him be taken away, you wish him well but you know it's just killing him not being here."------NOTES:Smith practiced in a non-contact black jersey for the second straight day. He hopes to play against the Bears, but there are still further steps for him to be medically cleared after sustaining a concussion in the second quarter against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. ... Rookie LaMichael James, the former Oregon running back, has a friendly wager this week with Thomas. Whoever's former school wins Saturday's game between top-ranked Oregon and No. 14 Stanford has to wear the other team's gear all next week.
LOS ANGELES -- Jon Lester pitched seven sharp innings, Addison Russell hit a tiebreaking homer and the Chicago Cubs moved one win from their first World Series trip in 71 years by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 on Thursday.
The Cubs grabbed a 3-2 lead in the NL Championship Series and will have two chances to wrap up that elusive pennant back home at Wrigley Field.
"The city of Chicago has got to be buzzing pretty much right now," manager Joe Maddon said.
The Cubs' first opportunity to clinch comes Saturday night in Game 6, when Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw faces major league ERA leader Kyle Hendricks.
"That's a game we expect to win," Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. "This series certainly isn't over."
Emerging star Javier Baez was in the middle of everything for the Cubs, a common theme this October. The second baseman made a sensational defensive play when the game was still close in the seventh, and his three-run double capped a five-run eighth that made it 8-1.
After busting out of his postseason slump Wednesday, Russell hit a two-run homer for the second straight game. This one was a sixth-inning drive off losing pitcher Joe Blanton that gave Chicago a 3-1 lead.
By winning consecutive games in Los Angeles, the Cubs took control of the best-of-seven series after getting shut out in Games 2 and 3.
Of course, there's no need to remind longtime fans that the Cubs were in the same favorable position 13 years ago - heading home to Wrigley Field with a 3-2 lead in the NLCS.
But even with ace pitchers Mark Prior and Kerry Wood starting the final two games, Chicago collapsed against the Marlins in one of its most excruciating failures.
More than a decade later, the franchise is still chasing its first World Series championship since 1908.
Baez had three of Chicago's 13 hits, matching the team's total in Game 4, when the Cubs snapped a 21-inning scoreless streak and won 10-2.
Lester allowed one run and five hits, improving to 2-0 in three playoff starts this year. He has given up two runs in 21 innings.
The left-hander struck out six and walked one.
Anthony Rizzo's run-scoring double gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the first.
Los Angeles tied it in the fourth on Adrian Gonzalez's RBI groundout.
After scoring their first run, the Cubs stranded six runners through the first five innings before finding success against the Dodgers' third reliever.
Russell homered on an 0-1 pitch from Blanton, who gave up a single to Baez leading off the sixth. Baez stole second and scored on Russell's shot to center field that put the Cubs ahead on another unusually hot night at Dodger Stadium.
Chicago jumped on struggling Dodgers rookie Kenta Maeda from the start. Dexter Fowler singled leading off the game and scored on Rizzo's double to right two batters later.
Maeda gave up one run and three hits in 3 2/3 innings, struck out six and walked two in losing for the second time in three postseason starts. The right-hander has allowed eight earned runs in 10 2/3 innings with a 6.75 ERA over three appearances.
The Dodgers' defense fell apart in the eighth when the Cubs extended their lead to 8-1.
Gonzalez tried flipping Russell's slow roller to reliever Pedro Baez, who came over to cover first and bobbled the ball for an error.
Pinch-hitter Willson Contreras followed with a single, and the runners moved up on pinch-hitter Albert Almora Jr.'s sacrifice bunt. Fowler reached on an infield single to first, with Gonzalez losing a foot race when Fowler slid into the bag, scoring Russell.
Kris Bryant reached on an infield single to third, with the Dodgers unsuccessfully challenging the call that he was safe.
The Dodgers thought they'd finally escaped the inning on a double play when Rizzo lined to Kike Hernandez, who forced Fowler at second. But the Cubs challenged the call and it was reversed, allowing Chicago to prolong the inning. Baez got yanked after walking Ben Zobrist to load the bases. Ross Stripling came on to face Baez, who doubled to deep right, driving in three more runs.
With the Dodgers trailing 3-1, Gonzalez found himself on the wrong end of a video review for the second straight game.
With Baez playing way out on the outfield grass in shallow right field, the slow-footed Gonzalez tried to take advantage with a drag bunt leading off the seventh. Baez rushed in for a barehanded scoop and off-balance throw, but Gonzalez initially was called safe by first base umpire Ted Barrett. The Cubs challenged and the call was overturned.
In Game 4, Gonzalez was tagged out at home to end the second after sliding with his left hand stretched toward the tip of the plate while Contreras applied the tag near Gonzalez's upper left arm. The Dodgers challenged, and the video review upheld umpire Angel Hernandez's call.
Vin Scully was back at Dodger Stadium for the first time since ending his 67-year career behind the microphone earlier this month.
The 88-year-old Hall of Fame announcer attended as a spectator and proclaimed, "It's time for Dodger baseball!" from an upstairs suite.
Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur isn't on the NLCS roster, but he's contributing. A day after his bat was borrowed by Rizzo to hit a home run, Szczur revealed during an in-game TV interview that Russell wore a pair of his underwear leggings Wednesday after leaving his own at home.
Dodgers: Kershaw takes the mound in Chicago on an extra day of rest. The left-hander is 2-0 with a 3.72 ERA in three starts and one relief appearance this postseason. Overall, the three-time Cy Young Award winner is 4-6 with a 4.39 ERA in 17 career playoff appearances.
Cubs: Hendricks' 2.13 ERA was tops in the majors this season. The right-hander allowed a solo homer in 5 1/3 innings of Game 2, his longest career postseason start. The Cubs lost 1-0 to Kershaw.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Nneka Ogwumike's short jumper with 3.1 seconds left gave the Los Angeles Sparks a 77-76 victory over the defending champion Minnesota Lynx for their first title in 14 years in the deciding game of the WNBA Finals on Thursday night.
The league MVP joined her teammates in celebration as a stunned crowd slowly filed out after finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Candace Parker had 28 points and 12 rebounds to earn MVP honors of the Finals. It was Parker's first WNBA title.
"She's been through so much," Ogwumike said of Parker. "She's probably the most misunderstood person in the league. I told her I wanted her to get one. She had an awesome game tonight. She's been our leader."
Parker said she listened to one of Pat Summitt's speeches before the game and that motivated her. Her former coach at Tennessee died in late June.
"She would have been proud of our rebounding. It came down to rebounding and defense," Parker said. "I could hear her voice telling me to keep going. She was definitely present tonight."
Rebekkah Brunson made one of two free throws with 23 seconds left to give the Lynx a 74-73 lead. Parker answered with a layup on the other end that Maya Moore countered with a jumper with 15 seconds remaining. Ogwumike's first try for the win was off the mark, but she worked her way over to the loose ball for another attempt that she coolly swished.
Lindsay Whalen's final shot from just inside halfcourt wasn't close, setting off Los Angeles' celebration as Parker and Sparks owner Magic Johnson embraced in a long hug.
Johnson spoke to the team after the loss at home in Game 4 on Sunday. His presence in Minnesota was all the more impressive considering the Dodgers, the other pro club he's invested in, were playing baseball in Los Angeles at the same time in Game 5 of their National League championship series.
"I told them the series wasn't over and that there was still a Game 5 to be played. They had to believe they could do it on a tough home court. This team Minnesota is tremendous," Johnson said. "We just beat the champions so I give them a lot of credit to. Our leaders led us and we had a great coach in Brian and they believed all season long. I told them this was their year. I wanted them to do it for Candace Parker. She deserves to be a champion. Great group of ladies."
Moore had 23 points and 11 assists for the Lynx, who fell short of matching the WNBA record of four championships. The Houston Comets won four straight titles from 1997-2000.
The Lynx played in the finals for the fifth time in the last six years. They won three.
Parker finally had help with the scoring when reserve Chelsea Gray reeled off 11 consecutive points for the Sparks. Gray capped that run with a smooth up-and-under layup to put them in front 60-59 early in the fourth quarter. Parker's putback with 3:06 left gave L.A. a 71-63 lead, putting the Lynx in trouble.
But Moore seized the moment with a 3-pointer that brought Minnesota within four points, and Parker forced an off-balance 3 on the other end.
Whalen stole the ball from Kristi Toliver and finished the fast break with a layup to tie the game at 71, setting up the final flurry.
On the next play, Ogwumike hit a jumper that appeared to come after the shot clock expired. The officials signaled for a review, but never looked at the basket and Los Angeles led 73-71 with just over a minute left.
The WNBA's new postseason format with the field ordered by overall record regardless of conference sure worked well, leading to this classic matchup between the two teams that fought all summer for the top seed and featuring several of the league's biggest stars.
The game was remarkably close, with 11 lead changes and six ties in the first half alone. Moore gave Minnesota its biggest lead of the first 20 minutes with a pair of free throws in the closing seconds of the second quarter to make it 34-28.
The Sparks had an opportunity for a surge when Sylvia Fowles exited with an injury to her right hand, scoring on a fast break while Fowles was wincing in pain by the bench and out of the play and then picking up a bonus point on a free throw for Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve's technical foul.
Augustus and Renee Montgomery knocked down 3-pointers from the top of the key down the stretch of the third quarter, though, and Fowles soon re-entered the game. She made her presence felt with a powerful take to the rim for a layup and a 53-47 lead.
Ogwumike joined Toliver and Essence Carson with three fouls in the first half and played less than 4 minutes in the second quarter.
If the finals return to Minnesota next year, the Lynx could have yet another place in which to try to pop the corks with a major renovation set for Target Center next summer. They'll play across the Mississippi River in St. Paul at Xcel Energy Center, the hockey home of the Minnesota Wild.