• Finances played a part in the release of Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who was scheduled to be paid $1.45 million this season. The new punter, fifth-round draft choice Jeff Locke of UCLA, will be paid a little more than $450,000.
• Through the first 18 games of the season, Justin Morneau was hitting .236 with only six walks compared to 10 strikeouts and one home run with nine RBI in 72 at-bats. But through his past 11 games, the first baseman has turned things around, hitting .318 with one home run, 12 RBI and three doubles in 44 at-bats.
• Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams is going to have jaw surgery in a couple of days and will be out for about five or six weeks. He’s going to have the same surgery teammate Kevin Love had during the summer of 2011.
• Former Gophers star and baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield will be the commencement speaker for the Class of 2013 and receive an honorary degree from Concordia (St. Paul) University on Friday. Winfield is being honored for his pioneering work in athletic charitable acts, including the Winfield Foundation.
• That was Klay Thompson, the son of former Gophers basketball All-America Mychal Thompson, who had one of the greatest NBA playoff games in history Wednesday night. Klay scored 34 points on 13-for-26 shooting — including going 8-for-9 from three-point range — and grabbed 14 rebounds in Golden State’s 100-91 victory over the Spurs, the Warriors’ first victory in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997 (a 30-loss streak). The only other guards to score as many as 34 points and grab as many as 14 rebounds in an NBA playoff game are Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter.
• Former Chaska basketball standout Jake White has officially signed to play with Nebraska-Omaha starting in 2014-2015. Since he transferred from Wichita State following their Final Four run, he will have to sit out a season.
• Twins prospect Byron Buxton is hitting .368 with 24 RBI, 31 runs scored, seven doubles, five home runs and three triples in 29 games for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He is currently third in the Midwest League in batting average, tied for fifth in RBI and first in runs scored.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. firstname.lastname@example.org