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Spurs Rout Nuggets, Tie Series at 1-1 (AP)
AP - The Denver Nuggets have the home-court advantage. Maybe more importantly, the San Antonio Spurs have the momentum. The Spurs made nine of their first 10 shots and then outscored Denver by 20 points in the second quarter of their 104-76 victory over the Nuggets on Wednesday night. The win evened their first-round playoff series at 1-1.

With NFL Done, NBA Faces Feds on Steroids (AP)
AP - First, Major League Baseball was summoned by Congress and chastised for a steroids policy that the sport promptly altered. Next up was the NFL, which strengthened its drug program on the eve of a trip to Capitol Hill. Now it's the NBA's turn to face lawmakers, and commissioner David Stern already is talking about getting tougher testing into a new deal with his players' union.

Cardinals' Grudzielanek Hits for Cycle (AP)
AP - Mark Grudzielanek picked the perfect time for his third triple in four years. Grudzielanek became the first Cardinals player to hit for the cycle in nine seasons to lead St. Louis to a 6-3 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.

Toronto Rookie 4-1 in Win Over Tampa Bay (AP)
AP - Toronto catcher Ken Huckaby was impressed with Gustavo Chacin's maturity. "He pitches like he's been up here for a long time," Huckaby said. "He was shaking off pitches. He had good ideas and his composure was great." Chacin improved to 4-1, outpitching fellow rookie left-hander Scott Kazmir in the Blue Jays' 8-2 home victory over Tampa Bay on Wednesday night.

BCS Opens Automatic-Qualification Standard (AP)
AP - Automatic bids into the Bowl Championship Series won't just be for a small handful of elite conferences anymore.

Examiner: Sample Died of Heart Disease (AP)
AP - Former NFL defensive back Johnny Sample died of heart disease, a spokesman for the medical examiner's office said Wednesday.

Nets' Kidd Has Little Impact Against Heat (AP)
AP - After leading the New Jersey Nets to 15 wins in their final 19 games and a playoff berth, Jason Kidd has had little impact against the Miami Heat in the postseason.

Piniella Rips Schilling for 'Idiot' Remark (AP)
AP - A day after Boston pitcher Curt Schilling used the word "idiot" in criticizing Lou Piniella, the Tampa Bay manager held a team meeting and fired back.

German Soccer Federation to Take Bets (AP)
AP - The German soccer federation announced plans Thursday to set up its own bookmaking operation and banned all betting on games by players, coaches, officials and referees in the wake of the country's match-fixing scandal.

Former Maple Leafs Player Horner Dies (AP)
AP - Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Reginald "Red" Horner died Wednesday. He was 95. Horner, who was the oldest living NHL player and Hall of Fame member, played 490 regular-season games for Toronto, finishing with 42 goals, 110 assists and 1,264 penalty minutes. He helped the Maple Leafs win the 1932 Stanley Cup.

NFL done, congressmen turn next to NBA (AP)
First, Major League Baseball was summoned by Congress and chastised for a steroids policy that the sport promptly altered. Next up was the NFL, which strengthened its drug program on the eve of a trip to Capitol Hill. Now it's the NBA's turn to face lawmakers, and commissioner David Stern already is talking about getting tougher testing into a new deal with his players' union.

Cowboys sign veteran CB Aaron Glenn (AP)
The Dallas Cowboys signed cornerback Aaron Glenn to a two-year deal Wednesday, providing another upgrade to their evolving defense and giving coach Bill Parcells yet another reunion. A day after being released by the Houston Texans, Glenn joined the Cowboys to become their third cover man in passing situations.

Sample died of heart disease (AP)
Former NFL defensive back Johnny Sample died of heart disease, a spokesman for the medical examiner's office said Wednesday. Spokesman Jeff Moran said the cause of Sample's death Tuesday was arterioslerotic cardiovascular disease. He was 67. Sample was on the winning side in two of the NFL's landmark games.

Jets DT Evans retires (AP)
Jets defensive tackle Josh Evans has retired, deciding to end his nine-year career because of a back injury. The 32-year-old Evans played in just one game in 2004 after undergoing season-ending back surgery. He planned to return for 2005 but was slow to recover and decided to call it quits, the team said Wednesday.

RB Green arrested for domestic violence (AP)
Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green was arrested after a domestic violence incident, the Brown County sheriff's department said Tuesday. Deputies went to Green's Ledgeview home after a 911 call ended with a hang-up Monday night. The four-time Pro Bowler was arrested at about 10:10 p.m., was taken to the county jail, posted a $150 bond and was released about 11:50 p.m.

NFL must pay Webster pension benefits (AP)
A federal judge has ordered the NFL to pay the estate of Hall of Fame center Mike Webster disability benefits for head injuries caused by his football career. U.S. District Judge William Quarles Jr. on Tuesday granted the request by Webster's estate that the NFL Player Retirement Plan and the NFL Player Supplemental Disability Plan pay all benefits owed under the plan retroactive to March 1991, when...

ESPN gets highest ratings for NFL draft (AP)
ESPN's telecast of the NFL draft last Saturday got a 4.3 rating, the highest ever achieved for the draft. The previous record was 4.2 in 1993. The network said Nielsen media research determined that during the more than 18 hours Saturday and Sunday more than 34 million people tuned in to at least a part of the telecasts on ESPN and ESPN2.

Kerr's points: Solo artists
To beat Chicago, the Wizards will have to start sharing the basketball.

Spurs rout Nuggets 104-76 to even series (AP)
The Denver Nuggets expected San Antonio to come out hard and fast in Game 2, and the Spurs didn't disappoint them. But what did disappoint the Nuggets on Wednesday was the way they reacted. The Spurs made nine of their first 10 shots and then outscored Denver by 20 points in the second quarter en route to a 104-76 win that evened their first-round playoff series at one win each.

Bulls top Wizards, lead series 2-0 (AP)
Two first-quarter fouls and ineffective play got Kirk Hinrich an early trip to the Chicago bench. Not a place to be during the playoffs for a starting guard. So when he returned to the floor Wednesday night, Hinrich was more than ready to play and determined to make up for a sluggish start. Hinrich scored 21 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter, sending the Bulls to a 113-103 win over the...

Suns rally past Grizzlies 108-103 (AP)
The Memphis Grizzlies got the rough game they wanted, and the slower pace they prefer. Still, it wasn't quite enough against the Phoenix Suns. The Suns erased a five-point deficit with a 14-4 run over the final 4:04 to beat the Grizzlies 108-103 on Wednesday night and take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven first-round series.

Colangelo sees big changes for U.S. team (AP)
Jerry Colangelo has been given total control of the U.S. men's Olympic basketball program and has promised radical changes in an effort to restore the United States to international prominence in the sport. The system of a handful of NBA stars gathering for a few weeks before the competition will be abandoned, said Colangelo, the chairman and CEO of the Phoenix Suns who has been involved in...

Heat keeping Kidd off stride (AP)
After leading the New Jersey Nets to 15 wins in their final 19 games and a playoff berth, Jason Kidd has had little impact against the Miami Heat in the postseason. While Kidd has averaged 14 points and 7.5 rebounds in two lopsided losses to Shaquille O'Neal and the Heat in Miami, the startling statistic is his average of 4.5 assists.

Injuries nag Pacers heading into Game 3 (AP)
The Indiana Pacers just can't seem to stay healthy. Jermaine O'Neal is still bothered by a shoulder sprain. Jamaal Tinsley is sidelined with a bruised foot. And now Stephen Jackson is smarting. Jackson, Indiana's top scorer against the Celtics, twisted a knee as Indiana tied the best-of-seven series with an 82-79 victory in Game 2 and isn't sure how effective he can be in Game 3 on Thursday night.

Nowitzki looking for breakout game (AP)
Dirk Nowitzki was looking for another dominant postseason performance to secure his spot among the NBA's best players. But Tracy McGrady, unheralded Ryan Bowen and the Houston Rockets are derailing his progress. His struggle highlights why the Dallas Mavericks are down 2-0 in their first-round, best-of-seven playoff series against the Rockets, with the next two games in Houston.

Agent: Jackson may coach next year (AP)
The odds that Phil Jackson will return to coaching next season apparently have increased a bit. Jackson's agent, Todd Musburger, said some time ago it was 50-50 that his client would be back on the bench next fall after taking this season off. ``I'll move the needle to 51-49 in favor of coaching,'' Musburger said Wednesday.

NFL done, congressmen turn next to NBA (AP)
First, Major League Baseball was summoned by Congress and chastised for a steroids policy that the sport promptly altered. Next up was the NFL, which strengthened its drug program on the eve of a trip to Capitol Hill. Now it's the NBA's turn to face lawmakers, and commissioner David Stern already is talking about getting tougher testing into a new deal with his players' union.

Former Maple Leafs player Horner dies (AP)
Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Reginald ``Red'' Horner died Wednesday. He was 95. Horner, who was the oldest living NHL player and Hall of Fame member, played 490 regular-season games for Toronto, finishing with 42 goals, 110 assists and 1,264 penalty minutes. He helped the Maple Leafs win the 1932 Stanley Cup.

Hall of Fame D Red Horner dies (SportsTicker)
TORONTO (Ticker) - The Hockey Hall of Fame lost its oldest living member Wednesday when Reginald "Red" Horner died. He was 95.

Bertuzzi still out of NHL indefinitely following reinstatement hearing (AP)
Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore were in the same room, but nowhere near each other -- and not at all close to a return to the NHL. Bertuzzi needs permission from commissioner Gary Bettman to resume his hockey career. Moore needs a much better medical report because he's still feeling the effects of Bertuzzi's blindside punch to his head nearly 14 months ago.

NHL holds hearing for Bertuzzi reinstatement (SportsTicker)
NEW YORK (Ticker) - Todd Bertuzzi took his first step toward returning to the NHL on Tuesday, when the league conducted a hearing regarding his reinstatement.

Capitals reach agreement with AHL's Hershey Bears (SportsTicker)
WASHINGTON (Ticker) - The Washington Capitals' American Hockey League affiliate has moved much closer.

Bertuzzi gets hearing on whether NHL will reinstate him after vicious hit to fellow player's head (AP)
Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi, whose blindside punch to Steve Moore's head nearly 14 months ago may have permanently knocked the Colorado Avalanche player out of hockey, is hoping to get back into the game himself. Bertuzzi will meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Tuesday with the hope of being reinstated to the league.

Norfolk defenseman suspended after throwing water bottle into stands (AP)
The American Hockey League suspended defenseman Anton Babchuk indefinitely on Monday, after the Norfolk Admirals player threw a water bottle into the stands during a game, reportedly hitting a young boy. Babchuk is suspended pending the league's review of the situation. Late in the third period of a playoff game with Philadelphia on Saturday, Babchuk threw a water bottle into the stands, apparently...

Singing the U.S. anthem proves a perilous fight for one Canadian (AP)
By the dawn's early light, Caroline Marcil finally finished on national TV what she started at a hockey game -- a flawless rendition of ``The Star-Spangled Banner.'' The Montreal singer was to perform the national anthems of two countries before the United States' 5-4 exhibition victory over Canada on Friday in Quebec City.

United States beats Canada for under-18 world championship (AP)
The United States won its second under-18 world ice hockey championship, beating Canada 5-1 Sunday behind two goals and two assists from Phil Kessel. Jason Lawrence, Peter Mueller and Nathan Gerbe also scored for the U.S., which pulled away after Canada's Ryan O'Merra tied it 1-1 with a first-period goal.

Trading Paint: Tragic television
Readers aren't exactly pleased with the quality of recent NASCAR telecasts.

Earnhardt and Waltrip surging after slow start (AP)
TALLADEGA, Alabama – Don't start icing down the champagne yet, but Dale Earnhardt Inc.

Stock Car Commission upholds penalties (AP)
The National Stock Car Racing Commission has denied the appeals of team owner James Finch, driver Johnny Sauter and crew chief Joel Shear for having an illegal carburetor.

Busch bounces back from tough stretch with win at Phoenix (AP)
Kurt Busch was beginning to think his luck was evening out this year following a fortune-filled championship season in 2004.

Kurt Busch wins NASCAR Subway Fresh 500 (SportsTicker)


Biffle's hot streak ends with pit accident (AP)
Greg Biffle's hot streak ended on pit road Saturday night in the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Busch races to Phoenix win (AP)
Kurt Busch knew he had the best car Saturday night, but he had to keep coming from behind to prove it.

Biffle survives Busch Series crashfest at Phoenix (SportsTicker)


Biffle wins Busch race (AP)
Greg Biffle survived an early spinout and grabbed another dominating victory Friday night, this time overpowering the field in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.

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