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Patriots Lead Raiders 23-14 After 3Q (AP)
New England Patriots  quarterback Tom Brady gets a pass off under pressure from Oakland Raiders tackle Warren Sapp (99) during the third quarter in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)AP - Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes and Corey Dillon scored on an 8-yard run as the New England Patriots led the Oakland Raiders 23-14 after the third quarter of the NFL season opener Thursday night.


Carpenter Wins 21st As Cards Clip Mets (AP)
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter keeps his eyes on his pitch during the first inning against the New York Mets in St. Louis, Thursday, Sept. 8, 20054. Carpenter, a 20-game winner thus far this season, is seeking his 21st win. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)AP - Chris Carpenter became the first 21-game winner in the major leagues, Albert Pujols homered twice and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the fading New York Mets 5-0 Thursday night.


Yankees Can't Escape Devil Rays' Whammy (AP)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays' Jorge Cantu, left, forces out New York Yankees' runner Derek Jeter, right, and completes the double play in the sixth inning at Yankees Stadium in New York, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005 (AP Photo/Michael Kim)AP - Carl Crawford hit a two-run double and scored three times, Mark Hendrickson won his fifth straight decision and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays held off New York 7-4 Thursday night for yet another victory over the Yankees.


Angels Stop Red Sox 3-0 to Avoid Sweep (AP)
Los Angeles Angels' Steve Finley, left, tries to restrain batting coach Mickey Hatcher, second from left, as Hatcher argues a call with third base umpire Eric Cooper, right, in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005, in Boston. Hatcher was ejected from the game. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)AP - Paul Byrd allowed four hits in seven innings as the Los Angeles Angels held onto their lead in the AL West by beating the Boston Red Sox 3-0 Thursday night and avoiding a three-game sweep.


Royals End Chicago's Winning Streak (AP)
Kansas City Royals' Angel Berroa (4) is congratulated in the dugout by Terrence Long (3) after hitting a two-run homer scoring Emil Brown during the sixth inning against the Chicago White Sox Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)AP - J.P. Howell combined with three relievers on a two-hitter and Angel Berroa had a go-ahead homer Thursday night as Kansas City finally broke through in Chicago's home park, beating the White Sox 4-2 and ending a seven-game winning streak.


NFL Reduces Suspension of Colts' Safety (AP)
AP - The NFL on Thursday reduced the suspension of Indianapolis Colts safety Mike Doss from two games to one game.

LeBron gets more NBA backcourt help (AFP)
LeBron James will be counting upon Damon Jones, pictured May 2005, to provide a long-range shooting threat next season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who signed the free agent guard to a four-year contract.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Tom Pidgeon)AFP - LeBron James will be counting upon Damon Jones to provide a long-range shooting threat next season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who signed the free agent guard to a four-year contract.


Red Sox Visit New York for Key Series (AP)
Boston Red Sox pitcher Matt Clement points to the dugout after throwing out Los Angeles Angels' Orlando Cabrera at second base after a fly-out to foul territory by Garrett Anderson in the fourth inning, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)AP - For the past seven years, the Boston Red Sox have spent each September trying in vain to catch New York. Now they get a chance to play with the lead. Boston begins a big three-game series at Yankee Stadium on Friday night with an opportunity to build a very comfortable cushion over its longtime rival in the AL East.


Chelsea Accused by FA of Drug Testing (AP)
AP - Defending champion Chelsea was accused of misconduct by England's Football Association on Thursday for doing independent drug tests on some of its players.

Olympic Hockey Camp Ends With Scrimmage (AP)
AP - Now that 39 Olympic hockey hopefuls have filled out forms, run some drills and had a few days to bond with fellow players and coaches, the time has come to earn their spots on the team that will head to Turin.

Season's greetings
We finally get to see if T.O. and Donovan McNabb can get along and if the Patriots can succeed without Charlie Weis.

Brady's two TD passes gives Pats 23-14 lead (AP)
Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes and Corey Dillon scored on an 8-yard run as the New England Patriots led the Oakland Raiders 23-14 after the third quarter of the NFL season opener Thursday night. Randy Moss made a speedy impact on his new team when he caught a 73-yard touchdown pass that gave the Raiders a 14-10 lead with 8:52 left in the half.

Eagles' Westbrook ends contract talks (AP)
Move over T.O. Brian Westbrook is making his way to the top of the line of disgruntled Philadelphia Eagles. The Pro Bowl running back cut off contract talks with the Eagles because the two sides are far apart on a long-term extension, expressing disappointment management ``hasn't stepped up to the plate.'' ``Me and my agent have told the Eagles' management that we're no longer interested in talking...

Chiefs QB Green says he's ready to go (AP)
Two weeks after undergoing surgery to restore circulation in his leg, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green pronounced himself 100 percent fit. ``I feel really good,'' he said Thursday. ``It's amazing how quick the turnaround has been, how quickly it came back.'' Doctors implanted a stent in an artery after conducting a battery of tests to learn why he was experiencing numbness in the left leg...

NFL reduces Doss suspension to one game (AP)
The NFL on Thursday reduced the suspension of Indianapolis Colts safety Mike Doss from two games to one game. League spokesman Steve Alic said the decision came after Doss appealed the penalty. The reduction, an unusual move by the NFL, was contingent on Doss' meeting with conditions imposed by the league, but Alic would not elaborate on those conditions.

Giants sign RB Barber to extension (AP)
New York Giants running back Tiki Barber said he signed a two-year contract extension with the team Thursday. The new contract goes through the 2008 season. Barber's agent, Mark Lepselter, did not immediately return a phone message Thursday. Under terms of his previous contract, Barber was scheduled to earn $4.25 million this season and in 2006.

Homeless Saints face long road in 2005 (AP)
With their home stadium storm damaged and their suburban headquarters commandeered by government agencies, the Saints in 2005 will be a New Orleans team in name only. Still, coach Jim Haslett, reaching for much-needed optimism in these trying times, half-joked that the Saints' recent tendency to perform better on the road than at home might come in useful this season.

Coroner: Herrion died of heart disease (AP)
The Denver County coroner's report confirmed what Thomas Herrion's family and friends already believed: The San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman died of a heart attack that was unpredictable and probably unstoppable. Herrion had heart disease and evidence of previous heart trouble when he collapsed and died after a preseason game in Denver Aug.

Owens ready to end feud with McNabb (AP)
Terrell Owens is ready to end his feud with Donovan McNabb. Owens and McNabb haven't been on speaking terms throughout the preseason, but the All-Pro wide receiver said Tuesday in an interview on ESPN that he plans to talk to McNabb before Philadelphia's season opener at Atlanta on Monday night. ``It's not that I hate Donovan.

Giants QB Manning probable for opener (AP)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been listed as probable for Sunday's opener against the Arizona Cardinals. Manning sprained his right elbow in a preseason game against Carolina on Aug. 20 and resumed practicing Tuesday. He said Wednesday that he felt no pain in the elbow after Tuesday's workout and was able to complete Wednesday's practice with no problems.

Out of Africa come hoop lessons
Steve sees first-hand how basketball is bridging cultural, racial and religious divisions in South Africa.

Celtics' Red Auerbach in hospital (AP)
Red Auerbach, the president and former coach of the Boston Celtics, has been hospitalized in Washington with an undisclosed health problem. The 87-year-old coaching great has been in and out of the hospital the past month for tests and a successful surgical procedure, Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said Thursday.

Damon Jones, Cavs agree to 4-year deal (AP)
Damon Jones is ready to give the Cleveland Cavaliers something they've needed: a top 3-point shooter. Jones passed his physical Thursday after agreeing to a four-year, $16.1 million contract. In acquiring Jones, who made 225 3-pointers for the Miami Heat last season, the Cavaliers took another step in their effort to avoid missing the playoffs for an eighth consecutive season.

Shaq, wife coordinate relief effort (AP)
Shaquille O'Neal and his wife Shaunie are coordinating a major relief effort designed to help some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Through Saturday, the O'Neal family will have collection boxes set up at eight El Dorado furniture stores in South Florida, and are asking the public to donate toiletries and other personal health items that will be transported to Baton Rouge, La.

Nuggets ink G Earl Watson (AP)
The Denver Nuggets signed free agent guard Earl Watson on Wednesday, bringing in the four-year veteran to bolster their backcourt. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ``Earl is one of the up-and-coming guards in this league and we're happy to have him,'' general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said. The 6-foot-1 Watson joins the Nuggets after three seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he averaged a...

Wizards sign free agent Calvin Booth (AP)
Free agent center Calvin Booth signed with the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, returning to the team that drafted him in 1999. Booth has played for Washington, Dallas, Seattle and Milwaukee over six seasons. He was a second-round selection by the Wizards, who sent him to the Mavericks in the Juwan Howard trade late in the 2000-01 season.

Predators offer arena to Hornets (AP)
The Nashville Predators are offering the displaced New Orleans Hornets a chance to play 12 games this season in the NHL team's arena. Hugh Lombardi, general manager of the Gaylord Entertainment Center, said he has contacted the NBA about the offer. The New Orleans Arena is next to the Superdome, and the NBA has informed teams the Hornets may relocate.

Lakers tab Abdul-Jabbar as special asst. (AP)
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time NBA MVP and the leading career scorer in league history, has been hired by the team as a special assistant coach. The 58-year-old Abdul-Jabbar played in the NBA for 20 seasons -- six with the Milwaukee Bucks and 14 with the Lakers. He scored 38,387 points before retiring in 1989.

Pens to announce Crosby signing Friday (AP)
The Pittsburgh Penguins didn't want Sidney Crosby to miss even a minute of their first training camp in two years. The NHL's labor agreement made it all but certain he wouldn't. The Penguins will hold a news conference Friday to announce the No. 1 draft pick has signed his first NHL contract, a formality since the new labor deal limits his first-year compensation to $850,000 in salary and $850,000...

Sabres D Patrick ends 21-year career (AP)
Veteran Sabres defenseman James Patrick, who spent 21 years in the NHL, retired Thursday and accepted an assistant coaching position with the team. Patrick, who broke into the league with the New York Rangers in 1983, spent the last six seasons with the Sabres. He was hoping to play at least one more year before last season was erased by the lockout.

Red Wings re-sign F Zetterberg (AP)
The Detroit Red Wings accomplished one of their major offseason goals Wednesday, re-signing forward Henrik Zetterberg to a four-year deal. Zetterberg's contract will count as $2.6 million against the team's $39 million salary cap this year. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said the team offered Zetterberg a contract as soon as the league's collective bargaining agreement was finalized this...

U.S. Olympic hockey camp concludes (AP)
Now that 39 Olympic hockey hopefuls have filled out forms, run some drills and had a few days to bond with fellow players and coaches, the time has come to earn their spots on the team that will head to Turin. The three-day U.S. Olympic orientation camp wrapped up Thursday with a spirited scrimmage, a 4-3 victory for the blue team over the white.

Devils' Stevens announces retirement (AP)
Scott Stevens got more comfortable in shoes instead of skates during the yearlong NHL lockout. The New Jersey Devils defenseman announced his retirement Tuesday, ending a 22-year NHL career in which he was one of the game's top blue liners. During last season's lockout, Stevens said he fully expected to return when the labor dispute was settled.

Damphousse retires after 18 seasons (AP)
Vincent Damphousse retired Wednesday, ending an 18-year NHL career in which the star center won a Stanley Cup title with Montreal in 1993. The 37-year-old Damphousse, a four-time All-Star, also played for Toronto, Edmonton and San Jose. He was drafted by the Maple Leafs in 1986 and finished with 432 goals and 773 assists in 1,378 games.

Isles sign G DiPietro to one-year deal (AP)
Rick DiPietro, the first goaltender chosen with the top pick in the NHL draft, signed a $2.5 million, one-year contract with the New York Islanders on Wednesday. He was 23-18-5 with five shutouts and a 2.36 goals-against average with the Islanders during the 2003-04 season, his third in the NHL. DiPietro, taking part in this week's U.S.

Trading Paint: Chase countdown
Jerry cleans out the mailbox as the Chase for the Nextel Cup approaches.

Skinner wins again at Cheerios Betty Crocker 200 (SportsTicker)

Skinner wins in trucks at Richmond (AP)
Mike Skinner got his second straight NASCAR truck series victory by outrunning Todd Bodine and Kevin Harvick in a two-lap sprint to end a crash-filled race Thursday night at Richmond International Raceway.

Martin having fun racing at Richmond (AP)
Mark Martin is having some fun this week at Richmond International Raceway.

Martin nips Busch for IROC victory (AP)
A third restart worked for Mark Martin, and he edged out Kurt Busch to win the International Race of Champions event Thursday night at Richmond International Raceway. Busch, the reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion and a teammate to Martin in that series, appeared on the way to an easy victory in the 90-lap race.

Martin plans to return to Cup in 2006 (AP)
It isn't much of a surprise, but it looks like Mark Martin's retirement from NASCAR's Nextel Cup series is going to be postponed for a year.

Sadler comes home, but with slim hopes of winning spot in chase (AP)
Halfway through NASCAR's 26-race playoff qualifying system, Virginian Elliott Sadler was third in the points race and seemingly on his way to a second consecutive run into the 10-race Chase for the championship.

Jeff Gordon in frantic race to make NASCAR's chase (AP)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – His crew calls him "Money Man" because when the stakes are high, Jeff Gordon is the only...

There is life after racing, and Brett Bodine is relishing it (AP)
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Brett Bodine drove hard into the second turn at Watkins Glen International and slammed...

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