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NBA Kicks Off Season With Familiar Faces (AP)
Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, front, guides his team including forward Kobe Bryant, rear, in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Denver Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)AP - The NBA kicked off the season's first full night of games with some familiar faces in old places. Phil Jackson was reunited with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, and Ron Artest was on the court again in a Pacers uniform.


Tiger and Vijay, With Not Much on the Line (AP)
Tiger Woods watches his ball from the 11th tee Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005, during a practice round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)AP - Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh paired together in the final group doesn't have the same attraction it might have at the start of the season.


QB White Leads No. 18 Mountaineers to Win (AP)
West Virginia running back Steve Slaton (10) leaps over the pile for a touchdown against University of Connecticut Wednesday, Nov. 2 2005, in Morgantown, W.Va. at Milan Puskar Staduim.(AP Photo/Joe Sadlek)AP - West Virginia didn't slow down in Pat White's first start at quarterback. The redshirt freshman, starting in place of the injured Adam Bednarik, ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in a three-minute span of the second quarter, leading No. 18 West Virginia to a 45-13 win over Connecticut on Wednesday night.


Browns' Sticking With Trent Dilfer as QB (AP)
AP - Romeo Crennel is sticking with Trent Dilfer as the Cleveland Browns' starting quarterback — for now.

Sharks Defeat Predators 3-2 in Overtime (AP)
San Jose Sharks' Alyn McCauley, right, jumps in celebration after scoring in overtime on an assist from Brad Stuart, left, to beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005. (AP Photo/John Todd)AP - Alyn McCauley scored a short-handed goal 1:44 into overtime, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory in another thrilling finish.


Falcons Sign Former First-Round Pick (AP)
AP - Looking for an upgrade at safety, the Atlanta Falcons signed former first-round pick Antuan Edwards on Wednesday.

James leads new-look Cavs to season-opening win (Reuters)
Reuters - LeBron James scored 31 points, including six three-pointers, to lead the revamped Cavaliers to a 109-87 win over the New Orleans Hornets 109-87 in their season opener in Cleveland on Wednesday.

New York Post - Outfielder Matt Lawton, who became a free agent last week, was suspended yesterday for 10 days for a violation of the Major League Baseball joint drug-prevention and treatment program.

NCAA's Top Goal Scorer Comes From Campbell (AP)
In this 2005 photo provided by Campbell University, Campbell soccer players Sonny Guadarrama (8)  and his brother Willy Guadarrama warm up before a game in Buies Creek, N.C. Campbell University, nestled among the pines in a tiny, one-stoplight town about 45 miles south of Raleigh, has the top goal scorer in the nation _ Willy Guadarrama. And his younger brother and teammate, Sonny, is the top freshman scorer in the country. The brothers are from Cedar Park, Texas. (AP Photo/Campbell University, Bennett Scarborough)AP - In a season full of highlights, Campbell's Willy Guadarrama had no trouble picking out his favorite.


Alex Auld Backstops Canucks Past Wild (AP)
Vancouver Canucks goalie Alex Auld, left makes a save on a shot from Minnesota Wild Todd White during the first period in Vancouver Wednesday November 2, 2005. (AP Photo/Chuck Stoody, CP)AP - Alex Auld made 16 of his 31 saves in the third period, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.


The hot seat list
The list of NFL head coaches in danger of losing their jobs starts with one queasy soul in Minnesota.

Eagles' Owens questionable, McNabb sore (AP)
Terrell Owens' next sideline route could be directly to the bench. Donovan McNabb may be a little more lucky. Philadelphia's Pro Bowl wide receiver and quarterback are about as banged up as they've been all year going into a critical game against Washington where the loser lands in last place in the NFC East.

Roethlisberger questionable for Sunday (AP)
Ben Roethlisberger sat out Wednesday's practice with a right knee injury and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game in Green Bay. He said he feels better than he did three weeks ago after a sustaining a left knee injury during a Monday night game. ``I was on crutches, so obviously I was a little bit worse,'' the Steelers quarterback said.

Bruschi is AFC defensive player of week (AP)
New England's Tedy Bruschi, returning to the lineup eight months after a stroke, is the AFC's defensive player of the week. Bruschi had 10 tackles Sunday in the Patriots' 21-16 win over Buffalo. He played nearly full-time in his first game since the Super Bowl. Other AFC players honored were Denver quarterback Jake Plummer (offense) and Houston's Jerome Mathis (special teams).

Lions WR Rogers returns from suspension (AP)
The Detroit Lions welcomed receiver Charles Rogers back from a drug suspension Wednesday, but still didn't know who would be throwing the ball to him on Sunday. Rogers practiced with the team after finishing a four-week suspension under the NFL's substance abuse program, but quarterback Jeff Garcia did not.

Droughns apologizes for DUI arrest (AP)
Cleveland Browns running back Reuben Droughns apologized for his drunken driving arrest, calling it a lapse of judgment. ``The only thing I can say is I'm sorry to everybody, sorry to the organization, my teammates and the fans out there,'' he said Wednesday. ``It should have never happened. It was one of those situations that was, I guess, a bad judgment call.'' Coach Romeo Crennel said the...

QB Warner to start for Cards this week (AP)
Kurt Warner is a starter again. Warner will replace Josh McCown as starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. Coach Dennis Green declined to say why he was making the switch on Wednesday. ``That's coach talk,'' he said. ``We've got a bunch of guys that were involved in that decision.

Saints' Haslett making roster moves (AP)
New Orleans Saints coach Jim Haslett isn't accusing anyone of quitting. He's making roster moves nonetheless. After threatening earlier in the week to cut anyone he believed wasn't trying in the face of a 2-6 record, Haslett said Wednesday he was benching right guard Jermane Mayberry and releasing running back Jesse Chatman.

Raiders announce plan to settle lawsuits (AP)
The Raiders and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority announced a plan Wednesday to end nearly a decade of legal acrimony by dropping existing lawsuits and ending an unsuccessful seat licensing plan. The so-called personal seat licenses -- part of a deal the team and authority worked out 10 years ago to bring the Raiders back from Los Angeles -- became a focal point of the team's fraud...

Seahawks decide to pay S Hamlin (AP)
The Seattle Seahawks will pay Ken Hamlin's contract for 2005, even though they are no longer bound to because his season was ended by a non-football injury. Coach Mike Holmgren confirmed Wednesday the NFC West-leading Seahawks agreed to pay the rest of Hamlin's salary for this season -- $245,882 remaining on his $380,000 base pay.

Lean and mean
A slimmer and quicker – and wiser – Carmelo Anthony is primed for a breakout season in Denver.

Phil-Kobe II has successful opening (AP)
With a sweet swish as the clock neared zero, Kobe Bryant picked the perfect way to say ``Welcome Back, Coach!'' The Kobe and Phil Show made a grand return Wednesday night, as Bryant hit a long jumper with 0.6 seconds left in overtime to lift Los Angeles to a 99-97 victory over Denver in Phil Jackson's first game back as coach of the Lakers.

LeBron needs little help in opener (AP)
The first one caused a stir, the next two a commotion. And when LeBron James sank his fourth straight 3-pointer in less than two minutes, everyone in the building was on their feet begging for more. ``It was amazing,'' Cavaliers forward Donyell Marshall said. ``We were just like the fans, we wanted him to keep shooting, too.'' James, playing his first regular-season game with new teammates brought...

Artest on best behavior as Pacers win (AP)
Ron Artest expected boos, and he got them. He also handled them well. Artest was perfectly behaved in his return to the NBA on Wednesday night. He played OK, too, especially considering he missed most of last season. Artest had 16 points, three rebounds and five assists, and the Indiana Pacers began life without Reggie Miller with a 90-78 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Celts spoil Brown's Knicks debut in OT (AP)
Delonte West watched the ball bouncing off the court, confident that it would remain in the Celtics' possession. When he saw Stephon Marbury coming off his man and toward the ball, though, West changed his plans. Drawing the defender to him, West touch-passed the ball to Ricky Davis in the corner for the open 3-pointer.

Stern amused by dress code backlash (AP)
His two-piece navy blue suit was accented nicely by a white dress shirt and diagonally striped silk tie. Like his players, NBA commissioner David Stern attended a game adhering to his own dress policy. ``Allen (Iverson) last night said 'This is what I'm wearing the rest of the season, it's over,''' Stern said.

Saunders wins Pistons debut over 76ers (AP)
The Detroit Pistons made all the passes, shots and stops against Philadelphia, just like they did six months ago in the first round of the playoffs. The only difference was the coaches. Richard Hamilton scored 37 points to lead Detroit past the 76ers 108-88 on Wednesday night. With Flip Saunders taking Larry Brown's place in Detroit and Maurice Cheeks replacing Jim O'Brien, the Pistons were still...

Barry stars in Rockets' win over Kings (AP)
Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy called Jon Barry at home on Tuesday and delivered a terse, motivational speech over the phone. If Van Gundy keeps getting these kinds of results, he might be calling more of his players. Barry scored 24 points, outscoring Houston stars Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady and leading the Rockets to a 98-89 win over the Kings on Wednesday night.

Duhon has triple-double, Bulls win in OT (AP)
His neck bothered him, and a 25-point deficit didn't ease the pain. But Chris Duhon shrugged it off. The second-year pro registered the first triple double of his career, and the Chicago Bulls rallied to a 109-105 overtime victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night in the season-opener for both teams.

Redd scores 41 as Bucks beat Nets (AP)
Michael Redd says he doesn't feel the need to carry the Milwaukee Bucks as much as last season. In the first two games, that's exactly what he's done. A night after scoring 30 points in an overtime win at Philadelphia, Redd scored a career-high 41 as the Bucks beat New Jersey 110-96 Wednesday night. With point guard T.J.

Power Rankings
If you missed Jason Spezza's game-winning goal Thursday, you missed the reason why Ottawa retained the top spot in the power rankings – for now.

Havlat, Alfredsson lead Sens to 10-4 win (AP)
Daniel Alfredsson has an intimidating message for the rest of the NHL. ``I don't think we hit our peak yet,'' he said after Ottawa's 10-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night. ``I think we can get better.'' Alfredsson and Martin Havlat each scored four goals, and Dany Heatley added two more for the Senators, who won for the ninth time in 11 games.

Sabres G Miller out at least six weeks (AP)
Sabres rookie goalie Ryan Miller will miss at least six weeks after breaking his right thumb during Buffalo's morning skate on Wednesday. Miller had been scheduled to start against Ottawa on Wednesday night, but he was forced to miss Buffalo's 10-4 loss. He said it was possible the injury could keep him out for closer to eight weeks.

Visnovsky's first hat trick lifts Kings (AP)
The NHL's new rules allow defensemen to be more involved on the offensive end, and Lubomir Visnovsky is taking full advantage. Visnovsky scored three goals for his first career hat trick, and rookie Jason LaBarbera made 29 saves to lead the Los Angeles Kings past the Dallas Stars 6-3 Wednesday night.

Auld keeps Canucks perfect at home (AP)
Alex Auld sure played like a No. 1 goalie. Starting his first game since regular starter Dan Cloutier sustained a concussion last weekend, Auld made 16 of his 31 saves in the third period to lead the Vancouver Canucks over the Minnesota Wild 2-1 Wednesday night. Throughout it all, the 24-year-old Auld appeared calm between the pipes, even when the Wild spent the final 2:26 with a two-man power play...

McCauley scores in OT, Sharks top Preds (AP)
Alyn McCauley proudly pulled on his brown and white clown shoes for his postgame trip home. The funky footwear was nothing compared to his on-ice show. McCauley scored a short-handed goal 1:44 into overtime, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory and another thrilling finish.

Blackhawks blow lead, beat Blues in OT (AP)
Brent Seabrook will certainly savor his first NHL goal. The rookie scored 35 seconds into overtime, giving the Chicago Blackhawks a 6-5 victory Wednesday night over the slumping St. Louis Blues. ``It's awesome,'' Seabrook said. ``I'm thrilled right now. I'm going to keep that puck.'' Martin Lapointe had a goal and two assists, and rookie Pavol Vorobiev added a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks,...

Red Wings goalie Legace day-to-day (AP)
The Red Wings listed goalie Manny Legace as day-to-day Wednesday, one day after he sprained his left knee in a win over Chicago. Legace, who set an NHL record for wins in October with 10, left Tuesday night's game against Chicago after the Blackhawks' Matthew Barnaby fell on his left leg 3:23 into the contest.

Maple Leafs' Sundin returns to practice (AP)
Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin returned to practice Wednesday, the first time he's skated since he was hit in the eye by a puck on opening night. The big captain wore a visor -- one of eight Leafs skaters to do so -- during the hour-long workout. ``It's been frustrating, but at the same time it feels like I've been so fortunate my whole career,'' said Sundin, who has missed just 35 games due to...

Leetch out one month with knee injury (AP)
Brian Leetch will be out for the next month after the Bruins defenseman was diagnosed with a strained knee ligament on Wednesday. Leetch injured the medial collateral ligament in his right knee Tuesday night when he collided with New York Islanders forward Shawn Bates during the second period of Boston's 4-3 overtime loss.

Midweek observations
A tire war could be on the horizon for NASCAR, but Kia's participation in the sport? That's a bit less likely.

Earnhardt heads 2006 Motorsports Hall of Fame class (AP)
The late Dale Earnhardt, a seven-time NASCAR champion, heads the latest class of inductees to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Edwards gets Atlanta sweep and tightens Chase (AP)
Don't expect 26-year-old Carl Edwards to buckle under the pressure of his first NASCAR Nextel Cup championship race.

Friendly tactics: NASCAR racers let friends, teammates go by (AP)
If Tony Stewart wins the Nextel Cup championship by five points, he might want to thank good friend Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Mayfield, Busch, Wallace virtually eliminated from "Chase" (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Edwards completes Atlanta season sweep; Stewart leads Chase (SportsTicker)

Three Chase contenders knocked out by Atlanta misfortune (AP)
When two cars wrecked in front of Rusty Wallace, any hopes of closing his brilliant career as a NASCAR champion were wiped out.

Kyle Busch emerges winner of wild NCTS event (SportsTicker)

Busch's late charge nets truck win (AP)
Gambling on a late pit stop for fresh tires in Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, Kyle Busch charged from eighth to a victory in a three-lap dash that ended with most of the leaders involved in a crash.

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