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Colts Beat Steelers, Improve to 11-0 (AP)
Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy, left, is greeted by Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher following the game in Indianapolis, Monday, Nov. 28 2005. Indianapolis defeated Pittsburgh 26-7. (AP Photo/Tom Strattman)AP - The Indianapolis Colts' unbeaten ride is picking up so much steam that even their opponents see the possibility of perfection.


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Lions Fire Mariucci, Promote Jauron (AP)
Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Dick Jauron is shown on the sidelines Aug. 29, 2005 in Detroit.  The Lions fired head coach Steve Mariucci on Monday, Nov. 28, 2005 and promoted defensive coordinator Dick Jauron to succeed him on an interim basis. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)AP - Steve Mariucci came to the Detroit Lions with a winning NFL record, a penchant for offense and raised expectations.


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Closers Ryan, Wagner Make History (AP)
Rogers Communications President and CEO Ted Rogers, left, and closing pitcher B.J. Ryan hold up Ryan's new Toronto Blue Jays jersey on Monday, Nov. 28, 2005 in Toronto. Ryan signed a five year deal worth $47 million. (AP PHOTO/CP, Nathan Denette)AP - In a pair of record-setting deals for relief pitchers, Billy Wagner reached a preliminary agreement Monday on a $43 million, four-year contract with the New York Mets only hours after B.J. Ryan finalized a $47 million, five-year agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays.


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Belfour Reaches Milestone in Leafs' Win (AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ed Belfour blocks a shot by Florida Panthers' Niklas Hagman (14), of Finland, in the second period Monday, Nov. 28, 2005 in Sunrise, Fla. The Maple Leafs won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)AP - Ed Belfour made 34 saves to move into a tie for second place on the NHL's career victory list, and Bryan McCabe scored on a 5-on-3 power play midway through the third period in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Monday night.


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No. 11 Florida Beats Alabama St. 87-60 (AP)
Florida's Joakim Noah (13) is blocked as he tries to go for two points by Alabama States Joel Bosh (30) and Akeim Claborn (22) in the first half in Gainesville, Fla., Monday, Nov. 28, 2005. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)AP - Taurean Green scored 18 points, Corey Brewer added 17 and No. 11 Florida beat Alabama State 87-60 on Monday night.


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Dilfer Hurting for Stumbling Browns (AP)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Trent Dilfer wipes his brow on the team bench during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 24-12.(AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid)AP - After unstrapping ice bags from both swollen, aching knees, Trent Dilfer hobbled down the hallway and into Cleveland's locker room. Forcing a smile, the Browns' battered quarterback updated his medical condition.


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Wade turns up the Heat in Miami victory over Knicks (Reuters)
New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury (R) drives to the basket before having his shot blocked by Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning during their NBA game in Miami, Florida November 28, 2005. (Jason Arnold/Reuters)Reuters - Dwyane Wade matched a season-high 33 points and Jason Williams chipped in with 18 points and six assists to lead the Miami Heat to a 107-94 home win over the New York Knicks on Monday.


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Cost Overruns Threaten Nationals Ballpark (AP)
AP - Major League Baseball says it has not agreed to pay the District of Columbia's $20 million request to cover cost overruns on a new stadium for the Washington Nationals.

Rooney's Play Draws Best Comparisons (AP)
West Ham United's Scottish defender Christian Dailly, left, tussles with Manchester United's forward Wayne Rooney during an English Premiership soccer match at Upton Park, London, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005. Rooney's performances for United have drawn comparision with the recently deceased United soccer legend George Best. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)AP - With his bull terrier features, snarling temperament and chunky build, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is no match for George Best in the glamour stakes.


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Hockey Today (AP)
AP - Carolina at Atlanta (7 p.m. EST). The Thrashers have won two straight at Carolina, including a 5-2 victory on Sunday.

Out like a Lion
The decision to fire Detroit Lions coach Steve Mariucci was both swift and complete.

Colts rout Steelers, improve to 11-0 (AP)
The Indianapolis Colts' unbeaten ride is picking up so much steam that even their opponents see the possibility of perfection. The Colts shoved aside another formidable challenger Monday night, handling the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 26-7 victory. From their first offensive play, when Peyton Manning hit a streaking Marvin Harrison in stride for an 80-yard score, the Colts dominated another good team.

Lions fire coach Mariucci, assistants (AP)
Steve Mariucci came to the Detroit Lions with a winning NFL record, a penchant for offense and raised expectations. He leaves as just another in a long list of coaching failures. After two-plus seasons and a 15-28 record, Mariucci was fired Monday after he was unable to turn around a franchise with one playoff victory since 1957.

Irvin reiterates pipe belonged to friend (AP)
Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin reiterated Monday that a marijuana pipe found in his car belonged to a longtime friend, not his brother -- and denied any discrepancy between what he told reporters and police. Irvin told The Associated Press late Monday that a police officer apparently took his use of the word "brother" literally when he was arrested Friday after being pulled over...

NFL admits errors in Seahawks game (AP)
The Seahawks received rare word from the NFL that referee Larry Nemmers erred Sunday on the New York Giants' two touchdowns in Seattle's 24-21 overtime victory. "I had a conversation with the league, and there were mistakes that were made, which we felt at the time," said Seattle coach Mike Holmgren, one of eight men on the NFL competition committee that oversees rules and game operations.

Bengals on a roll heading into key game (AP)
Carson Palmer has beaten Baltimore three times in his short career as a starter. He's beaten Cleveland twice in three tries. The only AFC North team that has him stumped is right down the road and next on the schedule. The Bengals (8-3) held onto first place by beating the Ravens 42-29 on Sunday with an offense that's finding its stride.

Raiders' Sapp faces shoulder surgery (AP)
Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp will undergo rotator cuff surgery on his injured right shoulder Wednesday. Sapp, who turns 33 next month, hurt his shoulder on Nov. 21 against the Washington Redskins. The injury isn't considered career-threatening. Sapp is one of two high-profile Raiders defenders to sustain a major injury this season.

Jags' Leftwich won't face ankle surgery (AP)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich will not have surgery to repair his broken left ankle. Coach Jack Del Rio said Monday that Leftwich, injured Sunday on the Jaguars' first offensive play in a 24-17 win over Arizona, will not be placed on injured reserve. Asked about possible return, Del Rio said a month "is the most conservative outlook that I can give.

Cowboys LB Nguyen placed on IR (AP)
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Dat Nguyen is considering retirement after being placed on the season-ending injured reserve list with neck and knee injuries. "He doesn't feel like he can play up to his standard now," coach Bill Parcells said Monday. "I think he's going to consider retirement." Nguyen strained his neck Sept.

Tagliabue meets with Saints officials (AP)
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue met with New Orleans Saints officials Monday to discuss the future of the team, driven from its home before the season by Hurricane Katrina. They will meet again next Monday in New Orleans with local officials and visit the Superdome and the team's training facility in an attempt to determine when the facilities might be ready.

Are they worthy?
Despite their rout of Dallas, the Grizzlies must sustain their success to be included among the NBA's elite.

Anthony injured in Nuggets' loss to Nets (AP)
The Denver Nuggets lost one star soon after the tip-off and another in the closing minutes on their way to a 101-92 defeat at the hands of the much appreciative New Jersey Nets. Vince Carter scored 25 points and Richard Jefferson 24 as the Nets cruised past the short-handed Nuggets, who added forward Carmelo Anthony to their ever-growing list of injured players.

Wade's 33 lead Heat past Knicks (AP)
The Miami Heat started scoring early, and had a rout by halftime. Dwyane Wade scored 33 points to lead the Heat to a 107-94 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night, ending a two-game losing streak. "There were a lot of good things tonight," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said. "More than anything I really liked our energy and our intensity." The Heat never trailed after Wade's basket put them...

Terry's shot beats buzzer, lifts Mavs (AP)
Dirk Nowitzki regained his scoring touch in the fourth quarter, and Jason Terry made the big shot for the Dallas Mavericks. Nowitzki scored 13 of his 29 points in final quarter, and Terry hit a running layup at the buzzer to lead the Mavericks to a 93-91 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.

Nelson's surge sparks Magic over Celtics (AP)
Before the game, Doc Rivers spoke glowingly of Orlando forward Dwight Howard. A few hours later, Howard made the Celtics coach's words come true. Jameer Nelson scored nine of his 16 points in the final 9:52 and Howard blocked Mark Blount's potential game-tying shot with 12 seconds left Monday night, helping the Magic beat the Celtics 87-83 for their fourth straight win.

Davis leads Warriors past Hornets, 99-83 (AP)
Baron Davis made two breathtaking dunks in just more than a minute's span, showing everybody he is quickly regaining trust in his troublesome hamstring. Davis had 17 points and nine assists in his first game against his former team, and the Golden State Warriors won their third straight with a 99-83 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Monday night.

Artest returns, leads Pacers past Clips (AP)
All five Indiana starters played significant roles for coach Rick Carlisle against the Los Angeles Clippers -- none bigger than Austin Croshere. After being held to five points through the first three quarters, Croshere scored 12 in the fourth and grabbed a critical offensive rebound in the final seconds to help the Pacers hold off a late rally by the Clippers for a 97-92 victory on Sunday.

Miles denies Hawks third straight win (AP)
Josh Smith showed off his leaping ability last year by winning the NBA slam-dunk contest, but some may still doubt he can jump so high without help. In a controversial call, official Phil Robinson said Smith grabbed the rim to make an offensive rebound with 7.2 seconds left, giving Portland the ball for Darius Miles' winning shot in a 77-75 victory over Atlanta on Sunday.

LeBron scores 38, but K.G. gets the win (AP)
In the final minute, the Timberwolves needed someone to step up, and someone to make a big shot. Instead, they got two of each. Kevin Garnett and Marko Jaric made jumpers in the final minute, barely beating the 24-second shot clock both times, as Minnesota downed the Cleveland Cavaliers 89-85 Saturday night for its first road win.

Warriors' Davis helps Katrina victims (AP)
Baron Davis still has a home in New Orleans that sustained damage in Hurricane Katrina, and he is determined to help rebuild the city as quickly as possible. Davis' former New Orleans Hornets team came to town Monday, so what a perfect time to do something for the beloved Big Easy. Davis began selling the signature bracelet he wears during games in an effort to raise funds for the citizens of New...

Power rankings
The Power Rankings wake up to hot streaks from Calgary and Dallas, while San Jose and Boston move perilously close to the basement.

Leafs' Belfour moves up on wins list (AP)
Ed Belfour knows all about the man he tied for second place on the NHL's career victory list. "I had a chance to read his biography," Belfour said after matching Terry Sawchuk with 447 wins Monday night in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 2-1 victory over Florida. "He was a fierce competitor, very acrobatic and obviously very brave, not wearing a mask most of his career.

Howard wins NHL debut, Wings top Kings (AP)
Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard finally got his chance to play in an NHL game and made the most of it. Howard shrugged off a penalty-shot goal by Joe Corvo and stopped 22 shots in his NHL debut, including a breakaway by Eric Belanger, to lead the Red Wings to a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

Avalanche start quick, rout Canucks (AP)
Before Avalanche archenemy Todd Bertuzzi heard his first jeer, or even stepped onto the ice for that matter, Vancouver had fallen behind. It kept getting worse for the Canucks on yet another disappointing trip to Colorado. Milan Hejduk scored 11 seconds into the game and the Avalanche scored three more times in the first period en route to a 6-2 victory Sunday night over Bertuzzi and the Canucks.

Modin's two PP goals lead Lightning (AP)
The Pittsburgh Penguins had a bad weekend in Florida. Fredrik Modin scored two power-play goals and John Grahame stopped 20 shots in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Penguins on Sunday. Not only did Pittsburgh drop two games in three days, they played Sunday without captain Mario Lemieux and with sore rookie center Sidney Crosby.

Kovalchuk stars as Thrashers top 'Canes (AP)
The Atlanta Thrashers are quite comfortable on the Carolina Hurricanes' home ice. Ilya Kovalchuk had two goals and two assists, and Marian Hossa scored the go-ahead goal to lead the Thrashers past the Hurricanes 5-2 on Sunday, giving Atlanta its second road win in two tries against Carolina. Marc Savard and Jean-Pierre Vigier also had goals for the Thrashers, and rookie Michael Garnett made 27...

Sabres edge Caps 3-2, win third straight (AP)
The Buffalo Sabres had a simple game plan against Washington, keep the pressure on the tired Capitals. The strategy worked. Jason Pominville netted his first NHL goal, and Thomas Vanek and Jochen Hecht also scored to help the Sabres stretch their unbeaten streak to six with a 3-2 victory Sunday. Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff knew Washington didn't get much sleep after the Capitals played a game in New...

Ducks extend home dominance of 'Hawks (AP)
With only zeros on the scoreboard in the third period, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks kept their poise and waited for their chances. Teemu Selanne and Joffrey Lupul broke the game open late, lifting the Mighty Ducks to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night. Selanne took a cross-zone pass from Andy McDonald and put his own rebound past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin to give Anaheim a 1-0...

Flyers C Forsberg to miss game Tuesday (AP)
Although Philadelphia center Peter Forsberg's injured right groin is getting better, he will not play Tuesday night at the New York Islanders. Forsberg, the team's leading scorer, also figures to be sidelined for Wednesday's home game against New Jersey, coach Ken Hitchcock said. He's aiming for a return by Forsberg on Saturday in Nashville.

Pens C Lemieux still out with virus (AP)
Mario Lemieux will miss his second consecutive game because of a stomach virus Tuesday night when the Penguins play the Buffalo Sabres. He sat out Sunday's game in Tampa Bay -- a 4-1 Pittsburgh loss. Lemieux did not practice with the team Monday, and the player-owner was not available for comment. Star rookie Sidney Crosby also missed practice Monday after bruising his left foot when he blocked a...

Observations
There's plenty to talk about after the long Cup season, including garbage trucks and the national anthem.

Stewart's slow start turns into championship season (AP)
What started out as a lost season for Tony Stewart wound up as the best time of his life. Few who saw it will...

In NASCAR, 2005 a season of personality (AP)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The season started with Tony Stewart out front, only to fade at the end of the biggest...

Authorities identify four killed in plane crash off Dana Point (AP)
Off-road racer Jason Baldwin was among four people killed last weekend in a plane crash off the California coast, authorities confirmed Wednesday. Divers recovered the bodies Tuesday, three days after the plane sank in about 200 feet of water off Dana Point. Along with the 35-year-old Baldwin, also identified were pilot Daniel M.

NASCAR's championship format was a winner, and closer than it looked (AP)
There was no last-lap drama in this Chase.

Sister: Racer Baldwin aboard crashed plane (AP)
Off-road racer Jason Baldwin was one of four people aboard a small plane that crashed into the Pacific off the Orange County coast. "It was his time to go," his sister, Kelley Renezeder, said Sunday. "We will all learn in our way why he died. He did not die as though he never lived. He lived each day to the fullest." A dive team will arrive Tuesday to retrieve the wreckage of the plane, which crashed...

Gordon claims coveted 11th spot in NASCAR points (AP)
Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon has no need for racing's most coveted consolation prize.

Stewart caps second championship with steady final run (AP)
Long before he battled for a second NASCAR championship, Tony Stewart had to fight for his job.

Jimmie Johnson endures more season-finale heartbreak (SportsTicker)
HOMESTEAD, Florida (Ticker) - Jimmie Johnson entered Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup championship within his grasp. For the second year in a row, he let it slip away.

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