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No. 14 Spartans Send BC to First Loss (AP)
Michigan State's Maurice Ager tries to drive around Boston College's Louis Hinnant during the first half Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)AP - Maurice Ager and Paul Davis both had a big second half, and No. 14 Michigan State had another great game at the free throw line, handing No. 6 Boston College its first loss of the season, 77-70 Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic.


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Jays Land Burnett; Dodgers Hire Little (AP)
Toronto Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi, left, and team president and CEO Paul Godfrey present pitcher A.J. Burnett with his team jersey during a press conference at the baseball winter meetings, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005, in Dallas.The Blue Jays kept up their spending spree on Tuesday by agreeing to terms with  Burnett on a $55 million, five-year contract. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)AP - The Toronto Blue Jays emerged as baseball's new big spender, agreeing to a $55 million, five-year contract with pitcher A.J. Burnett on Tuesday.


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James' 30 Carries Cavs Over Kings 102-97 (AP)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, goes to the basket against Sacramento Kings forward Kenny Thomas during the first quarter in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)AP - LeBron James scored 11 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, adding six rebounds and six assists as he carried the Cleveland Cavaliers through the tense final minutes of a 102-97 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.


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Sharks' Thornton Wins in Home Debut (AP)
New San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton cheers his team on in the second period against the Atlanta Thrashers, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005 in San Jose, Calif. Thornton scored his first goal on Tuesday as a Sharks player after he was traded from the Boston Bruins.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)AP - Joe Thornton made a memorable first splash in the Shark Tank.


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Woods Wins PGA Player of the Year Award (AP)
Tiger Woods smiles as he leaves a press conference about the upcoming Target World Challenge which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation at the Sherwood Country Club, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2005, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. It was also announced that Tiger Woods won the 2005 PGA Tour Player of the year award for the seventh time. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)AP - Tiger Woods won the PGA Tour player of the year award Tuesday for the seventh time in his nine full seasons, the final prize in a year that featured two major championships among his six tour titles.


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Sportsview: How Far Can Bengals Go? (AP)
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis adjusts his headset during their loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2005, in Cincinnati. With the Bengals on course for the AFC North title, the question is how deep can they go in the playoffs. (AP Photo/Tony Tribble)AP - The usual December question around these parts — how low can the Bengals go? — has been replaced by one from a bygone era. This year, everyone is wondering: How deep can the Bengals go ... in the playoffs?


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Bryant propels Lakers to win over Bucks (Reuters)
Reuters - Kobe Bryant poured in 33 points and Lamar Odom contributed 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Los Angeles Lakers rolled to a 111-92 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday at the Bradley Center.

Valentine Calls Japan Players Comparable (AP)
Myriam Lamare of France raises her arms in victory after defeating her challenger Jane Couch of England in their fight for WBA Female Light Welterweight world title and vacant WIBF Light Welterweight title at the Bercy stadium in Paris, Monday, Dec. 5, 2005. Lamare won with a technical knockout. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)AP - Bobby Valentine wants to see the top teams in the United States and Japan play each other to determine a true world champion, and he thinks his Chiba Lotte Marines could have challenged the Chicago White Sox this year.


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U.S. Soccer Just Misses World Cup Seed (AP)
Lennart Johannsen, the UEFA President, adjusts his glasses during a press conference to discuss the seedings and the process for the 2006 World Cup draw in Leipzig, Germany Tuesday Dec. 6, 2005. The Netherlands will not be among the eight top teams going into Friday's draw for next year's World Cup despite being ranked third in the FIFA standings. Host Germany and defending champion Brazil were automatically seeded for the draw and FIFA on Tuesday added Argentina, England, Italy, France, Spain and Mexico. (AP Photo/Eckehard Schulz)AP - The United States came within a point Tuesday of being one of the seeded teams for next year's World Cup.


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Adams' Hat Trick Helps Canes Storm Ducks (AP)
Carolina Hurricanes' Kevyn Adams, right, is congratulated by Craig Adams (27) after scoring a goal as Anaheim Mighty Ducks goalie Ilya Bryzgalov of Russia, left, looks on during the first period, Tuesday Dec. 6, 2005, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)AP - Kevyn Adams scored twice in the first period and added a short-handed goal on a breakaway for his second career hat trick, leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-2 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Tuesday night.


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Feel the power
The Chargers didn't let a tough schedule short-circuit their season. That's why they're the rankings' new No. 2 team.

Union files grievance for Owens (AP)
The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday, claiming the team breached Terrell Owens' contract by trying to get back part of the wide receiver's signing bonus and by leaving him inactive for the rest of the season. The union said the team was breaching the maximum discipline clause in its agreement with the NFL.

Eagles' Westbrook to miss rest of season (AP)
Running back Brian Westbrook will miss the rest of the season with a foot injury, the fourth Pro Bowl player the Philadelphia Eagles have lost for the season in the last month. Westbrook hurt his foot in the first half of Monday night's 42-0 loss to Seattle. An MRI on Tuesday confirmed he has a Lis Franc sprain, an injury more common in automobile accidents and equestrian sports.

Dungy mum on if he'll rest top Colts (AP)
Tony Dungy treats the mounting questions like he's a politician. Everyone wants to know how the Indianapolis Colts cope with the pressure of staying perfect one more week. Dungy usually responds with a tactful touch. But there is one question that makes the Colts' coach groan: Will he continue playing starters if the Colts clinch the AFC South title, a first-round bye and home-field advantage this...

NFL hopes Saints are in Superdome in '06 (AP)
The NFL hopes the New Orleans Saints can play at least some of their 2006 schedule at the Louisiana Superdome. The stadium, damaged by Hurricane Katrina, will not be ready to host a Saints game until late in the season, however. So the team will probably split the remaining games between San Antonio and Tiger Stadium at LSU in Baton Rouge, as they have this year.

Browns WR Edwards out for season (AP)
Just as Braylon Edwards was showing signs of becoming a special first-round pick for the Cleveland Browns, he became another broken one. Edwards will miss the rest of the season with a torn knee ligament, yet another setback for one of Cleveland's top picks. The No. 3 overall selection in the 2005 draft, Edwards tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while trying to make a leaping...

Raiders may go with Tuiasosopo at QB (AP)
Marques Tuiasosopo probably will get his shot as Oakland's starting quarterback this week. Coach Norv Turner is leaning toward demoting the struggling Kerry Collins and plans to make his final decision before the Raiders take the practice field Wednesday to prepare for the lowly New York Jets -- though it sure seems Turner has all but made up his mind.

Reid undecided on McMahon, Detmer at QB (AP)
Now the Philadelphia Eagles have a quarterback controversy. A disastrous season filled with injuries and the Terrell Owens saga got even worse for the reigning NFC champions following an embarrassing 42-0 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night. Not only did they lose running back Brian Westbrook for the season with a foot injury, Mike McMahon and Koy Detmer played horribly.

Seahawks no longer a national secret (AP)
The Seattle Seahawks showed the NFL that they are more than just lucky. The aftermath of Seattle routing depleted Philadelphia 42-0 on Monday night is that a team much of the football world perceived as fortunate a week ago is now viewed as at least opportunistic -- if not just plain good. And that goes beyond the two interceptions and one fumble the defending NFC champion Eagles gift-wrapped into...

Steelers T Smith won't play Sunday (AP)
Steelers left tackle Marvel Smith won't play Sunday against the Chicago Bears because of a sprained right ankle, the third game he will miss in four weeks. Smith, a Pro Bowl lineman last season, sat out an overtime loss to the Ravens on Nov. 20 with a sprained left ankle, then injured the right ankle the following week against the Colts.

Championship form
The Pistons and Spurs are playing like defending conference titlists as the rankings' top two teams.

Suns push win streak to seven games (AP)
The victories are getting easier and easier for the Phoenix Suns. Now, come some big tests. James Jones scored 22 points, Raja Bell added 21 and the Suns extended their winning streak to an NBA-best seven straight with a 130-85 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. That followed Sunday's 18-point victory over the Atlanta Hawks, the team with the worst record in the league, and moved...

James carries Cavaliers to victory (AP)
LeBron James listened intently while Mike Brown drew up the Cleveland Cavaliers' next play. After the fourth-quarter huddle broke, James had his own coaching advice for the Cavs: Defense, not diagrams, would win it. James followed Brown's coaching and his own leadership in the tense final minutes, scoring 11 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter of the Cavaliers' 102-97 victory over the Sacramento...

Bryant, Parker power Lakers past Bucks (AP)
Smush Parker says he knows Kobe Bryant creates extra opportunities for him. Parker is creating some of his own. Bryant scored 33 points and Parker had 20 points and seven steals to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to their ninth straight win over Milwaukee, 111-92 on Tuesday night. "This is more than what I expected," Parker said.

Nowitzki scores 31, Mavs beat Pacers (AP)
Give the Dallas defense some credit. The Mavericks contested every shot, dived for every loose ball and turned back every Indiana challenge, pulling away in the closing minutes for an 84-75 victory Tuesday night. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 31 points and 11 rebounds, while the defense produced season lows by the Pacers, both in scoring and a miserable 34 percent shooting from the field.

Healthy McGrady scores 35 in Rockets win (AP)
Happy and healthy again, Tracy McGrady outplayed high-scoring Paul Pierce on Tuesday night and carried the Houston Rockets to a much-needed win over Boston. McGrady tied his season high with 35 points in the Rockets' 91-73 victory, only Houston's second win in its last 10 games. McGrady guarded Pierce most of the night, and Pierce went 3-for-10, although he hit 13 free throws and scored 20.

Gasol helps Grizzlies win sixth straight (AP)
Opponents are starting to respect the Memphis Grizzlies' defense. Pau Gasol scored 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds Tuesday night as the Grizzlies beat the New Orleans Hornets 89-73 for their sixth straight victory. The Grizzlies, already leading the league in defense, have allowed opponents an average of 76 points during their winning streak, and have won all but one by double-digit margins.

Knicks' Crawford stars back in Seattle (AP)
Jamal Crawford has learned the secret to homecomings: Don't rush. Back in his hometown, Crawford scored all of his season-high 31 points in the second half, and the New York Knicks rallied for a 104-101 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday night. "When you come home you have a tendency to try and do too much, because you know a lot of people in the crowd are watching you," the Seattle native...

Hayes leads Wizards in overtime (AP)
Jarvis Hayes didn't look like a player who had just posted a big fat zero. He relaxed and fired away from the opening tip, breaking out of a shooting slump with his best game of the season. Hayes had season highs with 21 points and eight rebounds Tuesday night, including six points with two steals in overtime, and the up-and-down Washington Wizards survived an up-and-down streetball-paced 119-111...

Miller leads Nuggets to win (AP)
With a six-game road trip looming and the NBA's worst team limping into town, this had all the makings of a game Denver might not have been ready for. The Nuggets weren't. They wound up having to fight to the finish Tuesday night for a 125-116 victory over the Atlanta Hawks that caused coach George Karl to question his team's character.

Power rankings
Will the arrival of Joe Thornton in San Jose rescue the Sharks from the bottom third of the Power Rankings?

Richards, Niittymaki lift Flyers in SO (AP)
Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki could feel the anticipation of the crowd before the first shootout in Philadelphia. He used that energy to his advantage. Mike Richards scored the lone goal and Niittymaki was perfect through regulation, overtime and the shootout to lift the Flyers to a 1-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

Sharks improve to 3-0 with Joe Thornton (AP)
Joe Thornton made a memorable first splash in the Shark Tank. Thornton assisted on his new team's first goal, then scored later in the opening period to lead the San Jose Sharks to their third straight victory in his home debut, 5-3 over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night. Thornton had a pair of assists in each of his first two games with the Sharks and already has six points for rejuvenated...

Shanahan scores two, Wings top Devils (AP)
Brendan Shanahan made a case for a spot on Team Canada the same day Steve Yzerman's decision to withdraw his name from consideration for the upcoming Olympics became public. Shanahan had two goals and moved into 15th place on the NHL's career list, and Yzerman scored to lead the Detroit Red Wings past the New Jersey Devils 5-2 Tuesday night.

Kevyn Adams' hat trick sparks 'Canes win (AP)
Kevyn Adams' few goals are coming in bunches this season. Adams scored twice in the first period and added a short-handed goal on a breakaway for his second career hat trick, leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-2 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Tuesday night. The three goals ended an eight-game drought for the Hurricanes center -- whose other three goals this season came on Nov.

Brown, Garon lead Kings to win (AP)
Jeremy Roenick always enjoys scoring goals in Toronto. He didn't add to his total this time, but he let his young teammate know just how special it is. Dustin Brown, pointless in the previous 11 games, scored twice and the Los Angeles Kings ended a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.

York's five-point night lifts Islanders (AP)
Mike York's contributions in his first season with the New York Islanders hadn't been showing up much on the score sheet. That all changed Tuesday night. York scored two goals and added three assists for his second career five-point game, lifting the New York Islanders to a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Blues.

Bruins' Samsonov examined for numbness (AP)
Boston Bruins forward Sergei Samsonov was examined by doctors Tuesday for numbness and tingling in his hands and fingers. The team expects a diagnosis no sooner than Wednesday, spokeswoman Heidi Holland said. "He is day-to-day because we don't have a diagnosis," she said. Samsonov, the team's leading scorer with 12 goals and 13 assists, noticed the symptoms when he woke up Sunday.

Bochenski's hat trick lifts Senators (AP)
Ottawa's Brandon Bochenski counted himself among the people surprised at his first career hat trick. The former North Dakota star had his first three-goal game and the NHL-leading Senators won for the eighth time in nine games, beating the Florida Panthers 6-3 on Monday night. "Considering I didn't have three goals prior to this game, it was definitely exciting to have three in one game," Bochenski...

Sabres F Dumont out 8-to-12 weeks (AP)
Sabres forward J.P. Dumont will be out for eight to 12 weeks after surgery to repair a sports hernia. Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said Dumont will be operated on Thursday in Montreal. Ruff doesn't expect Dumont to be in game shape until after the league breaks for the Olympic Games in mid-February. Dumont, diagnosed with the sports hernia last week while the team was in Montreal, has six goals and 14...

Good time
NEW YORK – NASCAR's year-end banquet isn't always a hit, but this year's edition was on the mark.

Toro Rosso makes Speed first US F1 racer since 1993 (AFP)
Scott Speed will become the first American to race in Formula One since Michael Andretti's ill-fated 1993 flop when he takes the wheel in 2006 for Scuderia Toro Rosso, the team confirmed.

NASCAR annoyed with drivers who skipped New York ceremonies (AP)
NASCAR officials are ``extremely disappointed'' in Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and other drivers who failed to attend the season-ending awards ceremonies.

Stewart cashes in on record year (AP)
Tony Stewart's best year in NASCAR's Nextel Cup series reached the bottom line Friday, with the two-time champion setting a record for single-season earnings.

Earnhardt named most popular once again (AP)
Dale Earnhardt slipped this season in the points standings, but not in the popularity department.

Humbled Busch on hand for season-ending ceremonies (AP)
It took two quiet weekends out of a race car for Kurt Busch to realize he needed an attitude adjustment.

NASCAR champion ready to get in shape (AP)
Tony Stewart went on a shopping spree last week that he hopes will lead to a new and improved Nextel Cup champion.

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...

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