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Tony Dungy's Son Dies of Apparent Suicide (AP)
James Dungy, right, the son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, center, walks the sidelines during a game at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Oct. 3, 2004. James Dungy, 18, was found dead in a Tampa, Fla.-area apartment, police said, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2005. (AP Photo/Indianapolis Star, Matt Kryger, File)AP - James Dungy, the 18-year-old son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, was found dead of an apparent suicide early Thursday, the sheriff's office said.


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Death of Coach's Son Leaves Colts Somber (AP)
James Dungy, right, the son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, center, walks the sidelines during a game at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Oct. 3, 2004. James Dungy, 18, was found dead in a Tampa, Fla.-area apartment, police said, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2005. (AP Photo/Indianapolis Star, Matt Kryger, File)AP - The Indianapolis Colts wanted to emulate Tony Dungy's businesslike approach Thursday. But their thoughts were with their missing coach.


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Mavericks Defeat Kings 105-95 (AP)
Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki, of Germany, reaches for a fast break pass past Sacramento Kings' Francisco Garcia during the first quarter Thursday, Dec. 22, 2005, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Max Whittaker)AP - Dirk Nowitzki had a season-high 37 points and 10 rebounds to lift the Dallas Mavericks over the Sacramento Kings 105-95 Thursday night.


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Lawton, Tomko, White Find New Homes (AP)
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Matt Lawton runs the bases during spring training action against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Friday, March 25, 2005, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Even with his recent admission of taking a veterinary steroid last season, the Seattle Mariners signed Lawton on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2005.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar,file)AP - Seattle gave Matt Lawton a new chance, Brett Tomko became the latest player to switch from the Giants to the Dodgers and Minnesota landed Rondell White on Thursday as teams rushed to complete deals before the Christmas weekend break.


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Navy Beats Colo. St. in Poinsettia Bowl (AP)
Navy's Reggie Campbell leaves the Colorado State defense behind on his way to a 22-yard touchdown run during the second quarter of the Poinsettia Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2005, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Chris Park)AP - On the same field where Barry Sanders ran wild 17 years earlier, speedy little Reggie Campbell of Navy claimed his share of bowl lore.


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'Monday Night Football' on ABC: One last drive (Reuters)
Reuters - Turn out the lights, the party's over.

James lead streaking Cavaliers to fourth successive win (Reuters)
Reuters - LeBron James scored a game high 37 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 108-100 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

Williams OKs Deal to Stay With Yankees (AP)
New York Yankees' Bernie Williams doubles in the third inning against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, in this June 23, 2005 file photo, at Yankee Stadium in New York. New York reached a preliminary agreement with longtime center fielder Bernie Williams on a $1.5 million, one-year contract, a deal that allows the 37-year-old to earn an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)AP - Fans at Yankee Stadium will be chanting "Bernie! Bernie!" again next year.


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Maradona Is Briefly Detained at Airport (AP)
Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, right, is huged by an unidentified player before a friendly game in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005. The game with Brazilian soccer stars and celebrities asked the public to bring food to attend the game. The donations will be given to charities in the city. (AP Photo/Patricia Santos)AP - Soccer great Diego Maradona was detained briefly by airport police after he argued with them Thursday following his late arrival for a flight.


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Budaj Excels in Net As Avalanche Top Wild (AP)
Colorado Avalanche center Brett McLean, left, wraps around the net on the way to scoring a goal while Minnesota Wild defenseman Andrei Zyuzin, of Russia, comes in to cover during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2005. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)AP - Rookie Marek Svatos scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and Peter Budaj made some big saves in the final two periods, helping the Colorado Avalanche hold off the Minnesota Wild 4-3 Thursday night.


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The season of giving
To show I am in the holiday spirit, here's what I would leave underneath the tree for some NFL people.

Dungy's son dies of apparent suicide (AP)
James Dungy, the 18-year-old son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, was found dead of an apparent suicide early Thursday, the sheriff's office said. James Dungy's girlfriend found him when she returned to the Campus Lodge Apartments at about 1:30 a.m., Hillsborough County Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

Louisiana asks Saints to come home (AP)
The State of Louisiana has formally requested that the New Orleans Saints return home. An attorney for the agency that oversees state-owned sports facilities made the request in a letter sent to the Saints, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, and NFL Players' Association director Gene Upshaw. The letter asks the Saints to uphold their contract with the state by returning to their Louisiana training...

Jets' Chrebet calls it a career (AP)
The thought of going back into the locker room, seeing his teammates, his uniform, his old life was too much to bear for Wayne Chrebet. The veteran Jets receiver stayed away for over a month so he could come to terms with the inevitable -- that he would never be a part of that locker room again. Once Chrebet made his way to the Jets facility Thursday for the first time since sustaining another...

Bears send six players to Pro Bowl (AP)
A nervous Lance Briggs spent Tuesday night comparing himself to other linebackers. Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris had it on high authority that he would be named to the Pro Bowl. They both were among six Bears selected Wednesday in a vote by fans, players and coaches for the Feb. 12 game in Honolulu.

Gibbs a bundle of nerves before big game (AP)
When 11-year-old Coy Gibbs threw up in the locker room before his first Little League game, his father was summoned to the locker room. Joe Gibbs knew exactly what his son was feeling. "He says, 'I'm sick,"' Joe Gibbs recalled this week. "I said, 'No, you're not, it's normal. People do it every week."' Yes, nerves run in the Gibbs family, and Exhibit A is the uptight look on the face of the...

Falcons RB Duckett tries to end slump (AP)
After watching T.J. Duckett struggle in each of the last three games, Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora pulled the big running back aside and offered some advice. "We all recognize in the last few weeks that he hasn't looked as decisive," Mora said Thursday. "He knows that. We've studied it, we've looked at film.

Parker closes in on 1,000-yard season (AP)
Thirteen NFL running backs have rushed for 1,000 yards this season, and four are fewer than 100 yards away. Most share a common bond of college stardom, getting enormous money before playing their first NFL game, being a big name and a big deal long before they were pros. Nine were first-round draft picks.

Collins hopes to return to Raiders (AP)
Kerry Collins realizes returning to the Raiders next season is a long shot. He'll cost too much. Still, Collins says he would welcome another chance to lead Oakland and turn around this frustrated franchise. He hopes coach Norv Turner gets the opportunity, too. There's a realistic chance neither will wear silver and black in 2006, so Collins is determined to do everything in his power during the...

Patriots LT Light finally goes on IR (AP)
Offensive tackle Matt Light, who broke his right ankle in the third game, will miss the rest of the season for the New England Patriots after being placed on injured reserve Thursday. Coach Bill Belichick had said Wednesday that Light's return this season was "probably a long shot," the most information he'd given out about Light since the player was hurt.

Have ball, will travel
That should be the motto of the NBA with the referees' increasingly lax attitude toward traveling calls.

James, Jones lifts Cavs over Bulls (AP)
LeBron James burst up the right side late in the third quarter, went up for a dunk and ... Clang! It hit off the rim. It was the lone blemish for James as he scored 37 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 108-100 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night. "I should have never missed that one," he said.

Nowitzki's 37 lead Mavs past Kings (AP)
None of Dirk Nowitzki's Dallas teammates were surprised by his big fourth quarter. Nowitzki had a season-high 37 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter to lift the Dallas Mavericks over the Sacramento Kings 105-95 Thursday night. "That's our MVP, we were going to him, we thought he had a good matchup," Dallas guard Jason Terry said.

Rookie Granger helps Pacers top Clippers (AP)
Indiana's Danny Granger is making the most of his opportunity. Forced into more minutes after the Pacers made Ron Artest inactive, the rookie forward scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help the Pacers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 97-75 on Wednesday night. Granger said he is starting to gain confidence.

Iverson, Webber lead 76ers past Warriors (AP)
Allen Iverson carried the 76ers early, Chris Webber put up points late, and the superstar duo continued to keep Philadelphia in first place in the Atlantic Division. With a brutal seven-game road trip next, there's no better place to sit. Iverson scored 38 points, Webber added 27 and the streaking Philadelphia 76ers won for the sixth time in seven games, 111-100 over the Golden State Warriors on...

Carter leads Nets to fourth straight win (AP)
Vince Carter is having a big December, and the struggling Orlando Magic certainly couldn't stop him. Carter scored 32 points and Richard Jefferson added 18 to lead the New Jersey Nets over the Orlando Magic 96-85 on Wednesday night. It was New Jersey's fourth straight win and Orlando's third consecutive loss.

Spurs rip Knicks, avoid third straight L (AP)
Already a really good team, the Spurs came to New York as an angry one. The Knicks never had a chance. Michael Finley scored 19 points and San Antonio shot 56 percent Wednesday night in its 109-96 victory over New York, which has lost seven straight games. The Spurs had lost two in a row and were coming off a 109-107 overtime loss at Milwaukee on Tuesday night on Andrew Bogut's basket at the buzzer.

Arenas helps Wizards end three-game skid (AP)
It's still December -- far too early to hit the panic button, but certainly not too early to ignore the fact that the Denver Nuggets are a team in trouble. The latest evidence came Wednesday night in a 116-110 home loss to the struggling Washington Wizards, who got 36 points from Gilbert Arenas and a strong, energetic effort from the rest of the team to snap a three-game losing streak.

Gasol lifts Grizzlies over Trail Blazers (AP)
Pau Gasol's renewed confidence is starting to re-energize the Memphis Grizzlies. For the second straight game, the Grizzlies' leading scorer pounded the ball inside, scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds Wednesday night to lead Memphis to a 89-79 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Gasol shot 11-of-17 from the field and led a 50-34 Memphis advantage in the paint.

Celtics finally win two in a row (AP)
The Boston Celtics won consecutive games for the first time this season. Now they head out for a five game trip hoping to improve on their 2-8 road record. "It's a step in the right direction. Hopefully it's something we can build on," Paul Pierce said. Pierce scored 30 points and Ricky Davis added 20 to help the Boston Celtics beat the Utah Jazz 101-89 on Wednesday night.

Power rankings
With Marty Turco and Mike Modano playing like Olympians, the Stars have been anything but mediocre.

Panthers solve Biron, Sabres 4-1 (AP)
Jozef Stumpel had a great day. Stumpel was named to the Olympic team for Slovakia and then scored two goals to help the Florida Panthers beat Buffalo 4-1 on Thursday night. "It's exciting and maybe it gave me a lift," said Stumpel, of making the Turin roster. "It was great to get a couple goals." The victory snapped the Sabres' seven-game winning streak and ended goalie Martin Biron's 13-game...

Gagne returns, helps Flyers beat Sens (AP)
Simon Gagne's return to the lineup helped Philadelphia beat Ottawa for the second time this season. Gagne, who missed five games with a strained groin, had a goal and an assist to help the Flyers beat the Senators 4-3 on Thursday night. "You always want to do something special when you're coming back," Gagne said.

Gretzky mourns loss of mother at funeral (AP)
Wayne Gretzky mourned one of his greatest losses Thursday, bidding farewell to the quiet matriarch that kept his family together. "People in Canada knew her as a hockey mother, but we knew her as just a wonderful person," Gretzky said, holding back tears in a touching eulogy to his mother, Phyllis. The Anglican funeral service drew hundreds, including players and fans, to the southwestern Ontario...

Moore, Bertuzzi fighting over legal fees (AP)
After losing the first round in his legal battle against Todd Bertuzzi for a hit that broke his neck, former Avalanche forward Steve Moore is trying to slash the attorney fees he will have to pay. Bertuzzi, a forward for the Vancouver Canucks, and other defendants wanted Moore to pay almost $161,000 in attorney fees and costs after a judge dismissed Moore's civil suit in October.

Poti's PP goal gets Rangers by Lightning (AP)
For the first 58 minutes Thursday night, Tom Poti's night was about boos and a bruise. By the time he got back to the New York Rangers' dressing room, the talk centered on cheers and the defenseman's winning goal. He snapped a tie with just 1:48 left and the Rangers stopped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Zhamnov's first goal lifts Bruins to win (AP)
The Boston Bruins finally played with some confidence. The Bruins turned in a strong effort in the third period and got outstanding goaltending to win only their second game in their last seven at home Thursday night. Alexei Zhamnov got the tiebreaking goal, his first score of the season, and Hannu Toivonen stopped 26 shots to lead the Boston Bruins to a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ovechkin gives Caps a rare road win (AP)
Washington rookie Alexander Ovechkin ended a personal scoring skid and then added to his shootout mastery of the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night. After having a goal and three assists in regulation to end his mini-slump of two games without a point, Ovechkin scored the only goal in the shootout to lift Washington past Atlanta 6-5, giving the Capitals a rare road victory.

Coyotes snap skid behind Joseph, Comrie (AP)
Curtis Joseph followed his worst game of the season with one of his best. Joseph stopped 20 of 21 shots, including a late flurry in the closing minutes, and Mike Comrie scored a power-play goal with 17:08 remaining to help the Phoenix Coyotes edge the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Thursday night, snapping a four-game losing streak.

Svatos, Avalanche top Wild 4-3 (AP)
Brett McLean's shot came from a near impossible angle and Minnesota goalie Dwayne Roloson had his body and skate pressed against the near post. There was no chance the puck could go in. Somehow, it did. Or did it? Replays from above showed that the puck didn't go in the front of the goal. It slipped under the side when someone bumped the net and knocked it off the moorings.

Offseason caps: Hamlin, Sorenson, Bowyer, Menard
Yahoo! Sports breaks down the '06 Cup field, starting with the rookie class.

Legge completes Champ Car test (AP)
Katherine Legge spent two days this week testing a Champ Car to see if she's ready to become the first female driver in the open-wheel series. The 25-year-old Legge ran a total of 238 laps for PKV Racing on the road course in Sebring, Fla. It was just the second time in a Champ car for the British racer, who ran 70 laps at Sebring in a test for Rocketsports Racing on Dec.

Auto Racing 2005: Stewart grows up amid youth movement (SportsTicker)
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) - In a season where youth was not only served it was showcased, Tony Stewart topped the auto racing headlines by simply growing up.

Kyle Busch to run full season in NASCAR Busch Series in 2006 (SportsTicker)
CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) - Despite making a splash in his first season on NASCAR's premier series, Kyle Busch has some unfinished business in the Busch Series.

Judge: Speedway lawsuit against NASCAR will stay in Kentucky (AP)
A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky Speedway's $400 million antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR will be heard in Kentucky and not moved to a Florida court.

Talladega Superspeedway to get first repaving since 1979 (AP)
Talladega Superspeedway will be repaved next year, the first time since 1979, and several drivers say they're looking forward to a smoother ride.

NASCAR champ to drive midget races under his own name (AP)
Tony Stewart will drive a midget car again, and won't try to fool anybody. The two-time NASCAR champion will drive in a pair of U.S. Auto Club indoor midget car races at Fort Wayne, where he won a 60-lap feature a year ago under an assumed name in an old junker he bought during a poker game the night before.

Iowa Speedway project gets more financing (AP)
NEWTON, Iowa - An Iowa-based construction company said it has obtained the financing to complete construction of...

Price of returning racing to North Wilkesboro is $12 million (AP)
A grass-roots group is lobbying to return racing to North Wilkesboro Speedway, but a $12 million price tag might be too steep for Wilkes County. That's the asking price of Bruton Smith and Bob Bahre, who own the former NASCAR track. A group calling itself Save the Speedway, which wants to bring racing back to the .625-mile oval, retired an online petition last week after gathering 4,582 signatures.

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