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Giants Secure Home Playoff Game With Win (AP)
New York Giants' Tiki Barber (21) runs downfield against the  Oakland Raiders in the first half of NFL football action on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2005 in Oakland, Calif.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)AP - Tiki Barber and Plaxico Burress provided the big plays the New York Giants needed to win the NFC East and secure a home playoff game.


Coach Vermeil Tells Chiefs He'll Retire (AP)
AP - Dick Vermeil will retire after the season as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, one of his players told The Associated Press on Saturday night.

U.S. Skeleton Coach Placed on Leave (AP)
U.S. women's skeleton team coach Tim Nardiello looks on during a training day for the 2003 Skeleton World Cup competition, in this Dec.  3, 2003 photo, att the bobsled and skeleton track in Lake Placid N.Y. With less than a week until the U.S. skeleton team begins its final round of preparations for the Turin Olympics, the sport's national federation is determining whether sexual harassment allegations made against coach Nardiello merit his immediate removal.  A three-person grievance committee will start reviewing evidence by Sunday, with hopes of making a recommendation on Nardiello's future perhaps by midweek. (AP Photo/Todd Bissonette)AP - With less than a week until the U.S. skeleton team begins its final preparations for the Turin Olympics, its coach was placed on administrative leave Saturday amid allegations he sexually harassed at least two female sliders.


Hedrick Breaks World Speedskating Record (AP)
USA's Chad Hedrick acknowledges the crowd's applause after winning the 10,000m men speedskating race and setting a new world record during the U.S. Long Track Championships on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2005, at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah. He won the 25-lap race in 12 minutes, 55.11 seconds, bettering the old mark by nearly 3 seconds. (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)AP - Watch out, Eric Heiden. Chad Hedrick might be coming after your record of five speedskating gold medals in one Olympics. The talkative Texan, who likes to predict his own world records, is the only American who will be able to skate five events at the Turin Games.


Arizona Snaps Washington's Home Win Streak (AP)
Arizona's Hassan Adams reacts after their 96-95 upset win over Washington in a PAC-10 men's college basketball game in Seattle Saturday, Dec. 31, 2005. Adams led Arizona with 32 points. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)AP - Hassan Adams scored a career-high 32 points — including eight points and consecutive 3-pointers in the two overtimes — to lead Arizona to a 96-95 victory over No. 7 Washington on Saturday, snapping the nation's longest homecourt winning streak.


Broncos Stifle Chargers; Brees Hurt (AP)
San Diego Chargers quarterback Drew Brees (9) is escorted from the field after injuring his right shoulder during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2005, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)AP - John Lynch sent the San Diego Chargers into a painful offseason. The Denver safety, who's from San Diego, keyed a 23-7 Broncos win on Saturday by knocking Drew Brees out of the game with a shoulder injury, then forcing Philip Rivers to fumble in the end zone, resulting in a safety.


James has big night as Cavaliers cool hot Pistons (Reuters)
LeBron James (23) of the Cleveland Cavaliers is fouled by Carlos Delfino of the Detroit Pistons while going to the basket in the first quarter of their NBA game in Cleveland, Ohio December 31, 2005. (Ron Kuntz/Reuters)Reuters - LeBron James had 30 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers cooled off the red-hot Detroit Pistons, downing them 97-84 in National Basketball Association play on Saturday in Cleveland.


Randa Back With Pirates After Eight Years (AP)
San Diego Padres third baseman Joe Randa dives for a ground ball hit by San Francisco Giants' Pedro Feliz during the first inning in San Francisco, in this Sept. 13, 2005 photo. Randa, the third baseman on the only Pirates team in 13 years to contend for a division title, is returning to Pittsburgh. The Pirates, who lost out on signing free agent Bill Mueller, were close to agreement Thursday on a $4 million, one-year contract with Randa. The team held off announcing the signing until it reviewed results of a physical Randa took Wednesday. .(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)AP - Joe Randa never wanted to leave Pittsburgh eight years ago when the Pirates didn't protect him in the expansion draft. When he finally got the chance to go back, Randa didn't hesitate to rejoin them.


England's Owen Out With Broken Foot (AP)
Newcastle United's Michael Owen, center, breaks free from Tottenham Hotspur's Anthony Gardner's challenge during their English Premiership League soccer match at White Hart Lane, London, Saturday Dec. 31, 2005. Tottenham won the match 2-0. (AP Photo/PA, Johnny Green)AP - England striker Michael Owen will be sidelined up to 10 weeks after breaking his foot Saturday while playing for Newcastle at Tottenham.


Canada Tops U.S. to Advance in Tournament (AP)
Team Canada's Kyle Chipchura celebrates after scoring an empty net goal to give Canada a 3-2 win over Team USA at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Vancouver, Canada, Saturday Dec.31,2005. (AP Photo/Adrian Wyld)AP - Cam Barker, Dustin Boyd and Kyle Chipchura scored goals to help Canada secure a spot in the world junior semifinals with a 3-2 victory over the United States on Saturday.


Road worriers
OAKLAND, Calif. – To be a Super Bowl team, the Giants must make themselves at home away from the Meadowlands.

Giants beat Raiders, clinch NFC East (AP)
Plaxico Burress looked up to the big screen and saw Tiki Barber running like mad, and Burress saw an opportunity. He pushed away a hapless defender, making sure Barber reached the end zone with ease. Barber and Burress, the Giants' playmaking duo, provided the big plays New York needed to win the NFC East and secure a home playoff game.

Player: Chiefs coach Vermeil to retire (AP)
Dick Vermeil will retire after the season as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, one of his players told The Associated Press on Saturday night. The player, who asked that his name not be used until after the announcement was official, said he was present when Vermeil broke the news during a team meeting earlier in the day.

Lynch, Bell help Broncos rough up S.D. (AP)
Drew Brees hustled out of the locker room with his right arm in a sling. LaDainian Tomlinson said he played the last 4 1/2 games with a cracked rib that made it tough to breathe every time he got hit. It was a painful ending to a lost season for the San Diego Chargers, who were roughed up Saturday in a 23-7 loss to the playoff-bound Denver Broncos.

Saints will return to Louisiana in 2006 (AP)
Saints receiver Joe Horn is looking forward to playing in Louisiana next season. That's one of the few clear things about the team's return. "There were guys that didn't want to go back -- the majority probably didn't want to go back," Horn said Friday, "but I can't wait to get back because its home." While it now seems certain the Saints will return to Louisiana in 2006, exactly when and where...

Browns prez: Savage to continue as GM (AP)
Browns president John Collins denied Friday that the club was planning to fire general manager Phil Savage, who was hired less than a year ago to help fix Cleveland's floundering franchise. Collins, though, wasn't as adamant when asked if Savage would resign. "I don't think so," he said. "Phil is raw about what happened, and understandably so." ESPN.com reported Friday that Savage, Baltimore's...

Colts' Harrison likely to return Sunday (AP)
Wide receiver Marvin Harrison likely will return to the Indianapolis Colts' starting lineup for the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals. Running back Edgerrin James might get the day off. Harrison missed last week's 28-13 road loss to the Seattle Seahawks with a broken bone in his right hand that he hurt against San Diego two weeks ago.

Rams broadcaster Snow critically ill (AP)
Former Rams receiver and current broadcaster Jack Snow was in critical condition Friday with a staph infection. The 62-year-old Snow was at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Hospital spokesman Jason Merrill said he could not discuss details of the illness. Rams spokesman Duane Lewis said Snow became ill in November.

Jags' Leftwich a gametime decision (AP)
The Jacksonville Jaguars will wait until gametime Sunday before deciding whether quarterback Byron Leftwich will return to the lineup against the Tennessee Titans. Leftwich, out since breaking his left ankle Nov. 27, returned to practice this week. "Byron has progressed well during the week and was a little better each day," coach Jack Del Rio said Friday.

Brunell practices, likely to start (AP)
Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs expects quarterback Mark Brunell to start against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Brunell sprained his right knee in last week's victory over the New York Giants, but he practiced Friday for the second straight day. "Mark took most of the script and looked good," Gibbs said.

Eastern Conference equals
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Pistons showed they can beat the Heat, but Miami is just as capable of defeating Detroit.

Cavs stop Pistons' win streak at nine (AP)
The Cavaliers weren't intimidated by the Pistons' impressive record, rich history or Ben Wallace's biceps. With a Pistons-like defensive performance, Cleveland made Detroit look ordinary in a 97-84 victory Saturday. "That's a good team that came into our building," Cavs guard Larry Hughes said. "We think we're supposed to win." One day after LeBron James turned 21, and against the NBA's top squad,...

Duncan, Ginobili lead Spurs past Nuggets (AP)
Manu Ginobili doesn't want to get used to it, but he sure is getting good at it. Coming off the bench again, Ginobili scored 20 points and dished out a season-best eight assists in leading the San Antonio Spurs past the Denver Nuggets 98-88 Saturday night. "I try play the same all the time," said Ginobili, who is still working his way back from a foot injury.

Mavericks win 16th straight over Hornets (AP)
Slowing Dirk Nowitzki was not enough for the New Orleans Hornets to end their six-year losing streak to the Dallas Mavericks. The Hornets did a decent job on Nowitzki most of the night, but he still scored 24 points and got help from Jason Terry and Josh Howard in the Mavs' 95-90 victory Saturday night.

Late basket helps Grizzlies past Sonics (AP)
Tired and short-handed, the Memphis Grizzlies picked up their most resilient victory of the season. Dahntay Jones made a one-handed 14-footer with 6.6 seconds left, and the Grizzlies held off a late Seattle rally for a 100-96 win over the SuperSonics on Saturday night. Jones scored after Bobby Jackson appeared to travel.

Marion's 28 powers Suns to OT win (AP)
Every move Shawn Marion made was emphatic. And the Phoenix Suns forward punctuated his night by scoring eight of his 28 points in overtime in a 107-98 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. "I was just trying to be aggressive, and my teammates responded to me," Marion said. Tied at 92 after regulation, Marion scored the Suns' first six points in overtime.

Warriors hold off reeling Rockets 94-89 (AP)
Baron Davis and Jason Richardson have the Golden State Warriors playing their best basketball in nearly a month. Davis scored 23 and Richardson added 22 to help Golden State hold off the reeling Houston Rockets 94-89 on Saturday night. Davis also had seven assists and five rebounds and Richardson added six rebounds and five assists for the Warriors, who have won three straight games.

Kirilenko's late 3-point play lifts Jazz (AP)
The Utah Jazz were missing their coach and top two point guards at the end thanks to Philadelphia's Allen Iverson. If only Iverson could have gotten Andrei Kirilenko or Mehmet Okur out, too. Kirilenko converted a three-point play with 18.9 seconds left and Okur added two free throws to cap a 108-102 victory for the Jazz, who rallied in the final minutes and overcame a 37-point night by Iverson.

Celtics end 6-game road skid, rout Clips (AP)
The Boston Celtics were happy to end their six-game road losing streak. Ricky Davis scored 20 points, Paul Pierce added 19 and four of their teammates also reached double digits in Boston's 111-92 victory over the Clippers on Saturday night. "We wanted to finish the year off right," Pierce said. "We know we've been so close, and for us to get a win like this feels good -- especially finishing 2005...

Heat overcome Arenas' 47, top Wizards (AP)
Even a career-high 47 points from Gilbert Arenas couldn't prevent the same old result. For the 14th time in a row, the Miami Heat beat the Washington Wizards. Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal made their usual contributions to the 128-113 victory Friday night, but a new face in the one-sided rivalry made his presence known.

Power rankings
An explosive week returns Ottawa to the top spot in the year-end Yahoo! Sports NHL Power Rankings.

Crosby lifts Penguins over Rangers in OT (AP)
Memo to the Canadian Olympic team: This Sidney Crosby kid is pretty good. Crosby scored with 1 1/2 minutes left in overtime by steering a rebound past New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and also set up the first goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins won 4-3 Saturday despite squandering three leads. With Pittsburgh on the power play throughout the overtime -- every goal but one came on the power...

Huselius helps Flames into first place (AP)
Kristian Huselius was simply trying to put a shot on goal. The Calgary forward did that and more -- with a lot of help from two Edmonton defensemen -- to give the Flames a 6-5 victory over the Oilers on Saturday night. After Calgary captain Jarome Iginla won a faceoff in the Edmonton zone, Huselius fired a shot that caromed off Oilers defensemen Marc-Andre Bergeron and Chris Pronger and bounced...

Leafs beat Devils for fifth straight win (AP)
An embarrassing loss to the Ottawa Senators got the Toronto Maple Leafs' attention. The Leafs have won five of six since that 8-2 blowout on Dec. 17. The latest victory came Saturday night in a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils that gave Toronto a season-best, five-game winning streak. "You have that kind of thing to discuss among the group," coach Pat Quinn said.

Brind'Amour's two goals lead 'Canes (AP)
Things didn't go exactly to plan for the Carolina Hurricanes, from blowing an early two-goal lead to giving up a tying goal seconds after denying a third-period penalty shot. And that's what made Saturday night's win so satisfying for coach Peter Laviolette. Rod Brind'Amour scored his second goal with 1:52 left to lead the Hurricanes past the Montreal Canadiens 5-3, giving Carolina its sixth win in...

Dallas to host 2007 All-Star game (AP)
The Dallas Stars will host the 2007 NHL All-Star game at the American Airlines Center. "The team and the organization are very excited about the All-Star game coming to Dallas," Stars spokesman Rob Schichili said Saturday. "Dallas has become a hockey city." The date of the game will be announced Jan. 23.

Garon helps Kings hold off Stars (AP)
The Los Angeles Kings have made themselves right at home in Texas. Mathieu Garon made 38 saves, Derek Armstrong scored a power-play goal and Los Angeles won in Dallas for the third time this season, holding off the Stars 3-2 on Saturday night. Alexander Frolov and Tom Kostopoulos added goals to help the Kings take a three-point lead over the second-place Stars in the Pacific Division Dallas' Mike...

Caps defeat Flyers 4-3 in SO (AP)
Hard work is often the only recourse for an inexperienced team like the Washington Capitals. Many nights it's not enough, but sometimes it pays off with a big win. The last-place Capitals hit hard, took 46 shots and took the streaking Philadelphia Flyers to a shootout Saturday, prevailing 4-3 after Brian Willsie beat goaltender Antero Niittymaki low and to the stick side with the deciding shot.

Laperriere lifts Avalanche past Coyotes (AP)
Ian Laperriere thought hard work was all Colorado needed to get out of a slump. He was right. Laperriere sparked the Western Conference's most productive offense with two goals, and rookie Peter Budaj had a much-needed solid game in goal, leading the Avalanche to a 5-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.

Lidstrom, Samuelsson key Red Wings rally (AP)
The Detroit Red Wings needed a little time to get warmed up against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Nicklas Lidstrom and Mikael Samuelsson each scored twice and Detroit overcame an early two-goal deficit to beat Columbus 5-2 on Saturday night for its fifth straight victory. Mathieu Schneider also scored and Robert Lang added three assists for the Red Wings, who outshot the Blue Jackets 43-15.

Offseason capsules: Said, Bliss, Wimmer, Kvapil
Yahoo! Sports breaks down the '06 Cup field as the season-opening Daytona 500 approaches.

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.

NASCAR to restructure regional tours in 2007 (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - NASCAR announced Wednesday that it will restructure its regional touring series divisions beginning in 2007.

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.

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...

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