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NEWS FROM 2006-01-12
Michigan State's Big Two Get Big Ten Win (AP)
AP - No one had to tell Maurice Ager and Paul Davis that Michigan State needed them to play their best. Spartans coach Tom Izzo told them anyway. The two responded after a couple of subpar outings in losses to lead No. 14 Michigan State to an 87-73 victory over No. 9 Indiana on Wednesday night, the Spartans' first Big Ten win of the season.
Kobe Bryant Ends 45-Plus Point Streak (AP)
AP - Portland coach Nate McMillan drew a heart on the play board in his pregame address and gave a passionate speech aimed at stopping the Trail Blazers' six-game skid in the face of Kobe Bryant's scoring spree.
Aikman, White Among Hall of Fame Finalists (AP)
AP - Reggie White dominated on defense while Troy Aikman was leading the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles. Now two of the 1990s best players could be entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame together.
Avs Goalie Turns His Season Around (AP)
AP - David Aebischer has turned his season around and put the Colorado Avalanche back on the right track in the process.
NFL or USC? Bush to Decide Thursday (AP)
AP - Reggie Bush's backfield buddy is off to the NFL, and he's expected to be the next Southern California star to go pro. The Heisman Trophy winner was scheduled to announce Thursday whether he'll return to USC for his senior season or enter the NFL draft.
Branch, Brown Could Aid Pats' Running Woes (AP)
AP - The New England Patriots began this season with the slogan, "To climb this mountain" — even though they had already done that in three of the past four years. They were the NFL's defending champions, but coach Bill Belichick kept telling them they weren't.
NBA Today (AP)
AP - Detroit at San Antonio (8 p.m. EST). The second rematch of last season's NBA Finals. The Pistons won the first meeting 85-70 on Dec. 25.
Red Sox, Reliever Tavarez Agree to Deal (AP)
AP - Julian Tavarez and the Red Sox reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday on a $6.7 million, two-year contract as Boston added another newcomer to its rebuilt bullpen.
Monterrey, Veracruz Reach InterLiga Finals (AP)
AP - Monterrey tied and Veracruz won to reach the final round of the InterLiga tournament Wednesday night.
Rangers to Raise Messier's 11 to Rafters (AP)
AP - Mark Messier stood at the podium in front of family, friends, and dozens of pictures of his entire hockey life. This was the day the six-time Stanley Cup champion has dreaded since he decided to end his 25-year NHL career back in September.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – With a most unconventional master plan, Mike Shanahan looks like a genius again.
Packers close to deal with McCarthy (AP)
The Green Bay Packers and Mike McCarthy were nearing a deal to make him their next head coach Wednesday night, a person involved in the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete, expected the team to finalize an agreement with the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator on Thursday.
Aikman, Reggie White lead Hall finalists (AP)
Reggie White dominated on defense while Troy Aikman was leading the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles. Now two of the 1990s best players could be entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame together. Aikman and the late White were among the 15 finalists for the Hall of Fame announced Wednesday, joining Thurman Thomas and Warren Moon as finalists in their first year of eligibility.
Bengals' Palmer has knee surgery (AP)
Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer had surgery on knee ligaments torn during last weekend's playoff loss to Pittsburgh and is expected to be ready for the start of the 2006 season. The operation was Tuesday in Houston, and he will begin rehabilitation this week in California, the team said Wednesday. "This is a serious injury, but we are told the procedure went very well," Bengals coach Marvin...
Raiders interview Chiefs' Saunders (AP)
The Oakland Raiders interviewed their first candidate to replace fired coach Norv Turner when they met with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders on Wednesday. Senior administrator Artie Gigantino confirmed Saunders had met with owner Al Davis at team headquarters. The interviews won't extend into Thursday.
Hampton expects to play against Colts (AP)
The Pittsburgh Steelers' defense figures to be a lot bigger in Indianapolis than it was there seven weeks ago. Look for a lot more of 325-pound nose tackle Casey Hampton on the field and a lot less of him on the sideline. To try to slow the Colts' fast-paced offense, the Steelers relied on their nickel defense -- which uses five defensive backs rather than the usual four -- almost exclusively in...
Hasselbeck excels in Alexander's shadow (AP)
By now, most people know all about NFL Most Valuable Player Shaun Alexander. But Matt Hasselbeck? The quarterback's wry smile, dry wit and steady game management haven't been as camera-catching as Alexander's grins and sleek runs into the NFL record book. Even the teams that know Hasselbeck don't know how he got here.
Smith can thank Muhsin for development (AP)
For all the things Muhsin Muhammad did in his nine years with the Carolina Panthers, his greatest mark on the franchise may be how he helped along the development of receiver Steve Smith. Muhammad took Smith under his wing when Smith joined the Panthers in 2001, paving the way for this year's breakout season.
Branch, Brown need to step up for Pats (AP)
The New England Patriots began this season with the slogan, "To climb this mountain" -- even though they had already done that in three of the past four years. They were the NFL's defending champions, but coach Bill Belichick kept telling them they weren't. "His main thing was that we are not defending anything because we don't have a title.
NFL: Saints should play at Superdome (AP)
NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue expects the New Orleans Saints to play all of their home games at the Superdome next season. Tagliabue also sought to reassure the community during a visit to the city Wednesday that the NFL is not moving the Saints back for a single season to make the league appear sympathetic to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Rolling up their sleeves
Thanks to the toughness of Kurt Thomas and Raja Bell, the Suns don't mind getting their hands dirty on defense.
Kobe's streak ends in loss to Blazers (AP)
Before the Trail Blazers had to face Kobe Bryant and his four-game streak of 45 or more points, Portland coach Nate McMillan drew a heart to inspire his team. "He explained what it was all about," guard Steve Blake said. "He just said you've got to play with a lot of heart and a lot of passion. You've got to want it." The Blazers were inspired.
Allen ejected for fighting, Sonics win (AP)
Seattle didn't have leading scorer Ray Allen. The SuperSonics still had Rashard Lewis. Lewis scored a season-high 45 points and the Sonics overcame Allen's ejection for a 113-104 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. Lewis was outstanding, finishing 12-of-18 from the field and 17-of-20 from the free-throw line.
Marbury, surging Knicks beat Mavs in OT (AP)
Playing their second game in two nights and forced into overtime after blowing an 18-point lead, the New York Knicks were in need of some energy. It came from the oldest player on the team. Antonio Davis had four points and three rebounds in overtime, while playing tough defense on Dirk Nowitzki, and the Knicks beat the Dallas Mavericks 117-115 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight win.
Okur helps Jazz overcome A.I., Sixers (AP)
The Philadelphia 76ers' woeful defense spoiled another stellar effort from Allen Iverson. Mehmet Okur scored 25 points and Andrei Kirilenko added 23, helping the Utah Jazz overcome Iverson's 46 points in a 110-102 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday night. Milt Palacio had 17 points, Gordan Giricek added 16 and Okur had eight assists and eight rebounds as Utah won its third straight game on the...
Wade, Shaq cruise past Warriors (AP)
Dwyane Wade limped along with ice wrapped around his left ankle and shin and another pack on his right foot. Shaquille O'Neal moved slowly on his tender ankle, too. Miami's two hobbling stars are beginning to find their top form again and it's leading to positive results. Wade had 32 points, 11 assists and five rebounds and the Heat won their fourth straight against the Golden State Warriors, 110-96...
Jackson shoots Pacers over Bucks (AP)
The Indiana Pacers came back from their West Coast trip looking like a Western Conference team. The Pacers ditched their grind-it-out style for a quicker pace in a 112-88 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. Stephen Jackson, who scored 24 points, said the Pacers have enjoyed developing their new style in recent games.
Kings win, but Stojakovic injures back (AP)
Sacramento Kings guard Peja Stojakovic re-aggravated a back injury in an 88-80 win over Houston on Wednesday night. Stojakovic, Sacramento's second-leading scorer, went to the bench with 2:58 left in the third quarter and did not return. He said after the game he re-injured a protruding disc in his lower back that has bothered him since late December.
Taylor, Wizards run past Hawks (AP)
Washington coach Eddie Jordan tinkered with the starting lineup and the Wizards played one of their best games of the season, but not everyone was happy. While regular starters Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison started the game on the bench, rookie Donell Taylor scored a career-high 15 points and Jared Jeffries tied his career best with 15 points as the slumping Wizards cruised to a 103-72 win...
Spurs, Pistons to square off Thursday (AP)
The San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons have the top records in the league and one more game against each other on Thursday night before going their separate ways for the rest of the season. If they do meet again it will be for another NBA title. The two teams met on Christmas Day in a rematch of last season's NBA finals and Detroit held San Antonio to just eight points in the first quarter and...
Despite having lost nearly 200 player games to injury this season, the Flyers have held on to the No. 2 spot in the rankings.
Stirling fired by Islanders (AP)
Steve Stirling unwillingly joined a not-so-select group: New York Islanders coaches fired by Mike Milbury. Stirling was dismissed Wednesday night by Milbury, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official announcement was scheduled for Thursday.
Rangers to retire Messier's 11 Thursday (AP)
Mark Messier stood at the podium in front of family, friends, and dozens of pictures of his entire hockey life. This was the day the six-time Stanley Cup champion has dreaded since he decided to end his 25-year NHL career back in September. Messier took the stage at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, one night before his number 11 New York Rangers jersey was to be raised to the...
Flyers claim eighth win of road trip (AP)
Through two periods, the Philadelphia Flyers were doing almost everything right. The only problem: the score was tied. In the final 10 minutes, all those scoring chances finally paid off for Philadelphia. Mike Knuble scored on a deflection with 8:33 left in the third period to snap a tie, Mike Richards added an insurance goal about two minutes later and Branko Radivojevic scored into an empty net to...
Thrashers defeat Preds in shootout 4-3 (AP)
Atlanta's new fashion statement might just become a trend. With his teammates wearing their helmets backward, Marian Hossa scored the only goal in a shootout to lift the Thrashers to a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night. It was Atlanta's first shootout victory in five tries. The Thrashers might just do it again if the situation calls for it.
Jackets' 6-1 win continues Pens' slide (AP)
The Columbus Blue Jackets got a boost for their weak offense from the worst defensive team in the league. Jaroslav Balastik scored twice, Sergei Fedorov and Rick Nash each had a goal and two assists and the Columbus Blue Jackets sent the Pittsburgh Penguins to their fourth consecutive loss with a 6-1 victory Wednesday night.
Late Laperriere goal lifts Avs past Habs (AP)
Last month, Colorado goalie David Aebischer was troubled by new rules, smaller pads and the longest slump of his career in which he lost four straight and didn't even suit up five times. Now, nothing's bothering him. Aebischer won his fifth straight start Wednesday night when he stopped 25 shots in the Avalanche's 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado's sixth straight victory.
Thornton ejected in return to Boston (AP)
Joe Thornton's much anticipated return to Boston ended quickly. The Bruins former captain was ejected less than six minutes into Tuesday night's game for checking his close friend Hal Gill from behind. San Jose still dominated 6-2 without the league's fourth leading scorer as Josh Langfeld scored his first two goals of the season and the Sharks added three power-play goals.
Lightning waive 42-year-old Andreychuk (AP)
The Tampa Bay Lightning waived 42-year-old captain Dave Andreychuk on Tuesday, saying the inspirational leader of their Stanley Cup championship team could not keep up with the speed the NHL's new rules have brought about. Lightning general manager Jay Feaster said Andreychuk had worked hard during and after last season's lockout, but neither he nor the coaches could foresee "the type of game the...
Alfredsson returns, powers Sens to rout (AP)
Daniel Alfredsson left no doubt over his value to the Ottawa Senators. Alfredsson had two goals and two assists in his first game back from a rib injury and Bryan Smolinski added three assists to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 7-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night. "He adds a whole new dimension that we didn't have a week ago," Senators coach Bryan Murray said.
Kahne growing up
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The '04 Rookie of the Year is ready to move forward after a tough sophomore season.
Gordon looking strong in Daytona testing (AP)
Coming off a disappointing season, four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon is aiming to build some momentum in a hurry for 2006.
Busch starting over after embarrassing end to '05 season (AP)
Kurt Busch emerged from his hauler with a beer company logo plastered across his chest, which seemed a bit unbecoming in light of his troubles at the end of last season.
Hamilton Jr. to race in NASCAR Truck Series season opener (SportsTicker)
MOUNT JULIET, Tennessee (Ticker) - Bobby Hamilton Jr. will race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 17.
Truck series champion Ultra Motorsports closes doors (AP)
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pioneer Jim Smith has folded his Ultra Motorsports team after wrapping up his first championship last November.
Richard Petty's mother dies at 88 (AP)
Elizabeth Toomes Petty, the mother of racing great Richard Petty and the widow of NASCAR pioneer Lee Petty, died at 88. She died Sunday, Petty Enterprises said. She is survived by sons Richard and Maurice, two sisters, two brothers, nine grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Australian motorcyclist dies in Dakar rally (AP)
Australian motorcyclist Andy Caldecott was killed in a crash Monday during the ninth stage of the Dakar Rally. Organizers said the 41-year-old Caldecott crashed his KTM motorbike about 155 miles into the 371.4-mile stage from Nouakchott to Kiffa. "He probably died straight away," race director Etienne Lavigne said.
Said and Lepage win bobsled races, Trickle flips (AP)
Boris Said and Kevin Lepage came out with victories, while Dick Trickle added another memorable chapter to his remarkable career. Said won the first race of the Chevrolet Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge on Saturday at Mount Van Hoevenberg, Lepage took the second race, and the 64-year-old Trickle got a turn named after him when he flipped his sled on consecutive runs.
France's Stephane Peterhansel wins seventh stage of Dakar Rally (AP)
Stephane Peterhansel of France won for the second time in the Dakar Rally, taking the seventh stage Friday in the grueling road race. Fellow Frenchman Luc Alphand was second, 4 minutes, 23 seconds behind, and claimed the overall lead with a time of 22 hours, 32 minutes, 41 seconds. He was followed by Peterhansel, 3 minutes,12 seconds behind.