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Miller DQ'd Near Finish Line of Swiss Race (AP)
US ski racer Bode Miller fails a gate during the men's World Cup Combined Slalom at the Lauberhorn in Wengen, Switzerland, Friday, Jan 13, 2006. Miller was later disqualified. (AP Photo/Keystone/Eddy Risch)AP - Benjamin Raich of Austria padded his lead atop the overall standings by winning a World Cup super-combi Friday. Defending overall champion Bode Miller, attempting to put recent controversy and a humbling apology behind him, was disqualified.


Kobe's Late Heroics Overcome LeBron, Cavs (AP)
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant goes up for the go-ahead basket over Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James during the final seconds of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 99-98. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)AP - All indications were Kobe Bryant wasn't up to the task because of a sore right wrist. He wouldn't stand for that. Bryant scored his team's last six points on three long jumpers including the go-ahead shot with 8.6 seconds left, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-98 on Thursday night.


Reggie Bush Decides to Turn Pro (AP)
Southern California's Reggie Bush outruns Notre Dame defenders on his way to a third quarter touchdown in South Bend, Ind., in this Oct. 15, 2005 photo. Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush will announce Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006  whether he'll return to Southern California for his senior season or enter the NFL draft.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)AP - Reggie Bush was ready to bolt. The decision to pass up his senior season at Southern California was a difficult one, but the Heisman Trophy winner said he's eager for a new challenge — such as playing for a losing team.


Bills to Announce Mularkey's Resignation (AP)
Buffalo Bills coach Mike Mularkey looks on during his team's 35-7 loss to the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2005. Mularkey submitted his resignation to the Bills on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006,a person familiar with discussions between the coach and the team told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Don Heupel,file)AP - Mike Mularkey submitted his resignation to the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, a person familiar with discussions between the coach and the team told The Associated Press.


Green Bay Hires Mike McCarthy As Coach (AP)
Green Bay Packers' Mike McCarthy holds a team helmet after being introducing as the new head coach for the Packers during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006, in Green Bay, Wis. McCarthy, a former Packers assistant, received a three-year deal. He replaces Mike Sherman, who was fired Jan. 2 after a 4-12 season. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)AP - Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson didn't hire new coach Mike McCarthy as a way to get Brett Favre back for another year. But McCarthy's ties to Favre certainly didn't hurt his chances of getting the job.


Offensive Line May Hold Key for Bears (AP)
Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman throws during practice Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006 in Lake Forest, Ill., as the Bears prepare to play the Carolina Panthers Sunday in an NFC divisional playoff game. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)AP - The T-shirts are orange, emblazoned with five offensive linemen superimposed over the Chicago skyline and a slogan that reads: "Chicago's Da Line/Doin' What We Do/All Day, Every Day."


Magic suspend Francis (Reuters)
Orlando Magic guard Steve Francis (L) shoots the ball as he is defended by Toronto Raptors guard Morris Peterson during second half NBA action in Orlando, Florida December 19, 2005. The Orlando Magic has suspended Francis for conduct detrimental to the team. REUTERS/Kevin KolczynskiReuters - The Orlando Magic has suspended guard Steve Francis for conduct detrimental to the team.


Wise Agrees to $1.7 Million, Two-Year Deal (AP)
AP - Reliever Matt Wise and the Milwaukee Brewers agreed Thursday to a $1.7 million, two-year contract that avoided salary arbitration.

FIFA Cancels Opening Gala for World Cup (AP)
AP - FIFA canceled the opening gala for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany because of potential problems getting the field at Berlin's Olympic Stadium ready for its first game.

Hockey Today (AP)
AP - Nashville at Carolina (7 p.m. EST). The Southeast Division-leading Panthers try to win their sixth straight game when they host the Predators.

Mastermind's makeover
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – With a most unconventional master plan, Mike Shanahan looks like a genius again.

Mularkey resigns as Bills coach (AP)
Ralph Wilson shook Mike Mularkey's hand and then expressed his hope that the Buffalo Bills' second-year coach would be around for a very long time. Little did the Bills owner know that Mularkey's tenure would last a mere eight more days. Mularkey submitted his resignation Thursday, a person familiar with the discussions between the coach and the team told The Associated Press.

Doctor: Palmer's injury 'devastating' (AP)
Carson Palmer's knee injury was "devastating and potentially career-ending," but his surgeon said Thursday that he is optimistic the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback can recover and play next season. Palmer tore ligaments in his left knee when he was hit by Pittsburgh's Kimo von Oelhoffen on his first pass during the Steelers' 31-17 playoff victory Sunday.

McCarthy hopes Favre will return to Green Bay (AP)
Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson didn't hire new coach Mike McCarthy as a way to get Brett Favre back for another year. But McCarthy's ties to Favre certainly didn't hurt his chances of getting the job. After being named coach Thursday, McCarthy said he would be the envy of other coaches if the star quarterback decides against retirement.

Colts respond carefully to Steelers (AP)
Joey Porter can talk all he wants, but the Indianapolis Colts aren't about to get into a shouting match with the Pittsburgh linebacker. On Wednesday, Porter criticized the Colts for playing "soft" in their first meeting this season and challenged them to play smash-mouth football in Sunday's divisional playoff game.

Shanahan-Belichick a mastermind matchup (AP)
Mike Shanahan takes no offense to the notion that Bill Belichick has surpassed him as the NFL's best coach. In fact, Shanahan says, he kind of saw it coming. The Denver coach, one of the few who has a winning record against Belichick since he started with New England, has a chance to climb back on top -- or at least closer to the top -- when they meet in the playoffs Saturday night.

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.

Raiders interview James Lofton (AP)
Hall of Fame receiver James Lofton interviewed with the Oakland Raiders on Thursday, the second person in as many days brought in to discuss the team's head coaching vacancy. The Raiders also were working to set up a meeting with Fresno State coach Pat Hill, who on Wednesday issued a statement through the school giving NFL teams a 10-day window in which to interview him but didn't specify when it...

Brees: Chargers want long-term deal (AP)
Drew Brees let the secret slip -- the San Diego Chargers would like to sign him to a long-term deal. Brees was discussing his shoulder surgery and rehab during a conference call with San Diego reporters on Wednesday when he was asked if the team had told him anything about his future. "They want to pursue me long-term," Brees said from Birmingham, Ala.

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.

Pistons complete sweep of Spurs (AP)
The Detroit Pistons returned to the site of their most painful defeat and handed the defending NBA champions another lopsided loss. Rasheed Wallace scored 27 points and had 10 rebounds to lead Detroit to a 83-68 victory Thursday night over the Spurs in the Pistons' first visit to San Antonio since losing Game 7 of the NBA finals last June.

Kobe comes on late, Lakers hold off Cavs (AP)
The Kobe-LeBron matchup didn't quite go as hyped, with neither at the top of his game. But Kobe Bryant put on a show in the final 90 seconds despite a sore right wrist. Bryant scored his team's last six points on three long jumpers including the go-ahead shot with 8.6 seconds left, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-98 Thursday night.

Magic suspend Francis indefinitely (AP)
Steve Francis was suspended indefinitely by the Orlando Magic on Thursday for what the club said was "conduct detrimental to the team." The team will have no further comment on the specifics of the suspension, Magic spokesman Joel Glass said. He said the star guard made the team flight from Seattle to Portland but left the team after he was suspended in the morning.

Nash helps Suns dominate Warriors (AP)
The Golden State Warriors seemed happy to challenge the Phoenix Suns to a fast-paced shooting match. Bad idea. Steve Nash had 20 points and 16 assists and the Phoenix Suns won for the eighth time in 10 games, leading from the opening basket Thursday night in a 112-99 victory. "We thought we could run with them," the Warriors' Baron Davis said, "but they showed that we couldn't." Shawn Marion had 21...

Sonics' Allen says he had to defend self (AP)
Though Ray Allen regrets getting into a fight with Orlando's Keyon Dooling, the SuperSonics guard said he had to defend himself. Allen and Dooling were both ejected after getting into a scuffle early in the second quarter of Seattle's 113-104 win Wednesday night. "I definitely regret what happened ...

Pacers getting used to Artest rumors (AP)
The Indiana Pacers are growing accustomed to all the trade rumors involving Ron Artest. The stories have come so fast, and without substantiation, the Pacers are just ignoring them. "It's good for us to get a rhythm and stay with the guys we have and understand that these are the guys who are going to be here," Stephen Jackson said Thursday.

Lakers F Medvedenko has back surgery (AP)
Los Angeles Lakers forward Slava Medvedenko underwent surgery Thursday to repair a herniated disc in his lower back, and isn't expected to play again this season. The 26-year-old Medvedenko, a five-year NBA veteran, was a member of the Lakers' championship teams in 2001-02. He has career averages of 5.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 249 games.

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.

Jazz overcome Iverson's 46 to top 76ers (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...

Power rankings
Despite having lost nearly 200 player games to injury this season, the Flyers have held on to the No. 2 spot in the rankings.

Isles fire Stirling, Milbury to resign (AP)
Not only do the New York Islanders have a new coach, they're going to get a new general manager, too. A shake-up in the making finally occurred Thursday when assistant Brad Shaw replaced fired coach Steve Stirling, and GM Mike Milbury said he'll step aside after helping owner Charles Wang pick a successor.

Messier's 11 hangs from Garden rafters (AP)
Jaromir Jagr ended Mark Messier Night with the kind of flair the former captain was famous for at Madison Square Garden. After a banner-raising ceremony that lasted nearly 90 minutes, Jagr needed just 14 seconds of overtime to give the Rangers a 5-4 victory Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers -- Messier's first NHL team.

Wings' third-period rally dooms Flyers (AP)
Steve Yzerman reached a milestone, and had an opportunity to share the moment with the Hall of Famer he passed. Yzerman had an assist and moved past Gordie Howe for seventh place on the NHL's all-time list after Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk scored twice Thursday night to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sharks blank Sens, Nabokov has 40 saves (AP)
Evgeni Nabokov was relieved to get his first shutout of the season. Nabokov made 40 saves for his 27th career shutout and Patrick Marleau and Nils Ekman scored to help the San Jose Sharks extend their winning streak to five games with a 2-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. After sharing a shutout with rookie Nolan Schaefer last month, Nabokov got his first since March 31, 2004...

Arnott's goals spark Stars past Caps (AP)
Marty Turco finally looked like himself again, not the goaltender who had struggled in two miserable starts since signing a contract extension. After allowing six goals on 23 shots and being pulled from consecutive games for the first time in his career, Turco had 26 saves Thursday night and the Stars stretched their winning streak to five games with a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals.

Jagr's OT goal lifts Rangers over Oilers (AP)
It's taken three alternate captains to fill the leadership void on the New York Rangers since Mark Messier retired. Jaromir Jagr is one of them and is perfectly content to let his stick lead the Rangers toward a long-awaited playoff appearance. "I'm happy with the A," Jagr said after his overtime goal gave New York a 5-4 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

Frolov nets three, Kings top Bruins 6-0 (AP)
The Boston Bruins thought they had played as badly as they possible could. They were wrong. The Bruins have been outscored 12-2 in their past two games by the San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings. "We thought the bottom was hit two nights ago and tonight we found a way to go lower," said Boston goalie Andrew Raycroft after a 6-0 loss to the Kings on Thursday night.

Isles top Flames in coach Shaw's debut (AP)
The New York Islanders gave Brad Shaw something positive to show for the two most hectic days of his coaching career. Mark Parrish scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and Rick DiPietro made 28 saves in his return from a knee injury to help Shaw win his first game as an NHL head coach, 3-2 over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

Sanderson lifts Coyotes to SO win (AP)
Geoff Sanderson wouldn't pick himself to be one of the top three shootout candidates. The Phoenix Coyotes have a different opinion. Sanderson scored the only goal in the shootout, and second this season, to give Phoenix a much-needed 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. The Coyotes' second shooter, Sanderson deked to his forehand and lifted the puck over Buffalo goalie Martin Biron to...

Offseason capsules: Waltrip, B.Labonte, Kahne
Yahoo! Sports breaks down the '06 Cup field as the season-opening Daytona 500 approaches.

NASCAR asks judge to dismiss suit by Kentucky Speedway (AP)
COVINGTON, Ky. – NASCAR asked a federal judge Thursday to throw out Kentucky Speedway's $400 million...

Darlington zooms ahead with construction, sales (AP)
DARLINGTON, S.C. – For the first time in a long while, Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning can...

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.

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