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Davis Gets 5 Games for Entering Stands (AP)
Toronto Raptors center Antonio Davis gets a hug from wife Kendra  at a news conference in Toronto in this July 20, 2001 photo. As New York Knicks forward Antonio Davis awaited word Thursday on whether he will be suspended for climbing into the stands to confront a man during a game in Chicago, that fan said he did nothing wrong and was attacked by Davis' wife Kendra. Davis said he thought his wife was in danger and later released a statement saying the fan was drunk.(AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)AP - Antonio Davis has never been one to cause trouble — until he thought his wife was in danger. When Davis responded by climbing into the stands, he did more than jump across the scorer's table: He crossed a line the NBA won't tolerate, no matter the reason.


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Kings Edge Past Lakers 118-109 in Overtime (AP)
Sacramento Kings center Brad Miller (52) drives between Los Angeles Lakers defenders Chris Mihm (31), Kobe Bryant (8) and Lamar Odom during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006. The Kings won in overtime, 118-109. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)AP - The Kings watch the news, so they were well aware Kobe Bryant probably would score more points than anybody else. They simply wanted to keep it close — and with a few big breaks, Sacramento's team play overcame the Los Angeles Lakers' one-man show.


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Roddick, Sharapova Advance in Australia (AP)
Andy Roddick of the United States waves to the crowd after he won the match against Julien Benneteau of France at the Australian Open Tennis Tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan 20, 2006. Roddick won the match 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.  (AP Photo/Mark Baker)AP - Andy Roddick had 17 aces in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over French qualifier Julien Benneteau on Friday, hustling through the third round as temperatures started rising at the Australian Open.


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Theo Epstein to Rejoin Red Sox (AP)
Former Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein talks on his cell phone during a team practice prior to a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park in Boston, in this Thursday, Sept. 25, 2003.  The Boston Red Sox announced Thursday, Jan. 19, 2005 that Epstein will rejoin the organization in a full-time baseball operations capacity, details of which will be announced next week. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa,file)AP - The door was ajar, and Theo Epstein finally walked through it and back into the front office of the Boston Red Sox.


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Robitaille Takes Kings' All-Time Goal Lead (AP)
Los Angeles Kings' Luc Robitaille celebrates after his third goal of the night, during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night, Jan. 19, 2006, in Los Angeles. Robitaille broke Marcel Dionne's franchise record of 550 goals with the team. His total now stands at 552. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)AP - For the first time in his life, Luc Robitaille is looking down at Marcel Dionne instead of up to his boyhood idol. Robitaille smashed Dionne's goal record with the Los Angeles Kings in grand style Thursday night, netting a hat trick in an 8-6 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.


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Redskins Hire Al Saunders to Lead Offense (AP)
AP - Joe Gibbs addressed the Washington Redskins' late-season offensive struggles by hiring offensive coordinator Al Saunders away from the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday.

Fan says he didn't start confrontation with NBA player's wife (AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images - New York Knicks forward Antonio Davis, suspended five games by the National Basketball Association for storming into the stands during a game, will reportedly also face a lawsuit by the fan involved.

Owners Approve Sale of Cincinnati Reds (AP)
AP - Baseball owners unanimously approved the sale of baseball's oldest franchise, the Cincinnati Reds, on Thursday to a group headed by produce mogul Robert Castellini.

Indiana Freshman Signs With Dutch Soccer (AP)
AP - Indiana freshman forward Lee Nguyen signed a 3 1/2-year contract with PSV Eindhoven.

Bryan Berard Fails Pre-Olympic Drug Test (AP)
AP - Blue Jackets defenseman Bryan Berard tested positive for a banned substance in a pre-Olympic test, but it will not affect his NHL eligibility, his agent said.

Carolina's little big man
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Being the NFL's most unstoppable offensive force is just a part of who Steve Smith really is.

Rams hire Linehan as coach (AP)
The St. Louis Rams hired Miami offensive coordinator Scott Linehan on Thursday, the sixth first-time NFL head coach to land a job in the last two weeks. The team called a news conference for Friday to introduce their fourth head coach since moving to the Midwest in 1995. It's the first hire outside the organization, however, since Dick Vermeil was lured out of retirement in 1997.

Lions name Rod Marinelli new coach (AP)
Until this week, few people had probably heard of Rod Marinelli outside of Tampa Bay. The new Detroit Lions coach will have a chance to make a name for himself with his no-nonsense approach, piercing eyes and firm tone. "I've got confidence. I don't need anybody else to instill that confidence in me," the Vietnam veteran said Thursday.

Redskins hire Al Saunders to run offense (AP)
Joe Gibbs addressed the Washington Redskins' late-season offensive struggles by hiring offensive coordinator Al Saunders away from the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday. Saunders' new title has yet to be determined, but he will join Gibbs, assistant head coach Joe Bugel and offensive coordinator Don Breaux as the brain trust that will try to improve an offense that produced only 120 yards in one...

Alexander ready to play NFC Championship (AP)
A pencil. A piece of paper. Abstract designs. Those could be the keys to the NFC championship game. Because those are what NFL MVP Shaun Alexander used to get clearances from doctors to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday -- just eight days after he sustained a concussion in Seattle's win over Washington.

Lynch gets second chance with Broncos (AP)
They gave John Lynch a key to the city in Tampa, and then they said goodbye. The NFL can be a cruel business for players who are up in years, especially when they're coming off a big injury. Lynch, however, got his second chance in Denver, and he's been as versatile and effective as ever at the safety position, helping the Broncos pull to within a win of the Super Bowl.

Panthers turn to Goings for title game (AP)
Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster will be in street clothes during the NFC championship, cheering on the Carolina Panthers from the sidelines. Losing both their star running backs to injuries would surely make any team panic. Not the Panthers, though. They'll turn to Nick Goings, an undrafted fifth-year pro, to carry them Sunday.

Payton introduced as Saints coach (AP)
Sean Payton acknowledged it would have been easier to stay with Bill Parcells in Dallas than to take over a rebuilding team in a rebuilding city. Yet he found the idea of coming to a city recovering from the greatest natural disaster in American history more of a draw than a drawback. "We can impact people's lives in a positive way as they go through this transition," Payton said after being...

Peppers misses second day of practice (AP)
Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers missed his second day of practice Thursday with a shoulder injury and is still listed as questionable for the NFC championship game against Seattle. Peppers, who was injured in last week's divisional playoff win over Chicago, was also feeling ill. Unlike the day before, when he watched practice from the sidelines, Peppers was seen walking toward his car while...

Three Seahawks miss Thursday practice (AP)
Wide receivers Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram, and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard all missed a second straight day of practice for the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday. Coach Mike Holmgren was optimistic that all three could practice some on Thursday, but none of them participated in team drills. All three are listed as questionable on the injury report for Sunday's NFC championship against Carolina.

No defending this decision
Antonio Davis' entering of the stands to protect his wife was understandable. But it still didn't make it right.

Knicks' Davis suspended five games (AP)
Antonio Davis has never been one to cause trouble -- until he thought his wife was in danger. When Davis responded by climbing into the stands, he did more than jump across the scorer's table: He crossed a line the NBA won't tolerate, no matter the reason. Especially after the brawl in Detroit. Davis was suspended five games by the league Thursday for entering the stands during a game in Chicago to...

Pistons rout short-handed Knicks 105-79 (AP)
Larry Brown knows what the Pistons have, and he knows what the Knicks were missing. So he wasn't surprised by what he saw Thursday night. Richard Hamilton scored 26 points, Rasheed Wallace added 23, and Detroit beat undermanned and overmatched New York 105-79 for its sixth straight victory. With Antonio Davis suspended for going into the stands the night before in Chicago and leading scorer Stephon...

Kobe nets 51, Lakers lose to Kings in OT (AP)
Only a superb team effort was going to beat Kobe Bryant, and the Sacramento Kings have played consummate team ball against their star-powered rivals since Francisco Garcia was in high school. After playing a key part in a thrilling win over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Sacramento rookie finally understood the importance of role play in the NBA.

Kings' Abdur-Rahim makes rapid return (AP)
Forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim was back in uniform for the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night, making an improbably quick return to action with his broken jaw still wired shut. Abdur-Rahim missed 10 games over the past 3 1/2 weeks after getting hurt in a collision with Portland's Zach Randolph. But instead of sitting out two months, as the team predicted, the 10-year veteran played 19 minutes and...

Nuggets win on James' missed free throw (AP)
LeBron James grabbed the rebound but not the moment. James pulled down his own missed free throw -- which he purposely misfired with .6 seconds left -- and drew another foul with Cleveland trailing Denver by two points. After swishing his first foul shot, he missed his second and Alan Henderson's tip-in bounced out at the buzzer, leaving the Nuggets to celebrate a 90-89 victory over the Cavaliers...

Saunders will coach East All-Stars (AP)
Flip Saunders of the Detroit Pistons will coach the Eastern Conference in the NBA All-Star game Feb. 19 in Houston. Coaches for the East and West squads are determined based on teams with the best winning percentage in each conference after the games of Feb. 5. The Pistons (31-5) were assured of having the best record in the East with a victory over Atlanta coupled with Cleveland's loss to Denver on...

Warriors' Davis suspended one game (AP)
Golden State Warriors guard Baron Davis was suspended for one game without pay by the NBA on Thursday for hitting Seattle's Luke Ridnour in the chest. Davis and Ridnour had to be separated 11.7 seconds before halftime of the Warriors' 109-93 win Monday night. Davis intentionally made a hard swipe at Ridnour after the whistle had blown for a foul against Davis, who then received a technical.

Bulls GM fined for verbally abusing refs (AP)
Chicago Bulls general manager John Paxson was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Thursday for verbally abusing referees after a loss to Denver. Paxson tried to confront the officials after the Nuggets beat the Bulls 97-94 Monday night in Chicago. The Nuggets attempted 41 foul shots to the Bulls' 12 in the game.

May has knee surgery, season likely over (AP)
Charlotte Bobcats forward Sean May had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Thursday, likely bringing his rookie season to an end. May, the 13th overall pick in the NBA draft, had missed the past 13 games because of soreness in his knee. He had surgery on the knee on Sept. 13 in California, then Charlotte officials scheduled Thursday's procedure to explore why it was still bothering him.

Power rankings
The Power Rankings go west as Detroit leapfrogs two Eastern Conference teams to take the top spot.

Lemieux: Penguins are for sale (AP)
The Penguins are considering several offers to buy the team, and keeping it in Pittsburgh will remain a priority but is not guaranteed. A recent offer by a casino firm to build a new arena, an influx of young talent and the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement have made the time right to consider selling, Penguins owner-player Mario Lemieux said Thursday.

Robitaille passes Dionne in Kings win (AP)
Luc Robitaille is now the scoring king of the Los Angeles Kings. Robitaille netted three goals for his 15th career hat trick and passed Marcel Dionne to become the team's career leading goal scorer Thursday night in a wild 8-6 victory that snapped the Atlanta Thrashers' five-game winning streak. "It's certainly something I'll cherish forever," Robitaille said.

Blue Jackets D Berard fails drug test (AP)
Blue Jackets defenseman Bryan Berard tested positive for a banned substance in a pre-Olympic test, but it will not affect his NHL eligibility, his agent said. Berard's agent, Tom Laidlaw, said the defenseman failed a test given to him after his name was submitted by the USA Hockey as a potential Olympic participant, The Columbus Dispatch reported Friday.

Hurricanes get ninth straight win 4-3 (AP)
The puck came too fast for Kevyn Adams to react. Yet it somehow bounced off his stick, skittered into the net and gave the Carolina Hurricanes the lead for good. Perhaps it was a bit symbolic. On a night the NHL's top team was far from perfect, it still was good enough. "Sometimes you're not at your best, but all that matters is two points," Adams said.

Kozlov, Gionta SO goals lift Devils (AP)
The New Jersey Devils' eighth straight win wasn't easy, making it that much more satisfying. New Jersey squandered a two-goal lead to Nashville on Thursday night before beating the Predators 4-3 in a shootout to extend the winning streak. "We didn't have a particularly good game in Chicago, but we battled and won," forward John Madden said.

Kunitz SO goal lifts Ducks over Sens 4-3 (AP)
Chris Kunitz was confident he had a move that could trump Dominik Hasek. "He does like to sprawl," the Anaheim forward said after he scored the only shootout goal, lifting the Mighty Ducks to a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. Kunitz deked Hasek and put a backhand over the Senators' veteran goalie on Anaheim's opening shot.

Green, Bruins down Flyers 5-2 (AP)
The Boston Bruins made the most of a few shots. Travis Green scored twice to lead the Bruins past the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Thursday night. Patrice Bergeron, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau also had goals, and rookie Tim Thomas made 35 saves for Boston, the last-place team in the Northeast Division.

Penguins' losing streak reaches eight (AP)
Michal Rozsival finally found the net, yet he couldn't celebrate -- it was the wrong one. No doubt that made the New York Rangers defenseman's winning goal, scored for the right team, feel that much better. Petr Prucha scored twice before Rozsival got the decisive goal late in the third period, and the Rangers ran the Penguins' losing streak to eight games with a 4-2 victory Thursday night.

Khabibulin wins in return for Blackhawks (AP)
Nikolai Khabibulin showed no signs of rust in his return to the Blackhawks net. Khabibulin made 37 saves in his first game back following a groin pull, Kyle Calder scored two goals, and Chicago snapped the Colorado Avalanche's eight-game winning streak with a 4-2 victory. Khabibulin, who missed 10 games, was especially sharp in the first period when Colorado outshot Chicago 20-4.

Trading Paint: Racing potpourri
Will Petty improve? Can Kerry Earnhardt drive? Will the Car of Tomorrow work? Jerry and the readers chime in.

Earnhardt Jr. ready for radio (AP)
CHARLOTTE – NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be branching out this year, adding a weekly show on XM...

Attorney: NC family reaches settlement with Ford over limo deaths (AP)
A family has settled its lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. stemming from a rear-end collision where a limousine erupted into flames, killing the wife of a former NASCAR crew chief and her two sisters, lawyers for both sides said Wednesday.

Kyle Busch leads the way in Daytona test (AP)
Kyle Busch turned in the fastest lap Wednesday as most of the teams on hand for the final day of preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway got a feel for the draft on the high-banked oval.

Champion Martin heads 13-man IROC field (AP)
Five-time and defending champion Mark Martin heads a 13-man field for the 2006 Crown Royal International Race of Champions Series. Martin will be joined in the four-race invitational series by reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart, former champion Matt Kenseth and budding star Carl Edwards, who finished third last year in his first full Cup season.

Attorney: N.C. family, Ford settle over limo deaths (AP)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A Mocksville family has settled a lawsuit filed after a Ford Motor Co.

Jarrett eyeing renewed success at Daytona (AP)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Former NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett has a new crew chief, a new car and a whole lot...

France's Luc Alphand wins Dakar Rally, final stage not timed (AP)
French driver Luc Alphand won the Dakar Rally on Sunday after finishing the final non-timed leg of the race in Senegal. Alphand led heading into the final stage, which race organizers said would not be timed to honor two boys killed during the race. Alphand, a former ski champion, was clocked at 53 hours, 47 minutes, 32 seconds at the end of Saturday's penultimate stage.

Stewart hospitalized after flipping Midget car (SportsTicker)
TULSA, Oklahoma (Ticker) - Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart was hospitalized after flipping his car Friday night in qualifying for the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Raceway.

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