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Hingis Advances at Australian Open (AP)
Martina Hingis of Switzerland punches the air in jubilation after she won the match against Iveta Benesova of Czech Republic at the Australian Open Tennis Tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan 21, 2006. Hingis won 6-4, 6-1. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)AP - Martina Hingis took another step in her Grand Slam comeback with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Iveta Benesova before stifling heat forced play indoors Saturday at the Australian Open.


Parker Has Career Night As Spurs Beat Heat (AP)
San Antonio Spurs' Nazr Mohammed (2) is unable to block a shot by Miami Heat's  Dwyane Wade (3) during the first half of their Friday, Jan. 20, 2006, basketball  game in Miami. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)AP - San Antonio's 15-point lead was gone, Shaquille O'Neal was flexing a bit at midcourt and the Miami Heat thought they were on the cusp of a breakthrough win.


Antonio Davis Has No Apology for Fan (AP)
AP - The fan accused of harassing the wife of New York Knicks forward Antonio Davis will drop threats of a lawsuit if the couple says it's sorry, the man's attorney said Friday.

Bills Interview Capers and Caldwell (AP)
Houston Texans coach Dom Capers looks on from the sideline as his team plays the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL football game in this Jan. 1, 2006 photo, in San Francisco. Former Houston Texans coach Dom Capers on Friday became the fifth candidate to interview for the Buffalo Bills head coaching vacancy in a search expected to come to a close early next week (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)AP - Former Houston Texans coach Dom Capers was one of two people who interviewed Friday for the Buffalo Bills' coaching job.


Nash Flirts With Triple-Double As Suns Win (AP)
Phoenix Suns' Steve Nas (13)h works the bal up court past Los Angeles Lakers' Devean George during the second quarter of basketball action on  Friday, Jan. 20, 2006, at US Airways Center in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)AP - Shawn Marion had 22 points and 16 rebounds to go with Steve Nash's 17 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, and the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the sixth straight time Friday night, 106-93.


Blog: Football in Perspective in Seattle (AP)
A formation of four UH-60 Blackhawk military helicopters flies past the Space Needle and the '12th man' Seahawks flag atop it on their way to a practice flight over the Seahawks stadium, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006, in Seattle. The Seahawks play the Carolina Panthers Sunday in Seattle for the NFC Championship. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)AP - As the teams make their way down the road to Super Bowl XL in Detroit on Feb. 5, AP Football Writer Dave Goldberg will be filing periodic reports on the playoffs from his perspective.


Bosh Shines From Line As Raptors Win (AP)
Toronto Raptors' Chris Bosh, left, goes to the basket as Seattle SuperSonics' Vladimir Radmanovic, center, of Serbia-Montenegro, and Johan Petro, of France, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 20, 2006, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ron Wurzer)AP - Chris Bosh made a team-record 17 free throws without a miss and finished with 29 points to help the Toronto Raptors beat the Seattle SuperSonics 121-113 on Friday night.


Angels, City of Anaheim Try Mediation (AP)
Angels baseball owner Arte Moreno and his wife, Carole, leave the Orange County Superior courthouse for a lunch break, Friday, Jan. 13, 2006, in Santa Ana, Calif., as opening statements were heard in the civil trial that pits the Angels against their home city of Anaheim, Calif.  Anaheim is suing the Angels after Moreno abruptly changed the name from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in January, 2005. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)AP - Attorneys for the city of Anaheim and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim took a judge's advice and entered into mediation again on Friday but did not reach an agreement.


MetroStars Trade Up to Get No. 1 Pick (AP)
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, left, stands with Marvell Wynne, the No. 1 pick of the MetroStars in the first round of the Major Leaguer Soccer SuperDraft, Friday, Jan. 20, 2006, in Philadelphia. The MetroStars took UCLA's Marvell Wynne with the No. 1 pick, which they acquired from Chivas USA in exchange for the No. 5 overall pick and a player to be named later. (AP Photo/Bradley C. Bower)AP - UCLA defender Marvell Wynne was taken by the MetroStars with the first pick of the 2006 Major League Soccer draft Friday.


Lightning Strike Early, Defeat Stars (AP)
Dallas Stars' Jason Arnott (44) prepares to shoot against Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Sean Burke (1) as Stars' Brenden Morrow watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 20, 2006. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)AP - Marty Turco should have stayed on the bench.


Pressure-packed words
When it comes to the NFL and the playoffs, says Larry, pick your words and your winners, carefully.

Rams' Linehan similar to old coach Martz (AP)
In many ways, the St. Louis Rams' new coach is very similar to the one they just fired. Scott Linehan is a sharp offensive tactician who will call his own plays -- just as Mike Martz used to do. "It's like giving up a dog or something," Linehan, the former Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator, said Friday at a news conference to introduce him as Martz's successor.

Pats QBs coach promoted to coordinator (AP)
The New England Patriots promoted 29-year-old quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels to offensive coordinator Friday, making him the youngest coordinator in the NFL. "I don't really look at my age as being a factor one way or the other," McDaniels said during a conference call. Charlie Weis left as coordinator after the 2004 season to become coach at Notre Dame, and no one took his place in 2005.

Panthers DE Peppers returns to practice (AP)
Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers practiced Friday -- the first time this week he hit the field in preparation of the NFC championship game against Seattle. Peppers sat out Wednesday and Thursday's practices with a shoulder injury, then an illness. He's still listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Seahawks.

Seahawks WRs Jackson, Engram practice (AP)
Seattle wide receivers Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram both will play in Sunday's NFC championship game against Carolina -- despite still being listed as questionable. The Seahawks' top two receivers both practiced Friday for the first time this week. Jackson, who had surgery Oct. 12 on his right knee, has had only one full week of practice in the last 11 weeks.

Big Ben playing like championship QB (AP)
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning's arm-waving, finger-pointing and nonstop gesturing at the line of scrimmage seemed especially frantic against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and for good reason. After all, what quarterback could possibly be prepared for the sight of a 5-foot-11 defensive back, especially one whose chaotic yet passionate play and free-flowing hair have earned him the nickname of the...

Panthers thrive in hostile environments (AP)
Forget about the comforts of home, the Carolina Panthers prefer to take their show on the road. From the hostile crowd to the overconfident home team to the feeling that an entire city is against them, the Panthers say "Bring it on." "There is something our team likes about coming out of the tunnel and getting booed," coach John Fox said Friday.

Locklear to face Peppers in key matchup (AP)
Sean Locklear spent the first two nights of the week locked in jail. Now the starting right tackle for the Seahawks has to devise ways to contain Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers. Locklear said he knows Peppers will be ready on Sunday, despite missing two days of practice this week with an injured shoulder.

Lions hope for turnaround with Marinelli (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...

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

Fan wants apology, Davises say no (AP)
The fan accused of harassing the wife of New York Knicks forward Antonio Davis will drop threats of a lawsuit if the couple says it's sorry, the man's attorney said Friday. No way, the Davises said. "I'm not apologizing to anybody for anything," Antonio Davis said on a conference call. "I don't think that my wife did anything wrong, I don't think that I did anything wrong." Kendra Davis said in an...

Kobe to play for US at worlds, Olympics (AP)
Kobe Bryant plans to play for the U.S. team at this year's world basketball championships and the 2008 Olympics. Bryant gave an emphatic nod to joining the U.S. team in a meeting Friday with the head of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo. "I'm very excited, man, very excited," Bryant said Friday night before his Los Angeles Lakers met the Phoenix Suns.

Suns overcome Bryant, beat Lakers again (AP)
Shawn Marion had 22 points and 16 rebounds to go with Steve Nash's 17 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, and the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the sixth straight time Friday night, 106-93. Kobe Bryant, coming off a 51-point game in an overtime loss at Sacramento on Thursday night, scored 20 of his 37 in the fourth quarter, but the Lakers could get no closer than 10 during that...

Parker's career-high lifts Spurs by Heat (AP)
San Antonio's 15-point lead was gone, Shaquille O'Neal was flexing a bit at midcourt and the Miami Heat thought they were on the cusp of a breakthrough win. Tony Parker and the Spurs simply wouldn't allow it to happen. Parker scored a career-high 38 points, including a game-clinching jumper with 38 seconds left as the Spurs rallied to beat the struggling Heat 101-94 on Friday night.

McGrady back from injury, paces Rockets (AP)
Maybe it was no coincidence that the Houston Rockets won Friday night. Tracy McGrady came back and there went the losing streak. McGrady scored 35 points, including the tying shot at the end of regulation and the go-ahead 3-pointer in the second overtime, as Houston beat the Chicago Bulls 109-108 to stop a seven-game slide.

Ginobili to miss time with ankle sprain (AP)
San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili was carried into the locker room by teammates after spraining his right ankle in the third quarter of the Spurs' game against Miami on Friday night. "He'll be out a while, that's for sure," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said after his team beat Miami 101-94. "He sprained it pretty good.

Mavericks shut down Brand, Clippers (AP)
Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points and 11 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks got Clippers leading scorer Elton Brand in early foul trouble in a 101-81 rout of Los Angeles on Friday night. Six players scored in double figures for the Mavericks, who extended their winning streak to four games. They also improved their road record to 15-6 after setting a franchise record last season with a 29-12 road mark.

Sixers win in OT, Grizzlies lose again (AP)
Maybe it was the players-only paintball outing. Or maybe the earful the 76ers received from coach Maurice Cheeks got their attention. Possibly, it was the 2 1/2 hour practices. Whatever the reason, Philadelphia's woeful defense was wonderful against Memphis. Allen Iverson hit the tying jumper with 3.2 seconds left in regulation and scored 30 points to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to an 89-86 overtime...

Short-handed Warriors rout Cavaliers (AP)
LeBron James' meager statistics were startling. The identity of the player mostly responsible for them was downright stunning. Jason Richardson scored 22 points on his 25th birthday, Mike Dunleavy played sterling defense and the Golden State Warriors thrived without suspended guard Baron Davis, beating the lifeless Cleveland Cavaliers 99-79 on Friday night.

Power rankings
Without a change atop the rankings, Yahoo! Sports' Matt Romig weighs in on the goal-of-the-year race.

Berard embarrassed by failed drug test (AP)
Blue Jackets defenseman Bryan Berard apologized to his team and the Columbus fans Friday, saying he's "embarrassed" he's been suspended from international competition for two years after testing positive for a banned steroid. "In life you learn from your mistakes and accepting it and just going forward," he said after practice.

Four early goals push Lightning by Stars (AP)
Marty Turco should have stayed on the bench. Turco allowed four goals on six shots in an abbreviated stint, and the Tampa Bay Lightning went on to beat the Dallas Stars 6-3 on Friday night. Brad Richards' short-handed tally triggered Tampa Bay's four-goal, first-period flurry against Turco, who was pulled at 12:35 in favor of Johan Hedberg.

Jackets win SO, Blues' skid reaches nine (AP)
Rick Nash's winning shootout move was a rerun, as seen on TV. Nash's first goal in the NHL's new tiebreaker gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over St. Louis on Friday night and stretched the Blues' losing streak to nine. "I saw that move a couple of weeks ago in a game and it looked like a pretty good move to use in a shootout," Nash said with a grin.

Rookie Foster sparks Wild past 'Hawks (AP)
Manny Fernandez is enjoying his increased workload. Fernandez made 31 saves, and rookie defenseman Kurtis Foster had a goal and assist, to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night. Kyle Wanvig, Marian Gaborik and Randy Robitaille also scored for Minnesota, which has won two straight to complete a seven-game homestand 3-4.

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.

Coyotes trade C Nedved to Flyers (AP)
The Phoenix Coyotes traded center Petr Nedved to the Philadelphia Flyers for defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. Friday's trade also gave the Flyers the option of swapping fourth-round draft choices with the Coyotes at this year's entry draft and third-round choices with the Coyotes in next year's entry draft.

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.

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.

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

Gronholm leads Monte Carlo rally after Loeb crash (AP)
Marcus Gronholm of Finland took the lead at the Monte Carlo Rally on Friday after two-time defending champion Sebastien Loeb crashed in the final stage. Loeb had dominated the opening stages of the rally, setting a fast pace and leading by more than a minute after the fourth stage. But on the sixth and final stage he lost control of his privately owned Kronos car on an icy mountain road and failed...

Former Indy mechanic, USAC official dies at 87 (AP)
Jack Beckley, a longtime Indy car mechanic and former U.S. Auto Club technical chairman, has died, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said Friday. He was 87. Beckley died at his home in Glendale, Ariz., on Thursday. Beckley won 12 races as chief mechanic and finished second in the Indianapolis 500 twice with Jim Rathmann as driver.

Report: NASCAR to switch to unleaded fuel in 2008 (AP)
NASCAR will begin using unleaded fuel in its cars and trucks beginning in 2008, The New York Times reported Friday.

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.

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