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Kobe Channels Wilt, Goes for 81 Points (AP)
Toronto Raptors' Matt Bonner can't stop Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant from getting to the basket in the first half of NBA basketball action on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt A. Brown)AP - Kobe Bryant kept shooting, from all over the court and from every angle. By halftime, he had 26 points — not a bad tally for most players. By the end of the game, he had put up the second-highest total in NBA history.


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Seahawks Super Bowl Bound After Rout (AP)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (8) scrambles out of the pocket away from Carolina Panthers' Julius Peppers during the second half of the NFC championship football game Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)AP - Fans chanted "Super Bowl, Super Bowl" as Shaun Alexander carried the NFC championship trophy down the field at Qwest Stadium, a joyous trip that was 30 years in the making.


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Steelers, on Road, Advance to Super Bowl (AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers fans celebrate late in the fourth quarter of the Steelers' 34-17 victory over the Denver Broncos at the AFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006, in Denver. One fan holds a poster of Art Rooney Sr., the late patriarch of the team. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)AP - The wildest road trip since "Animal House" rocks on.


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Next Bus Stop for Steelers: the Super Bowl (AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis picks up yardage against the Denver Broncos in the third quarter of the AFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)AP - Happy homecoming, Jerome Bettis.


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Sonics, Suns Set NBA Mark for 3-Pointers (AP)
Seattle SuperSonics guard Ray Allen celebrates after scoring a basket  to send the game into overtime against the Phoenix Suns at the end of regulation in the fourth quarter of NBA action Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006, in Phoenix. Allen also hit a three-pointer to defeat the Suns in the third overtime 152-149.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)AP - Ray Allen made a 30-footer at the second-overtime buzzer to break the NBA record for most combined 3-pointers in a game, giving the Seattle SuperSonics a 152-149 victory over the Phoenix Suns in the league's highest-scoring contest in 11 years.


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Seahawks stifle Smith to reach Super Bowl (Reuters)
Reuters - The Seattle Seahawks succeeded where both the Chicago Bears and New York Giants failed: shutting down Steve Smith in the playoffs.

Bryant scores 81 as Lakers stomp Raptors (Reuters)
Reuters - Kobe Bryant poured in 81 points to record the second-highest individual scoring performance in NBA history, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 122-104 win over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

Report: Bonds Batting 2nd 'Doesn't Work' (AP)
San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, left and baseball Hall of Famer and former  San Francisco Giants' pitcher Juan Marichal celebrate during the 20th annual Juan Marichal Golf Classic in Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic, Saturday, Jan. 21,2006. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)AP - Barry Bonds has a message for San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou: he doesn't want to bat second in the lineup.


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Adu Makes History With U.S. National Team (AP)
USA's Eddie Pope (23) controls a header in front of Canada's Rob Friend (9) as the USA's Jimmy Conrad, background, looks on during the first half of their exhibition soccer game played at the Unversity of San Diego in San Diego Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006.  (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)AP - Freddy Adu became the youngest player in the history of the U.S. national team when the 16-year-old entered late in Sunday night's 0-0 tie against Canada.


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Defenseman to Undergo Shoulder Surgery (AP)
AP - St. Louis Blues defenseman Eric Brewer will undergo surgery for a dislocated shoulder that could sideline him for the rest of the season.

Seattle's best football
The Seahawks continued to be on top of their game against Carolina. They'll need to be even sharper against Pittsburgh.

Steelers dominate Broncos 34-17 (AP)
The wildest road trip since "Animal House" rocks on. The next stop for Big Ben, The Bus and all those Terrible Towels will be the Super Bowl in Detroit, thanks to a 34-17 dismantling of the Denver Broncos on Sunday in the AFC title game. "We were sitting, looking at an outside shot to be in the Super Bowl," Steelers linebacker Clark Haggans said.

Alexander helps Seahawks rout Panthers (AP)
Fans chanted "Super Bowl, Super Bowl" as Shaun Alexander carried the NFC championship trophy down the field at Qwest Stadium, a joyous trip that was 30 years in the making. Alexander, a killer defense and playing on a field where they didn't lose this season, all combined perfectly Sunday to help the Seahawks rout the Carolina Panthers 34-14 in the NFC title game.

Seahawks, Steelers in Super Bowl XL (AP)
The contrasts between the Steelers and the Seahawks make this a fascinating Super Bowl matchup. Add a few subplots, and Pittsburgh vs. Seattle could be one of the best ever. When you think Super Bowl, it's hard not to think of the old Steeler dynasties of Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, and Mean Joe Greene.

Texans to name Kubiak new coach (AP)
The Houston Texans will hire Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak to take over the worst team in the league and help decide what to do with the first pick in the draft. Texans owner Bob McNair said during a news conference Sunday that the hiring won't be completed until later in the week. The Texans couldn't negotiate a contract with Kubiak until the Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs.

Jauron about to become Bills coach (AP)
The Buffalo Bills were close to hiring Dick Jauron as head coach, and the former Chicago Bears coach was in town Sunday to finalize the deal, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. Reached on his cell phone, Jauron confirmed to the AP that he was in Buffalo but declined to comment, referring questions to the team.

Seahawks defense rises to challenge (AP)
Blue, green and silver confetti fell on the home of the Seahawks, the kind of rain this soggy region had been waiting for since 1976. It wasn't just Seattle's potent offense doing the celebrating Sunday. The defense had something to say, too. "We're going to the Super Bowl, you know what I'm saying?" Seattle cornerback Andre Dyson said while hugging teammate Kelly Herndon on the field.

RB Bettis to play Super Bowl in hometown (AP)
Happy homecoming, Jerome Bettis. The NFL's fifth-leading career rusher doesn't ask much of his Pittsburgh teammates, but now that each game could be his last, the senior Steeler called in a favor during an impassioned pep talk before the AFC championship game in Denver. "Just get me to Detroit," said Bettis, who came back this season mostly for the chance to end his career by playing in the Super...

Broncos come up short at home (AP)
It was like old times at Mile High: No. 7 making all the big plays, a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Only this time, John Elway was watching from the luxury suites while Ben Roethlisberger was wreaking havoc on the field. Jake Plummer and the Broncos were left to ponder yet another blowout in the playoffs, a 34-17 loss to underdog Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Plummer's turnovers cost Broncos (AP)
Jake Plummer was praised for protecting the ball this season and cutting down on the turnovers that hounded him for years. That was before Sunday's AFC championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Broncos' quarterback lost two fumbles and threw two interceptions in the Steelers' 34-17 victory.

Lower East side
NEW YORK – With young talent but too many overpaid veterans, the Knicks won't be moving up anytime soon.

Kobe goes for Lakers record 81 in rout (AP)
Kobe Bryant kept shooting, from all over the court and from every angle. By halftime, he had 26 points -- not a bad tally for most players. By the end of the game, he had put up the second-highest total in NBA history. The Los Angeles Lakers' star scored a staggering 81 points Sunday night against the Toronto Raptors in a 122-104 win.

Sonics outlast Suns 152-149 in 2OT (AP)
It was an unofficial turn-back-the-clock night in Phoenix, to the days when everybody in the NBA loved to run and shoot, and nobody played much defense. Ray Allen made a 30-footer at the second-overtime buzzer to break the NBA record for most combined 3-pointers in a game, giving the Seattle SuperSonics a 152-149 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night in the league's highest-scoring game in...

Billups helps Pistons improve to 33-5 (AP)
The Detroit Pistons almost got lost in "upset city." Before Sunday's game against Houston, Pistons coach Flip Saunders used that term to describe the stretch from mid-January through the All-Star break for winning teams. Then the owners of the NBA's best record nearly became a victim of it. Chauncey Billups had 24 points and nine assists, and the Pistons overcame Tracy McGrady's season-high 43...

Boykins helps Denver win in San Antonio (AP)
Tired of getting pushed around by the San Antonio Spurs, the Denver Nuggets finally pushed back Sunday. Earl Boykins scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, and the Nuggets held Tim Duncan to one basket in the second half in their 89-85 victory. Denver coach George Karl said the Nuggets double-teamed Duncan effectively and pushed the ball hard against the Spurs in transition.

O'Neal, Wade help Heat to 119-99 win (AP)
Shaquille O'Neal was back in dominant form Sunday night. O'Neal scored 27 points, shooting 11-of-15 from the field and leading the Miami Heat over the Sacramento Kings 119-99. Slowed by an early season ankle injury, O'Neal's offensive output has dropped eight points per game this season from his career average of 26 points.

Iguodala beats buzzer, 76ers top Wolves (AP)
With the Philadelphia 76ers trailing by 19 points late in the third quarter, Allen Iverson made a promise to his teammates during a timeout. "I promised them that if we got it under 10, we'd win the game," he said. Iverson kept his word when Andre Iguodala's follow of Chris Webber's missed layup narrowly beat the buzzer, lifting the 76ers over the Minnesota Timberwolves 86-84 on Sunday.

Stackhouse powers Mavs to OT win (AP)
The Trail Blazers slowed down Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse and Devin Harris proved far more difficult to stop. Stackhouse scored 29 points and Harris made key plays in overtime to lead the Mavericks to a 95-89 overtime victory over Portland on Sunday night. Dallas, which won its fifth straight, led by many as 10 points in the fourth quarter, but Portland narrowed it to 77-73 on Steve...

F Bowen complains of irregular heartbeat (AP)
Houston forward Ryan Bowen left the Rockets' game against Detroit on Sunday after complaining of an irregular heartbeat. Bowen played 1 minute early in the second quarter before going to the dressing room. No other information was given on his condition. The six-year veteran is averaging 1.8 points in 13.7 minutes per game.

LeBron ignores sore knee, has 51 in win (AP)
LeBron James' sore right knee didn't throw off his shot much. James scored 51 Saturday night, becoming the youngest player in NBA history with 5,000 points in his career, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Utah Jazz 108-90 Saturday night to snap a six-game losing streak. The Cavaliers avoided going winless on a six-game road trip and were assured that James, who had X-rays on his knee earlier...

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

Rangers end Devils' 9-game win streak (AP)
The signs are everywhere that these New York Rangers are very different. Jaromir Jagr is playing deep in his own end, they are killing penalties, and they are getting the best of the New Jersey Devils. Don't look now, but this might land the Rangers in the playoffs for the first time in nine years. Petr Prucha broke New York's power-play slump, and fellow rookie Henrik Lundqvist outdueled Olympic...

Chicago's Khabibulin out up to six weeks (AP)
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin will be sidelined up to six weeks because of a sprained knee. Khabibulin injured his knee in Friday's 4-1 loss to Minnesota. An MRI exam Saturday showed he sprained it. "It happened early in the game," coach Trent Yawney said. "He played through it, but after it was pretty sore." Khabibulin had been expected to start in goal for Russia at the Turin...

Rolston lifts Wild past Blackhawks (AP)
A seven-game scoring drought was no reason for Brian Rolston to worry. "Earlier in my career I might have panicked a little bit or started squeezing the stick. But I know if I continue to work hard, pucks will go in for you," he said. Rolston snapped out of his short slump on Sunday, scoring two goals to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Blues D Brewer to have shoulder surgery (AP)
St. Louis Blues defenseman Eric Brewer will undergo surgery for a dislocated shoulder that could sideline him for the rest of the season. Brewer, the key player acquired in a trade for Chris Pronger in the offseason, opted for the surgery two days after receiving a second opinion from Dr. Anthony Miniaci of Cleveland that reaffirmed the diagnosis of team doctors.

Hasek's 67th career shutout lifts Sens (AP)
The Senators' explosive offense caused another pizza party. Dominik Hasek's latest goaltending milestone would've been reason enough to celebrate. Hasek earned his 67th career shutout, and Ottawa's Pizza Line combined for nine points during a 7-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night in the Senators' 1,000th regular-season game.

Caps end Hurricanes' win streak at nine (AP)
The Carolina Hurricanes got plenty of power-play chances against the NHL's worst penalty-killing team, rallied late with two quick goals, and kept Alexander Ovechkin in check for most of the game. Yet it wasn't nearly enough -- even against an ailing Olie Kolzig. Kolzig made 31 saves despite throwing up between periods, Matt Pettinger and Brooks Laich both had a goal and an assist, and the...

Kings' Bure to undergo hip surgery (AP)
Kings right wing Valeri Bure will undergo surgery Monday on his right hip. Bure, 31, signed with the Kings as a free agent Aug. 12 and has yet to play in a regular-season game for them. He had surgery last month to alleviate lower back pain. The native of Moscow has 174 goals and 226 assists in 621 NHL games with Dallas, Florida, St.

Canucks score six in first, rout Habs (AP)
It took the Vancouver Canucks less than 14 minutes to score six goals against the Montreal Canadiens. The game was really over much sooner than that. Brendan Morrison scored 57 seconds in and Alexandre Burrows added another goal less than a minute later as the Canucks netted a team-record tying six goals in the first period en route to a 6-2 win over Montreal on Saturday night.

Esche returns, leads Flyers by Pens 2-1 (AP)
Robert Esche put a groin strain behind him in a hurry Saturday. Playing his first game in more than a month, the U.S. Olympic goalie made 32 saves to help the Philadelphia Flyers snap a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. "My style is I'm not a guy who needs a whole lot of games," Esche said.

Kluever gets the call
Jack Roush now is getting Mark Martin's eventual replacement ready in a hurry.

Toyota to enter Nextel Cup and Busch in 2007 (AP)
Toyota will race in Nextel Cup events beginning in 2007, becoming the first foreign competitor in NASCAR's top stock car series since the 1950s.

Open-wheel star Tracy gets Busch ride (AP)
Open-wheel star Paul Tracy will drive at least five races in NASCAR's Busch Series this year and plans to make his debut in the season-opening event next month at Daytona International Speedway.

Schrader wins for 16th time in Phoenix (AP)
Nextel Cup driver Ken Schrader raced to his record 16th title at Phoenix International Raceway and fourth West Series victory on the track Sunday, winning the feature race in the Copper World Classic.

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.

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