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Woods Survives Playoff to Win at Torrey (AP)
Tiger Woods pumps his fist after making a birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to qualify for a playoff at the Buick Invitational golf tournament Sunday Jan. 29, 2006 in San Diego. Woods won on the second playoff hole when Jose Maria Olazabal missed a two foot putt. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)AP - A new decade for Tiger Woods brought back some familiar images. Stalking the 18th green at Torrey Pines, he sized up the 8 feet of grass between his ball and the cup, a putt he simply had to make to get into a playoff Sunday. Then came that pounding of the fist when it dropped for birdie, matching the longest putt he made all weekend.


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Pistons' Balance Beats Out Lakers' Kobe (AP)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (8) passes off against the double defense from Detroit Pistons' Antonio McDyess, left, and Tayshaun Prince (22) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 29, 2006, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)AP - The Detroit Pistons were undaunted by the Los Angeles Lakers when they had two stars. So, they're certainly confident their team concept will be successful against them now with only Kobe Bryant in purple and gold.


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UNC Rallies Past Duke in Battle for No. 1 (AP)
North Carolina's LaToya Pringle, top, and Duke's Mistie Williams battle for possession during the first half of their college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 29, 2006. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)AP - Now the fun starts for North Carolina, the last remaining unbeaten team in Division I. "We know that we can't let down in any way, shape or form," coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "You've got that big zero on you."


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Piazza Signs $2 Million Deal With Padres (AP)
New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza acknowledges fans' applause following a tribute to Piazza's seven-year career with the Mets during the seventh inning of the team's 11-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, Oct.  2, 2005, at Shea Stadium in New York. All-Star Piazza agreed Sunday, Jan. 29, 2006, to a $2 million, one-year contract with the San Diego Padres. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens,file)AP - All-Star catcher Mike Piazza agreed Sunday to a $2 million, one-year contract with the San Diego Padres, giving the defending NL West champions a marquee player they think can still contribute.


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James Heats Up Late As Cavs Beat Suns (AP)
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) shoots against Phoenix Suns' Boris Diaw from France during first quarter NBA basketball action, Sunday, Jan.29, 2006, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)AP - In 6 shining seconds, LeBron James made a block at one end, a dunk at the other and left a lasting memory of greatness. "It was unbelievable," said Phoenix guard Leandro Barbosa.


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Mariucci Plans to Take 'a Long Time Off' (AP)
AP - Steve Mariucci broke his silence. Barely. Since being fired by the Detroit Lions in November, Mariucci has shunned interview requests through agent Gary O'Hagan and his best friend, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo. Mariucci also asked a Pistons spokesman to keep reporters away when the Spartans played at The Palace earlier this season.

Thieves Hit Home of NBA Player Mobley (AP)
Denver Nuggets' Marcus Camby, right, drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers' Cuttino Mobley during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)AP - Thieves stole $500,000 in cash, jewelry and other items from NBA basketball player Cuttino Mobley's Bel-Air home, authorities said Sunday.


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Epstein: Coco Crisp Is Not Johnny Damon (AP)
Cleveland Indians  Coco Crisp is shown in this March 1, 2005 photo in Winter Haven, Fla. Crisp is finally Boston bound after the outfielder was traded Friday by the Cleveland Indians to the Red Sox to replace Johnny Damon in center field and as a leadoff hitter.  Along with Crisp, Cleveland sent reliever David Riske and backup catcher Josh Bard to Boston for Mota, third base prospect Andy Marte, catcher Kelly Shoppach, a player to be named and cash considerations. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)AP - The Red Sox have high hopes for Coco Crisp, the speedy, switch-hitting outfielder they just acquired from the Cleveland Indians.


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Twellman Leads U.S. Soccer Past Norway (AP)
United States' Taylor Twellman, left, and Norway's Brede Hangleland battle for the ball during the first half of their international soccer match at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2006.  USA won ,5-0. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)AP - Taylor Twellman obviously is pleased the United States is headed for this summer's World Cup in Germany. He just hopes he's asked along. Twellman made a statement for being included on the final U.S. squad, scoring three goals Sunday in a 5-0 rout of Norway — the largest margin of victory for the Americans over a European team.


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Blues Trade Mike Sillinger to Predators (AP)
AP - The St. Louis Blues traded second-leading scorer Mike Sillinger to the Nashville Predators on Sunday night for forward Timofei Shishkanov.

Read and React: 'Horn blowers from Texas
Longhorns fans cried foul on a certain QB's ranking among our top-10 offensive prospects. Guess which one.

Bus may make last stop where he began (AP)
Before Jerome Bettis was The Bus, he was Roney. To those in his hometown, the Pittsburgh Steelers running back still is. "That's what we call him now to this day," his mother, Gladys Bettis, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I never call him Jerome." The NFL's fifth-leading career rusher will be among the brightest stars in the days leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl because the...

No sea of blue for Seahawks in Detroit (AP)
The Seahawks were fortunate to arrive in Detroit one day ahead of the Steelers. It gave them an extra few hours to get used to seeing so much black and gold in the Super Bowl city. Even though the Lions' home jersey is a shade of blue close to what the Seahawks wear, the color of choice this week already appears to have a Pittsburgh hue.

Steelers look to regain running game (AP)
Chuck Noll or Bill Cowher. Terry Bradshaw or Ben Roethlisberger. Lynn Swann and John Stallworth or Hines Ward. The 1970s or the 2000s. The coach and the quarterback don't matter, and neither do the wide receivers nor the era. The Pittsburgh Steelers always stay the same, in good times and bad, and that means their offense relies on the running game to set up the pass, and not the other way around.

Holmgren seeks Super Bowl coaching first (AP)
Bill Parcells failed. Dan Reeves, Dick Vermeil and Don Shula never had the chance. Now Mike Holmgren has taken a second franchise to a Super Bowl. Can he become the only coach to win with more than one team? In nearly four decades of Super Bowls, only Parcells managed to win in his first try, then come back with another club.

No plans for Mariucci to coach soon (AP)
Steve Mariucci broke his silence. Barely. Since being fired by the Detroit Lions in November, Mariucci has shunned interview requests through agent Gary O'Hagan and his best friend, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo. Mariucci also asked a Pistons spokesman to keep reporters away when the Spartans played at The Palace earlier this season.

NFL Network to air prime-time games (AP)
The NFL Network will broadcast eight prime-time games on Thursdays and Saturdays beginning next season. The eight-game package, announced by commissioner Paul Tagliabue on Saturday, will begin with a game on Thanksgiving night. All of the games also will be shown on local stations in the teams' home markets.

'Skins S Taylor now faces up to 46 years (AP)
Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor faces up to 46 years in prison after two additional assault charges were filed against him Friday. Michael Grieco, an assistant state attorney, said the charges reflect Taylor's alleged threatening of three people with a gun in an armed confrontation over an all-terrain vehicle on June 1.

Seahawks WR Jackson returns to practice (AP)
Seahawks wide receiver Darrell Jackson, who has been bothered by soreness to his right knee and lower back, returned to practice Friday to prepare for next week's Super Bowl. Jackson didn't practice last week, but caught six passes for 75 yards and a touchdown in Seattle's 34-14 victory over the Carolina Panthers last Sunday.

Thousands cheer Steelers at pep rally (AP)
Jerome Bettis made a bold Super Bowl prediction to the thousands of Steelers fans who turned out in force Friday to honor the AFC champions. "We carry Pittsburgh in our hearts wherever we go. ... And you better believe, when we come back, we will have one for the thumb," Bettis said. An estimated 30,000 people awash in black and gold gathered at Heinz Field for the Super Bowl send-off, a hometown...

Minnesota's bad medicine
Trading players with the Celtics isn't the magic pill that will cure all the Timberwolves' ills.

Pistons too much for Kobe, Lakers 102-93 (AP)
The Detroit Pistons were undaunted by the Los Angeles Lakers when they had two stars. So, they're certainly confident their team concept will be successful against them now with only Kobe Bryant in purple and gold. Rasheed Wallace paced five Pistons in double figures with 24 points and Detroit pulled away in the third quarter on its way to a 102-93 victory over the Lakers on Sunday night.

James scores 44 to rally Cavs past Suns (AP)
In 6 shining seconds, LeBron James made a block at one end, a dunk at the other and left a lasting memory of greatness. "It was unbelievable," said Phoenix guard Leandro Barbosa. James scored 32 of his 44 points in the second half, and brought Cleveland back almost all by himself as the Cavaliers rallied for their fifth straight win, 113-106 over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

Wade powers surging Heat past Rockets (AP)
For a while, Shaquille O'Neal couldn't miss a free throw against the Houston Rockets on Sunday. When the percentages caught up to him, Dwyane Wade took over. Wade sank 12 of 13 foul shots in the final quarter and scored 32 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 101-95 victory over the Rockets. "I got a rhythm going," said Wade, who also had nine assists.

Rose lifts Raptors past Kings in OT (AP)
Jalen Rose made sure Ron Artest stayed winless with his new team. Rose's jumper with 0.4 seconds left in overtime gave the Toronto Raptors a 124-123 victory over Artest and the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night. Mike Bibby had 42 points and Artest had 24 in his second game with Sacramento, but Rose ended Toronto's four-game losing streak with his clutch shot.

Late surge sparks 76ers over Magic 89-81 (AP)
The Philadelphia 76ers might have surprised themselves the way they dealt with the absence of Allen Iverson on Sunday. They certainly surprised the Orlando Magic. Chris Webber scored 18 points and John Salmons added 17 to help the 76ers beat the Magic 89-81 on Sunday. The 76ers played without Iverson, who missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle.

Redd powers Bucks past Celtics 83-79 (AP)
Michael Redd went with the only cure he knows for shaky shooting after he made only of his first nine shots Sunday. "Just keep shooting," Redd said. "That's what I do -- keep shooting." Redd's shots finally began to fall and he scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 83-79 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Police say Clipper Mobley's home robbed (AP)
Thieves stole $500,000 in cash, jewelry and other items from Los Angeles Clippers guard Cuttino Mobley's Bel-Air home, authorities said Sunday. Mobley's home was burglarized Saturday night, Los Angeles police officer Mike Lopez said. He declined to release details or whether detectives had any suspects.

Mavericks win eighth straight, top Jazz (AP)
Coming home from a 5-0 West Coast road trip, Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson feared his club might turn complacent against the struggling Utah Jazz. That's what it has come to for the Mavericks: finding things to worry about. Dirk Nowitzki shook off a twisted ankle to score 21 points and Josh Howard scored 24, leading Dallas past Utah 103-89 Saturday night to up its winning streak to a...

Streaking Clippers rout Nuggets again (AP)
After two tough nights in a row against the Los Angeles Clippers' stingy defense, Carmelo Anthony is glad he won't have to see them again until the first week in April. The Clippers, led by tenacious rookie James Singleton, held the Denver Nuggets' leading scorer to just 16 points Saturday night in a 112-79 rout of the Northwest Division leaders and a sweep of their home-and-home set.

Power rankings
Healthy again, Ottawa is back on track and reclaims its position atop Matt's rankings.

Oilers stun Coyotes 4-3 in shootout (AP)
Chris Pronger only had time to wind up and shoot. He beat the buzzer and put the Edmonton Oilers on the path to an improbable victory. Pronger scored with 0.3 seconds left to force overtime, and the Oilers completed the stunning comeback by defeating the Phoenix Coyotes in a shootout, 4-3 on Sunday night.

Blues deal F Sillinger to Predators (AP)
The St. Louis Blues traded second-leading scorer Mike Sillinger to the Nashville Predators on Sunday night for forward Timofei Shishkanov. Sillinger, 34, led the Blues in goals, including a team-high 11 on the power play. His 41 points in 48 games were second only to Doug Weight's 44. "Mike Sillinger is a battle-tested veteran who will help us both offensively and defensively," Predators general...

Zubrus' late goal lifts Caps over Tampa (AP)
Alexander Ovechkin made the Tampa Bay Lightning pay dearly for a defensive decision to double-team him. Dainius Zubrus scored with 2:20 left in regulation and the Washington Capitals edged the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 Sunday for their third home win in four games against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Flames rally past Blackhawks 5-3 (AP)
The Calgary Flames used a determined power-play unit to rally to victory against the Chicago Blackhawks. Roman Hamrlik had a goal and two assists as Calgary fought back with four unanswered goals to beat the Blackhawks 5-3 on Sunday and snap a two-game losing streak. After Hamrlik's even-strength score late in the first cut it to 3-2, Steven Reinprecht, Dion Phaneuf and Chuck Kobasew had the final...

Rangers hunting playoffs, Flyers (AP)
Having avoided the Thanksgiving Thud, the Christmas Collapse, and the New Year's Nose Dive, the New York Rangers seem primed to return to the playoffs for the first time since 1997. And that seemingly lofty goal might not be enough for these upstarts. Now the club many predicted to finish dead last in the 30-team NHL has its sights set on the Atlantic Division title.

Hurricanes honor Francis, win again (AP)
The feeling in the locker room was strong. No one on the Carolina Hurricanes wanted to disappoint former captain Ron Francis on his night. "We wanted to give a special effort, we wanted to win this game for him," defenseman Bret Hedican said. "We talked about it, and came out playing the game we wanted to play." Justin Williams and Erik Cole scored in the first period, Martin Gerber stopped 17 shots...

Lightning rip struggling Flyers 6-0 (AP)
No matter who starts in goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning, opponents aren't scoring. Sean Burke made 38 saves and Fredrik Modin had three goals, leading the Lightning to a 6-0 victory Saturday over the struggling Philadelphia Flyers. Dan Boyle, Vaclav Prospal and Ryan Craig also scored for defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay, which has won five of six, including three shutouts.

Modano's SO goal lifts Stars over Wings (AP)
This was the kind of game NHL executives dream about: Two elite clubs playing at their best before a national TV audience, needing overtime to settle it. When five thrilling minutes weren't enough, on came a shootout -- one that was extended to sudden death by a bizarre play overturning an apparent winning defensive stand.

Ducks score four PP goals, top Kings 6-2 (AP)
Anaheim's NHL team is still the Mighty Ducks -- for another 2 1/2 months or so before the new owners have their way and lop off the "Mighty" part. It could be worse. At least they won't be the Los Angeles Ducks of Anaheim. The Kings are and will remain L.A.'s only hockey team, but the Ducks won Southern California bragging rights on Saturday with a 6-2 rout of the Kings.

Rolex 24 observations
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Both Casey Mears and Dan Wheldon made a little history in winning at Daytona on Sunday.

Ganassi Racing cruises to victory in Rolex 24 at Daytona (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - The all-star driver lineup of IRL champions Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon and NASCAR star Casey Mears captured the 44th Rolex 24 at Daytona for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ganassi team gets Rolex win (AP)
Chip Ganassi has another winner. While his teams have struggled the last few years in NASCAR and the Indy Racing League, Ganassi's sports car team has been prospering. The IRL team has not won a race since Scott Dixon won in 2003 on the way to an IRL championship. The NASCAR team's last win was by Jamie McMurray near the end of the 2002 season.

Busch asks for delay in reckless driving hearing (AP)
TOLLESON, Ariz. – NASCAR driver Kurt Busch had his pre-trial hearing on reckless driving charges postponed.

Judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit against NASCAR (AP)
A federal judge ordered Friday that Kentucky Speedway can move ahead with its $400 million antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR.

Kenseth re-signs with Roush Racing (SportsTicker)
CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) - Former NASCAR champion Matt Kenseth has been with Roush Racing for seven years. He will remain there for at least a few more.

Former NASCAR champion Kenseth to stay with Roush (AP)
Former NASCAR champion Matt Kenseth has signed a multiyear contract extension with Roush Racing.

Luhr wins pole for Rolex 24 with record-setting lap (AP)
Lucas Luhr won the pole Thursday for the Rolex 24 sports car endurance race at Daytona International Speedway with a lap of at 123.230 mph. The German will co-drive the No. 23 Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports Porsche Crawford with fellow Porsche driver Mike Rockenfeller and Patrick Long in the 24-hour race, which starts Saturday.

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