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AP: Wayne Gretzky Knew About Gambling (AP)
Wayne and wife Janet Gretzky smile as they arrive for the annual NHL awards in Toronto on Thursday, June 24, 1999. Wayne Gretzky's wife and about a half-dozen NHL players placed bets _ but not on hockey _ with a nationwide sports gambling ring financed by Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet, New Jersey authorities said Tuesday Feb. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/Frank Gunn)AP - Wayne Gretzky was recorded on a wiretap talking to the alleged financier of a gambling ring, discussing how the hockey great's wife could avoid being implicated, a person with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press on Thursday.


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Maryland Ends UNC's Quest for Perfection (AP)
Maryland's Jade Perry (55) puts up a shot over North Carolina's Alex Miller (11) in the first half of their women's college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006 at Carmichael Auditorium in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/Jeffrey A. Camarati)AP - Maybe the Atlantic Coast Conference is more than just a two-team race after all. Ashleigh Newman hit a long desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime while Marissa Coleman scored five straight points afterward to help sixth-ranked Maryland beat No. 1 North Carolina 98-95 on Thursday night, ending the Tar Heels' 30-game home winning streak.


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Red-Hot Mavs Win 13th Straight, Rout Heat (AP)
Dallas Mavericks' Devin Harris (34) and Erick Dampier (25) defend against Miami Heat's Shaquille O'Neal during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)AP - Once the first 3-pointer went in for Jason Terry, he was ready to shoot again — and again. With some impressive ball movement and an aggressive approach by Terry to start the second half, the Dallas Mavericks did more than extend their NBA-best winning streak to 13 games. They showed they could win decisively against another division leader, beating Miami 112-76 on Thursday night.


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Four Pistons Chosen As All-Star Reserves (AP)
Detroit Pistons guard Chauncey Billups (1) takes a shot against Los Angeles Clippers forward Elton Brand (42) as his teammate Shaun Livingston (14) helps defend in the second half of their NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2006, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Billups scored 18 points in a 97-87 win. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)AP - Detroit was rewarded Thursday night for one of the best starts in NBA history when four Pistons made the All-Star team as reserves.


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Donald Matches Record to Lead Pebble Beach (AP)
Luke Donald waves after making birdie on the ninth hole at Spyglass Hill golf course to finish the first round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006. Donald finished the day 10 strokes under par. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)AP - Luke Donald was in the group ahead when Phil Mickelson blistered Spyglass Hill last year for a course-record 62. He remembers being amazed at the score, and hearing how it would be a long time before anyone else could do that at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.


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Gay Ex-Giant Alleges Bowl Discrimination (AP)
Former NFL Super Bowl player Roy Simmons, right, who revealed that he is both gay and HIV positive, stands with civil rights attorney Gloria Allred while she speaks to reporters during a news conference outside the NFL headquarters in New York, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006.  Simmons and Allred are demanding an investigation into why Simmons was denied a credential to enter the NFL Media Center at the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)AP - Former Giants lineman Roy Simmons and celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred want an investigation into whether Simmons was denied access to the Super Bowl media center because he is gay and HIV positive.


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Kevin Martin Leads Kings Past Bulls (AP)
Chicago Bulls center Tyson Chandler, left, and Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Martin stare down a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006.(AP Photo/Steve Yeater)AP - Kevin Martin scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half, leading the Sacramento Kings to a 98-80 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.


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Rockies and P Josh Fogg Agree on Deal (AP)
AP - Pitcher Josh Fogg and the Colorado Rockies agreed to a $450,000, one-year contract on Thursday.

Goals Starting to Come for Twellman (AP)
United States' Taylor Twellman, left, celebrates after scoring a goal against Norway in Carson, Calif., Jan. 29, 2006. The player Eric Wynalda once predicted would break the U.S. scoring record didn't score in his first 12 international appearances. Then came a goal last October against Panama and a breakthrough game against Norway when Twellman recorded the ninth three-goal game in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)AP - Scoring goals always came easy for Taylor Twellman — until he started suiting up with the U.S. national team.


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Goalie Tests Positive for Banned Substance (AP)
Montreal Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore warms up before the NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday Feb. 9, 2006. Theodore has tested positive for a banned substance in pre-Olympic testing, the team said Thursday. (AP Photo/David Duprey)AP - Montreal goalie Jose Theodore has tested positive for a banned substance in pre-Olympic screening because he was using a hair-growth drug that can be used as a masking agent, the Canadiens' team doctor said Thursday.


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Read and React: Fowl play
Seahawks fans feel their championship dreams were the victim of poor officiating. Fact is, they don't have much of a case.

Michaels traded to NBC for cartoon bunny (AP)
Al Michaels was traded from ABC to NBC for a cartoon bunny, four rounds of golf and Olympic highlights. The rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a bunny created by Walt Disney in the 1920s before he invented Mickey Mouse, were transferred from NBC Universal to The Walt Disney Co. as part of the agreement to release the broadcaster from his contract with ABC and ESPN.

Whisenhunt, Petrino not joining Raiders (AP)
Super Bowl winning offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Louisville coach Bobby Petrino have pulled out of consideration for the Oakland Raiders coaching vacancy. Whisenhunt came to the Bay Area to interview Wednesday with owner Al Davis and team officials, a day after celebrating the Steelers' Super Bowl win with a parade in Pittsburgh.

Alexander: Seahawks contacted my agent (AP)
Shaun Alexander said Thursday that the Seahawks contacted his agent earlier this week to discuss the league MVP's future with the team. Alexander, who skipped light drills Thursday while resting his sprained right foot for the Pro Bowl, will become one of the league's most coveted free agents if he doesn't re-sign with the Seahawks before March 3.

Lawsuit against Bengals, NFL dismissed (AP)
A judge on Thursday dismissed Hamilton County's federal antitrust lawsuit against the Cincinnati Bengals and the National Football League because the suit was not filed within the four-year statute of limitations. U.S. District Judge S. Arthur Spiegel threw out the suit without getting to the merits of the county's argument that the Bengals misled taxpayers and officials by contending they needed a...

Ex-Giants lineman alleges discrimination (AP)
Former Giants lineman Roy Simmons and celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred want an investigation into whether Simmons was denied access to the Super Bowl media center because he is gay and HIV positive. Simmons and Allred held a news conference outside NFL headquarters Thursday before delivering a letter to the league asking it to look into why Simmons wasn't granted a media pass.

Lions get Martz to run offense after all (AP)
The Detroit Lions hired Mike Martz after all. The former Rams coach became Lions offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Wednesday, a week after he turned down the job for financial reasons. Martz interviewed with new coach Rod Marinelli and team president Matt Millen nine days ago, but said last Thursday he wasn't taking the job because, "It just didn't work out with the money." Contract...

Steelers sick of officiating controversy (AP)
Joey Porter passed on the chance to pile on Jerramy Stevens or weigh-in on the Super Bowl officiating after taking part in his first Pro Bowl practice. Casey Hampton filled in nicely for his usually outspoken teammate. Leading up to the Super Bowl, Porter called Stevens soft in response to Stevens saying he didn't think Steelers running back Jerome Bettis would be leaving Detroit with the...

Hines Ward finds stardom in South Korea (AP)
In a country where most people have no idea what a touchdown is, Hines Ward is suddenly a star -- his name buzzing across the Internet, his picture splashed on front pages. The Super Bowl MVP for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is half-Korean. On Thursday, he was featured in nearly every South Korean newspaper, waving to fans during a victory parade in Pittsburgh.

Colts already looking to next season (AP)
Peyton Manning is still answering questions about his perceived inability to win the big one. Edgerrin James is talking about the possibility of playing elsewhere. And several of their teammates in Hawaii for Sunday's Pro Bowl say they can't wait until next year, an often-used refrain with this bunch.

What's the deal, Isiah?
The Jalen Rose trade is just another example of Isiah Thomas' master plan – or lack of one.

Mavs rout Heat for 13th straight win (AP)
Once the first 3-pointer went in for Jason Terry, he was ready to shoot again -- and again. With some impressive ball movement and an aggressive approach by Terry to start the second half, the Dallas Mavericks did more than extend their NBA-best winning streak to 13 games. They showed they could win decisively against another division leader, beating Miami 112-76 on Thursday night.

Four Pistons chosen as All-Star reserves (AP)
Detroit was rewarded Thursday night for one of the best starts in NBA history when four Pistons made the All-Star team as reserves. Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace all were picked for the Eastern Conference team that will be led by Detroit coach Flip Saunders. Tayshaun Prince was the lone Pistons starter not chosen in voting by East head coaches.

Kings extend home win streak to seven (AP)
Although Peja Stojakovic is gone, the Sacramento Kings still have a dangerous outside shooter. Kevin Martin scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half, leading the Kings to a 98-80 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night. Mike Bibby scored 20 points, Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 15 and Brad Miller 11 for the Kings, who have won seven straight at home after some uncharacteristically poor play...

Cavs G Hughes to miss more time (AP)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Larry Hughes will be out longer than expected because his broken finger hasn't healed as quickly as the team had hoped, the Cavaliers said Thursday. Hughes, the team's second-leading scorer, was to miss six to eight weeks after having surgery Jan. 6 on his right middle finger.

Pistons snap two-game losing streak (AP)
Tayshaun Prince might be the only Detroit starter left out when the All-Star reserves are announced Thursday. His teammates find that hard to believe. Prince scored 11 of his 22 points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, helping the Pistons pull away to a 97-87 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

Duncan-less Spurs beat Raptors in OT (AP)
Even without Tim Duncan, the streaking San Antonio Spurs were able to slip by the Raptors. Tony Parker had 32 points and a season-high 13 assists, Michael Finley scored six of his 23 points in overtime, and the Spurs beat Toronto 125-118 on Wednesday night for their seventh straight win. Duncan missed his first game of the season because of flu-like symptoms, but Parker played one of best games of...

LeBron dominates in 4th, Garnett doesn't (AP)
If the Eastern Conference gets off to a slow start in the All-Star game on Feb. 19, coach Flip Saunders may want to try playing forward LeBron James at point guard. It worked for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. Playing the point almost exclusively in the second half, James scored 12 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Cavaliers over the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-91.

Hornets PG Paul to miss Friday's game (AP)
Hornets point guard Chris Paul is expected to miss Friday's game against the New York Knicks with a variety of injuries. The rookie bruised his ribs Wednesday night when he drove the lane and collided with Seattle's Nick Collison. He sat out practice Thursday with a wrap around his left shoulder and upper torso and an ice bag on his neck.

Pacers rout Blazers 101-69 (AP)
The Indiana Pacers avoided a letdown this time. The Pacers followed Saturday's win over the Detroit Pistons with a 101-69 rout of the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. Stephen Jackson scored 25 points, and the Pacers held the Blazers to 26.7 percent shooting to claim their third straight win.

Power rankings
After opening the season ranked in the bottom five, Carolina enters the Olympic break poised to claim the Presidents' Trophy.

Gretzky discussed gambling ring on tape (AP)
Wayne Gretzky was recorded on a wiretap talking to the alleged financier of a gambling ring, discussing how the hockey great's wife could avoid being implicated, a person with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press on Thursday. Gretzky, coach and part-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, can be heard on wiretaps made within the past month talking about his wife with assistant coach Rick...

Grahame, Modin lead Lightning by 'Canes (AP)
John Grahame had an Olympic-quality performance in an important Tampa Bay victory. Grahame came off the bench early in the second period to make 28 saves, and Fredrik Modin scored two goals as the Lightning beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 on Thursday night. "Grahamer was outstanding," Lightning coach John Tortorella said.

G Lehtonen, PP lift Thrashers over Sens (AP)
The Atlanta Thrashers' power-play and penalty-killing units produced their desired results while the Ottawa Senators' special teams had their problems. Ilya Kovalchuk and Andy Sutton scored power-play goals and Kari Lehtonen made 34 saves, leading Atlanta to a 2-1 win over Ottawa on Thursday night. Kovalchuk tied it late in the second with his 37th goal, which moved him ahead of the New York...

Wings sweep home-and-home from Predators (AP)
The Detroit Red Wings now have a measure of revenge to go with their slim cushion atop the Western Conference. Mathieu Schneider scored with 6:31 left, and the Red Wings beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 Thursday night for their second victory in two nights over their Central Division rivals who took two straight from them in as many days in Detroit last month.

Kapanen leads Stars over Coyotes 5-1 (AP)
The Phoenix Coyotes played like a team that was distracted. Niko Kapanen scored three goals, Sergei Zubov added three assists and the Dallas Stars beat the embattled Coyotes 5-1 Thursday night. The loss was Phoenix's second straight since a criminal complaint was filed Monday accusing Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet of financing a gambling ring.

Sabres' Hecht injured, will skip Turin (AP)
Sabres forward and German national team player Jochen Hecht will miss at least two weeks, including the Turin Olympics, after spraining his knee Thursday night. Hecht was hurt with 11 minutes left in the third period of Buffalo's 3-2 overtime loss to Montreal. Awaiting a pass at the left of the Canadiens' net, Hecht never got a shot off as he was checked by Jan Bulis.

Gionta's OT goal lifts Devils by Bruins (AP)
Brian Gionta has blossomed in the new NHL. Gionta scored his second goal in overtime Thursday night to lift the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. "He is one of those guys that has really been able to take advantage of the rule changes," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. "With his speed and a knack for scoring goals, he is very difficult to defend." New Jersey snapped a a...

Late Sakic goal pushes Avs past Wild 2-1 (AP)
David Aebischer is becoming more consistent, and Colorado is climbing in the Western Conference standings. That's certainly not a coincidence. Joe Sakic's goal with 5:44 remaining lifted the Avalanche to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night, but Aebischer's 33 saves were the biggest reason for the win.

Theodore positive for banned substance (AP)
Montreal goalie Jose Theodore has tested positive for a banned substance in pre-Olympic screening because he was using a hair-growth drug that can be used as a masking agent, the Canadiens' team doctor said Thursday. The test wasn't part of the NHL's new testing program, so he will not be subject to league discipline.

Relaxed and ready
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tony Stewart is at ease as the '06 season kicks off – and that's bad news for the competition.

Schrader gains pole for Budweiser Shootout (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

DaimlerChrysler to get $6.5 million from Davis (AP)
DaimlerChrysler won a $6.5 million judgment Thursday against Bill Davis Racing for breach of contract.

Harvick says no one has filled Earnhardt's shoes (AP)
In at least one way, Dale Earnhardt may have been irreplaceable.

NASCAR launches effort to boost diversity (AP)
NASCAR is revving up its efforts to bolster diversity in stock car racing with a new plan to train and hire more minorities to drive, work the pits and handle its business.

Stewart's title defense, Gordon and Earnhardt among things to watch (AP)
CHARLOTTE – Tony Stewart marked his time off by flipping a sprint car during a race, visiting the White...

Hall of Fame QBs finally ready to race (AP)
Roger Staubach is starting to get that adrenaline rush in anticipation of a new season. Only this time it's a...

Labonte has incentive at Daytona (AP)
Terry Labonte is only a part-time driver in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series these days, but he's still got the will...

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