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U.S. Olympians Endure Rough First Weekend (AP)
Bode Miller of the United States reacts after finishing the Men's Downhill at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Sestriere Borgata, Italy, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006. Miller finished in 5th place. (AP Photo/Rudi Blaha)AP - It was hardly a lost weekend for the U.S Olympic team. The good news was just hard to find among all the disappointments.


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Kwan Says Thanks, but No, to NBC's Offer (AP)
Figure Skater Michelle Kwan of the United States speaks to the media during a press conference in Turin, Italy,  Sunday Feb. 12, 2006. Kwan spoke about her withdrawal from the games due to a groin injury. (AP Photo/Jasper Juinen)AP - Faced with the loss of its biggest Winter Olympics star only two days into the Turin Games, NBC tried to keep Michelle Kwan — in the broadcast booth.


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Heat Rally to Down Pistons 100-98 (AP)
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade reacts after scoring the winning basket against the Detroit Pistons in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006, in Miami. Wade led all scoring with 37 points in the Heat's 100-98 win over the Pistons. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)AP - Dwyane Wade led the comeback and then the celebration, skipping along the sideline and high-fiving jubilant fans. The Miami Heat finally showed they can beat the elite, especially when they have Wade as a weapon. He scored the Heat's last 17 points, including the game-winner on a 16-footer with 2.3 seconds left, and they edged the Detroit Pistons 100-98 Sunday.


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Timing of Wiretap Reportedly Backs Gretzky (AP)
Phoenix Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky, rear, watches his team skate against the San Jose Sharks in front of players, from left, Oleg Saprrykin, of Russia, Geoff Sanderson and Fredrik Sjostrom, of Sweden, in the third period of NHL hockey action Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006, in Glendale, Ariz. The Sharks defeated the Coyotes 5-4 in overtime.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)AP - Specific information on when a wiretap conversation was recorded appears to support Wayne Gretzky's contention that he had no prior knowledge of an illegal gambling ring involving his wife and Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet.


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Sharks Clip Reeling Coyotes 5-4 in OT (AP)
San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, front, eludes the check attempt by Phoenix Coyotes right winger Mike Johnson, rear, in the third period of NHL hockey action Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006, in Glendale, Ariz. The Sharks defeated the Coyotes 5-4 in overtime.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)AP - The Olympic break could not have come at a better time for the struggling Phoenix Coyotes.


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NFC Rallies to Beat AFC 23-17 in Pro Bowl (AP)
NFC Arizona Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers kicks a field goal as NFC Tampa Bay Buccaneers punter Josh Bidwell holds in the fourth quarter of the NFL football Pro Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Rackers kicked three field goals in the NFC's 23-17 win over the AFC.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)AP - Derrick Brooks and the NFC's solid defense gave the NFL's so-called inferior conference something to feel good about. Brooks returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown, the AFC committed six of the Pro Bowl's 10 turnovers, and the NFC rallied for a sloppy 23-17 victory Sunday in a game that didn't turn out to be the offensive show most expected.


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Yao Leads Rockets Past Knicks 90-83 (AP)
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, left, of China, and New York Knicks forward Maurice Taylor, right, reach for a rebound in the first half of NBA basketball action on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006 in Houston.  (AP Photo/Jessica Kourkounis)AP - Yao Ming had 24 points, eight rebounds and four blocks to help the Houston Rockets overcame Tracy McGrady's dismal shooting in a 90-83 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday night.


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Reds Sign 1B Hatteberg to $750k Contract (AP)
AP - Scott Hatteberg agreed to a one-year, $750,000 contract Sunday with Cincinnati, giving the Reds more flexibility at first base.

Costa Rica Soccer Shuts Out South Korea (AP)
South Korean fans cheer for their team during an international friendly soccer match against Costa Rica in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)AP - Alvaro Saborio scored on a penalty kick 40 minutes into the first half, leading Costa Rica to a 1-0 win over South Korea on Saturday.


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Mighty Ducks Skate Past Blackhawks 4-1 (AP)
Chicago Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook shoots the puck as Anaheim Mighty Ducks' Joffrey Lupul tries to block it during the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006, in Anaheim, Calif. The Mighty Ducks won 4-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)AP - Dustin Penner and Corey Perry scored third period goals to lift the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.


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Upon further review …
Some Super-sized blunders in Detroit have Larry ready to throw the red flag in protest.

Bucs LB Brooks gives NFC Pro Bowl win (AP)
Derrick Brooks was just happy to be on the winning side for a change in the Pro Bowl. Being selected the game's outstanding player was a bonus. Brooks and the NFC's solid defense gave the NFL's so-called inferior conference something to feel good about Sunday, making the big plays in a sloppy 23-17 victory in a game that featured 10 turnovers -- six by the favored AFC.

Art Shell introduced as Raiders coach (AP)
Al Davis had grown sick of watching his rivals beat up on the Oakland Raiders, outplaying, outcoaching and even out-toughing his team. The swagger that once made the Raiders the NFL's most intimidating team and contributed so much to his mantras of "Commitment to Excellence" and "Just Win Baby" had long left the franchise.

Texans extend Carr's deal three years (AP)
David Carr will be with the Houston Texans another three years, perhaps an indication the team might favor Heisman Trophy running back Reggie Bush over Texas quarterback Vince Young with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. The Texans had the option of extending their quarterback's contract for two seasons, but Friday decided to make it three instead.

Kubiak: Sherman mulling coaching future (AP)
Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Friday that Mike Sherman will decide "over the next three or four days" whether he'll coach next season -- and possibly join the Texans' staff. "Mike's going to make a decision over the next three or four days whether he wants to come back and coach this season," Kubiak said.

Edwards expects Shields, Holmes back (AP)
After talking with guard Will Shields and running back Priest Holmes, new Chiefs coach Herman Edwards believes there is a good chance they'll be back next season. He was less confident that troubled wide receiver Terrell Owens might soon join the Chiefs. Edwards and team president Carl Peterson indicated last month they would be interested in exploring the possibility of signing Owens, who could...

Michaels traded to NBC for cartoon bunny (AP)
The deal that allowed Al Michaels to jump from ABC to NBC includes a variety of business transactions -- and one rabbit being pulled out of a hat. A very old hat. By granting Michaels his exit papers, The Walt Disney Co., ABC's parent company, will get back a piece of its history from NBC Universal: the first animated character created by Disney and the forerunner to Mickey Mouse.

Hall of Fame inductees meet in Hawaii (AP)
Rayfield Wright changed positions to try and help the Dallas Cowboys win, moving from tight end to right tackle. He remembers the first play at his new position vividly. It wasn't pretty. "I was thrown back into my quarterback the first time I lined up in training camp," Wright recalled Friday. "I ended on top of Craig (Morton).

Alexander, Barber twins turn heads (AP)
Tiki and Ronde Barber are often mistaken for each other. Throw look-a-like Shaun Alexander into the mix and it causes mass confusion among fans and even their NFC Pro Bowl teammates. Fans have confused Alexander, the NFL MVP, with the Barber twins ever since his rookie year with the Seattle Seahawks in 2000.

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.

Ron to the rescue
Ron Artest just might do what he said he'd do – save the Kings' season by leading them to the playoffs.

Wade rallies Heat past Pistons in fourth (AP)
Dwyane Wade led the comeback and then the celebration, skipping along the sideline and high-fiving jubilant fans. The Miami Heat finally showed they can beat the elite, especially when they have Wade as a weapon. He scored the Heat's last 17 points, including the game-winner on a 16-footer with 2.3 seconds left, and they edged the Detroit Pistons 100-98 Sunday.

Spurs win ninth straight, defeat Pacers (AP)
Even though Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are their All-Stars, the San Antonio Spurs needed Manu Ginobili to beat the Indiana Pacers. Ginobili scored 10 of his 29 points in the final 1:28 as the Spurs beat the Pacers 92-88 on Sunday for their league-best ninth straight win. Duncan and Parker shot a combined 10-for-30 from the field, but Ginobili reminded a national television audience why he was an...

Nets stay hot at home, top Bucks 94-79 (AP)
With the Continental Airlines Arena less than a quarter full because of a record-setting snowstorm and a sluggish opponent after an overnight trip, the New Jersey Nets needed to find an energy source. It turned out to be the oldest active player in the NBA. Clifford Robinson, the 39-year-old reserve who moved into the league's top 10 in games played with his 1,279th career appearance Sunday night,...

Rockets hand Knicks ninth straight loss (AP)
Yao Ming had 24 points, eight rebounds and four blocks to help the Houston Rockets overcame Tracy McGrady's dismal shooting in a 90-83 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday night. David Wesley added 15 points, Rafer Alston had 14 points and seven assists and Juwan Howard had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Rockets in their sixth victory in their last seven games.

Peterson helps Raptors rip Trail Blazers (AP)
The Portland Trail Blazers had the look of a team that had given up. "It looks like the spirit is gone, the fire is not there," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. Morris Peterson scored 15 of his 22 points during a third-quarter run, and the Toronto Raptors routed the Blazers 114-81 on Sunday night. Mike James had 19 points for the Raptors, who shot 59 percent and outrebounded the Trail Blazers...

Hill back but Magic lose again on road (AP)
The Boston Celtics are benefiting from Doc Rivers' decision to keep things simple. Paul Pierce scored 31 points and Wally Szczerbiak added 24 to lead the Celtics to a 102-94 win over Orlando on Sunday night in Grant Hill's return to the Magic lineup. After acquiring Szczerbiak in a seven-player trade from Minnesota on Jan.

Camby in for Nuggets, Sonics' Lewis out (AP)
Denver center Marcus Camby returned to the starting lineup on Sunday night after missing Friday's game against Dallas with a lower back strain. Meanwhile, Seattle forward Rashard Lewis sat out with a right thigh injury. Lewis took a knee to the thigh late in the first quarter of Friday's 99-91 win over Atlanta and didn't play the final three quarters.

Bryant, Magic, Leslie are Shooting Stars (AP)
NBA scoring leader Kobe Bryant will team with former Lakers great Magic Johnson and Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie in the Shooting Stars competition on Saturday night of All-Star weekend. There are four teams in the event, with the object to make shots from six locations in the fastest time. Teams are made up of a current and former NBA player from its city, plus one WNBA player.

West replaces Nelson in Rookie Challenge (AP)
Boston Celtics guard Delonte West was picked Sunday to replace former college teammate Jameer Nelson on the sophomore team for the Rookie Challenge. West was averaging 11 points and shooting 39.4 percent from 3-point range in 47 games, all starts. Nelson was having a strong second season for Orlando, averaging 13.8 points.

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

Wiretap timing may support Gretzky (AP)
Specific information on when a wiretap conversation was recorded appears to support Wayne Gretzky's contention that he had no prior knowledge of an illegal gambling ring involving his wife and Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet. A New Jersey state police wiretapped conversation of Gretzky asking Tocchet how Gretzky's wife, Janet Jones, could avoid being named as a participant in the...

Coyotes fall again, lose to Sharks in OT (AP)
The Olympic break could not have come at a better time for the struggling Phoenix Coyotes. Dealing with allegations of illegal gambling surrounding assistant coach Rick Tocchet and head coach Wayne Gretzky's wife since Tuesday, Phoenix has lost four straight and six of seven, including a 5-4 overtime loss to San Jose on Sunday.

Kings' four-goal third stuns Stars 6-5 (AP)
With a period to go before the Olympic break, and a three-goal deficit staring at them, the Los Angeles Kings finished up strong. Los Angeles rallied for four goals in the final period on Sunday to beat Dallas 6-5 on Sunday. "We knew it was the last period before the Olympic break, so we had to go all out -- and we did," Luc Robitaille said.

Red Wings win sixth straight, rout Avs (AP)
The Detroit Red Wings used a strong finish to make up for a weak start. Tomas Holmstrom broke a tie with a power-play goal early in the third period and Detroit beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 on Sunday in the last game before the Olympic break for each team. Detroit, which won its sixth straight, got a goal and two assists from Pavel Datsyuk and a goal and an assist from Holmstrom, Henrik...

Staal's SO goal lifts 'Canes by Sabres (AP)
With six victories in seven tries, the Carolina Hurricanes clearly enjoy the NHL's new shootout. And leading scorer Eric Staal just now got involved. "When I get my opportunity, I want to make it count," he said. "I was glad to get that chance." Staal scored in the sixth round of the tiebreaker after goalie Martin Gerber stopped Buffalo's Jason Pominville, helping the Hurricanes beat the Sabres 4-3...

Ducks maintain dominance of Blackhawks (AP)
Dustin Penner and Corey Perry scored third period goals to lift the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night. Penner scored a wraparound goal 17 seconds into the third period and Perry tapped in a pass from Ryan Getzlaf 3:03 later to help Anaheim move three points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Wideman's SO goal gets Blues by Oilers (AP)
Mike Morrison was perfect in shootouts. Now he has a blemish. The Oilers rookie goaltender suffered his first loss in six shootout tries after Dennis Wideman scored to lead the St. Louis Blues over Edmonton 5-4 on Sunday. "He went East, I went West," said Morrison, who had returned for the shootout after being pulled for allowing two goals on the opening five shots.

Jagr's 40th goal lifts streaking Rangers (AP)
Jaromir Jagr is on a tear heading into the Olympic break. Jagr scored twice to reach 40 goals for the sixth time in his career, and the New York Rangers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 Saturday night for their sixth straight victory. Jagr scored two power-play goals Friday night in a 4-2 victory at New York in the opener of the home-and-home series, and beat goalie Ed Belfour for two more one...

Isles end Devs' home win streak at eight (AP)
Rick DiPietro gave the New York Islanders the kind of goaltending they will need for a post-Olympics run at a playoff spot. Alexei Yashin had a goal and an assist and DiPietro made 26 saves as the Islanders ended a two-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. The win moved the Islanders five points behind the eighth-place Montreal Canadiens, who hosted the Atlanta...

Bump draft dodging
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR must put an end to bump drafting before it's too late.

Stewart complains about bump drafting tactics (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - Ever since Dale Earnhardt was killed five years ago in the Daytona 500, the general consensus in the NASCAR Nextel Cup racing series is the sport has lacked a strong voice.

Jeff Burton wins pole for Daytona 500, Gordon on front row (SportsTicker)


Johnson, Terry Labonte disqualified after failing inspection (AP)
Jimmie Johnson and Terry Labonte had their Daytona 500 qualifying runs thrown out Sunday after their cars failed inspection.

Burton wins Daytona 500 pole (AP)
Richard Childress locked Jeff Burton in a bearhug and didn't want to let go.

Hamlin wins Budweiser Shootout (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Edwards frustrated by NASCAR penalties (AP)
Carl Edwards was furious with NASCAR officials Sunday after being penalized three times in the Budweiser Shootout exhibition race.

Stewart rips NASCAR for 'dangerous' racing (AP)
Defending Nextel Cup series champion Tony Stewart criticized superspeedway racing following his third-place finish in the Budweiser Shootout on Sunday, saying ``we're going to hurt somebody really, really bad.''

Hamlin stuns field, steals win at Daytona (AP)
Running up front in a race he was never supposed to win, baby-faced rookie Denny Hamlin weathered every challenge thrown his way.

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