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Gretzky, Wife Won't Be Charged Criminally (AP)
Wayne Gretzky poses with his wife, actress Janet Jones, after they presented an award during the 10th annual ESPY Awards, in a Wednesday, July 10, 2002 photo, in Los Angeles.Wayne Gretzky's wife is unlikely to face charges for her role in a multimillion-dollar sports betting ring, but is expected to be called to testify against others in the case, her lawyer said Thursday. (AP Photo/Krista Niles, file)AP - Wayne Gretzky will not face criminal charges in connection with a multimillion-dollar sports betting ring busted in New Jersey last week, and he is unlikely to be called to testify against others in the case, his lawyer said Thursday.


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Indiana Coach Mike Davis to Resign (AP)
Indiana coach Mike Davis answers a question during a news conference in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006. Coach Davis resigned Thursday after months of speculation and increased criticism during the Hoosiers' late-season slump.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)AP - Mike Davis' departure from Indiana was as sudden as his ascent to the top of Hoosiers basketball. Just a couple dozen yards from where he became Bob Knight's successor in 2000, Davis walked into in a crowded room and announced he would resign at the end of the season. He was still wearing a crimson Hoosiers' sweater as he urged fans to unite behind the program.


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Plushenko Skates Off With Gold; Weir Fumes (AP)
Evgeni Plushenko, of Russia, performs during his routine in the Men's Free Skate in figure skating at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006. The three-time world champion won the gold medal.  (AP Photo/Mark Baker)AP - Evgeni Plushenko was well into his Olympic victory lap, waving his flowers and wrapping himself in the Russian flag, before the silver and bronze medalists even climbed off the podium.


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Suns Top Rockets for Fourth Straight Win (AP)
Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash, left, of Canada, drives past Houston Rockets guard Rafer Alston, center, on his way to the basket as Suns forward Shawn Marion, right, looks on in the third quarter of NBA basketball action Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006, in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)AP - Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni couldn't believe what he was seeing. Neither could his assistants. What they were watching was the Suns playing one of their best games of the season and handing the Houston Rockets their worst loss of the year.


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U.S. Men's Hockey Team Downs Kazakhs 4-1 (AP)
Doug Weight, of the Unite States, celebrates a Team USA goal in the first period as Kazakhstan's Andrey Pchelyakov (23) closes his eyes during a mens ice hockey match at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy Thursday Feb. 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)AP - Rick DiPietro reached for the water bottle after one save and less than 30 seconds of action. It didn't take long for the pressure to ease on the U.S. goalie and his teammates in a 4-1 victory Thursday night over Kazakhstan.


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Judge: Cleveland Fans Own 'Dawg Pound' (AP)
AP - The screams from the "Dawg Pound" have reached a New York federal judge, who says the Cleveland Browns and their fans earned rights to the phrase before an apparel company came along and tried to take it away.

Gordon leads Bulls to rout of Sixers (Reuters)
Philadelphia 76ers center Samuel Dalembert (R) and Chicago Bulls center-forward Othella Harrington (L) struggle for a rebound during the second half of their NBA game in Chicago, Illinois February 16, 2006. REUTERS/John GressReuters - Ben Gordon scored 21 points to lead six Chicago players in double figures as the Bulls hammered the Philadelphia 76ers 117-84 in National Basketball Association play on Thursday in Chicago.


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Giants to keep pitcher Schmidt (Reuters)
San Francisco Giants pitcher Jason Schmidt is seen during a game in Phoenix, Arizona, May 2, 2005. The Giants have exercised their contract option to keep Schmidt, the National League team said on Thursday. REUTERS/Jeff ToppingReuters - The San Francisco Giants have exercised their contract option to keep pitcher Jason Schmidt, the National League team said on Thursday.


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FC Thun Tops Hamburg; Middlesbrough Wins (AP)
Middlesbrough's soccer players Doriva from Brazil, Stuart Parnaby, Chris Riggott and George Boateng from The Netherlands, left to right, react after the second goal for their team during the UEFA Cup soccer match between VfB Stuttgart and FC Middlesbrough in Stuttgart's Gottlieb Daimler stadium, southwest Germany, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006. Middlesbrough won the match 2-1. (AP Photo/Christof Stache)AP - FC Thun, Middlesbrough and Slavia Prague won third-round, first-leg matches in the UEFA Cup on Thursday.


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Moore Files Another Suit Against Bertuzzi (AP)
Team Canada's Jerome Iginla, right of the NHL's Calgary Flames is congratulated by teammate Todd Bertuzzi, of the Vancouver Canucks, after scoring a first period goal against Team Italy during a 2006 Winter Olympics men's ice hockey match Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006, in Turin, Italy. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar )AP - Former NHL player Steve Moore filed another lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi for the on-ice attack by the Vancouver Canucks forward nearly two years ago.


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A Cutler above
The rise of Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler has NFL scouts, coaches and general managers buzzing.

Culpepper plans to play for Vikings (AP)
Daunte Culpepper wanted to make sure there was no misinterpretation: He's concerned with getting healthy, not speculation about his future with the Minnesota Vikings. And Culpepper, unless he's told otherwise by owner Zygi Wilf, plans to play quarterback for the Vikings this fall. He didn't respond specifically on Thursday to a report that the team is considering trading him because of his recent...

Titans reach deal with DE Vanden Bosch (AP)
The Tennessee Titans reached an agreement Thursday with defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch on a multiyear deal that will keep him off the free-agent market. The move comes a year after the team took a gamble by signing him to a one-year deal, and he responded with a career-high 12 1/2 sacks. Vanden Bosch earned the veteran's minimum of $540,000 in a one-year deal for 2005 after four injury-plagued...

Steelers Hall of Famer Stautner dies (AP)
Ernie Stautner, a Hall of Fame defensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers and longtime Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator, died Thursday in a nursing home, his wife said. He was 80. Stautner, who went to nine Pro Bowls with the Steelers and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1998, Jill Stautner said.

Browns fans get rights to ''Dawg Pound'' (AP)
The screams from the "Dawg Pound" have reached a New York federal judge, who says the Cleveland Browns and their fans earned rights to the phrase before an apparel company came along and tried to take it away. In a ruling made public Thursday, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin played referee to the dispute that lingered more than a decade before the Hawaii-Pacific Apparel Group Inc.

Dolphins OT McIntosh released from jail (AP)
Miami Dolphins tackle Damion McIntosh was released from jail Thursday after allegedly pushing his wife to the floor at their home. McIntosh was arrested Wednesday on a misdemeanor count of domestic violence. He told Davie police he pushed his wife and said she "hit her head pretty hard," according to a police report.

Haslett happy to return to NFL sideline (AP)
One frustrating day as a television analyst convinced Jim Haslett he wanted another NFL coaching job, even as an assistant. Haslett was hired as St. Louis' defensive coordinator by new Rams coach Scott Linehan about three weeks after he got fired by the New Orleans Saints. During the brief interlude, Haslett took a stab at TV work during Super Bowl week, but was dismayed that it took 5 1/2 hours on...

Ex-Packers coach Sherman joins Texans (AP)
Mike Sherman wanted another head coaching job and was willing to sit out a year to wait for one. But an aggressive owner, a former colleague and a little prodding from his wife made the ex-Green Bay coach abandon that plan and join the Houston Texans staff. Sherman, who was fired by the Packers on Jan.

It's Milicic time
Finally freed from the Pistons' bench, Darko Milicic has the chance to show off his skills in Orlando.

Pistons trade Darko Milicic to Magic (AP)
The Detroit Pistons cut their losses after taking a chance on underachieving Darko Milicic. The No. 2 pick in the 2003 draft was traded to the Orlando Magic along with Carlos Arroyo for a first-round selection and center Kelvin Cato on Wednesday. Detroit drafted Milicic three years ago just after LeBron James, and ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.

Mavs take break alone atop West (AP)
Their goal never was to be on top at the All-Star break. The Dallas Mavericks know being best in the West now means nothing. "We're going to be doubted when we come back like we've been doubted the whole year," Josh Howard said. "We just have to know when we come back, we have to keep playing great basketball." Not only to prove wrong national critics such as Charles Barkley, but to stay ahead of...

Stern upbeat heding into All-Star break (AP)
David Stern is happy to be talking basketball as the NBA gathers for its All-Star weekend. After what he had to deal with last year at this time, the commissioner knows the alternative can be a real drag. "It beats getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick," Stern said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday.

All-Stars Nash, Marion lead Suns in rout (AP)
Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni couldn't believe what he was seeing. Neither could his assistants. What they were watching was the Suns playing one of their best games of the season and handing the Houston Rockets their worst loss of the year. Steve Nash scored 21 points and had eight assists and fellow All-Star Shawn Marion had 16 points and 12 rebounds, helping the Suns beat the Rockets 109-75...

Bulls roll to biggest victory of season (AP)
Ben Gordon has regained his scoring touch. Gordon scored nine of his 21 points during a 16-point third-quarter run to lead the Bulls to their most lopsided victory of the season, 117-84 over the Philadelphia 76ers. Last season's Rookie of the Year and top sixth man is averaging 24.3 points over the last seven games.

James outduels Pierce, Cavs win in 2OT (AP)
LeBron James and the streaking Cleveland Cavaliers spoiled the highest-scoring game by a Celtics' player in more than 16 years. James had 43 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season and the Cavaliers overcame Paul Pierce's 50-point performance to beat the Celtics 113-109 in double overtime on Wednesday night.

Bucks F Simmons won't face charges (AP)
Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Simmons will not face charges stemming from an October incident outside a nightclub, the investigating prosecutor said Thursday. Simmons was arrested Oct. 1 after a 25-year-old woman alleged he fondled and punched her in a car outside a Milwaukee nightclub. "I conducted a thorough investigation, and there were conflicting accounts of the incident," said Chris Liegel, a...

Knicks end 10-game skid, top Raptors (AP)
With trade rumors swirling around the New York Knicks, Jamal Crawford says even his own family asks him if he's leaving the team. Good thing for the Knicks he still was around Wednesday night. Crawford made a jumper with 3 seconds left and New York snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 98-96 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Rookie Paul hurt again in Hornets' win (AP)
Perhaps no player could use a break more than New Orleans' Chris Paul. The Hornets' rookie left New Orleans' 102-86 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night after hurting his shoulder in a third-quarter collision -- the latest in a string of injuries for the young point guard. Kirk Snyder scored 22 points and Aaron Williams added a season-high 14 points for New Orleans, which was in...

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

Lawyer: Gretzky, wife won't be charged (AP)
Wayne Gretzky will not face criminal charges in connection with a multimillion-dollar sports betting ring busted in New Jersey last week, and he is unlikely to be called to testify against others in the case, his lawyer said Thursday. Attorney Ron Fujikawa said he received assurances from New Jersey authorities last week that the hockey great was not in any way a central figure in the criminal...

U.S. bounces back, beats Kazakhstan 4-1 (AP)
Rick DiPietro reached for the water bottle after one save and less than 30 seconds of action. It didn't take long for the pressure to ease on the U.S. goalie and his teammates in a 4-1 victory Thursday night over Kazakhstan. DiPietro, dressed in stars-and-stripes pads and a mask that bears the image of the helicopter his father piloted in the Vietnam War, needed to make only 11 saves in his...

Bertuzzi will 'just deal with' lawsuit (AP)
Team Canada forward Todd Bertuzzi said a second lawsuit filed against him by former NHL player Steve Moore for an on-ice attack two years ago won't affect his play in the Olympics or with the Vancouver Canucks. "You just deal with it and move on," Bertuzzi said Thursday, two days after the suit was filed in Ontario Superior Court.

Canada rolls past Germany 5-1 (AP)
The only distraction Canada's hockey team has had in the Olympics is boredom. Wade Redden, Joe Sakic and Simon Gagne gave the defending gold medalists a 3-0 lead halfway through the first period and, wearing distinctive black uniforms, the Canadians roughed up Germany 5-1 Thursday. Canada and Finland are the only teams with 2-0 records in Group A, with three games remaining for each team in...

Hasek iffy to play again in Olympics (AP)
Dominik Hasek is still iffy for a return to the Olympics. Pavel Kolar, physical therapist for the Czech Republic's hockey team, said Thursday that the 41-year-old goalie had a tense muscle in his left leg -- an injury sustained Wednesday in the Czech Republic's opening 4-1 victory over Germany. Kolar said through an interpreter that Hasek's chances of playing again here are 30-40 percent.

Gaborik helps Slovakia upset Russia 5-3 (AP)
Numerous coaches in the Olympic tournament talked about how dangerous Slovakia could be. Russia quickly found out why. Marian Gaborik beat two defenders on a rush out of his own zone with 3 1/2 minutes remaining, and Slovakia pulled off the first upset of the Olympic hockey tournament by beating Russia 5-3 Wednesday night.

Selanne, Jokinen lead Finland to victory (AP)
Teemu Selanne and Olli Jokinen each had two goals and an assist, and Finland gave Switzerland few chances to score against Antero Niittymaki, who made 24 saves in a 5-0 rout Wednesday in men's Olympic hockey. Jokinen got things started with a power-play goal late in the first period, and then added another in the second when the Swedes scored four times to grab a 5-0 lead against Martin Gerber.

Ducks' Ozolinsh cleared for NHL, Turin (AP)
Anaheim Mighty Ducks defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh has been cleared to return to on-ice competition after a six-week stay in the NHL's substance abuse program, allowing him to play for Latvia in the Olympics. The NHL and the players' association announced the move Tuesday, a day before Latvia's Olympic opener against the United States in Turin.

Ducks D Niedermayer has knee surgery (AP)
Mighty Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday and is expected to be sidelined for at least a month. Because of the injury, the 32-year-old Niedermayer was unable to join Canada for the Olympics in Turin. Niedermayer, who signed with Anaheim as a free agent last year, won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman during the 2003-04 season with New...

IROC: Racing's Olympics
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Some of racing's best are gathered at Daytona this weekend, and it isn't for the 500.

Gordon, Sadler win qualifying races for Daytona 500 (AP)
Elliott Sadler thinks it's time to take his team up to championship-level caliber. Jeff Gordon wants to get back there.

Lepage's success a victory for "little guys" of NASCAR (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - In the "good old days" of NASCAR, the "little guys" of the sport could still make the Daytona 500 starting lineup.

Sadler, Gordon win Gatorade Duels in busy day at Daytona (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Truck champ Musgrave starts over with new team (AP)
Ted Musgrave isn't exactly defending his NASCAR truck series championship.

Robby Gordon optimistic after making Daytona field (AP)
Sure, making the Daytona 500 field was a relief for Robby Gordon.

Problems keep Riggs out of Daytona 500 (AP)
Scott Riggs experienced just enough problems to keep him from making the Daytona 500.

Calm day in qualifying races eases tension (AP)
NASCAR officials never had to pull the yellow hankies out of their back pockets Thursday.

Gordon wins second Gatorade Duel 150, Wallace qualifies (SportsTicker)


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