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Pistons, LeBron Lead East to Win Over West (AP)
Cleveland's LeBron James (23) passes the ball away after Minnesota's Kevin Garnett (21) blocks his way to the basket in the second half of the NBA All-Star basketball game in Houston, Sunday, Feb 19,  2006.  (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)AP - Even down by 21 points, the Detroit Pistons' Fab Four plus LeBron James were still in the game. A push from the Pistons, an MVP performance by King James and a putback by Dwyane Wade helped the East rally for a 122-120 victory over the West in an NBA All-Star game that went down to the final seconds Sunday night.


Barry Bonds Backs Off Retirement Talk (AP)
San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds waves to fans while being introduced before the Giants played the Los Angeles Dodgers in San Francisco, in this April 5, 2005 file photo. Bonds says he plans to retire after this season, even if he doesn't break Hank Aaron's home run record. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)AP - Barry Bonds might retire after this season. Or, maybe not. The San Francisco slugger gave differing accounts this weekend, first saying this year would be his last — no matter whether he hits the 48 home runs he needs to break Hank Aaron's record.


Johnson Faces Questions After Daytona Win (AP)
Jimmie Johnson, left, celebrates with a bottle of champagne after winning the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006. At right is his wife Chandra.  (AP Photo/Terry Renna)AP - Cheater or champion? Such is the stigma Jimmie Johnson still had to bear after winning his first Daytona 500 less than a week after his crew chief was kicked out for illegally altering his car.


James Wins MVP Award After Leading East (AP)
Cleveland's LeBron James (23) passes the ball away after Minnesota's Kevin Garnett (21) blocks his way to the basket in the second half of the NBA All-Star basketball game in Houston, Sunday, Feb 19,  2006.  (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)AP - "The Chosen One" was an obvious choice for All-Star game MVP.


Redick Sets Mark As Duke Pounds Miami (AP)
Duke's J.J. Redick (4) acknowledges the fans after being named the All Time Leading Scorer for Duke after breaking Johnny Dawkin's 1986 score of 2556 points with 2557 during game action against Miami on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006 in Durham, N.C. Duke beat Miami, 92-71. (AP Photo/Sara D. Davis)AP - J.J. Redick lost a defender around a screen, took a pass in front of the Duke bench and launched a 3-pointer that had an entire arena holding its breath.


Bettis to Join NBC's NFL Broadcast Team (AP)
AP - Next stop for The Bus: the broadcast booth.

MVP James leads East to comeback All-Star Game win (Reuters)
Eastern Conference forward LeBron James (L) puts up a shot against Western Conference forward Tracy McGrady (R) during second half action at the 55th NBA All-Star Game in Houston, Texas February 19, 2006. REUTERS/John GressReuters - Cleveland's LeBron James led an inspired Eastern Conference fightback from a 21-point deficit to edge the Western Conference 122-120 in the 55th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.


Roundup: Bonds Backs Off Retirement Talk (AP)
Slugger Jim Thome, one of the newest member of the World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, plays catch during spring training drills for pitchers and catchers at the Sox facility in Tucson, Ariz., Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)AP - Barry Bonds is talking about retirement. It's just hard to tell what his plans are.


United States Soccer Shuts Out Guatemala (AP)
Team USA's Brian Ching (11) and Guatemala's Selvyn Ponciano, ,left, compete for a header during the first half of soccer action in a friendly match, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)AP - Eddie Johnson got what he wanted Sunday — his first international goal in nearly a year, and a parting shot toward the team that traded him.


Canadiens Goalie Theodore Out 6 to 8 Weeks (AP)
AP - Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore will miss six to eight weeks after fracturing his right heel bone while walking down the frozen steps of his Montreal home, the team said Saturday.

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

Aikman says Favre likely to retire (AP)
Troy Aikman believes the Green Bay Packers' struggles will likely drive Brett Favre into retirement. "I'd hate to see him retire," Aikman told The Associated Press on Sunday. "But I know that going out and having seasons like what he went through this past year is really frustrating and it just isn't much fun.

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...

Bettis to join NBC's NFL broadcast team (AP)
Next stop for The Bus: the broadcast booth. Jerome Bettis joined NBC on Sunday as a studio analyst for Sunday night football games. "I am looking forward to this new opportunity and to still be involved in the game I love," Bettis said. The former Pittsburgh running back retired after helping the Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in the Super Bowl this month in his hometown of Detroit.

James Dungy's death ruled a suicide (AP)
The death of the 18-year-old son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy has been ruled a suicide, a medical examiner said Friday. James Dungy hanged himself from a bedroom ceiling fan with a leather belt, Dr. Jacqueline Lee of the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office wrote in her final autopsy report.

Reworking McNair's deal to take time (AP)
Tennessee general manager Floyd Reese said Friday reworking Steve McNair's contract is going to be a "long, drawn out process." "This is not going to happen in the next day or two or week or two. It's going to take time," Reese said. "We'll continue to talk on a daily, weekly basis and see if we can't make progress.' The Titans face a deadline in March of either paying $50 million to extend the...

Packers CB Carroll arrested in Arkansas (AP)
Green Bay Packers cornerback Ahmad Carroll was arrested after allegedly arguing with a police officer in a Fayetteville bar. Carroll, 22, was charged Friday with third-degree assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct and refusal to submit to arrest, Washington County sheriff's Sgt. Donna Smith said.

Titans reach deal with DE Vanden Bosch (AP)
The Tennessee Titans showed Kyle Vanden Bosch respect, and that kept him from testing a free-agent market that could have made him much richer. "Honestly, it really wasn't that much of a temptation," Vanden Bosch said Friday at a news conference. "I don't know what else would've been out there. I feel this organization ...

A few good teams
HOUSTON – David Stern might not be able to handle the truth: His NBA is short on true title contenders.

MVP LeBron helps rally East All-Stars to win (AP)
Even down by 21 points, the Detroit Pistons' Fab Four plus LeBron James were still in the game. A push from the Pistons, an MVP performance by King James and a putback by Dwyane Wade helped the East rally for a 122-120 victory over the West in an NBA All-Star game that went down to the final seconds Sunday night.

LeBron becomes youngest All-Star MVP (AP)
LeBron James has been living up to high expectations since he was in high school. Maybe it's time to raise them. "He has a chance to maybe be the best to ever lace them up," Detroit's Chauncey Billups said. "At 21 years old right now, and doing what he's doing ... I mean that kid should be a junior in college." Instead, James was playing in his second All-Star game, and he was an obvious choice for...

McGrady's 36 can't carry West All-Stars (AP)
Tracy McGrady cast aside his personal troubles for a few hours during Sunday's All-Star game to put on a show for the hometown fans. The Houston Rockets star scored 36 points and had the ball in his hands with a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds of the East's 122-120 victory. But guarded by MVP LeBron James, McGrady stepped just inside the 3-point line and airballed a jumper, and the...

Kobe gets surpise from Katrina victim (AP)
The starters for both All-Star teams unveiled carefully choreographed dances that wowed the crowd as they were introduced. The East did what they called the Jackson Five step, which Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade said was from an old Michael Jackson video. The West went with the snake, a dance in which one player moved while the dance ran through him before passing it to the next.

Little man Robinson wins dunk contest (AP)
The NBA's All-Star Saturday turned basketball inside-out. A big guy won the 3-point shootout. A little guy won the slam dunk contest. After 7-foot Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas proved the best sniper from beyond the arc, the New York Knicks' 5-foot-9 rookie Nate Robinson became the NBA's new jam king. Robinson beat out 6-foot-6 Andre Iguodala of Philadelphia, 6-9 Hakim Warrick of Memphis and 6-9 defending...

Nets' Carter gets All-Star start (AP)
Vince Carter started for the Eastern Conference in place of injured forward Jermaine O'Neal in the NBA All-Star game Sunday night. Carter said he was told by East coach Flip Saunders during practice Saturday that he would replace O'Neal in the starting lineup. The Indiana Pacers forward, elected as a starter by fans, missed the All-Star game because of a groin injury.

Next year's All-Star game a gamble (AP)
The curtain hadn't dropped on All-Star weekend in Houston, and already players were thinking about next year's game. Who could blame them? Las Vegas is on the itinerary. The NBA is taking its midseason showcase to the Strip next season, and it figures to be a good time. The basketball? Maybe not so good.

Nowitzki finally wins 3-point contest (AP)
Dirk Nowitzki barely escaped the first round. A few minutes later, he was finally the 3-point champion. Nowitzki won the title Saturday night after coming close twice before, beating Gilbert Arenas and Ray Allen at All-Star weekend. With Dallas teammate Jason Terry and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban looking on from the sideline, the 7-foot German finished with 18 points.

Heat's Wade wins Skills Challenge (AP)
Dwyane Wade defied the notion that practice makes perfect in the Skills Challenge during the NBA's All-Star weekend. The Miami Heat star edged LeBron James and dethroned Steve Nash on Saturday by deftly negotiating a basketball obstacle course -- without preparing for the competition at all. "I decided to wing it," said Wade, who will play in his second All-Star Game on Sunday.

Pull plug on pros
TURIN, Italy – As interest wanes in the struggling U.S. men's hockey team, it's clear that another Gary Bettman marketing experiment is failing.

U.S. men's hockey team loses again (AP)
Too bad Rick DiPietro can't defend one net and shoot at the other. The American scoring woes have become so stark, something's got to give if the U.S. is going to make any noise in the Olympic men's hockey tournament. If only their stickhandling goaltender could provide help on offense and defense. DiPietro made 24 saves in his third straight start, but for the second consecutive night the Americans...

Canada shut out again, 2-0 by Finland (AP)
All this talent on the Canadians' men's hockey team, and nothing to show for it. No wins in two weekend Olympic games. No chemistry. Worst of all, no goals. 0 Canada, indeed. Teemu Selanne scored his sixth goal in four games and Finland stayed unbeaten in Olympic round-robin play, beating gold-medal favorite Canada 2-0 Sunday -- the Canadians' second shutout loss in as many days.

Germany earns surprise tie with Swiss (AP)
This time, it was Team Upset that got an unexpected jolt in the Olympic men's hockey tournament. Tino Boos scored the tying goal in the third period and Germany, ranked below Switzerland in the world rankings, pulled off a surprise 2-2 tie Sunday that followed Swiss upsets of gold medal favorite Canada and the world champion Czech Republic.

Czechs top Italy, earn medal round spot (AP)
The Czechs are going to get just what they need -- a day of rest. Vaclav Prospal scored three goals Sunday to lead a banged-up Czech Republic squad to a 4-1 victory over Italy in Olympic men's hockey. Jaromir Jagr played two periods a day after being cut by a vicious check and Marek Zidlicky crashed into a goalpost.

Kovalchuk's four goals lift Russia (AP)
With every goal he scored, Ilya Kovalchuk turned the beat of the Latvian drums into Russia's march to the hockey quarterfinals. Kovalchuk scored four times -- his first goals of these Olympics -- and Russia advanced to the men's hockey final eight with a 9-2 victory over Latvia on Sunday. After dropping the opener to Slovakia 5-3, Russia has won three straight by a combined score of 15-2.

Forsberg sits out Sweden's win over U.S. (AP)
Peter Forsberg was back on Sweden's bench Sunday -- without his helmet, stick and gloves. Since Sweden already locked up a berth in the men's Olympic hockey quarterfinals, the Philadelphia Flyers' star decided to sit out his country's 2-1 victory over the U.S. He took a spot at the far right side of the bench, but stood out because he was the only one in uniform without the necessary playing...

Czech Republic's Hasek out of Olympics (AP)
Dominik Hasek departed the Olympics on Friday in as big a rush as he arrived earlier in the week, leaving the world champion Czech Republic without one of hockey's best big-game goalies. Hasek, the player most responsible for the Czechs' surprise gold medal in Nagano in 1998, didn't last 10 minutes in the Turin Games before getting injured.

Habs G Theodore out six to eight weeks (AP)
Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore will miss six to eight weeks after fracturing his right heel bone while walking down the frozen steps of his Montreal home, the team said Saturday. Theodore was hurt Thursday night, when freezing rain that fell on the city made for treacherous walking conditions. "It was bad luck and even though I am very disappointed of the outcome, I can only wish that my rehab...

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...

Daytona 500 Observations
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The cheater paid the price, but Jimmie Johnson won fair and square at Daytona.

Stewart's new conscience takes a back seat at Daytona (AP)
Forgive Matt Kenseth if he rolls his eyes the next time Tony Stewart delivers a safety lecture.

Earnhardt avoids carnage, overcomes problems (AP)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbed out of his race car, walked around it a couple times and surveyed the damage.

Johnson grabs Daytona win in wake of cheating scandal (AP)
Jimmie Johnson gathered his team around him and pulled a folded-up fax from his pocket. In the quiet few moments they had before the start of the Daytona 500, Johnson delivered a message from their suspended leader.

Daytona 500 Notebook for Sunday, February 19 (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - A win in Sunday's 48th Daytona 500 could have gotten Casey Mears a ride in the Indianapolis 500. He finished just one position short of getting that reward.

Stewart continues brash behavior at Daytona (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - During a time of year when "Hoosier Hysteria" becomes a part of the sporting vocabulary, Sunday's 48th Daytona 500 was sparked by a "Hysterical Hoosier."

Johnson captures Daytona 500 (SportsTicker)

Penalty for cheating doesn't slow Johnson's team (AP)
Cheaters never prosper, or so the saying goes. Some people were wondering, though, after Sunday's Daytona 500.

Rivals want to put asterisk next to this Daytona 500 (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - The foggy conditions and low ceiling weren't the only dark cloud hovering over the 48th Daytona 500.

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