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Nowitzki Leads Mavs to Win Over Clippers (AP)
Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki (41) of Germany and Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Kaman, left, look on at a loose ball in the second half of NBA basketball action, in Dallas, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006. The Mavericks defeated the Clippers 93-91. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)AP - Dirk Nowitzki had a tough time scoring against the Los Angeles Clippers, except for a minute in the fourth quarter. But that minute-long outburst by Nowitzki and his game-saving defensive play with 6.9 seconds left were enough to push the Dallas Mavericks to a 93-91 victory Tuesday night.


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Virginia Stuns No. 11 Boston College 72-58 (AP)
Boston College defenders, from left, Louis Hinnant, Akida McLain and Sean Marshall surround Virginia's J.R. Reynolds as he shoots during their college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff)AP - J.R. Reynolds and Sean Singletary know they are the keys to Virginia's success. Reynolds scored 28 points, Singletary had 16 and several other players made key plays at both ends Tuesday night, leading Virginia past No. 11 Boston College 72-58.


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No. 3 UConn Holds Off Notre Dame in OT (AP)
Connecticut's Josh Boone, center,  looks for a way to the basket as Notre Dame's Rick Cornett guards him  in the first half of the Big East Conference basketball game in Hartford, Conn., Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006. Also in on the action was Connecticut's Jeff Adrien, right. (AP Photo/Bob Child)AP - Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun had that sick feeling in his gut. His third-ranked Huskies were headed toward an apparent rout of unranked Notre Dame on Tuesday night when it suddenly unraveled.


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Spurs 103 Crush the SuperSonics 103-78 (AP)
San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker, front, races past Seattle Sonics' Luke Ridnour during first half NBA basketball action Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Doug Sehres)AP - After staggering at the end of a long road trip, the San Antonio Spurs were reminded how nice it is to come home. Tony Parker scored 30 points and Bruce Bowen hit five 3-pointers to lead the Spurs to a 103-78 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday night in their first home game this month.


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Cohen Leads After Dazzling Short Program (AP)
Japan's Shiuzuka Arakawa performs in the Ladies short program during the Figure Skating competition at the 2006 Winter Olympics, at the Palavela in Turin.(AFP/Franck Fife)AP - It's becoming an Olympic tradition: An American woman wins figure skating gold and the Russians claim all the other titles.


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Jets Designate Abraham Franchise Player (AP)
AP - John Abraham is sick of waiting around for the Jets to make him a long-term commitment.

Kings Clobber Warriors 102-77 (AP)
Sacramento Kings center Brad Miller, right, takes a shot over Golden State Warriors center Andris Biedrins, of Latvia, left, during the third quarter of NBA basketball action in Sacramento,Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006. The Kings beat the Warriors 102-77.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)AP - Getting out of last place in the Pacific Division is just a start for the Sacramento Kings. They have designs on a playoff berth this season.


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Beltran Hopes to Prove His Worth to Mets (AP)
New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran waves to fans as he leaves the field after a spring training baseball workout Tuesday Feb. 21, 2006 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Rick Silva)AP - Carlos Beltran arrived at spring training Tuesday looking to rebound from a disappointing first year with the New York Mets.


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Arsenal Shocks Real Madrid 1-0 (AP)
Real Madrid English player David Beckham, left, claps to supporters after a Champions League soccer match at the Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006. Real Madrid lost the match 0-1. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)AP - Thierry Henry scored in the 47th minute, eluding four defenders to beat goalkeeper Iker Casillas, and Arsenal defeated Real Madrid 1-0 Tuesday night in the European Champions League for its first win at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.


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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.

Ricky Williams appeals failed drug test (AP)
Troubled running back Ricky Williams is appealing a positive drug test that could force the Miami Dolphins star to sit out the 2006 season, a person familiar with the case said Monday. If the positive test result is upheld, it would be Williams' fourth violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy, meaning at least a one-year suspension.

Brees likely to become free agent (AP)
The Chargers are primed to let quarterback Drew Brees test free agency. San Diego general manager A. J. Smith said Monday the team has declined to designate Brees as its franchise or transition player. The deadline for designating a player with either tag is Thursday. If the Chargers had slapped either of the tags on Brees, he would be guaranteed nearly $10 million in a one-year salary next season.

Jets designate Abraham franchise player (AP)
John Abraham is sick of waiting around for the Jets to make him a long-term commitment. The defensive end was designated the team's franchise player Tuesday for the second straight year, creating another unhappy situation. Though Abraham stands to make $8.33 million in 2006, all he wanted was for the Jets to prove they want him to stick around for the future.

Training guru Shaw preps players for NFL (AP)
D'Brickashaw Ferguson is one confident 300-pound lineman heading to this week's NFL combine -- thanks to training guru Tom Shaw. "I'm happy with my progress. I'm faster, stronger and more explosive," the 6-foot-5 offensive tackle says. "I'm ready to show what I've got. The camp has been very productive for me." NFL personnel are eager for a close-up look at Ferguson, an All-American from Virginia...

Lynch, Broncos agree on 2-year extension (AP)
Seven-time Pro Bowl safety John Lynch signed a two-year contract extension with the Denver Broncos on Tuesday through the 2008 season. Financial terms were not disclosed. Lynch, who joined the Broncos in 2004 from Tampa Bay, is entering his 14th season in the NFL and third with Denver. He is 34. In 195 regular-season games, Lynch has 1,118 tackles (677 solo), 26 interceptions and 12 sacks.

Jets coach Mangini mum on Pennington (AP)
Chad Pennington is rehabbing his shoulder, working hard to get back onto the field. That was about all new Jets coach Eric Mangini was willing to divulge Monday when asked about the team's quarterback. Mangini did everything he could to avoid answering the biggest question facing the Jets this week: Will they retain Pennington at a reduced salary or cut him?

Bettis ready to speak his mind in TV gig (AP)
Don't be surprised if Jerome Bettis throws a player or two under the bus during his new television gig. The former Steelers running back prides himself on his honesty, and promises to tell nothing but the truth when he starts his NBC job as a studio analyst for Sunday night football games. "It won't be difficult at all," Bettis said during a conference call Monday to talk about his career move.

Hoops world's 8th wonder
Thanks to rising star Chris Paul, the Hornets have miraculously elevated themselves to No. 8 in the rankings.

Carter, Kidd end Nets' hex in Milwaukee (AP)
After outscoring Vince Carter by a point in the first half, Richard Jefferson joked that maybe the two should swap paychecks. "How is it I make less money than you and have more points right now?" Carter recalled Jefferson saying at halftime. Instead, Carter went out and earned his money. The All-Star guard scored 38 second-half points, including driving layups on back-to-back possessions in the...

Pistons open 2nd half by beating Hawks (AP)
The Atlanta Hawks stayed close, and that played right into the hands of the Detroit Pistons. Richard Hamilton scored 24 points and Chauncey Billups had 19 points and 15 assists to lead Detroit to a 97-87 win over the Hawks on Tuesday night. All four of Detroit's All-Stars had big games. In addition to Hamilton and Billups, Rasheed Wallace finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds and Ben Wallace had...

LeBron gets hot late as Cavs top Magic (AP)
Last season's second-half collapse by Cleveland is still fresh in LeBron James' mind. The All-Star game MVP is determined not to let it happen again. James hit only four of his first 17 shots but finished with 26 points to lead Cleveland to a 105-92 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night -- moving the Cavaliers 11 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1997-98 season.

Mavericks win 12th straight at home (AP)
Dirk Nowitzki had a tough time scoring against the Los Angeles Clippers, except for a minute in the fourth quarter. But that minute-long outburst by Nowitzki and his game-saving defensive play with 6.9 seconds left were enough to push the Dallas Mavericks to a 93-91 victory Tuesday night. They matched a franchise record with their 12th straight win at home.

Spurs win first February home game (AP)
After staggering at the end of a long road trip, the San Antonio Spurs were reminded how nice it is to come home. Tony Parker scored 30 points and Bruce Bowen hit five 3-pointers to lead the Spurs to a 103-78 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday night in their first home game this month. The loss was the seventh in the last eight games for Seattle.

Pierce leads Celtics in rare road win (AP)
Paul Pierce was perfect in the third quarter and his teammates weren't far off. Pierce scored 30 and the Celtics missed just one shot in a dominant third quarter while rallying to beat the Utah Jazz 103-83 Tuesday, ending a seven-game road losing streak. "We got it going. I was feeling good," said Pierce, who made all six of his shots in the third quarter and matched Utah's total for the period with...

Kings extend home win streak to nine (AP)
Getting out of last place in the Pacific Division is just a start for the Sacramento Kings. They have designs on a playoff berth this season. The Kings began after following the All-Star break as Brad Miller scored 17 points and Mike Bibby had 16 Tuesday night, leading Sacramento to a 102-77 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Odom, Kobe power Lakers by Blazers (AP)
Lamar Odom has had his ups and downs this season. He was definitely in an up mode Tuesday night. Odom had 20 points, a season-high 17 rebounds and six assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away down the stretch for a 99-82 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. "It was a really nice game. He did a lot of things well for us tonight," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said regarding Odom.

Jones, Gasol lift Grizzlies past Raptors (AP)
Memphis guard Eddie Jones couldn't pass up a last-minute open shot with the game on the line. Jones made a 3-pointer with 41.9 seconds left then added two free throws to help the Grizzlies beat the Toronto Raptors 94-88 Tuesday night for their fourth straight win. Jones missed six of his first seven shots and had only two points until the final minute.

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. finds its offense, but still loses (AP)
Brian Rolston's shot bounced off the goalie, struck the crossbar and sent a water bottle flying on its way into the net. Needing all that effort for one goal, who knows what it will take to lift the U.S. men's hockey team to Olympic victory. Trouble is, the club has only one more chance to figure it out.

Canada ends slump, beats Czechs 3-2 (AP)
The goals came, as Wayne Gretzky predicted they would. Martin Brodeur played like a gold-medal winning goalie, too. That doesn't mean Canada solved all its problems during an encouraging but far-from-perfect performance one day before the Olympic men's hockey games start to count. Chris Pronger scored a goal and set up another in a three-goal first period and Canada ended its long scoring slump,...

Canada-Russia among quarterfinal games (AP)
Defending gold medalist Canada will play Russia and the United States will play unbeaten Finland in the Olympic men's hockey quarterfinals Wednesday. The other two matchups include a rivalry game between the 2005 world champion Czech Republic (2-3) and unbeaten Slovakia (5-0) and Sweden (3-2) against Switzerland (2-1-2), which reached the round of eight despite tying weak Germany and Italy in its...

Kazakhstan victory puts U.S. in quarters (AP)
Now it is set: The United States is in the men's hockey quarterfinals thanks to Latvia's 5-2 loss to Kazakhstan on Tuesday. The Americans clinched the fourth seed out of Group B and will face Group A winner Finland on Wednesday in the single-elimination quarterfinals. Latvia (0-4-1) entered play Tuesday, the final day in the preliminary portion of the men's hockey tournament, with the slimmest of...

Hasek expects to miss time with Senators (AP)
Ottawa Senators goalie Dominik Hasek said there's "very little chance" he'll be able to play when the NHL resumes March 1 and isn't sure when he'll return from a groin injury that forced him to withdraw from the Olympics. "Of course I'm worried, I'll be honest," the 41-year-old said Tuesday as he met with reporters for the first time since returning from the Turin Games.

Finland goes 5-0 in preliminary round (AP)
Finland got through its final preliminary game without an injury, avoiding the only thing that could've made their Olympic match against Germany matter. Dallas Star Niko Kapanen and Montreal Canadien Saku Koivu scored for the Finns, leading them to a 2-0 victory Tuesday in men's hockey. Regardless of the outcome, Finland (5-0) was headed into the single-elimination quarterfinals as the top team in...

Bondra, Hossa lift Slovakia past Sweden (AP)
Sweden coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson got the result he wanted -- and satisfied international hockey officials. One day after creating a stir by suggesting his Olympic men's hockey team might be better off losing, the Swedes played NHL stars such as Peter Forsberg and Nicklas Lidstrom, dug for loose pucks in the corners and put hard shots on net.

Late goal lifts Swiss to tie with Italy (AP)
Only a gift goal prevented a terrible loss by surprising Switzerland. Not that the Swiss cared much -- they're more interested in what happens during the rest of the unpredictable Olympic men's hockey tournament. Ivo Ruthemann scored on a giveaway with 3 1/2 minutes remaining and Switzerland escaped a major upset, tying host Italy 3-3 Tuesday to secure second place in its qualifying group.

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...

Sum of all Mears
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – He already has the last name, but Daytona 500 runner-up Casey Mears is building his own racing legacy.

Knaus suspended three more races, fined $25,000 (AP)
NASCAR suspended crew chief Chad Knaus for three more races Tuesday and fined him $25,000 for making an illegal modification to Jimmie Johnson's car during preparation for the Daytona 500.

Bank of America extends its NASCAR connection with new deal (AP)
Bank of America Corp. said Tuesday that it has reached a five-year agreement with International Speedway Corp. to sponsor four race tracks, including California Speedway near Los Angeles.

NASCAR suspends Hendrick crew chief Knaus (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Hall of Fame Racing penalized after debut (AP)
Hall of Fame Racing, the NASCAR team owned by former NFL quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, received its first penalties Tuesday for infractions during the Daytona 500.

Johnson fires back at Newman (AP)
Jimmie Johnson believes he won the Daytona 500 fair and square. That is more than he can say about postrace comments that painted him as a cheater. Johnson fired back Tuesday at Ryan Newman, who said the victory wasn't "necessarily good for the sport." Johnson won the race Sunday without crew chief Chad Knaus, suspended for making an illegal modification to the No.

Jimmie Johnson: driving in the shadow of scandal (AP)
Jimmie Johnson is not Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire or Marion Jones or Lance Armstrong. If there's an asterisk to be put next to tainted accomplishments, don't include Johnson and his Daytona 500 victory.

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.

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