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Mickelson Wins 2nd Masters in 3 Years (AP)
Phil Mickelson, right, gets his Masters Green Jacket from last years champion Tiger Woods after winning the 2006 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 9, 2006. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)AP - There was no reason to leap, no reason to look utterly stunned.


Roddick Helps U.S. Clinch Quarterfinal (AP)
United States' Andy Roddick takes a victory lap with the U.S. flag after his win over Chile's Fernando Gonzalez during their Davis Cup quarterfinals tennis match Sunday, April 9, 2006, at Mission Hills Country Club, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Roddrick won the the match, sending the U.S. team to the semifinals. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)AP - Andy Roddick relishes playing Davis Cup for his country, and likes his role as the team's "closer." Roddick beat Chile's Fernando Gonzalez in four sets Sunday to clinch the Davis Cup quarterfinal, the seventh time Roddick has locked up a round for the United States.


Coors Field West? Rockies Tear Up Petco (AP)
Colorado Rockies' Garrett Atkins, left, and Todd Helton congratulate each other after scoring in the Rockies'seven-run first inning against the San Diego Padres during their baseball game Saturday, April 8, 2006, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)AP - This stuff is supposed to happen at Coors Field, not Petco Park. Then again, Cory Sullivan and Colorado's other young hitters feel this is the year the Rockies ditch their reputation for being awful away from their mile-high home.


Athletics Get Another Gem From Starter (AP)
Oakland Athletics starter Rich Harden releases a pitch against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of their baseball game in Seattle Sunday, April 9, 2006. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)AP - Oakland's starting pitchers challenged each other a lot more than the Seattle Mariners did. Rich Harden gave the Athletics another top mound performance, taking a three-hit shutout into the eighth inning of Sunday's 6-4 win over the Seattle Mariners.


Posada, Yankees Beat Up on Angels' Colon (AP)
New York Yankees' Jorge Posada, right, watches his home run off Los Angeles Angels pitcher Esteban Yan (not shown) as Angels catcher Jeff Mathis, left, looks on in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif. on Sunday, April 9, 2006.The home run was Posada's second of the game.(AP Photo/Francis Specker)AP - The New York Yankees started their season-opening trip by beating up Barry Zito. They ended it by doing the same to Bartolo Colon.


Ricky Williams to Appeal Drug Suspension (AP)
AP - Ricky Williams will meet with league officials Monday seeking to overturn a drug suspension that could cost him the entire 2006 season.

Suns, Heat Are Slumping No. 2 Playoff Seeds (AP)
Phoenix Suns coach Mike D'Antoni, right, argues with official Ron Garretson, left, that the Seattle SuperSonics' should have been called for having six players on the court on the last play of the game of a NBA basketball game in Seattle on Sunday, April 9, 2006. Seattle won 116-114. (AP Photo/Ron Wurzer)AP - The Phoenix Suns won a division title, though Steve Nash didn't see much on the court to celebrate. Instead, he sent a warning to his team.


Last Three AL Cy Young Winners All Lose (AP)
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Bartolo Colon flips the ball up in the air after giving up a two-run double to New York Yankees' Jorge Posada (not shown) in the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif. ,on Sunday, April 9, 2006. Colon left the game in the third inning.(AP Photo/Francis Specker)AP - It was a bad day to be one of the American League's last three Cy Young Award winners: Bartolo Colon, Johan Santana and Roy Halladay.


Chelsea Rallies Past West Ham (AP)
Chelsea's Didier Drogba, right, is challenged by West Ham United's Danny Gabbidon during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge, London, Sunday, April 9, 2006. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)AP - Chelsea rallied past West Ham 4-1 Sunday after playing most of the game with only 10 men in the English Premier League.


Blues Beat Oilers to End Losing Streak (AP)
St. Louis Blues' Jason Bacashihua makes a save on his back as Mark Rycroft battles Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Smyth for the puck in the third period of their National Hockey League game Sunday, April 9, 2006, in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)AP - After Al MacInnis' retired No. 2 jersey was raised to the rafters, the St. Louis Blues rose to the occasion.


In for a big surprise
Tall and talented Antonio Cromartie could be a first-round pick despite missing last season due to a severe knee injury.

Ricky Williams to appeal drug ban Monday (AP)
Ricky Williams will meet with league officials Monday seeking to overturn a drug suspension that could cost him the entire 2006 season. League officials will not confirm drug suspensions under league policy that maintains confidentiality for positive tests. But Williams' agent, Leigh Steinberg, said last week that the hearing will take place at the NFL offices in New York.

Favre still undecided on future (AP)
There's only one sport Brett Favre definitively can say he's still playing: golf. Football? Well, that's the big question the Green Bay Packers quarterback still can't answer. Not when he isn't sure if he wants to risk another losing season, and he wonders whether his team improved enough this offseason to justify coming back for one more year.

New deal for Saints special teamer Lewis (AP)
Special teams ace Michael Lewis signed a three-year deal with the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Lewis, who worked as a beer truck driver before making the Saints' roster five years ago, is the team's all-time leader in punt return yardage and kickoff return yardage. The 5-foot-8, 173-pound Lewis has returned 206 kickoffs for 4,989 yards with three touchdowns.

Saints hold minicamp in New Orleans (AP)
Lounging in a black fold-out chair decorated with a gold fleur-de-lis, Richard Pleming wore a Saints jersey and watched Joe Horn sprint by on a pass route. This was what he loved about New Orleans, and what he feared would be relegated to memory after Hurricane Katrina laid waste to large parts of the metro area last August, sending the Saints to a temporary home in Texas.

Vikings' Brad Johnson remains confident (AP)
Brad Johnson has experienced plenty in his 14 NFL seasons, so if Minnesota brings in another quarterback yet this spring he vows to handle it the same way he has everything else. With a shrug and a smile. "I've been around too many different situations. I just love to play," Johnson said Friday, after the Vikings finished the first day of a veteran minicamp.

Young still thinks he could be a Texan (AP)
Vince Young isn't daunted by recent speculation that the Houston Texans will use the No. 1 pick in the draft on Reggie Bush. The former Texas quarterback said Friday he still thinks his hometown team is open to drafting him. "That's why I believe that I came here today," Young said. "You never know what is going on.

Bills CB Clements a no-show at minicamp (AP)
Nate Clements was a no-show when the Buffalo Bills opened a voluntary minicamp Friday because he failed to accept a one-year contract as the team's franchise player. New coach Dick Jauron said it was important for the star cornerback to attend camp to learn the new defensive system Jauron and coordinator Perry Fewell are implementing.

Nuggets' split personality
DENVER – The Nuggets can perform like a playoff team and look like a lottery loser all in the same game.

Nuggets' Hodge released from hospital (AP)
Nuggets rookie Julius Hodge was released from a hospital Sunday, a day after shots fired into his car on a highway wounded his legs. Hodge released a statement through the team expressing thanks, especially to a woman who stopped on the highway and drove Hodge and his passenger to the hospital. "I want to say a special thank you to the Good Samaritan who showed the true character of Colorado...

Suns fall, still clinch Pacific Division (AP)
Too bad Seattle has already been eliminated from playoff contention. Seven games between the Suns and SuperSonics would be a whole lot of fun. As it is, Phoenix is headed to the playoffs as division champs, while Seattle is playing for next season. For the third time this season, Seattle and Phoenix put on a high-energy, offensive showcase, capped by Ray Allen's 3-pointer with 24 seconds left that...

Spurs survive Grizzlies, stay atop West (AP)
Pau Gasol had two chances to make a big play in the final minute Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs. Tim Duncan didn't let him. Duncan blocked Gasol's shot with 56 seconds remaining and defended Gasol when he missed a potential game-tying layup with 5.9 seconds remaining, and the Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies 83-81.

Prince powers Pistons past Pacers 98-73 (AP)
Detroit took another step toward earning home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs, while Indiana continued a slide that could keep it home during the postseason. In fact, Jermaine O'Neal said the Pacers don't deserve to make the playoffs. Tayshaun Prince scored all of his 17 points in the second half to lead six double-digit scorers for the Pistons in a 98-73 victory over Indiana on Sunday.

Carter, Kidd lead Nets past Bucks 95-83 (AP)
Though the long winning streak is over, the New Jersey Nets haven't lost momentum going into the playoffs. New Jersey got 25 points from Vince Carter and yet another triple-double from Jason Kidd in a 95-83 victory over its potential first-round opponent, the Milwaukee Bucks, on Sunday. With the victory -- their third straight over the Bucks -- the Nets quickly rebounded from Saturday's loss to...

Kobe, Odom power Lakers past Clippers (AP)
For the Los Angeles Lakers, it was a game of major importance. To the Los Angeles Clippers, it was anything but crucial. That's typical of late-season matchups between the crosstown rivals, but this was different than the norm since the Clippers are the ones with the playoff berth locked up and the Lakers are still battling to get there.

Nelson leads surging Magic past Heat (AP)
The team built to win a championship is slumping as the postseason looms. And the club holding barely a sliver of playoff hope couldn't be performing any better. Jameer Nelson scored 26 points and the Orlando Magic won for the eighth time in nine games, beating Miami 93-84 on Sunday night and handing the Heat their first two-game home losing streak of the season.

Kings draw closer to playoff berth (AP)
Brad Miller had one primary thought entering Sunday's game against the Houston Rockets -- make Yao Ming work. Sacramento's veteran center outplayed the more heralded 7-foot-6 Yao, getting 30 points and 11 rebounds in the Kings' 86-77 victory that moved them closer to a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Hassell's jumper lifts Wolves over Hawks (AP)
With his team trailing by one and Kevin Garnett sitting out, young point guard Marcus Banks drove the lane in the final seconds and took it upon himself to win the game for Minnesota. Josh Smith blocked Banks' shot, but Trenton Hassell was there to clean up. Hassell made a short jumper with 1.9 seconds to play and the Timberwolves, playing without Garnett and Ricky Davis, beat the Atlanta Hawks...

Power rankings
Not much changes atop the Power Rankings as the most important races are for the remaining playoff spots.

Blues honor MacInnis, end 13-game skid (AP)
Too bad the St. Louis Blues can't find another jersey to retire. Rookie Jason Bacashihua carried a shutout into the final minute and the Blues, inspired on after Al MacInnis was honored, beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 on Sunday night to end a franchise-record 13-game losing streak. "It's been a while since we got a 'W"' Bacashihua said.

Wild spoil Theodore's Avalanche debut (AP)
The Pepsi Center crowd went wild after Peter Budaj surrendered back-to-back goals to Minnesota 42 seconds apart early in the first period Sunday night. That's right. They cheered. Because into the crease skated Jose Theodore for his Colorado Avalanche debut a month and a day after his trade from Montreal.

Gomez, Gionta lift Devils by Rangers (AP)
There was a playoff feel to the latest game between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers. Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta scored 39 seconds apart in the third period to lift the surging Devils to a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Rangers on Sunday night in a game rife with playoff implications. The tense contest featured the kind of hard hits and momentum shifts that mark playoff hockey.

Sharks continue playoff push, beat Stars (AP)
In between the scoreboard-watching and frequent goal celebrations during San Jose's impressive surge toward the playoffs, the Sharks still find time to marvel at Joe Thornton's impressive passing. In fact, Thornton's skill might be the biggest reason San Jose is making a playoff surge at all. Captain Patrick Marleau tied the Sharks' single-season points record, Jonathan Cheechoo scored his 49th...

Kolnik, Jokinen power Panthers by Tampa (AP)
The Florida Panthers are out of playoff contention, but it was the Tampa Bay Lightning who looked like they had nothing to play for. Juraj Kolnik and Olli Jokinen each scored two goals to help the Panthers beat the Lightning 6-3 on Sunday. Nathan Horton and Joe Nieuwendyk also had goals for Florida and Jamie McLennan made 29 saves to notch his second win of the season.

Predators clinch playoff berth (AP)
The Nashville Predators finally know what it feels like to clinch a playoff berth by themselves. Paul Kariya scored in the second round of a shootout, and the Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Saturday night to cinch the franchise's second straight playoff berth. This one, they did themselves after last clinching when Vancouver beat Edmonton at the end of last season.

Jovanovski returns, lifts Canucks to win (AP)
It wasn't the way Ed Jovanovski drew it up in his head but the Vancouver Canucks were happy with the final picture. Jovanovski returned from a 2 1/2 month absence and scored in overtime to lift the Vancouer Canucks to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. "We made it a little bit too close for my liking," said Jovanovski.

Sabres hand Senators third straight loss (AP)
The Ottawa Senators picked a poor time to suddenly look ordinary with the playoffs coming up. Tim Connolly scored two goals and had an assist to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night. The win allowed Buffalo to get within six points of Ottawa for the Northeast Division lead.

Ducks move closer to playoff spot (AP)
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks didn't have to travel very far to find success on a crucial five-game road trip. Chris Kunitz scored two goals and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 25 saves for his 28th victory of the season as the Ducks beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 on Saturday. Rob Niedermayer and Joffrey Lupul also scored for Anaheim, which maintained fifth-place in the Western Conference.

Texas Observations
FORT WORTH, Texas – Ray Evernham can make the Charger a winner, but does Chad Knaus still do the same for Jimmie Johnson?

Kahne cruises to victory at Texas (AP)
Kasey Kahne had no chance of repeating the runner-up finish he had at Texas during his rookie season.

Busch, Biffle square off at Texas Motor Speedway (SportsTicker)
FORT WORTH, Texas (Ticker) - Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle may have been teammates at Roush Racing, but they weren't exactly friends.

Kahne wins NASCAR Nextel Samsung/RadioShack 500 (SportsTicker)

Biffle, last year's winner, makes early exit (AP)
Greg Biffle's racing day came to an early and frustrating end Sunday when he was nudged from behind by Kurt Busch and spun out control.

Cup champion Busch wins in his Busch Series debut (AP)
Add a Busch Series victory to Kurt Busch's already impressive championship resume.

Kurt Busch wins NASCAR Busch Series O'Reilly 300 (SportsTicker)

Stewart wins IROC at Texas Motor Speedway (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Stewart wins IROC race, Kinser flips again (AP)
Tony Stewart climbed the fence, grabbed the checkered flag and then had to walk to Victory Lane after the second round of the International Race of Champions. When Stewart crossed the finish line Friday night and spun out the tires to celebrate winning his third career IROC race -- and his first victory of any kind at Texas Motor Speedway -- something broke on the car.

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