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Attorneys: No DNA Match in Duke Scandal (AP)
Joseph B. Cheshire V,  lawyer for one of the accused Duke lacrosse players speaks to the media outside the Durham County Judicial Building in Durham, N.C., Monday, April 10, 2006. Citing DNA test results delivered by the state crime lab to police and prosecutors a few hours earlier, the attorneys said the test results prove their clients did not sexually assault and beat a stripper hired to perform at a March 13 team party. At right is attorney Bill Thomas.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)AP - DNA testing failed to connect any members of the Duke University lacrosse team to the alleged rape of a stripper, attorneys for the athletes said Monday.


Nuggets Win First Division Title Since '88 (AP)
Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony, center, is fouled by Portland Trail Blazers' Theo Ratliff (42) as his teammate Travis Outlaw looks on in the first quarter of their NBA basketball game Monday, April 10, 2006, at the Rose Garden, in Portland, Ore.  (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)AP - The Denver Nuggets were in a celebratory mood after clinching their first division title in 18 years. Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 28 points, and Ruben Patterson had 21 in a 110-98 win Monday night over his old team, the Portland Trail Blazers.


Mighty Ducks' Win Clinches Playoff Spot (AP)
Anaheim Mighty Ducks' Teemu Selanne (13) celebrates in front of Vancouver Canucks goalie Alex Auld after teammate Scott Niedermayer scored during the first period of NHL hockey action in Vancouver, Monday, April 10, 2006. (AP PHOTO/CP, Richard Lam)AP - Scott Niedermayer, Andy McDonald and Teemu Selanne each had a goal and an assist, helping the Anaheim Mighty Ducks clinch a playoff spot with a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.


Cardinals Open New Busch Stadium With Win (AP)
The St. Louis Cardinals take on the Milwaukee Brewers in the inaugural game at Busch Stadium Monday, April 10, 2006 in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)AP - The new Busch Stadium was both a hitter's and pitcher's park in its opening game — at least for Mark Mulder.


Column: a New Mickelson Is Winning Majors (AP)
Phil Mickelson, right, embraces Fred Couples, left, after winning the 2006 the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 9, 2006. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)AP - Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods met in Butler Cabin for the second straight year at the Masters for a role reversal not seen at Augusta National in more than 40 years.


Gramatica Once Got Advice From Vinatieri (AP)
AP - Some veteran NFL kickers barely acknowledged Martin Gramatica during his rookie season. One made a particular impression.

Iverson keeps Sixers in playoff hunt (Reuters)
Reuters - Allen Iverson led the Philadelphia 76ers back into the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with a 105-97 win over the Washington Wizards in National Basketball Association play on Monday.

Lackey Pitches Angels Past Rangers (AP)
Los Angeles Angels' John Lackey pitches against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif. on Monday, April 10, 2006.(AP Photo/Francis Specker)AP - The Los Angeles Angels have been able to stay out of long losing streaks ever since John Lackey joined the rotation in 2002.


FC Dallas Forward Ruiz to Miss 2-3 Weeks (AP)
AP - FC Dallas forward Carlos Ruiz will miss two to three weeks because of a strained hamstring, the team said Monday.

Sharks' Cheechoo Hits 50-Goal Plateau (AP)
San Jose Sharks' Milan Michaelek of the Czech Republic takes a shot on Phoenix Coyotes goalie David LeNeveu in NHL first-period hockey action in Glendale, Ariz. Monday, April 10, 2006.  (AP Photo/Will Powers)AP - When the San Jose Sharks needed a lift, Jonathan Cheechoo and Joe Thornton provided it. Twice.


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.

Union files grievance on McNair's behalf (AP)
The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the Titans on behalf of Steve McNair, accusing the team of breaching the quarterback's contract when it barred him from working out at its facility. McNair was told last Monday that he couldn't work out at the Titans' training property until his contract is reworked.

Ricky Williams appeals drug suspension (AP)
Ricky Williams and his lawyer met Monday with NFL counsel Jeff Pash, seeking to have the league overturn a positive drug test that could cost him the entire 2006 season. The league, which doesn't acknowledge drug tests until there is a final determination, had no comment on the appeal. Williams' lawyer, David Cornwell, acknowledged that the hearing was taking place, but had no further comment.

WR Peerless Price returns to Bills (AP)
Peerless Price signed a four-year contract with the Buffalo Bills on Monday, rejoining the team with which he's enjoyed the most success. A seven-year NFL veteran, the wide receiver returns to the Bills after failed stints with Atlanta and Dallas -- moves that came after he forced a trade from Buffalo to the Falcons three years ago.

Culpepper hopeful to play Week 1 (AP)
Daunte Culpepper walked down the auditorium stairs with his cap slightly askew, and what looked like a playbook under one arm. Most importantly to the Miami Dolphins, their new quarterback was smiling -- not limping. Not even a month has passed since the Minnesota Vikings traded him away, but Culpepper already seems comfortable in his new surroundings.

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.

Race to the finished
The struggling teams that qualify for the East's final playoff spots won't remain in the postseason for long.

Mavs win on Dirk's basket with 0.7 left (AP)
Dirk Nowitzki was 1-for-10 in a difficult second half. It didn't matter. He was going to get the last shot. Nowitzki's 18-foot jumper over Chris Kaman with 0.7 seconds remaining lifted the Dallas Mavericks to a 75-73 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

Cavs win on James' jumper with 0.5 left (AP)
Cavaliers coach Mike Brown figures getting LeBron James playoff experience is more important than getting him rest. James hit a jumper from the top of the key with 0.5 seconds left to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a 103-101 victory over New Orleans on Monday night. "He is absolutely amazing," Brown said.

Rockets' Yao breaks foot in loss to Jazz (AP)
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming broke his left foot when another player stepped on it late in the first quarter against Utah on Monday night. With four games remaining and the Rockets out of the playoff race, Yao is almost certainly done for the season, although he planned to get the foot looked at again Tuesday.

Nuggets clinch division title (AP)
The Denver Nuggets were in a celebratory mood after clinching their first division title in 18 years. Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 28 points, and Ruben Patterson had 21 in a 110-98 win Monday night over his old team, the Portland Trail Blazers. Patterson was dealt to Denver as part of a four-team midseason trade after growing unhappy with his playing time and Portland's mounting losses.

76ers grab sole possesion of No. 8 spot (AP)
With their season on the line, the Philadelphia 76ers have played their best basketball. Allen Iverson had 26 points and 15 assists and Kyle Korver scored 20 off the bench, helping Philadelphia move into sole possession of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 105-97 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday night.

Pacers help playoff hopes, beat Knicks (AP)
Indiana forward Jermaine O'Neal showed his leadership skills without forcing his shots against the New York Knicks. Instead, the Pacers' leading scorer let his teammates carry the offensive load in a 101-82 win Monday night that improved the Pacers' chances of making the playoffs. Stephen Jackson scored 28 points, Peja Stojakovic scored 23 and Austin Croshere added 17 points and 11 rebounds as the...

Heat at crossroads as postseason looms (AP)
Dwyane Wade missed practice on Monday, staying home to battle a virus that's hampered him for several days. He got off easy. His Miami teammates watched a game tape that they likely found sickening. Sunday's 93-84 loss to Orlando was the Heat's sixth defeat in their last 11 games, their second straight beating at home and allowed New Jersey to legitimately remain in the race to pass Miami for the...

Surging Magic continue late playoff push (AP)
The Magic are doing their best to reach the playoffs even if time is running out. Dwight Howard scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to help Orlando beat the Atlanta Hawks 105-88 on Monday night for the Magic's ninth win in 10 games. The Magic (33-44) are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, three games behind Philadelphia for the final playoff spot.

Suns lose, but 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...

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

Luc Robitaille to retire at season's end (AP)
Luc Robitaille, the highest scoring left wing in NHL history, will retire at the end of the season, the Los Angeles Kings said Monday. Robitaille, the Kings' career leader in goals, will hold a news conference Tuesday to discuss his decision. "Tomorrow is the opportunity for the Kings and Luc Robitaille to acknowledge his Hall of Fame-caliber career and give him an opportunity to address his...

Predators G Vokoun to miss postseason (AP)
Goaltender Tomas Vokoun carried Nashville to the edge of the playoffs with stellar play. Now that he's out for the season because of blood clots, the Predators must make do without him. Vokoun won 36 of Nashville's first 41 games this season but has pelvic thrombophlebitis and will miss the final four games of the regular season and the postseason, general manager David Poile said Monday.

Ducks clinch playoff spot, beat Canucks (AP)
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks' big first period made their tough second period seem not so bad. Anaheim jumped out to a four-goal lead, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 20 of his 39 saves in the middle frame to help the Mighty Ducks clinch a playoff spot with a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.

Zednik leads Habs to 9th win in 10 games (AP)
Bob Gainey used an effective approach to coax a big goal out of a struggling player. Richard Zednik scored for the first time in more than a month midway through the third period to snap a tie and push the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night. Zednik, a healthy scratch for three straight games, backhanded a rebound into an open right side at 9:27 to give...

Sharks move into sixth in the West (AP)
When the San Jose Sharks needed a lift, Jonathan Cheechoo and Joe Thornton provided it. Twice. Cheechoo scored his 50th and 51st goals of the season 44 seconds apart, with Thornton assisting on both, to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. "That shift was the only good shift we had all night but it saves two points for us," Thornton said.

Ovechkin reaches milestone in Caps win (AP)
Alex Ovechkin didn't mind being the joke of the party. Ovechkin scored 3:30 into overtime, making him the sixth NHL rookie to reach 100 points and giving the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory against the Boston Bruins on Monday night. After reaching the plateau, he was awarded with a shaving cream pie to the face in the Capitals locker room -- courtesy of team captain Jeff Halpern.

Primeau practices with Flyers (AP)
Philadelphia Flyers captain Keith Primeau, who said five weeks ago he would miss the rest of the season, practiced with the team Monday but downplayed speculation he might return for the playoffs. Primeau, sidelined since Oct. 30 with post-concussion symptoms, took part in a number of contact drills and didn't wear anything designating him as being injured.

Former cheerleader's suit can go forward (AP)
A sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by the former captain of the New York Rangers' cheerleading squad can go to trial, a judge ruled Monday. U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet said the lawsuit by Courtney Prince alleged comments and conduct that are "insulting, demeaning and objectifying and could be considered severe by a reasonable employee." Prince said in the lawsuit, brought two years ago,...

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.

WWD: Samsung/RadioShack 500
Kasey Kahne came up big in Texas, while Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth continue to roll.

Season-opening slide continues for frustrated Biffle (AP)
Exactly one year ago, Greg Biffle was NASCAR's hottest driver. He had two wins, solid footing in the points standings and was well on his way to becoming a championship contender.

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

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