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Even Pistons Hate to See LeBron Limp Off (AP)
Cleveland Cavalier's LeBron James drives on Detroit Pistons defender Antonio McDyess in the first quarter in their NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Wednesday, April 12, 2006. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)AP - Cleveland fans hated to see LeBron James limp off the court. So did Tayshaun Prince. The Detroit Pistons were on their way to a 96-73 home victory over the Cavaliers on Wednesday night when James landed awkwardly while being guarded by Prince on a three-point play late in the third quarter.


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Martinez Gives Mets 3-1 Win Over Nationals (AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Pedro Martinez throws against the Washington Nationals in the third inning of the baseball game, Wednesday April 12, 2006, in Washington.The Mets won the game 3-1. Martinez pitched 7 innings and gave up three hits. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)AP - It was only fitting that Pedro Martinez faced Jose Guillen in the most crucial at-bat of the New York Mets' victory over the Washington Nationals.


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Sheffield Leads Yankees' Rout of Royals (AP)
New York Yankees' Gary Sheffield (11) follows through on a first inning three-run home run off Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeremy Affeldt, Wednesday, April 12, 2006, in their baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)AP - The New York Yankees have rediscovered their high-scoring offense. Gary Sheffield homered and drove in four runs, and Shawn Chacon overcame a shaky start to earn his first win of the season in New York's 12-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.


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Sabres Tie Franchise Record With 49th Win (AP)
Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller makes a save on a shot by Montreal Canadiens' Alexander Perezhogin (42) of Russia during the third period of the NHL hockey game at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y., Wednesday, April 12, 2006. The Sabres won 3-1.(AP Photo/David Duprey)AP - The Dominik Hasek-led Sabres couldn't do it. Neither could the Buffalo teams with Pat LaFontaine and Danny Gare, or the ones coached by Scotty Bowman. Leave it to a relatively no-name group, featuring Daniel Briere and Chris Drury, to provide the Sabres one of their most successful seasons.


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Clarke Won't Dwell on 2005 Verizon Fold (AP)
AP - Darren Clarke refused to let a disastrous final round at last year's Verizon Heritage cloud his colorful outlook on Harbour Town Golf Links.

Keyshawn Johnson Cheered at Bobcats Game (AP)
AP - The last time Keyshawn Johnson attended an NBA game in Charlotte he was viciously booed and security guards followed him out of the building to ensure his safety.

NBA-leading Pistons rip Cavs while LeBron sprains ankle (AFP)
The Detroit Pistons matched a club record with their 63rd victory of the National Basketball Association season, routing Cleveland 96-83 and sending LeBron James, shown in a file picture, off injured(AFP/File/Robert Sullivan)AFP - The Detroit Pistons matched a club record with their 63rd victory of the National Basketball Association season, routing Cleveland 96-83 and sending LeBron James off injured.


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Baseball Today (AP)
AP - Seattle at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EDT). Felix Hernandez (0-1) looks to shut down the AL Central-leading Indians.

World Cup May Get Its 1st Female Referee (AP)
Croatia's Anthony Seric of Panathinaikos, right, complains to the assistant referee Nelly Viennot from France, during a Champions League Group C soccer match against Werder Bremen at the Olympic stadium, Athens, in this Sept. 27, 2005 file photo. Viennot could become the first female official at soccer's World Cup if she passes FIFA tests at the end of April 2006.  (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)AP - Nelly Viennot of France could become the first female official at soccer's World Cup if she passes FIFA tests later this month.


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Hockey Today (AP)
AP - Washington at Atlanta (7 p.m. EDT). The Thrashers are four points behind Tampa Bay for eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Just like old times
Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and Vince Young are back where they started – at the top of our mock draft.

Patriots, Seymour agree on extension (AP)
The New England Patriots reached an agreement with All-Pro defensive lineman Richard Seymour on a contract extension. The team did not release Wednesday the financial terms or length of the deal. A call from The Associated Press to Seymour's agent was not immediately returned. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Seymour is entering the final year of the six-year contract he signed as a rookie after the team...

Matt Leinart fires agent Leigh Steinberg (AP)
Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart fired agent Leigh Steinberg less than three weeks before the NFL draft, where he is expected to be among the top three choices. Steinberg, who has represented some of the top quarterbacks during the last 25 years, said Wednesday he did not know the reason for the decision.

Chargers send Davis to 49ers for Woods (AP)
The Chargers and San Francisco 49ers swapped disappointing former first-round draft picks on Wednesday, with San Diego getting wide receiver Rashaun Woods in exchange for cornerback Sammy Davis. Woods was a huge disappointment for the 49ers, who chose him with the 31st pick in the 2004 draft. He set records at Oklahoma State, but never earned even a minor spot in San Francisco's receiving corps,...

Lead prosecutor in Taylor case quits (AP)
The lead prosecutor in the assault case against Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor stepped aside Wednesday after defense lawyers charged that he was using his prominence in the case to promote his moonlighting work as a nightclub disc jockey. Michael Grieco, the assistant state attorney handling the Taylor case, asked to be replaced because "he sees himself becoming the courtroom focus, rather...

Jets sign OL Trey Teague (AP)
The New York Jets signed offensive lineman Trey Teague on Wednesday, picking up a possible replacement at center for Kevin Mawae. Teague, a seventh-round draft pick by Denver in 1998, spent the last four seasons with Buffalo and started every game with the Bills. Buffalo converted Teague into a center -- a position he played in college -- after he played left tackle with the Broncos.

Seahawks sign former Jets S Celestin (AP)
The Seattle Seahawks have signed former New York Jets safety Oliver Celestin to a $425,000, one-year contract. The Jets waived the two-year veteran Feb. 27. Celestin played in 20 games for New York, including 12 last season. None of those 20 were starts. Seattle lost starting free safety Marquand Manuel last month when he signed with Green Bay as a free agent.

No timetable set for Williams decision (AP)
The NFL has no timetable to rule on an appeal by Ricky Williams of a positive drug test that could result in the Miami running back's suspension for the 2006 season, the player's lawyer said Tuesday. Lawyer David Cornwell and Williams met Monday with NFL counsel Jeff Pash in an attempt to have the league overturn the test.

Unhappy trails
The Trail Blazers' downward spiral could lead them out of Portland now that Paul Allen might sell the once-proud franchise.

LeBron sprains ankle in loss to Pistons (AP)
LeBron James hopped on his right foot, sparing his sprained left ankle, and the Cleveland Cavaliers gasped a week before their first playoff appearance since 1998. The Detroit Pistons were routing the Cavs when their star was hurt and they went on finish them off with a 96-73 victory Wednesday night, moving within a game of earning home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Iverson's 40 lift 76ers past Nets 116-96 (AP)
The Philadelphia 76ers got their groove back, and not a moment too soon. Allen Iverson had 40 points and 10 assists and Chris Webber returned from a back injury to score 18 as Philadelphia remained tied for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with a 116-96 win over the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday night.

Warriors surprise Mavs for third time (AP)
Thanks to Golden State's two hungry rookies and a star who's still trying, the Dallas Mavericks probably won't finish on top of the Western Conference. Jason Richardson scored 25 points and the lowly Warriors shocked the mighty Mavericks for the third time this season, winning 114-102 Wednesday night.

Redd leads Bucks over Wizards 100-97 (AP)
Michael Redd asked for a little help. His Milwaukee Bucks teammates gave him just what he needed. Redd scored 21 second-half points and hit the winning basket with 19 seconds to play, T.J. Ford made a key steal in the final seconds, and the Bucks beat the Washington Wizards 100-97 on Wednesday night. "I just wanted the ball in my hands at the end of the game and wanted to make a play -- either to...

Pacers end Celtics' playoff hopes (AP)
The Indiana Pacers went from trying to get Jermaine O'Neal a triple-double during a blowout to trying to hang onto their lead in the closing minutes against the Boston Celtics. The Pacers nearly blew a 15-point advantage before beating the Celtics 117-112 on Wednesday night. Indiana remained tied for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race and eliminated the Celtics.

Injury-plagued Bulls rally past Hawks (AP)
The Chicago Bulls can control their playoff hopes, though no one knows how many healthy players they will have left if they make it to the postseason. The Bulls, missing two injured starters, overcame an ugly first half to beat Atlanta 96-90 Wednesday night and maintain their eighth-place tie in the playoff standings.

Hornets gain ground in playoff race (AP)
Chris Paul is comfortable with the Hornets' playoff hopes in his hands. The rookie point guard scored 21 points, including four in the final minute, and New Orleans held off the Seattle SuperSonics for a 104-99 win Wednesday night that helped the Hornets gain ground in the playoff race. After Seattle closed an 11-point deficit to three in the final five minutes, New Orleans turned to Paul.

Jazz help playoff hopes, top Nuggets (AP)
Spending the last two months below .500 didn't quite knock the Utah Jazz out of playoff contention. The Jazz won their fourth straight game Wednesday, beating a diluted version of the Denver Nuggets 104-83 and continuing their late push for the final playoff spot. It's still a longshot for the Jazz, who would need the Kings or Lakers to falter in the last week of the season.

Magic top Raptors for sixth straight win (AP)
The Magic kept their slim Eastern Conference playoff hopes alive with a sixth straight win, but didn't get the two losses they needed even more. Jameer Nelson had 27 points and all five Orlando starters scored in double figures as the Magic handed the Toronto Raptors their tenth straight defeat, 103-96 Wednesday night.

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

Thornton helps Sharks into playoffs (AP)
Coming from behind is nothing new for the San Jose Sharks. Neither is Joe Thornton leading the charge back. Thornton assisted on four goals, including Christian Ehrhoff's winner just 34 seconds into overtime, and San Jose earned a playoff spot with a 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.

Briere lifts Sabres past Canadiens (AP)
Crossing the Montreal blue line with a full head of steam, Buffalo's Daniel Briere looked up and knew exactly what he was going to do. Turning flatfooted defender Sheldon Souray inside out, Briere then fooled goaltender Cristobal Huet to seal the Sabres' 3-1 win over the Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Red Wings win Presidents' Trophy (AP)
The Detroit Red Wings slowly skated to Manny Legace, tapping his pads with their sticks as if it was an ordinary victory -- not the one clinching the best record in the NHL. Legace made 29 saves and Kris Draper and Donald MacLean scored to help Detroit beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 on Tuesday night. The Presidents' Trophy-winning Red Wings, with 118 points, will have home-ice advantage throughout...

Forsberg questionable down the stretch (AP)
Peter Forsberg wants to be healthy for the playoffs, even if it means the Philadelphia Flyers have to start on the road. Needing to win their final four games to clinch the Atlantic Division title and secure the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Flyers might have to do it without Forsberg, their star center who has missed the last three games with a groin injury.

Devils clinch 9th straight playoff berth (AP)
The New Jersey Devils had to work as hard to reach the playoffs this season as they've ever had to before. So it was no surprise that the Devils had to go to overtime to finally wrap up a ninth straight postseason berth. Brian Gionta scored a power-play goal 28 seconds into overtime to give the Devils a 4-3 victory over Carolina on Tuesday night.

Kings LW Robitaille announces retirement (AP)
Luc Robitaille managed to keep his emotions in check while thanking the Los Angeles Kings and their championship-starved fans at his retirement announcement Tuesday. He began ticking off his favorite moments during 14 seasons spent with the Kings -- his first game in 1986, the team's improbable run to the 1993 Stanley Cup finals and becoming the club's career goal scorer earlier this season.

Vokoun grateful docs found blood clots (AP)
Tomas Vokoun has his priorities in order. Sure the former All-Star goaltender would rather be preparing for the playoffs with the Nashville Predators. But knowing that one blood clot could have slipped from his abdomen and killed him makes watching the postseason and awaiting the birth of his second child much easier to handle.

Crosby could be youngest with 100 points (AP)
Gordie Howe couldn't do it. Neither could Bobby Hull. Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux missed out, too. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins plays for the league's worst team, but with four games remaining, could very well do it -- score 100 points in the NHL before his 19th birthday. He might not win the NHL's rookie of the year award -- Alexander Ovechkin most likely will, even though this wasn't...

Kings D Miller undergoes surgery (AP)
Kings defenseman Aaron Miller underwent hip surgery Wednesday to remove a bone spur and repair a torn labrum. The procedure was performed by hip specialist Dr. Carlos Guanche in suburban Van Nuys. The 34-year-old Miller has no goals and eight assists in 56 games with the Kings this season. He has 24 goals and 78 assists in 538 career NHL games.

Need for less speed
Lowe's Motor Speedway was a bit too fast last year – can Humpy Wheeler and NASCAR get it right this time around?

Roush ``Gong Show'' winner preparing to take over for Martin (AP)
Todd Kluever finally got on NASCAR's fast track by winning the ``Gong Show.''

NASCAR to reprimand Biffle's girlfriend (AP)
Greg Biffle's girlfriend faces a reprimand from NASCAR about her pit-road confrontation with Kurt Busch's fiance after the two drivers wrecked at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kenseth's Busch Series crew chief suspended (AP)
Chad Norris, crew chief for Matt Kenseth's Busch Series car, was fined $10,000 and suspended for three races on Tuesday because Kenseth's car failed its postrace inspection at Texas Motor Speedway.

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.

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