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No. 1 UCLA beats Cal St. Fullerton 78-54 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061206/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_cal_st_fullerton_ucla"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061206/capt.cama10412060623.cal_st_fullerton_ucla_basketball_cama104.jpg?x=98&y=130&sig=zLLSM.3_BRsfi0nn2RFgAg--" align="left" height="130" width="98" alt="UCLA Bruins guard Arron Afflalo shoots a three pointer against the Cal State Fullerton Titans in the second half of NCAA basketball Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ Mark Avery)" border="0" /></a>AP - Down by 10 points at home for the first time this season, No. 1 UCLA eventually got its act together.</p><br clear="all"/>

Washington St. tops No. 18 Gonzaga 77-67 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061206/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_gonzaga_washington_st"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061206/capt.wakw10312060534.gonzaga_washington_st_basketball_wakw103.jpg?x=130&y=88&sig=h6fadisfqcNXhTpyXQQbcQ--" align="left" height="88" width="130" alt="Washington State guard Derrick Low (2) defends Gonzaga guard Jeremy Pargo in the second half of a college basketball game in Pullman, Wash. Tuesday, Dec 5, 2006. Washington State upset Gonzaga 77-67. (AP Photo/Kody Whiteaker)" border="0" /></a>AP - Washington State basketball coach Tony Bennett gave his father Dick a get-well present ahead of his upcoming hip replacement surgery.</p><br clear="all"/>

Rockets rout Warriors 118-90 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061206/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_warriors_rockets"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061206/capt.f38e84bb6e384eff8fee2ec317e6229b.warriors_rockets_basketball_htr110.jpg?x=101&y=130&sig=Fftj.vlc7R_lhAMaeWPEhA--" align="left" height="130" width="101" alt="Houston Rockets' Yao Ming (11), of China, keeps the ball from Golden State Warriors' Adonal Foyle (31), of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, during the third quarter of their NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006, in Houston. The Rockets beat the Warriors 118-90. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)" border="0" /></a>AP - The game in hand, Tracy McGrady used the third quarter against Golden State on Tuesday night to polish his repertoire.</p><br clear="all"/>

Clippers beat Heat 101-97 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061206/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_heat_clippers"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061206/capt.2bb57ab4239247788e47186ef6cc14e3.heat_clippers_basketball_las106.jpg?x=109&y=130&sig=BlTNRXnjfkr9PjLQKAt6YQ--" align="left" height="130" width="109" alt="Los Angeles Clippers' Elton Brand, right, scores after collecting an offensive rebound as Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem, left, and Dwyane Wade look on during the frist quarter of a basketball game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)" border="0" /></a>AP - Elton Brand had 33 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 101-97 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Mavericks storm past Nets 92-75 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061206/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_mavericks_nets"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061206/capt.era10712060408.mavericks_nets_basketball_era107.jpg?x=98&y=130&sig=na6fy.q.dYcUcy5_NyYjCQ--" align="left" height="130" width="98" alt="Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki, of Germany, drives to the basket as he splits the defense of New Jersey Nets' Nenad Krstic, left, of Serbia, and Vince Carter, right, during third quarter NBA basketball Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006 in East Rutherford, N.J. Nowitzki led all scorers with 26 points as the Mavericks beat the Nets, 92-75. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Dallas Mavericks weren't too happy about losing their 12-game winning streak, and the struggling New Jersey Nets wound up paying for it.</p><br clear="all"/>

Perfect timing for Browns-Steelers game (AP)
AP - The conditions, the timing, the setting all seem perfect for a Browns-Steelers game.

Nash passes for 20 assists in Suns' win (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061206/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nba_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061206/capt.pnu10412060320.kings_suns_basketball_pnu104.jpg?x=102&y=130&sig=dF2SqwyOajfBspKyigGfxw--" align="left" height="130" width="102" alt="Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash, right, drives against Sacramento Kings guard Jason Hart in the second quarter of a basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006, in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)" border="0" /></a>AP - Nine wins in 10 games has helped the Phoenix Suns quiet questions about their chemistry that came up after a 1-5 start.</p><br clear="all"/>

Bosox add Drew, Lugo; Padres sign Maddux (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061206/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbo_winter_meetings"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061205/capt.flpe12412052311.winter_meetings_baseball_flpe124.jpg?x=105&y=130&sig=yJ2spO5OjORdIWeetlE9Bw--" align="left" height="130" width="105" alt="New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, left, talks with Ed Randall during the Major League Baseball winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Boston Red Sox were the busiest team on the second day of baseball's winter meetings, adding right fielder J.D. Drew and shortstop Julio Lugo to their everyday lineup.</p><br clear="all"/>

Klinsmann may coach U.S. soccer team (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061205/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_us_klinsmann"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061205/capt.ny165sber10712052133.us_klinsmann_soccer_ny165sber107.jpg?x=90&y=130&sig=pYg8_A6YpC9xJRmsb__eZg--" align="left" height="130" width="90" alt="Juergen Klinsmann, coach of the German national soccer team, smiles during a press conference in Berlin, in this July 3, 2006 file photo. (AP Photo/Franka Bruns)" border="0" /></a>AP - Juergen Klinsmann and the U.S. Soccer Federation are likely to know within a week whether their talks will lead to a deal for him to become coach of the American national team, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday.</p><br clear="all"/>

Briere's hat trick lifts Sabres to win (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061206/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_nhl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061206/capt.a2083c2c39144c4ab2c84809af64247b.sabres_lightning_hockey_tpa105.jpg?x=130&y=111&sig=0n1ZdBqa85nf_1kJiEhsIA--" align="left" height="111" width="130" alt="Buffalo Sabres center Daniel Briere (48) skates past Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Marc Denis after scoring his second goal during the first period of their hockey game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)" border="0" /></a>AP - Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff knows the best way for the Sabres to hold on to the advantage of starting the season 10-0 is to avoid a losing streak. Even a two-game losing streak.</p><br clear="all"/>

Streaking in Seattle
With Shaun Alexander and Matt Hasselbeck back, the Seahawks might have what it takes to make another run to the Super Bowl.

Saints DT Hollis Thomas suspended by NFL (AP)
Saints defensive tackle Hollis Thomas was suspended for the final four games of the regular season Tuesday for violating the league's steroid policy. Thomas, backed by the team, appealed the suspension, which he said was caused by using asthma medication. He uses an inhaler daily and it apparently contained a banned steroid.

Browns QB Frye iffy for Steelers game (AP)
Charlie Frye looked at the powdered snow piled up on the fields outside the Browns' indoor practice facility. Packing a snowball was out of the question. So was throwing a football. Frye didn't practice because of a bruised right wrist Tuesday, leaving the starting quarterback's status uncertain for Cleveland's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.

Several berths could be clinched Sunday (AP)
The Chicago Bears already own the NFC North title and could be joined by champions in several other NFL divisions this weekend. Indianapolis simply has to beat Jacksonville on Sunday to win the AFC South. Even if the Colts lose, they will clinch a playoff berth if the New York Jets, Cincinnati, Denver and Kansas City all lose.

Garcia, Eagles alive in playoff chase (AP)
With his best performance in more than two years, Jeff Garcia helped the Eagles playoff chances. And maybe his job prospects, too. Making his second start in place of the injured Donovan McNabb on Monday night, the 36-year-old Garcia threw three touchdown passes in a 27-24 win over the Carolina Panthers, pushing the previously fading Philadelphia Eagles back into the chase for the NFC wild card.

Mediocrity means hope in NFC (AP)
Going .500 gets fans upset, coaches in trouble and players released. Except in this year's NFC, where a break-even mark is looking playoff-worthy. And a winning record makes you a Super Bowl contender. When the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Carolina Panthers on Monday night, it created a four-way logjam for the two NFC wild-card berths between those teams, the New York Giants and Atlanta -- all at...

Steelers' Ward, Polamalu out Thursday (AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and safety Troy Polamalu will each miss a second consecutive game because of knee injuries. Ward and Polamalu sat out the Steelers' 20-3 victory Sunday over Tampa Bay and also won't play Thursday night against Cleveland. Ward, a four-time Pro Bowl receiver who previously missed only one game in his nine-season career, had surgery last week to remove...

Redskins RB Portis has shoulder surgery (AP)
Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis had shoulder surgery Tuesday that will require six months of rehabilitation. Portis was placed on injured reserve Nov. 15 after breaking a bone in his hand in a loss to Philadelphia, but his left shoulder had also been ailing him all season. He partially dislocated the shoulder making a tackle in the first preseason game, then jammed the rotator cuff...

Smith: Bears sticking with Grossman (AP)
Let the fans boo and the critics ramble. Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith refused to budge Monday. He's sticking with Rex Grossman as his starting quarterback. A day after the Bears wrapped up their second straight NFC North championship, Grossman's lowly performance in a 23-13 win over the Vikings was still the main topic.

Parcells believes Cowboys could go far (AP)
Bill Parcells is talking championship. Well, sort of. Parcells isn't about to make any sort of proclamation, even if others are starting to say his Dallas Cowboys have the look of a Super Bowl team. But now that they've won four straight games and five of six, grabbing control of the NFC East along the way, Parcells is starting to believe they could be playing well into January and maybe even...

No kidding around

Mavericks bounce back, beat Nets 92-75 (AP)
The Dallas Mavericks weren't too happy about losing their 12-game winning streak, and the struggling New Jersey Nets wound up paying for it. Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points and Josh Howard added 23 to lead Dallas past New Jersey 92-75 Tuesday night. In its 106-97 loss to the Wizards on Monday, Dallas played lethargically until late in the game and at one point trailed by 31 points before rallying in...

Nash's 20 assists help Suns rout Kings (AP)
The assists piled up, and Steve Nash lost track. "I knew I had a bunch," he said. Nash finished with an NBA season-high 20 assists and the Phoenix Suns beat the Sacramento Kings 127-102 Tuesday night for their seventh straight victory. Leandro Barbosa scored 26 points and Nash came within two assists of a career high, set in the Suns' 140-133 loss to the New York Knicks on Jan.

McGrady scores 31, Rockets rip Warriors (AP)
The game in hand, Tracy McGrady used the third quarter against Golden State on Tuesday night to polish his repertoire. McGrady scored 13 of his 31 points in the quarter as the Houston Rockets routed the Warriors 118-90. "I was trying to do some explosive things that I haven't been doing all year," said McGrady, who hit 13 of 25 shots and dished out seven assists.

Bryant improves, could play Wednesday (AP)
Kobe Bryant's sprained right ankle has improved and the Los Angeles Lakers' star might play Wednesday night against the New Orleans Hornets. Team spokesman John Black said on Tuesday it would probably be a game-time decision. "The ankle was better today, he showed some nice improvement," Black said. "The swelling has come down.

Allen sits out, but Sonics beat Hawks (AP)
With Ray Allen sidelined, some struggling SuperSonics players took the opportunity to be more assertive and rediscover their own game. Rashard Lewis led Seattle with 29 points, but it was the contributions from the likes of Chris Wilcox, Damien Wilkins and Earl Watson that were most critical in the Sonics 102-87 win over Atlanta on Tuesday night.

Blazers top Pistons, end five-game slide (AP)
Detroit basketball fans have fond memories of Zach Randolph's days at Michigan State. They aren't enjoying his pro career quite as much. Randolph had 31 points and 13 rebounds Tuesday night, including a go-ahead basket with 21.6 seconds to go, and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a five-game losing streak with an 88-85 win over Detroit.

Brand powers Clippers over Heat, 101-97 (AP)
The Los Angeles Clippers were struggling, so they've gone back to the tried and true -- give Elton Brand the ball. Brand had 33 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Clippers to a 101-97 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. It was his second fine performance in a row, and the second consecutive win for the Clippers after they lost six of seven.

Stern: new basketball's debut mishandled (AP)
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade was one of several NBA players heartened by commissioner David Stern's acknowledgment that the league should have sought more input from players before introducing its new game ball. Stern told the New York Times in a story published Wednesday that he will address the players' criticisms with Spalding, the ball manufacturer.

Hornets G Jackson out about two weeks (AP)
Bobby Jackson, a starting guard for the New Orleans Hornets, has a cracked left rib and will be out for about two weeks. The team made the announcement Tuesday. Jackson was injured Nov. 28 in a game against the Toronto Raptors, and he sat out Friday's game against Chicago. Jackson is one of three injured Hornets starters.

March of the Penguin

Briere's hat trick powers Sabres to win (AP)
Daniel Briere needed 429 games for his first NHL hat trick. It was worth the wait. Briere had three goals, including two during a three-goal first period, as the Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo Sabres beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Tuesday night. "400 something games, I don't know why," Briere said.

Langkow, Kiprusoff get Flames by 'Canes (AP)
It only took Daymond Langkow 28 seconds to extend his point-scoring streak to six games. Langkow's early goal then stood up as the winner as the Calgary Flames blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Tuesday night. "You always want to chip in any way possible and it just so happens I've got a little streak going but the main thing is the two points at the end of the game," said Langkow.

Red Wings spoil Hull's jersey retirement (AP)
Brett Hull's pre-game jersey retirement ceremony wasn't about to put the Red Wings off their game. Despite sitting and watching the long ceremony for Hull, who was the star attraction in St. Louis for 11 years but also won a Stanley Cup with Detroit, the Red Wings came out fresh. Detroit scored two goals in the first four and a half minutes, and had 10 shots on goal in the first 10 minutes, in a 5-1...

Bouchard ends Wild's four-game slide (AP)
Already in his coach's doghouse, Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard needed a new trick to work his way out. Bouchard scored the winning goal in a shootout to carry the Wild to a 3-2 victory over the Blackhawks on Tuesday night, snapping a four-game losing streak. Bouchard stuffed a back-hander into the net past Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin while falling down.

Norrena, Blue Jackets blank Avalanche (AP)
Fredrik Norrena wasn't trying to be modest. The Columbus Blue Jackets goalie simply couldn't remember a tough save he made in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night. "They had a lot of shots, but not a lot of quality scoring chances," said Norrena, who recorded his second straight shutout.

Thrashers win fifth straight, rip Leafs (AP)
Glen Metropolit had the game of his life in front of tons of family and friends. Metropolit scored and assisted on two of Atlanta's five third-period goals, and the Thrashers rallied for a season-high fifth straight win beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 on Tuesday night. Vyacheslav Kozlov scored twice and Marian Hossa scored his league-leading 21st goal for the Thrashers, who rallied after...

Panthers end six-game slide, top Pens (AP)
The Florida Panthers and captain Olli Jokinen stopped two seemingly endless streaks in the same night. Jokinen's first road goal of the season helped the Panthers halt a six-game losing streak and beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Tuesday night. A few minutes after Sidney Crosby tied the game at 2-2 in the third period with a highlight-reel goal for Pittsburgh, Jokinen's slap shot from above the...

Heatley, Spezza lift Senators by Isles (AP)
The Ottawa Senators suddenly went from slumping to sizzling. The head start is over, and now the Senators are taking aim on the Eastern Conference. Dany Heatley scored twice, Jason Spezza had three points, and Martin Gerber won the battle of backup goalies to lead the Senators to another victory over the New York Islanders, 4-2 Tuesday night.

Stars' Modano may miss game with bad hip (AP)
Stars center Mike Modano missed practice Tuesday because of a hip flexor injury. Coach Dave Tippett said Modano was questionable for Wednesday night's home game against Phoenix. Modano was hurt in the second period of the Stars' 1-0 victory over San Jose on Monday night. In the first period, he scored the only goal of the game, a one-timer during a power play.

Across the river
NASCAR's New York dreams are on hold, but they could be rekindled in New Jersey.

Drag racer Dwayne Wilcox dies at 66 (SportsTicker)
TORRANCE, California (Ticker) - Dwayne Wilcox, one of drag racing's early stars, died Saturday of kidney failure. He was 66.

DirecTV to take NASCAR fans inside the car (AP)
The sport that already offers unprecedented fan access is going one step further in 2007, allowing DirecTV viewers to watch an entire NASCAR race from behind the wheel.

ISC scraps plans to build NASCAR track on Staten Island (AP)
International Speedway Corp. scrapped plans Monday to build a track on Staten Island, stalling NASCAR's dream to bring a race to the New York area.

Cup champ Johnson earns nearly $16M (AP)
Jimmie Johnson believes his NASCAR Nextel Cup championship is something special, and not just because it came after several frustrating near misses.

NASCAR hits the Big Apple (AP)
Jeff Gordon was taking a leisurely stroll past Central Park when he heard someone calling his name from a passing car. In one of the few cities where the NASCAR star still maintains some anonymity, he was taken aback.

Earnhardt Jr. like being best at something (AP)
Congratulations, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

A different New York for new champ Johnson. (AP)
Times Square has never seemed quite so vibrant to Jimmie Johnson.

Bank of America revs up plans for NASCAR (AP)
Banking on NASCAR fans' sponsor loyalty to drive more retail business to their ATMs and branches, Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. has signed a five-year deal as the official bank of the popular racing series.

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