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Kobe helps Lakers rally, defeat Rockets (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061216/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_rockets_lakers"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061216/capt.las10512160654.rockets_lakers_basketball_las105.jpg?x=97&y=130&sig=1M.n3E6lLiEyP2mcq.PExQ--" align="left" height="130" width="97" alt="Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, right, scores past Houston Rockets' Yao Ming of China during the second half of a basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 15, 2006. Bryant scored 53 points in the Lakers' 112-101 double-overtime win. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)" border="0" /></a>AP - Down 21 points after poor shooting and 13 turnovers in the first half, Kobe Bryant still believed the Los Angeles Lakers could win. It just took longer than he expected. Bryant scored a season-high 53 points in a 112-101 double-overtime victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Red hot Suns run winning streak to 13 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061216/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_warriors_suns"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061216/capt.pnu10812160504c.correction_warriors_suns_basketball_pnu108.jpg?x=98&y=130&sig=QAWQ.dcEgt8Nsb5nCN0gew--" align="left" height="130" width="98" alt="Phoenix Suns forward Boris Diaw, of France, pulls in a rebound against the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter of a basketball game Friday, Dec. 15, 2006, in Phoenix. Diaw scored 21 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists as the Suns defeated the Warriors, 105-101.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Suns are still streaking, thanks largely to the multiple talents of Boris Diaw. The Frenchman had his fifth career triple-double to help Phoenix run its winning streak to 13 games &#151; one shy of the club record &#151; with a 105-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Paternity test ordered in Duke rape case (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061215/ap_on_sp_co_ne/duke_lacrosse"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061215/capt.ncgb11212152004.duke_lacrosse_ncgb112.jpg?x=130&y=76&sig=52ywx9A9dCi8ipEor42EKw--" align="left" height="76" width="130" alt="Attorney Joe Cheshire, at podium, speaks to reporters after a hearing involving former Duke lacrosse players at the Durham County Judicial Building in Durham, N.C. Friday, Dec. 15, 2006. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)" border="0" /></a>AP - A judge Friday ordered a paternity test on a baby expected by the woman who has accused three Duke lacrosse players of rape. But both the district attorney and the defense rejected any possibility that one of the men is the father.</p><br clear="all"/>

Bagwell calls it quits after 15 years (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061216/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbn_bagwell_retirement"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061215/capt.txps10212151749.bagwell_retirement_baseball_txps102.jpg?x=130&y=91&sig=NznqqXxx4SUIm4ET_QMQfg--" align="left" height="91" width="130" alt="Houston Astros long time first baseman and 4-time All-Star Jeff Bagwell announces his retirement from playing baseball in Houston, Friday, Dec. 15, 2006. Bagwell will continue with the Astros on a personal services contract. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)Houston Astros long time first baseman and 4-time All-Star Jeff Bagwell announces his retirement from the gamel in Houston, Friday, Dec. 15, 2006. Bagwell, 38, leaves the Astros as the team's all-time leader in home runs (449), RBIs (1,529), walks (1,401) and extra-base hits (969). He recorded a lifetime batting average of .297 and will continue with the Astros on a personal services contract. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)" border="0" /></a>AP - Jeff Bagwell retired Friday after 15 years with the Houston Astros, ending a career in which he hit 449 home runs but was forced from the field after the 2005 season because of a shoulder injury.</p><br clear="all"/>

Jays, Wells agree to $126M extension (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061216/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bba_blue_jays_wells"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061215/capt.ny15012151939.jays_wells_baseball_ny150.jpg?x=114&y=130&sig=cjJrQSqI2oHTX4XwkqBbmQ--" align="left" height="130" width="114" alt="Toronto Blue Jays' Vernon Wells smiles after scoring against the Seattle Mariners' in the first inning of their major league baseball game oin a Monday, Sept. 11, 2006 photo in Seattle. The Toronto Blue Jays and All-Star center fielder Vernon Wells are on the verge of agreeing to a seven-year contract extension worth more than $120 million. That would make it the sixth-largest contract in baseball history. (AP Photo/Jim Bryant, file)" border="0" /></a>AP - Vernon Wells said he wanted to take care of his kid's kids. He'll get that chance with the Toronto Blue Jays. The All-Star center fielder and the Blue Jays agreed Friday night to a $126 million, seven-year contract extension through 2014, the sixth-largest deal in baseball history.</p><br clear="all"/>

Johnson to sit following arrest (Reuters)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061216/sp_nm/nfl_bears_johnson_dc"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20061216/2006_12_15t175156_326x450_us_nfl_bears_johnson.jpg?x=94&y=130&sig=rlK9a3P093rDfAmrlNWadQ--" align="left" height="130" width="94" alt="Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson (L) walks off the field after their NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field in Chicago in this October 1, 2006 file photo. The Chicago Bears said on Friday that tackle Tank Johnson will sit out Sunday's game against Tampa Bay following his arrest on gun charges. (Frank Polich/Files - UNITED STATES/Reuters)" border="0" /></a>Reuters - The Chicago Bears said on Friday that tackle Tank Johnson will sit out Sunday's game against Tampa Bay following his arrest on gun charges.</p><br clear="all"/>

Sixers' losing streak hits 10 (Reuters)
Reuters - The Philadelphia 76ers lost 93-79 to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, their 10th straight defeat and fifth since sending Allen Iverson home.

Devil Rays, Iwamura agree on 3-year deal (AP)
AP - Infielder Akinori Iwamura became the second Japanese star to land in the major leagues in as many days when he agreed Friday to a $7.7 million, three-year contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Galaxy trade goalie, acquire forward (AP)
AP - The Los Angeles Galaxy made two moves Friday, trading longtime goalkeeper Kevin Hartman to the Kansas City Wizards, and acquiring forward Nate Jaqua from Toronto FC in exchange for a portion of an allocation.

Crosby adds to Penguins' winning streak (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061216/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_nhl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061216/capt.pagp10912160333.islanders_penguins_hockey_pagp109.jpg?x=115&y=130&sig=n5nurnVzrf.zslNc_1Ozkw--" align="left" height="130" width="115" alt="Pittsburgh Penguins' Ryan Malone (12) celebrates his third goal of the game against the New York Islanders with teammates Sidney Crosby, center, and Alain Nasreddine (32) in NHL hockey action at Pittsburgh, Friday, Dec. 15, 2006. The Penguins beat the Isle 7-4.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar" border="0" /></a>AP - Sid the Kid made it a perfect 10. Sidney Crosby assisted on Ryan Malone's three goals and added a score of his own in Pittsburgh's fourth straight win, a 7-4 victory over the New York Islanders at home Friday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

The 'greatest?' Not yet
LaDainian Tomlinson is unquestionably a terrific back, but the suggestion that he's the best ever is quite premature.

Bears DT Tank Johnson won't play Sunday (AP)
Tank Johnson has found himself in his third legal entanglement in the last 18 months and Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo says it's time for the nose tackle to clean up his behavior. "He's made bad decisions. We've seen that. But he's not a bad person, so I'm not going to sit here and indict him on anything other than he's made poor choices.

Seahawks wonder what happened vs. 49ers (AP)
Mike Holmgren addressed his players in a darkened room Friday morning, the result of a wind and rain storm that knocked out power to much of the Seattle region. The setting matched the Seahawks' mood. What was expected to be a celebration of a third straight NFC West crown on Thursday night turned into an examination of just what was wrong with the reigning NFC champs after a shocking 24-14 loss to...

Quincy Carter busted for drug possession (AP)
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter was arrested Friday on marijuana possession charges at the home of a woman who called police saying Carter had been "throwing things around." Carter was booked in lieu of $500 bond and was released Friday afternoon, Irving police spokesman David Tull said.

Niners C Heitmann to miss rest of season (AP)
San Francisco 49ers center Eric Heitmann will miss the rest of the season because of a broken right leg that required surgery. Heitmann was injured in the first quarter of a 24-14 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night. Seattle defensive end Darryl Tapp rolled onto Heitmann's leg while the fifth-year center was making a block.

Olympic champ Gatlin works out for Cards (AP)
Olympic and world sprint champion Justin Gatlin worked out for the Arizona Cardinals this week, his second tryout for an NFL team. Gatlin, who faces an eight-year ban from track and field following a positive drug test, worked out for Cardinals officials Tuesday, team spokesman Mark Dalton said Friday.

Hunt's memorial service set for Tuesday (AP)
A memorial service for Kansas City Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt is set for Tuesday at Community of Christ Auditorium The service will be open to the public. Hunt died Wednesday at a Dallas hospital following a lenghty battle with prostate cancer. He was 74. On Saturday in Dallas, there will be a public memorial service at SMU's Moody Coliseum.

Bengals LB Pollack's career in doubt (AP)
Bengals linebacker David Pollack will need surgery for the cracked bone in his neck, likely ending his football career. Pollack cracked the bone while making a tackle against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 17 and was placed in a halo brace that immobilized his neck. Doctors told him that if the fracture healed without surgery, he could resume his career.

Teen sues Marcus Vick for sexual battery (AP)
A 17-year-old girl who claims she had an almost two-year sexual relationship with Miami Dolphins rookie Marcus Vick has filed a lawsuit against him, accusing him of sexual battery upon a minor, fraud and other charges. The lawsuit -- filed Wednesday in Montgomery County Circuit Court -- states that the girl was a 15-year-old honor student at Christiansburg High School when she first had sex with...

Steelers' Porter fined $10K for remarks (AP)
Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter has been fined $10,000 by the NFL for what league spokesman Steve Alic called "vulgar, inexcusable statements" to Cleveland's Kellen Winslow after Steelers' 27-7 win over the Browns last Thursday. Incensed by a late hit on one of his teammates in the fourth quarter by Winslow, Porter made a derogatory slur questioning the Cleveland tight end's sexual orientation...

Questions and The Answer
Guess which 6-foot scoring machine was the topic of conversation in the latest batch of letters.

Kobe's 53 rally Lakers by Rockets in 2OT (AP)
Down 21 points after poor shooting and 13 turnovers in the first half, Kobe Bryant still believed the Los Angeles Lakers could win. It just took longer than he expected. Bryant scored a season-high 53 points in a 112-101 double-overtime victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night. The Lakers trailed until the final 1 1/2 minutes of regulation, then squeaked out a back-and-forth first overtime...

Diaw powers Suns to 13th straight win (AP)
The Suns are still streaking, thanks largely to the multiple talents of Boris Diaw. The Frenchman had his fifth career triple-double to help Phoenix run its winning streak to 13 games -- one shy of the club record -- with a 105-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night. "Boris was unbelievable," coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Sluggish Mavs extend 76ers' skid to 10 (AP)
Maurice Cheeks is tired of talking about Allen Iverson, and frustrated by the Philadelphia 76ers' longest losing streak in 10 years. Yet, the coach is having a hard time faulting the players he has left. Even after they lost their 10th straight, 93-79 to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. "I don't know how many games we've lost.

Wallace's 27 rebounds power Bulls to win (AP)
Ben Wallace and the Bulls controlled the paint again. Wallace grabbed a season-high 27 rebounds and added 10 points to lead Chicago to a 117-111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. Kirk Hinrich scored 21 points and Chris Duhon had 19 for Chicago, who has won 10 of its last 11 games. Wallace backed up a 20-rebound performance against Seattle on Wednesday and was just one short of his...

Wizards snap 16-game skid against Heat (AP)
If the Miami Heat had beaten the Washington Wizards without Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal, the psychological damage might have been permanent. As it was, the Gilbert Arenas and his teammates finally lifted a burden that had dogged them for 3 1/2 years. Though they nearly blew a 25-point lead, the Wizards held on and ended a 16-game losing streak to the Heat with a 106-95 victory Friday night.

Celts win despite 42 points by 'Melo (AP)
It took Boston Celtics guard Tony Allen two up-and-down seasons to earn an everyday starting role. Now that he's got it, he's playing like he never wants to go back to the bench -- even for a minute. Paul Pierce scored 38 points and Allen added a career-high 30 to help the Boston Celtics extend their winning streak to four with a 119-114 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

Hawks ruin Gasol's debut, top Grizzlies (AP)
The long-awaited return of All-Star forward Pau Gasol did nothing to change the fortunes of the Memphis Grizzlies. Zaza Pachulia scored 22 points, Speedy Claxton added 19 points and 11 assists, and the Atlanta Hawks ruined Gasol's season debut by beating the Grizzlies 97-88 on Friday night. Josh Smith finished with 16 points, going 7-of-9 from the field, and grabbed 10 rebounds for Atlanta.

Abdur-Rahim rallies Kings by Jazz, 98-97 (AP)
The Sacramento Kings got a lesson in how tenuous a big lead at home can be when they blew a 21-point margin and lost to the Utah Jazz last month. On Friday, the Kings reminded the Jazz that what happened in Sacramento can happen just as easily in Salt Lake City. Sacramento rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat Utah 98-97, overcoming its worst period of the season with one of its best.

Pistons F Wallace to miss next two games (AP)
Detroit Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace will miss the next two games with an ankle injury. Team president of basketball operations Joe Dumars made the announcement Friday, saying Wallace will sit out Saturday's game at New Jersey and against Seattle at The Palace on Sunday. Wallace has been bothered by a sore right ankle for more than a week.

Offer to buy Penguins is withdrawn (AP)
Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie has withdrawn his offer to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins, current owner Mario Lemieux said Friday. Balsillie, whose company makes the BlackBerry wireless messaging device, had signed an agreement on Oct. 5 to buy the Penguins from Lemieux's group for about $175 million.

Crosby, Malone power Pens to win (AP)
The Penguins' status in Pittsburgh might be clouded, but their future on the ice appears brighter every day. Fueled by their young stars, the Penguins won their fourth in a row, 7-4 over the New York Islanders Friday night. Ryan Malone had a hat trick and 19-year-old NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists for Pittsburgh.

Caps' Ovechkin scores 6 seconds into OT (AP)
This may be Ilya's house, but it was Alex's night. Alex Ovechkin tied the game with 30 seconds left in regulation and added the winner -- his third goal of the game -- six seconds into overtime to power the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 win over Ilya Kovalchuk and the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday night.

Leafs' coach wins in return to Carolina (AP)
Winning on Tobacco Road isn't anything new for Paul Maurice. Three years to the day after Carolina fired him, the winningest coach in Hurricanes history got the best of his old team in his return to Raleigh. Alexander Steen's goal with 6 minutes remaining gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 win over the Hurricanes on Friday night.

Avalanche win third straight, top Oilers (AP)
Colorado goaltender Peter Budaj nearly paid for not playing it safe. But after he gave up a soft goal to Edmonton's Marc-Andre Pouliot in the first period, teammate Milan Hejduk tied it, Budaj buckled down and the Avalanche went on to a 4-1 win over the Oilers on Friday night. "I knew I had done something that I'd never do," Budaj said of allowing Pouliot to score his first goal of the season.

Sullivan's natural hat trick lifts Preds (AP)
Steve Sullivan's injured groin didn't slow him down. The rest it forced him to take might've even helped. Sullivan had a natural hat trick in the second period, and Scott Hartnell added two goals to lead the Nashville Predators to a 6-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. "They were quicker, they did everything at high speed and we couldn't handle it," Ottawa Coach Bryan Murray said.

Caps part owner dies in helicopter crash (AP)
A real estate developer with a small stake in the Washington Capitals and a pilot were killed when their helicopter crashed in a soybean field shortly after taking off in fog, authorities said. Joshua Freeman, 42, was on his way from a holiday party at a golf club his company owned to another event in Washington when the 1998 Bell 407 helicopter went down Thursday night in the southern Delaware...

Rookies Kopitar, Brust lead Kings to win (AP)
Barry Brust was grateful he had no time to contemplate the enormity of stopping Joe Thornton and his fellow San Jose Sharks. For the Kings' young goalie, simply doing it was much easier than thinking about it. Anze Kopitar scored two goals and Brust made 34 saves in his first NHL victory, leading Los Angeles to a 4-2 victory over the Sharks on Thursday night.

Red Wings F Kopecky out 10-12 weeks (AP)
Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Kopecky had surgery Friday to repair a broken collarbone, an injury that will sideline the rookie for the next 10 to 12 weeks. The 24-year-old center from Slovakia was injured a minute into the third period of the Red Wings' 3-2 victory over Chicago on Thursday night. Kopecky lost his footing and hit the boards as he approached the Chicago blue line, and Blackhawks...

Reason to race
Mark Martin's dreams of a Cup championship may be gone, but he's not ready to walk away.

Documentary traces NASCAR's roots (AP)
John Warner set out to make a simple movie about NASCAR driver Wendell Scott.

Alabama site picked for $600 million Earnhardt project (AP)
A $600 million Dale Earnhardt race track and entertainment complex will be built on 2,500 acres just north of Mobile, the track's investors announced Friday.

Gordon excited about impending fatherhood (AP)
Jeff Gordon insists he won't trade his Ferrari for a family-friendly vehicle any time soon. That doesn't mean NASCAR's four-time champion isn't thrilled about becoming a father.

Burton signs Nextel Cup deal with Morgan-McClure (AP)
Former Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton landed a full Nextel Cup ride Wednesday, signing a deal to drive the State Industries-sponsored No. 4 Chevrolet for Morgan-McClure Motorsports.

Speed to replace Johnson in Race of Champions (AP)
Scott Speed, the only American driver in Formula One, was tabbed Wednesday to replace NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson on Team USA's entry in the Race of Champions Nations Cup in Paris. Johnson had to withdraw from the race after breaking his wrist over the weekend in a fall from a golf cart. Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr.

Florida D.A. says no special treatment given to NASCAR chief after erratic driving complaint (AP)
Police officers who responded to NASCAR chairman Brian France's condominium in response to a report of an erratic driver did not give him special treatment, a prosecutor said.

Gordon, supermodel wife expecting child in July (SportsTicker)
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) - NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon's Chevrolet Monte Carlo seats one. His every-day ride is going to need a car seat.

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