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Jets top Dolphins to near playoff spot (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061226/ap_on_sp_fo_ga_su/fbn_jets_dolphins"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061226/capt.mds11412260512.jets_dolphins_football_mds114.jpg?x=130&y=106&sig=9uErxxEVCPFX6ZRHPzNBoQ--" align="left" height="106" width="130" alt="New York Jets' Mike Nugent (1) kicks the winning field goal with 10 seconds left Monday, Dec. 25, 2006, in Miami, to lift the Jets to a 13-10 win over the Miami Dolphins. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)" border="0" /></a>AP - Stymied for three quarters by steady rain, sloppy play and the Miami Dolphins, the New York Jets found even the simple task of catching a field-goal snap difficult. But with the game on the line, and their playoff hopes in jeopardy, the Jets came up with the big plays they needed.</p><br clear="all"/>

Eagles take over division, beat Cowboys (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061226/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_eagles_cowboys"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061226/capt.irv11412260015.eagles_cowboys_football_irv114.jpg?x=130&y=99&sig=r5AdHfb1eno0kBCLI4O32g--" align="left" height="99" width="130" alt="Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jeff Garcia (7) is tackled by Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bradie James (56) and safety Roy Williams (31) after scrambling for seven yards in the second half of their NFL football game in Irving, Texas, Monday, Dec. 25, 2006. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Philadelphia Eagles were supposed to get buried by December road games against all three division foes, especially with retread backup Jeff Garcia running the offense.</p><br clear="all"/>

Wade leads Miami to 101-85 win over L.A. (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061225/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_lakers_heat"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061225/capt.flsm10212252104.lakers_heat_basketball_flsm102.jpg?x=130&y=93&sig=YWe60XiLbVkRqLE7Ba5N3A--" align="left" height="93" width="130" alt="Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) watches as Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) steals during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 25, 2006, in Miami. (AP Photo/Steve Mitchell)" border="0" /></a>AP - Growing up, Dwyane Wade was always around a television when it was time for the NBA's annual Christmas game telecast.</p><br clear="all"/>

Woods selected as AP Male Athlete of '06 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061226/ap_on_sp_go_ne/ye_male_athlete"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061225/capt.ny13012251940.male_athlete_ny130.jpg?x=108&y=130&sig=OA1zxBHLFtwQx_Fp8unUFQ--" align="left" height="130" width="108" alt="Tiger Woods pumps his fist on the 18th hole after winning the Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich., in this Aug. 6, 2006 file photo. Woods was voted AP Male Athlete of the Year of 2006. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, file)" border="0" /></a>AP - Tiger Woods had an answer for everything. When he missed the cut at the U.S. Open for the first time in a major &#151; his first tournament after his father died of cancer &#151; some questioned whether he could rekindle his desire to dominate. He never finished worse than second in stroke play the rest of the season.</p><br clear="all"/>

Yankees talking about trading Johnson (AP)
AP - Randy Johnson could be leaving the New York Yankees after just two seasons. The Yankees have started trade talks with several teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, although it is too early to tell whether the discussions will lead to a deal.

Eagles down Cowboys to clinch playoff spot (Reuters)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061226/sp_nm/nfl_monday_dc"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20061226/2006_12_25t205423_450x430_us_nfl_monday.jpg?x=130&y=124&sig=6tXFK1H2.Afxo4ykCRHaNw--" align="left" height="124" width="130" alt="Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is sacked by Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Darwin Walker (97) as defensive end Trent Cole (58) and defensive tackle Mike Patterson (98) move in to help in the third quarter of their NFL football game in Irving, Texas December 25, 2006. (Mike Fuentes/Reuters)" border="0" /></a>Reuters - The Philadelphia Eagles gave their fans the perfect Christmas present on Monday, clinching a playoff spot with a 23-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys.</p><br clear="all"/>

Christmas means giving for Wade and wife (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061225/ap_on_sp_bk_ne/bkn_heat_wade_s_christmas"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061224/capt.aaa10812240356.warriors_heat_basketball_aaa108.jpg?x=101&y=130&sig=.ax6bux92vD2kCL_buUgVA--" align="left" height="130" width="101" alt="Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, right, drives past Golden State Warriors guard Baron Davis during the third quarter of basketball Saturday, Dec. 23, 2006, in Miami. Wade finished the game with 18 points and eight assists and Davis was held to 10 on 5-of-14 shooting as the Heat defeated the Warriors, 105-92. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)" border="0" /></a>AP - A kid jumped atop a picnic table, threw his tiny arms in the air and let out a loud, delightful shriek.</p><br clear="all"/>

Brewers sign Suppan to 4-year contract (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061225/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbn_brewers_suppan"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061224/capt.ny15212242159.brewers_suppan_baseball_ny152.jpg?x=93&y=130&sig=RSFX0Oiy23vZTSgjRTdPKQ--" align="left" height="130" width="93" alt="St. Louis Cardinals' Jeff Suppan delivers a pitch to the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of Game 4 of the World Series in this Oct. 26, 2006 file photo in St. Louis. Suppan, the MVP of the NL championship series for the Cardinals this season, has signed a four-year free agent contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)" border="0" /></a>AP - NL championship series MVP Jeff Suppan reached a preliminary agreement Sunday on a $42 million, four-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.</p><br clear="all"/>

Inter Milan wins 11th straight (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061223/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_euro_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061223/capt.xlb10712231548.italy_soccer_xlb107.jpg?x=130&y=98&sig=6GIiEdvu6XR6My13CCsahg--" align="left" height="98" width="130" alt="Inter Milan forward Adriano, of Brazil, celebrates after scoring during an Italian major league soccer match between Inter and Atalanta, at the San Siro stadium, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2006. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)" border="0" /></a>AP - Inter Milan tied the Italian league record with its 11th consecutive victory by rallying past Atalanta 2-1 Saturday.</p><br clear="all"/>

Peaking Ducks look even mightier (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061225/ap_on_sp_ho_ne/hkn_mightier_ducks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061224/capt.png10512240501.ducks_coyotes_hockey_png105.jpg?x=102&y=130&sig=4tg_aG1oOrnXmAnP.0aldQ--" align="left" height="130" width="102" alt="Anaheim Ducks center Andy McDonald (19) tries to keep Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Ballard away from the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 23, 2006, in Glendale, Ariz. The Coyotes won 2-0. (AP Photo/Tom Hood" border="0" /></a>AP - No longer the Mighty Ducks, they're playing like the mightier Ducks. Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne and Jean-Sebastien Giguere have led the way, and the Anaheim Ducks are flying along with one of the best records in NHL history at this point of the season.</p><br clear="all"/>

Conference of champions
The AFC has been the stronger conference all year long and should keep its Super Bowl run going in Miami.

Eagles rip Cowboys, move atop NFC East (AP)
The Philadelphia Eagles were supposed to get buried by December road games against all three division foes, especially with retread backup Jeff Garcia running the offense. Turns out, that challenge was exactly what they needed to grab control of the NFC East. After close calls in Washington and New York, Garcia and the Philadelphia defense made it a clean sweep with a surprisingly easy 23-7 victory...

Jets move step closer to playoff berth (AP)
Stymied for three quarters by steady rain, sloppy play and the Miami Dolphins, the New York Jets found even the simple task of catching a field-goal snap difficult. But with the game on the line, and their playoff hopes in jeopardy, the Jets came up with the big plays they needed. New York overcame the weather, a sputtering offense and two late scores by Miami to win 13-10 on Monday night.

T.O. frustrated by loss to former team (AP)
Terrell Owens is 0-for-2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. That's the least of his problems. While he wore a Cowboys-branded Santa hat on his head, Owens certainly wasn't joyful Christmas night. His frustration was evident after a 23-7 loss, when he scored the only Dallas touchdown, then complained several times that not enough passes are coming his way.

Packers, Bears to meet on Sunday night (AP)
The Green Bay Packers will face the Chicago Bears in the final Sunday night game of the regular season on New Year's Eve thanks to the NFL's flexible schedule. The Packers (7-8), one of five teams vying for the last playoff spot in the NFC, will take on the Bears at Soldier Field. The outcome will have no bearing on Chicago (13-2) because the Bears have already clinched the top seed in the NFC and...

Big Ben, Steelers wind down awful season (AP)
Ben Roethlisberger knew he wouldn't raise Super Bowl trophies every season, and that winning 27 of his first 31 starts set a pace that would be impossible for any NFL quarterback to match. What he didn't expect was a mess of a season like this. After his first two years with the Pittsburgh Steelers went like those of no other young quarterback in NFL history, with a Super Bowl victory and two AFC...

Mora, Vick can't explain Falcons' woes (AP)
So much for leading the NFL in rushing the last three years. Even coach Jim Mora acknowledged the Atlanta Falcons' offense has "some inconsistencies" and lacks "sync." Given how sensitively Mora once reacted to questions about poor pass protection, dropped balls and abundant sacks, he has seemed more willing, at least during the last several weeks, to discuss the issues.

Pats clinch division, hurt Jags' hopes (AP)
The New England Patriots left Jacksonville with more championship shirts and hats. It wasn't the Super Bowl kind, but they'll gladly wear them -- at least for now. Tom Brady directed three long touchdown drives, capped one of them with a perfect touch pass to David Thomas, and helped the Patriots clinch their fourth consecutive AFC East crown with a 24-21 victory against the Jaguars on a rainy...

Saints close in on bye, beat Giants 30-7 (AP)
If you want to know how quickly things change in the NFL, take a look at the New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants. A year after enduring a "homeless season" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the reborn Saints are a game away from a first-round playoff bye after beating the Giants 30-7 on Sunday.

Bad PAT snap hurts Bengals playoff hopes (AP)
The playoffs are slipping right through the Cincinnati Bengals' fingers. The Bengals lost to Denver 24-23 on a snowy Sunday when Brad St. Louis' long snap on an extra point in the final minute sailed wide of holder Kyle Larson, preventing Shayne Graham from even attempting his 159th straight conversion.

Jersey swamp
Nenad Krstic's season-ending injury should keep the Nets wallowing in the muck of the Atlantic Division's mire.

Wade has 40 as Heat win, Kobe held to 16 (AP)
Growing up, Dwyane Wade was always around a television when it was time for the NBA's annual Christmas game telecast. "You always watched," Wade said, "because something exciting always happened." He wasn't watching on Monday -- because he was the one providing the excitement. Wade dismissed all pregame suggestions that his Christmas would be a 1-on-1 showdown against Kobe Bryant, then turned the...

Yao out six weeks with fractured bone (AP)
Yao Ming will miss at least six weeks after fracturing the bone under his right knee in Houston's game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night. Yao was leaping for a blocked shot as Chuck Hayes and Tim Thomas hit the floor beneath him. Yao's knee appeared to get caught under Thomas' body and Yao immediately grabbed his knee and screamed in pain.

Knee injury ends Nets C Krstic's season (AP)
New Jersey Nets center Nenad Krstic will miss the rest of the season because of a torn knee ligament. The 7-footer was hurt during the third quarter of Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The team announced Saturday he had a tear of his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Krstic caught a pass from Richard Jefferson in the lane and started to back Lakers center Kwame Brown...

Bobcats co-owner can't donate his share? (AP)
A minority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats wants to donate his share of the basketball team to a charity, but is being blocked by team managing partner Bob Johnson, The Charlotte Observer reported Sunday. Felix Sabates wants to give his Bobcats stock, which he values at about $1.34 million, to the foundation that supports Carolinas HealthCare System.

Christmas takes on deep meaning for Wade (AP)
A kid jumped atop a picnic table, threw his tiny arms in the air and let out a loud, delightful shriek. "Here he comes!" yelled the boy, who couldn't have been older than 8 or 9. With that, the 250 or so underprivileged kids crammed in the back of a South Florida arcade began stampeding toward the guest of honor.

Miller has 11 assists, 76ers rout Knicks (AP)
Andre Iguodala is having fun again, thanks to the arrival of Andre Miller. Iguodala scored 20 points and Miller had nine points and 11 assists in his Philadelphia debut as the 76ers beat the New York Knicks 98-77 Saturday night. The 76ers have won two straight since the trade of Allen Iverson finally became official, and Iguodala doesn't even mind embarking on a seven-game trip beginning Tuesday at...

LeBron's 19 points in fourth carry Cavs (AP)
For one night, LeBron James fixed the Cavaliers all by himself. You expected someone else? James scored 19 points in the fourth quarter -- one more than Orlando -- and finished with 32, pushing him over 7,000 in his NBA career and carrying Cleveland to an 86-83 win over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.

Allen scores 28 in return and Sonics win (AP)
For the next two months, Bob Hill figures every game will be a new experiment -- if not an experience. Injuries and inconsistencies forced the SuperSonics coach to devise a revised lineup Saturday and it worked for a 110-97 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Ray Allen scored 28 points after missing nine games with a bone contusion in his right foot as Seattle snapped a season-high six-game losing...

Garnett lifts Timberwolves over Pacers (AP)
The Indiana Pacers found out the hard way what happens when Kevin Garnett decides to take over. Garnett had 29 points and a season-high 19 rebounds, and the Timberwolves beat the Pacers 78-71 Saturday night to snap a four-game losing streak. Throughout his 12-year career, the star forward has gladly shared the scoring load with his teammates.

Ducks among best ever through 38 games (AP)
No longer the Mighty Ducks, they're playing like the mightier Ducks. Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne and Jean-Sebastien Giguere have led the way, and the Anaheim Ducks are flying along with one of the best records in NHL history at this point of the season. With Norris Trophy winners Pronger and Niedermayer anchoring the defense and igniting the offense, a rejuvenated Selanne...

Boyle rallies Lightning past Rangers (AP)
The New York Rangers let another game slip away. Dan Boyle had three goals and an assist during Tampa Bay's four-goal third period and the Lightning rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Saturday night. "This hurts," New York captain Jaromir Jagr said after the Rangers' season-high fifth consecutive loss.

Wild beat Wings for NHL-best 11th OT win (AP)
Minnesota didn't panic after Detroit took a late lead. The Wild kept their composure, quickly tied the score and then got their league-leading 11th overtime win. Pierre-Marc Bouchard beat Chris Osgood on a breakaway 45 seconds into the extra session to give the Wild a 3-2 win over the Red Wings on Saturday night.

Flyers' losing streak reaches nine games (AP)
Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson knows exactly what the Senators must do without their leading scorer, Jason Spezza. Alfredsson scored twice, including the go-ahead goal with 8:25 left, and the Senators defeated Philadelphia 6-3 to extend the Flyers' franchise-record losing streak to nine games. The Senators were without Spezza, who suffered a knee injury against Tampa Bay on Thursday and is out...

Predators bounce back, rout Kings 7-0 (AP)
Predators coach Barry Trotz was confident his team would bounce back after a big loss in its last game. Jason Arnott, J.P. Dumont and David Legwand had each scored twice -- marking the first time in franchise history Nashville had three two-goal scorers in a game -- to lead the Predators to a 7-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

Ovechkin scores 24th, Caps top Leafs 3-2 (AP)
Washington coach Glen Hanlon credited enforcer Donald Brashear for stopping a Toronto rally. Alexander Ovechkin scored his 24th goal, Olaf Kolzig made 35 saves and the Capitals held on for a 3-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Mats Sundin scored twice in the third period to rally Toronto.

Bruins halt Habs' five-game win streak (AP)
Two unlikely scorers made quick work of the Montreal Canadiens. Milan Jurcina and Stanislav Chistov scored 1:11 apart early in the third period to lead the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 victory over Montreal on Saturday night, ending the Canadiens' five-game winning streak. Marco Sturm had a power-play goal for Boston, and Zdeno Chara had the other score to help the Bruins win their third straight in...

Isles get first win over Blue Jackets (AP)
The New York Islanders finally figured out a way to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets. After going 0-5-2 in New York's first seven games against the Blue Jackets, it took 26 saves from Rick DiPietro for a 4-0 victory on Saturday night. "We're happy with the progress we've made, but we still have a lot of work to do," DiPietro said after getting his third shutout this season.

Guerin lifts Blues past Sabres in OT (AP)
Just seven games into the Andy Murray era, the St. Louis Blues got their first three-game winning streak in nearly a year. Bill Guerin scored his second goal of the game in overtime to lift the Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night. It was their season-high third consecutive victory and their first such streak since Feb.

Thrashers win sixth straight over Devils (AP)
For Atlanta to earn its first trip to the postseason, coach Bob Hartley knows the Thrashers will need help from the third and fourth lines. "To have a good season, you need contributions from everyone," Hartley said. "Tonight, we had that." Shane Hnidy scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, and Slava Kozlov padded the lead midway through the third in the Thrashers' 5-2 victory over the New...

Offseason caps: Reutimann, Ragan, Whitt, W. Burton
Yahoo! Sports breaks down the '07 Cup field as February's season-opening Daytona 500 approaches.

Auto Racing 2006: Johnson, Hornish win big but quietly (SportsTicker)
For a sport known for its outspoken, colorful characters, the champions of the two major racing series in the United States let their actions do the talking.

Plan for Washington track lacks legislative support (AP)


Yates team pulls Rudd out of retirement (AP)
Robert Yates is bringing Ricky Rudd out of retirement to keep his sinking race team afloat, signing him Thursday to drive the full Nextel Cup schedule in 2007.

Rudd comes out of retirement to rejoin Yates Racing (SportsTicker)
HACKETTSTOWN, New Jersey (Ticker) - Robert Yates Racing filled a new spot with an old friend.

Marcos Ambrose to drive in up to 10 Nextel Cup races in 2007 (SportsTicker)
Australian Marcos Ambrose has joined the foreign invasion of NASCAR.

Anheuser-Busch to end NASCAR sponsorship in 2007 (AP)
Anheuser-Busch will end its title sponsorship of NASCAR's No. 2 series after the 2007 season.

Ekstrom defeats Loeb to win Race of Champions (AP)
Mattias Ekstrom beat three-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb Saturday to win the Race of Champions at Stade de France. Loeb raced for the first time since breaking his arm in September and reached the final for the third straight year. The Frenchman won last year and lost to Finland's Heikki Kovalainen in 2004.

Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital Opens (AP)
Jeff Gordon saw firsthand the strain and heartache childhood illnesses bring early in his career when Ray Evernham's young son was diagnosed with leukemia.

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