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NEWS FROM 2007-01-25
Serena to face Sharapova in Aussie final
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070125/ap_on_sp_te_ga_su/ten_australian_open"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070125/capt.mel13601250559.australia_tennis_open_mel136.jpg?x=130&y=91&sig=VSLiC4oyjuQDa.d_ZkmWzQ--" align="left" height="91" width="130" alt="Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after winning her semifinal match against Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2007. Williams won in straight sets, 7-6 6-4. (AP Photo/Steve Holland)" border="0" /></a>AP - Unseeded and ranked No. 81, Serena Williams made it back to a Grand Slam final with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over Nicole Vaidisova at the Australian Open. She will face top-seeded Maria Sharapova in the final, the 19-year-old Russian advancing 6-4, 6-2 later Thursday over No. 4 Kim Clijsters in the second semifinal.</p><br clear="all"/>
Old All-Star schools Crosby, Ovechkin
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070125/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_all_star_game"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070125/capt.dna11901250352.all_star_game_hockey_dna119.jpg?x=100&y=130&sig=UVbJm.T5.5GJwDETr.zr8A--" align="left" height="130" width="100" alt="Edmonton Oilers' Western Conference forward Ryan Smyth (93) skates with the puck in the second period as Washington Capitals' Eastern Conference forward Alex Ovechkin (8) of Russia looks on in the background in the second period at the NHL All-Star hockey game in Dallas, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)" border="0" /></a>AP - Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are already thinking about their next All-Star game together. There should be plenty more chances for the young sensations _ and likely soon.</p><br clear="all"/>
Ho hum: Suns win 15 in a row again
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070125/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_suns_knicks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070125/capt.nyjj10801250352.suns_knicks_basketball_nyjj108.jpg?x=86&y=130&sig=Zit30Q4yHDzSY9t7znfRvw--" align="left" height="130" width="86" alt="Phoenix Suns' Amare Stoudemire, right, shoots against New York Knicks' Eddy Curry during the third quarter in NBA basketball action Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Stoudemire scored 30 points in the Suns' 112-107 win. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Phoenix Suns took nearly 40 years to win 15 straight games. They needed only a month to do it again.</p><br clear="all"/>
Badgers win school-record 16th straight
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070125/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_michigan_wisconsin"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070125/capt.wiam10501250434.michigan_wisconsin_basketball_wiam105.jpg?x=82&y=130&sig=T7fS6ASCzgD4Yn8ESMrquQ--" align="left" height="130" width="82" alt="Wisconsin's Brain Butch, right, shoots against Michigan's Brent Petway during the second half of a basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 71-58. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)" border="0" /></a>AP - With Alando Tucker viewing most of Wisconsin's latest dominating performance from the bench, Brian Butch finally came through against a conference foe.</p><br clear="all"/>
No. 1 Florida survives SEC road game
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070125/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_florida_mississippi_st"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070125/capt.msjl10101250306.florida_mississippi_st_basketball_msjl101.jpg?x=123&y=130&sig=DvnLCUIo8Yknn9nEKaLWYg--" align="left" height="130" width="123" alt="Mississippi State guard Jamont Gordon (44) shoots between Florida defenders Corey Brewer, left, and Al Horford (42) during the first half of their college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007). (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)" border="0" /></a>AP - With Joakim Noah and Taurean Green grabbing all the attention, Corey Brewer can be the forgotten man. When Mississippi State forgot about him, he made the Bulldogs pay.</p><br clear="all"/>
Manning plays coy about injured thumb
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070125/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_colts_manning_s_thumb"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070124/capt.inmc11201241943.super_bowl_colts_bears_football_inmc112.jpg?x=92&y=130&sig=vkvRv0GwM1sVAZCGXjXT_A--" align="left" height="130" width="92" alt="Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning claps as the team's football practice begins in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007. The Colts face the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI in Miami on Sunday, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)" border="0" /></a>AP - Peyton Manning thumbed his way through questions about his injured throwing hand Wednesday.</p><br clear="all"/>
Ellis caps rally as Warriors stun Nets
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070125/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nets_warriors"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070125/capt.oas10101250420.nets_warriors_basketball_oas101.jpg?x=86&y=130&sig=Gqe5teSY8WVXcYh9DsfFyg--" align="left" height="130" width="86" alt="New Jersey Nets' Vince Carter, right, is fouled by Golden State Warriors' Andris Biedrins, from Latvia, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)" border="0" /></a>AP - Baron Davis had three choices on the final fast break: a difficult drive to the basket, a risky alley-oop to Al Harrington, or an easy pass to young Monta Ellis for an open jumper. The veteran point guard went with choice No. 3, and Ellis buried a shot that stopped the Golden State Warriors' slide.</p><br clear="all"/>
Mets' Randolph agrees to new 3-year deal
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070125/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbn_mets_randolph"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070125/capt.ny15901250156.mets_randolph_baseball_ny159.jpg?x=130&y=90&sig=BrXM_ksKl_nvdV5ST3Weuw--" align="left" height="90" width="130" alt="New York Mets manager Willie Randolph looks on during batting practice before Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, in this Oct. 13, 2006 file photo, at Shea Stadium in New York. The Mets and Randolph agreed in principle Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007, to a new three-year contract that runs through 2009. The deal is scheduled to be announced Thursday, a baseball executive familiar with the negotiations said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team had yet to confirm the deal. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)" border="0" /></a>AP - The New York Mets and manager Willie Randolph agreed in principle Wednesday to a new $5.65 million, three-year contract that runs through 2009.</p><br clear="all"/>
Claudio Reyna signs with Red Bulls
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070124/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_mls_red_bulls_reyna"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070124/capt.njbk10101242022.reyna_red_bulls_soccer_njbk101.jpg?x=120&y=130&sig=wCtvKsOV0FrrxsAEA45NwA--" align="left" height="130" width="120" alt="Red Bulls coach Bruce Arena, right, holds a jersey with former U.S. national team captain Claudio Reyna, who signed to play MLS soccer with the Red Bulls, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)" border="0" /></a>AP - After a dozen years in Europe, Claudio Reyna is returning home to play with the New York Red Bulls.</p><br clear="all"/>
Sabres' Briere wins All-Star MVP
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070125/ap_on_sp_ho_ne/hkn_all_star_mvp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070125/capt.dna13101250453.all_star_game_hockey_dna131.jpg?x=130&y=86&sig=108_xTT9miNVwgXNSwBS5A--" align="left" height="86" width="130" alt="Buffalo Sabres' Eastern Conference forward Daniel Briere (48) is congratulated by the Eastern Conference teammates after he was named MVP of the NHL All-Star hockey game in Dallas, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)" border="0" /></a>AP - With the third period ticking away and the Eastern Conference heading for defeat, about the last thing on the mind of Buffalo's Daniel Briere's was winning the NHL All-Star Game MVP.</p><br clear="all"/>
Charles Robinson: Vick grounded for now
NFL, union agree to tougher drug testing (AP)
The NFL is going deeper into the wallets of players who get caught using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. After four months of sometimes intense negotiations, the league and union announced Wednesday more extensive testing for performance-enhancing drugs and the addition of the blood-boosting substance EPO to its list of banned substances.
Manning not saying much about thumb (AP)
Peyton Manning thumbed his way through questions about his injured throwing hand Wednesday. "I attended the Bill Belichick school of discussing injuries, so there's my answer," Manning said, drawing laughter. Belichick, New England's coach, is known for keeping the status of injured players secret, and Manning took advantage of a rare opportunity to do his own impersonation of the three-time Super...
Dungy to mull future after Super Bowl (AP)
Colts coach Tony Dungy will wait until after Indianapolis' Super Bowl appearance against Chicago -- before considering his future with the team. Dungy signed a contract extension last year that would keep him in Indianapolis through 2009. But many have wondered whether the 51-year-old coach, who previously said he intended to retire at age 50, might resign if he wins the Super Bowl.
Jason Garrett interviews for Cowboys job (AP)
Miami Dolphins quarterbacks coach Jason Garrett, a former Dallas quarterback, interviewed Wednesday with the Cowboys for their vacant offensive coordinator and head coaching positions. The Cowboys also sought permission to interview San Diego defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, San Diego general manager A.J.
Furrey, Lions agree on three-year deal (AP)
Lions leading receiver Mike Furrey agreed to terms on a three-year deal with Detroit, bringing back one of the team's few bright spots from a season in which it won only three games. "This is a great day," Lions coach Rod Marinelli said Wednesday. "You want to reward men for performing for the Detroit Lions, so this contract sends a strong message to all of our players.
Ray Lewis earns eighth Pro Bowl berth (AP)
Ray Lewis is going to the Pro Bowl, after all. The Baltimore Ravens' middle linebacker earned an eighth trip to Hawaii on Wednesday, replacing injured linebacker Al Wilson of the Denver Broncos on the AFC squad. Lewis was named a first alternate last month. Lewis led the Ravens' top-ranked defense with 164 tackles, the ninth time in his 11-year career he finished as Baltimore's leading tackler.
Bears' Lovie Smith in line for extension (AP)
As the NFL's lowest paid coach, Lovie Smith led the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl. He's now in line for a contract extension. Bears president Ted Phillips expects to work out the extension soon. Phillips said Wednesday he's had preliminary discussions with both Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo on new deals, but talks are on hold until after the Super Bowl on Feb.
Colts know they must get back to work (AP)
Now the Indianapolis Colts must get back to work. After two days of endless parties, wild celebrations and several congratulatory gestures, players will try to insulate themselves from the city's suddenly circus-like environment. At the team complex on Indy's west side, they can at least find a refuge.
Halas remembered for Bears' legacy (AP)
Three days after her team's biggest victory in more than two decades, Bears owner Virginia McCaskey thought about the man most responsible for the storied franchise's legacy. Her father, George Halas. "We're enjoying all the privileges and perks that go along with ownership, but we have to keep reminding ourselves we really didn't do anything to earn this," McCaskey told a pool reporter Wednesday.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Burning bright
Suns post second 15-game winning streak (AP)
The Phoenix Suns took nearly 40 years to win 15 straight games. They needed only a month to do it again. Amare Stoudemire scored 26 of his 30 points in Phoenix's big second half, and the Suns beat the New York Knicks 112-107 Wednesday night for their second 15-game winning streak of the season. Barely a month after establishing the longest winning streak in franchise history, the Suns equaled it by...
Shaq, Wade return as Heat lose in OT (AP)
Danny Granger and the Indiana Pacers didn't feel bad about spoiling Shaquille O'Neal's return. Granger scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Pacers rallied from a 20-point second-half deficit to beat the Miami Heat 96-94 Wednesday night. "That's a really big emotional victory for us," said Granger, who was 0-for-5 from the field heading into the fourth quarter.
Iguodala helps Sixers beat Cavs in 2OT (AP)
Shortly after an embarrassing loss by the home team, screeching sirens filled Quicken Loans Arena and an announcement was made that there was an emergency in the building. Turns out, it was only a false alarm. The Cavaliers, though, might be headed toward trouble. Andre Iguodala scored eight points in the second overtime and finished with a career-high 34 as the Philadelphia 76ers took it to...
McGrady powers Rockets over Spurs (AP)
The Houston Rockets now have a winning streak in San Antonio. Tracy McGrady scored 37 points and the Rockets beat the Spurs 90-85 Wednesday night for their second straight win in San Antonio. "It's important to us because we haven't won here in a long time. This is big," McGrady said. "It's big to come to San Antonio and get a win." It's actually only been a little over a month.
Wolves lose Wittman's debut in OT (AP)
Zach Randolph smiled slyly when reminded that earlier this season Minnesota's Ricky Davis called the Portland Trail Blazers "roaches." "Ricky talks a lot," Randolph laughed. Randolph had 22 points, 15 rebounds and two key free throws at the end as the Blazers spoiled Randy Wittman's first game as Minnesota's interim head coach with a 101-98 overtime victory over the Timberwolves on Wednesday...
Jones' OT buzzer-beater lifts Grizzlies (AP)
Pau Gasol had a triple-double, Eddie Jones beat the buzzer and the Memphis Grizzlies finally had a postgame celebration on the road. Jones' 22-foot jumper in the final second of overtime gave the Memphis Grizzlies a 132-130 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, ending a 10-game road losing streak.
Ellis caps late rally, Warriors top Nets (AP)
Baron Davis had three choices on the final fast break: a difficult drive to the basket, a risky alley-oop to Al Harrington, or an easy pass to young Monta Ellis for an open jumper. The veteran point guard went with choice No. 3, and Ellis buried a shot that stopped the Golden State Warriors' slide. Ellis hit a 17-foot jumper at the buzzer, and the Warriors rallied from an 11-point deficit in the...
Bosh carries Raptors past Hornets, 90-88 (AP)
Chris Bosh said the Toronto Raptors would have lost a game like this last year. Bosh scored a season-high 35 points, including a tying 3-pointer with 1:01 left, and the Raptors rallied from a 15-point fourth quarter deficit to win 90-88 over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night. Jose Calderon had four points and a block in the final 30 seconds for the Raptors.
Hawks hand Celtics ninth straight loss (AP)
The Boston Celtics are just racking up losses and injuries. Joe Johnson and Josh Smith each scored 21 points as the Atlanta Hawks handed the Celtics their ninth straight loss, 82-76 Wednesday night. The Celtics have dropped 16 of their last 18 and have lost a franchise-worst eight straight home games.
Crosby shut out, West wins All-Star game (AP)
Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are already thinking about their next All-Star game together. There should be plenty more chances for the young sensations -- and likely soon. Maybe next time, they won't be overshadowed on the ice. While Crosby and Ovechkin were the main attractions in the league's first midseason showcase since 2004, the night belonged to one of the NHL's old stars.
Briere named All-Star MVP despite loss (AP)
With the third period ticking away and the Eastern Conference heading for defeat, about the last thing on the mind of Buffalo's Daniel Briere's was winning the NHL All-Star Game MVP. "My impression was that it was going to go to someone on the winning team," Briere said. "When the cameras started coming around me, I thought maybe I had a chance." Briere's five-point game -- a goal and four assists...
Messier returns as television analyst (AP)
Mark Messier played in 15 All-Star games during a 25-season career. Now retired, the future Hall of Famer was still part of Wednesday's night's midseason NHL showcase as a television analyst. Messier, who retired in September 2005, was part of the broadcast team for Versus. "It's been an interesting endeavor," Messier said Wednesday.
Crosby lifts East in skills competition (AP)
About the only part of the game in which Sidney Crosby has struggled this season is shootouts -- until the teenage superstar was on the same ice with the rest of the NHL's best players. Crosby, the 19-year-old forward from Pittsburgh, scored on two of his three shots in the final individual shootout to deliver a victory for the Eastern Conference in the NHL All-Star skills competition Tuesday...
Devils' Parise shines in YoungStars game (AP)
New Jersey forward Zach Parise had two goals and four assists to lead the Eastern Conference to a 9-8 victory over the Western Conference in the YoungStars game Tuesday night. Parise, a first-round pick by the Devils in 2003, was selected the MVP. Boston's Phil Kessel scored his third goal four minutes into the third period, assisted by Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal and Parise to give the East a 9-4...
NHL unbalanced schedule not changing yet (AP)
The NHL is sticking to its unbalanced schedule for now, falling one vote short Tuesday of making changes to the post-lockout schedule which limits teams to one visit every three years to some cities. Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league will instead complete the three-year cycle which goes through the 2007-08 season before making any changes to the schedule.
Governor optimistic Penguins will stay (AP)
After talking with a co-owner of the Penguins, Gov. Ed Rendell is optimistic that a new arena agreement can be reached to keep the team in Pittsburgh. In a phone conversation Tuesday night, Rendell and co-owner Ron Burkle discussed some of the arena issues that needed to be clarified and agreed to work on them.
NHL slowly working toward minority gains (AP)
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, opening a luncheon this week on diversity in hockey, proudly made note of 39 cities offering inner-city programs with the help of the league. Ironically, Bettman trumpeted the programs in a city without one. "It takes somewhat of a risk for us to be able to do a presentation (here)," said Ken Martin Jr., director of the NHL's diversity program.
Wild recall G Harding from AHL (AP)
The Minnesota Wild recalled goaltender Josh Harding from the AHL on Wednesday, calling into question the health of starter Manny Fernandez. Fernandez sprained his left knee against Dallas in Minnesota's last game before the All-Star break. His status has remained in question, though Fernandez has been skating in Minnesota during the break.
Leafs F Wellwood to miss eight weeks (AP)
Forward Kyle Wellwood underwent successful hernia surgery and is expected to be out of the Toronto Maple Leafs' lineup for eight weeks, the team announced Tuesday. The 23-year-old Wellwood hasn't played since Dec. 19 with what was originally diagnosed as a groin injury. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound has registered nine goals and 22 assists in 35 games this season.
Jerry Bonkowski: Offseason caps: Bowyer, Busch, Vickers
NASCAR's youth can continue to progress while a former champ looks to rebound.
Gordon thinks Junior will leave DEI (AP)
Jeff Gordon believes it will be hard for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to stay with his late father's company because of the public battle between the driver and his stepmother.
Roush takes combative stance against Toyota (AP)
With Toyota poised to enter NASCAR's Nextel Cup series this season, Ford team owner Jack Roush is revving up the combative rhetoric.
Earnhardt defends stepmother in wake of criticism (AP)
After a rival driver called Teresa Earnhardt a ``deadbeat owner,'' Dale Earnhardt Jr. was put in the uncomfortable position of sticking up for the stepmother he's often at odds with.
NASCAR revamps All-Star race (AP)
NASCAR made another slight adjustment Tuesday, revamping the format of its annual All-Star event to add at least one more driver.
Michael Waltrip enjoying new role (AP)
Michael Waltrip understands he must share his years of experience if his latest venture is to succeed.
NASCAR driver Truex charged with disorderly intoxication (AP)
Two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr. apologized Tuesday for being charged last week with disorderly intoxication. A Volusia County Beach Patrol officer saw Truex urinating on his car in a parking garage early last Friday, according to a police report. Capt. Rich Gardner, who said he smelled alcohol on Truex's breath, repeatedly asked Truex to place his hands behind his back so he...
NASCAR to place emphasis on winning, widen Chase field to 12 (AP)
Kasey Kahne won a series-high five races during NASCAR's regular season, yet barely qualified for the championship chase because of a points system that has long rewarded consistency over winning.
NASCAR's Chase expanded to 12 drivers with points adjustments (PA SportsTicker)
NASCAR's Chase for the Championship will include two more drivers and give more value to winning races, the circuit announced Monday.