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Duke hits longest skid in 11 seasons (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070212/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_duke_maryland"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070212/capt.mdgb10702120034.duke_maryland_basketball_mdgb107.jpg?x=130&y=86&sig=qwfJQgr8MzfHJzEQUUCqww--" align="left" height="86" width="130" alt="The Duke bench watches the final seconds of their basketball game against Maryland Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007 in College Park, Md. Maryland won 72-60. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)" border="0" /></a>AP - Burdened with a four-game losing streak for the first time in 11 years, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski wasted no time in deciding the proper course to right his struggling team.</p><br clear="all"/>

Lefty's slow start ends with Pebble win (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070212/ap_on_sp_go_su/glf_pebble_beach"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070211/capt.cams10502112358.pebble_beach_golf_cams105.jpg?x=106&y=130&sig=2wR4VSAWfiQb7_CoeFNbUg--" align="left" height="130" width="106" alt="Phil Mickelson holds the winner's trophy after winning the Pebble Beach National Pro Am at the Pebble Beach golf links in Pebble Beach, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007. Mickelson finished at 20-under-par to win. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)" border="0" /></a>AP - Phil Mickelson waited until late last year, when his clubs were collecting dust during a three-month break from golf, to reflect on a U.S. Open meltdown at Winged Foot that suddenly seemed to overshadow all his achievements. Instead of sulking, he found a solution.</p><br clear="all"/>

Celtics' woes continue as slide hits 18 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070212/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_celtics_timberwolves"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070212/capt.mnah10502120204.celtics_timberwolves_basketball_mnah105.jpg?x=82&y=130&sig=ghtNEi.lCAGAFzb4gpRzbw--" align="left" height="130" width="82" alt="Minnesota Timberwolves center Mark Blount, rear, tackles teammate Ricky Davis after Davis made a tie-breaking 2-point shot during the final seconds of the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Minneapolis, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007. Davis had a team-high 28 points as the Timberwolves beat the Celtics 109-017. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)" border="0" /></a>AP - The losses keep piling up for the Boston Celtics, one after another to bring them to one of the low points in the proud franchise's championship-laden history.</p><br clear="all"/>

Arenas falls far short of 50 in big loss (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070211/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_trail_blazers_wizards"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070211/capt.dcev10302112031.trail_blazers_wizards_basketball_dcev103.jpg?x=113&y=130&sig=LSt0STOx7yYSdM2yA9MBwg--" align="left" height="130" width="113" alt="Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas sits on the bench during the first quarter of a 94-73 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)" border="0" /></a>AP - Gilbert Arenas vowed to score 50 points against Portland. He wasn't even close, finishing with just nine as the Washington Wizards fell to the Trail Blazers 94-73 on Sunday. Arenas had made the promise in retaliation for Portland coach Nate McMillan's involvement with Arenas being left off the U.S. national team last summer.</p><br clear="all"/>

Mauer, Twins agree to $33M for 4 years (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070212/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bba_twins_mauer"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070211/capt.ny15002112047.twins_mauer_baseball_ny150.jpg?x=105&y=130&sig=27ZplDUGJZU1NI3RQOlFJA--" align="left" height="130" width="105" alt="Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer follows through on a single during the third inning of a major league baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Minneapolis, Friday, June 9, 2006. AL batting champion Mauer and the Twins agreed Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007, to a $33 million, four-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration and giving one of the team's young stars the security of a long-term deal. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt,file)" border="0" /></a>AP - AL batting champion Joe Mauer and the Twins agreed Sunday to a $33 million, four-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration and giving one of the team's young stars the security of a long-term deal.</p><br clear="all"/>

Late field goal lifts AFC over NFC 31-28 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070211/ap_on_sp_fo_ga_su/fbn_pro_bowl"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070211/capt.hirs10402110328.pro_bowl_football_hirs104.jpg?x=130&y=103&sig=12rmmS8YCPKKQGEFwL5HqA--" align="left" height="103" width="130" alt="AFC head coach Bill Belichick (facing camera) and NFC New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, who is retiring from pro football, embrace on the field following the Pro Bowl football game at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007. The AFC won, 31-28. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)" border="0" /></a>AP - Even while the star-studded AFC cruised to a comfortable lead in the Pro Bowl, Carson Palmer could sense a wacky finish lurking just beyond everybody's control. "With this much talent, anybody could change the game at any time," the Cincinnati quarterback said. "You've got to expect something crazy to happen, because it will."</p><br clear="all"/>

Celtics extend franchise-record skid (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070212/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nba_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070212/capt.mnah10802120219.celtics_timberwolves_basketball_mnah108.jpg?x=77&y=130&sig=21OedsFzJ6J6D1reCnwvpg--" align="left" height="130" width="77" alt="Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers yells at his team during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007. The Timberwolves beat the Celtics 109-107. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Boston Celtics are in a record-breaking rut that has shaken their confidence and damaged the image of a once-proud franchise.</p><br clear="all"/>

Spring training to begin this week (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070211/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbo_spring_training"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070209/capt.flco10702091739.spring_training_baseball_preview_flco107.jpg?x=130&y=71&sig=U_W48lxNQG5_E3VAcDzWXw--" align="left" height="71" width="130" alt="New York Yankees grounds crew member Eddie Rivera drags the infield on one of the fields at the team's spring training complex Friday morning Feb. 9, 2007 in Tampa, Fla. Major League Baseball club's pitchers and catchers report to camps early next week. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)" border="0" /></a>AP - Detroit pitchers will try to get those infield throws down, Dice-K will make the transition to American-style baseball and Barry Zito will start justifying the $126 million that's become attached to his name. That's right: It's time for pitchers and catchers.</p><br clear="all"/>

Politician angered by riot in Germany (AP)
AP - A state politician demanded a crackdown Sunday after 42 people were injured when police and security officers clashed with 800 hooligans following a soccer match.

Blackhawks hold off Blue Jackets (AP)
AP - The Chicago Blackhawks are no longer satisfied with just winning. They want to play well while doing it.

Touting Thomas

Brees dislocates left elbow in Pro Bowl (AP)
Drew Brees lived every player's Pro Bowl nightmare Saturday, dislocating his left elbow on his second series as the NFC's starting quarterback. The All-Pro quarterback's injury seems unlikely to affect next season, but the threat of injury exists in any football game -- even a low-key, halfhearted affair such as the NFL's all-star game.

Kaeding's FG as time expires lifts AFC (AP)
Even while the star-studded AFC cruised to a comfortable lead in the Pro Bowl, Carson Palmer could sense a wacky finish lurking just beyond everybody's control. "With this much talent, anybody could change the game at any time," the Cincinnati quarterback said. "You've got to expect something crazy to happen, because it will." Palmer's hunch proved correct in the improbable final minutes -- but...

Phillips happy to have T.O. on Cowboys (AP)
Wade Phillips hates being asked how he's going to handle Terrell Owens -- or any other player. "First of all, I don't handle players," he said every time that word came up. "I work with them." Phillips takes over as coach of the Dallas Cowboys with a long reputation as someone players like working with.

Vikes hire Colts' Frazier to run defense (AP)
Surrendering control of the defense worked well for Brad Childress in his first season as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. So he will do that again in 2007. Leslie Frazier became the first assistant to leave Super Bowl champion Indianapolis on Thursday when he accepted the job as defensive coordinator of the Vikings.

Bears DL Tank Johnson pleads guilty (AP)
Bears defensive lineman Terry "Tank" Johnson pleaded guilty Thursday to violating probation in a 2005 gun case. Cook County Judge John Moran denied a request to lift the player's home confinement, but said Johnson could leave his house to attend practices. Moran delayed sentencing until March 15 so that a presentencing investigation can be done.

Chargers deal with Phillips' departure (AP)
Nearly a month after they melted down in the playoffs, the San Diego Chargers are looking at another big loss. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was hired as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, following offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and two other assistants out of town for better jobs.

Niners thrilled to keep Norv Turner (AP)
Norv Turner won't be the Dallas Cowboys' next head coach after all. That's great news for everybody with the San Francisco 49ers, and even Turner doesn't seem too disappointed to be staying home. The Cowboys hired Wade Phillips on Thursday, about 10 days after Turner emerged as the apparent front-runner to replace Bill Parcells.

Broncos mourn slain Williams at Pro Bowl (AP)
Champ Bailey and John Lynch had the same idea for their latest trip to the Pro Bowl: They both wanted to wear No. 27 in honor of slain Broncos teammate Darrent Williams. Williams died from a gunshot wound to the neck on New Year's Eve when his stretch limousine was repeatedly shot while driving away from a Denver nightclub.

Cruise control

Last-second shot extends Celtics' skid (AP)
The losses keep piling up for the Boston Celtics, one after another to bring them to one of the low points in the proud franchise's championship-laden history. And the Celtics dipped even lower on Sunday, not just because they lost their franchise-record 18th straight game, but because of how they lost it and to whom.

Cavaliers overcome Bryant, Lakers 99-90 (AP)
LeBron James finally doesn't have to do it all -- all the time -- for the Cavaliers. James deferred to less-heralded teammate Sasha Pavlovic, who scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Cleveland clamped down on Kobe Bryant when it mattered most in a 99-90 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Blazers shut down Arenas, rout Wizards (AP)
Gilbert Arenas vowed to score 50 points against Portland. He wasn't even close as the Washington Wizards fell to the Trail Blazers 94-73 on Sunday. Arenas had made the promise in retaliation for Portland coach Nate McMillan's involvement with Arenas being left off the U.S. national team last summer. The guard, who is averaging 29.4 points, shot 3-for-15 from the field, including 0-for-8 on...

Short-handed Suns fall to Bulls 116-103 (AP)
No Nash, no Diaw, not much chance -- even against the road-weary Bulls. A Chicago team at the end of a seven-game road trip, playing for the third time in four nights, was still too much for the severely short-handed Phoenix Suns. Kirk Hinrich scored 14 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter Sunday night, and the Bulls beat the Suns 116-103.

Mavericks get scare, hold off Sixers (AP)
Another one of Dallas' big leads turned this one into a snoozer early. Only coach Avery Johnson didn't expect his team to be the one that went to sleep. Once Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry snapped the Mavs out of their 10-minute funk, they had the easy win they were coasting toward against the woeful 76ers..

Wade's 18 in fourth lift Heat over Spurs (AP)
Dwyane Wade scored 18 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and the Miami Heat held San Antonio without a field goal for more than seven minutes down the stretch on the way to beating the Spurs 100-85 on Sunday. Wade, who was contained by the Spurs for the first three quarters, hit seven of 10 shots in the final period, had a couple of highlight-quality blocks against Tony Parker midway through...

Hawks win fifth straight on road (AP)
With each road win, the Atlanta Hawks are gaining more and more confidence -- and perhaps that helped them close out another tough game. Josh Smith scored 11 of his 29 points in Atlanta's big first quarter and also had 10 rebounds, leading the Hawks past the Golden State Warriors 106-105 on Sunday night for their fifth straight road victory.

O'Neal powers Pacers past Clippers 94-80 (AP)
Take that, Pops. Mike Dunleavy, playing against his father's Los Angeles Clippers for the first time since he was traded from Golden State to Indiana last month, hit nine of 12 shots, scored 20 points and had three steals in the Pacers' 94-80 victory on Sunday. Jermaine O'Neal had 21 points and set an Indiana franchise record for career blocked shots as the Pacers snapped a three-game losing...

Sonics win again on road, top Kings (AP)
Ray Allen has hit enough clutch shots in his career to recognize one as soon as he makes it. Allen scored 25 points and made a key 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter that helped the Seattle SuperSonics win their second straight road game following a franchise-record 15-game skid away from home, 114-103 over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.

Unhappy anniversary
Gary Bettman's reign as NHL commissioner will enter its 15th year on Thursday. His misguided marketing continues to mar the game.

Red Wings' home win streak reaches 12 (AP)
A quick early scoring burst by the Red Wings was too much for the Calgary Flames to handle. Detroit scored three first-period goals, chasing Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, and beat Calgary 7-4 on Sunday. Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and two assists, while Joey MacDonald got his first career win in goal as the Red Wings outshot the Flames 50-20.

Forsberg's future with Flyers uncertain (AP)
Peter Forsberg's future with the Philadelphia Flyers is still uncertain, even after a meeting Sunday with team chairman Ed Snider. Forsberg and Snider agreed to meet again to discuss the team captain's future with the franchise. Forsberg has been bothered by lingering foot and skate issues that cost him considerable time this season.

Stars set season high for goals, top Avs (AP)
Even without All-Star goalie Marty Turco finishing games, the Dallas Stars are winning and making up ground in the Pacific Division. Jeff Halpern had a goal and two assists in a 7-5 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, when the Stars set a season high for goals and were involved in a 12-goal game for the first time in more than nine years.

Surging Lightning defeat Devils 4-1 (AP)
John Tortorella and the Tampa Bay Lightning found a very unlikely hero in beating the New Jersey Devils -- Nick Tarnasky. Tarnasky had his first career game-winning goal and combined with Vincent Lecavalier to score in a 48-second span late in a three-goal second period in a 4-1 win on Sunday. "It's nice get a game winner," said Tarnasky, a role player who took seven shifts spanning less than 4...

D Stuart makes debut with Flames (AP)
Brad Stuart isn't even thinking about heading back to his home province. The veteran of nine NHL seasons and a native of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, played his first game with the Calgary Flames on Sunday night. The team acquired him and center Wayne Primeau from Boston for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew.

Sykora helps Oilers rip Thrashers 5-1 (AP)
Facing their longest road trip of the season, the Edmonton Oilers took advantage of the last dose of home hospitality they'll see in awhile. Petr Sykora set up three goals as the Oilers won 5-1 over the Atlanta Thrashers on Sunday night. Ryan Smyth, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Marc Pouliot, Joffrey Lupul and Raffi Torres scored for Edmonton, while Eric Belanger had the lone response for Atlanta.

Havlat leads Blackhawks by Blue Jackets (AP)
Martin Havlat is playing well. It's no coincidence that the Chicago Blackhawks are, too. Havlat had a goal and two assists and the Blackhawks scored three times in the opening period and then held off the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on Sunday. "I feel I'm playing the best hockey I've ever played, for sure," said Havlat, acquired along with Bryan Smolinski from Ottawa in a blockbuster deal last summer.

Jagr records 1,500th point, Rangers win (AP)
On a night in which he was booed every time he touched the puck, Jaromir Jagr appreciated the irony of reaching a significant milestone against his former team. Jagr became the 12th player in NHL history to score 1,500 points, earning three assists to help the New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 5-2 Saturday night.

Staal hat trick lifts Pens to OT win (AP)
Jordan Staal capped a tight game with his first career hat trick in a city he dreamed about playing in. Staal scored his third goal of the game at 3:54 of overtime to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-5 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Staal has seven goals in the last five games for the Penguins, who have points in 13 straight games (11-0-2) for the first time since a...

Owning it

Yates puts both cars on front row for Daytona 500; Montoya fourth (AP)
It seemed certain at times last season that Robert Yates Racing was going to close its doors.

Michael Waltrip's Toyota impounded at Daytona (PA SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Toyotas underwhelming in Daytona pole qualifying (AP)
Oh, what a failing.

Confident Montoya has quiet qualifying day (AP)
Juan Pablo Montoya has seen it all before, although one big difference is that his current car has a roof.

Unknown Gilliland, returning Rudd gives Yates sweep of front row (PA SportsTicker)

Auto racing: NASCAR newcomers Toyota under microscope (AFP)
NASCAR newcomers Toyota were in the headlines for the wrong reasons as Michael Waltrip's Camry was impounded by officials of the hugely popular stock car racing series.

Kenseth, Kahne fail inspections, face penalties (AP)
Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne failed inspection after qualifying Sunday for the Daytona 500, and their teams could face harsh penalties before NASCAR's season opener.

Montoya finishes fourth in Daytona 500 pole chase (AFP)
Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya finished fourth in pole qualifying for next week's 49th Daytona 500 in the former Formula One star's first official run at the famed 2 1/2-mile oval.

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