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Suns outlast Mavs in double OT thriller (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070315/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nba_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070315/capt.0a9c01fed41e43f4a4495b55cf5745e8.suns_mavericks_basketball_dna102.jpg?x=97&y=130&sig=BXpeqPEujP7s.8ZrPvfEWw--" align="left" height="130" width="97" alt="Phoenix Suns Steve Nash (13) drives against Dallas Mavericks guard Greg Buckner during the first half of their basketball game in Dallas, Wednesday, March 14, 2007. (AP Photo/LM Otero)" border="0" /></a>AP - Forget March Madness. Phoenix and Dallas played a game that belonged in late May. Steve Nash played like an MVP down the stretch and Amare Stoudemire had 41 points and 10 rebounds, carrying the Suns to a 129-127 double-overtime victory over the Mavericks on Wednesday night in a tense, thrilling game between the NBA's top teams.</p><br clear="all"/>

Bucks fire Stotts, promote Krystkowiak (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070315/ap_on_sp_bk_ne/bkn_bucks_stotts_fired"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070315/capt.8aeb14bb185c4d13b91eaf5649f5cab2.bucks_stotts_fired_ny174.jpg?x=106&y=130&sig=CsqRAgbyciIU_BaTawqkZw--" align="left" height="130" width="106" alt="Montana head coach Larry Krystkowiak cheers on his team against Nevada in the first half of a NCAA first round basketball game in Salt Lake City, Utah, in this file photo from March 16, 2006. Krystkowiak was named the new coach of the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday March, 14, 2007, after Terry Stotts was fired. Krystkowiak, 42, was originally hired by the Bucks in June 2006 as an assistant to Stotts after coaching at his alma mater, the University of Montana, where he guided the team to two straight NCAA tournament appearances, including a first-round upset over Nevada in 2006. He also coached in the CBA. (AP Photo/Steve C Wilson-File)" border="0" /></a>AP - As usual, Terry Stotts ran the Milwaukee Bucks' practice, trying to keep his downtrodden team motivated as they near the end of an injury-riddled season.</p><br clear="all"/>

Gonzaga Time: It must be the NCAAs (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070315/ap_on_sp_co_ne/bkc_ncaa_gonzaga_indiana"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070315/capt.4b09a8f48ea64e2eb3a7160ba47f312b.ncaa_indiana_basketball_cams109.jpg?x=108&y=130&sig=4tB6HItMhtrOd7ItqdY5QQ--" align="left" height="130" width="108" alt="Indiana head coach Kelvin Sampson watches his team during practice in preparation for the first round of the West regional basketball tournament in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, March 14, 2007.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)" border="0" /></a>AP - Gonzaga and Indiana experienced similar struggles this season on their journeys back to the NCAA tournament and a second straight March matchup. All both teams care about now is that they get a fresh start and do the little things right Thursday night when they meet in one of the premier games of the first round.</p><br clear="all"/>

Famous dads in Maryland-Davidson matchup (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070315/ap_on_sp_co_ne/bkc_ncaa_maryland_davidson"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070314/capt.f622519ac97947a1b3a072a6e712f138.ncaa_davidson_basketball_bfa102.jpg?x=88&y=130&sig=S692EBXkntVz5vq5Xt0C3A--" align="left" height="130" width="88" alt="Davidson's Stephen Curry shoots during practice at the NCAA regional tournament Wednesday, March 14, 2007, in Buffalo, N.Y. Davidson faces Maryland in a first round Midwest Regional basketball game Thursday. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)" border="0" /></a>AP - The bloodlines are there: major league baseball and the NBA. D.J. Strawberry, son of slugger Darryl, and Stephen Curry, son of sharpshooter Dell, have more going for them than famous fathers. They're two of the top guards in the NCAA tournament and they'll be going head-to-head when Maryland meets Davidson in the first round Thursday.</p><br clear="all"/>

Penguins finish sweep of EC's top teams (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070315/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_nhl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070315/capt.6667b22d725c45db8c07d376ede4eb5c.penguins_devils_hockey_era106.jpg?x=130&y=102&sig=55jFhQDVz6KG5j4ThBVFKg--" align="left" height="102" width="130" alt="Pittsburgh Penguins' Erik Christensen, center, is congratulated by teammates Ryan Whitney (19), Alain Nasreddine, second from left, Jarkko Ruutu, and Ronald Petrovicky (26) after Christensen scored during third period NHL hockey against the New Jersey Devils Wednesday night, March 14, 2007 in East Rutherford, N.J. The Penguins won 3-0. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)" border="0" /></a>AP - "Sid The Kid" and the Pittsburgh Penguins are showing signs a return to the postseason might be special.</p><br clear="all"/>

Colts' Manning thrown off his routine (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070314/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_peyton_s_challenge"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070314/capt.f3531c78d30944fc80bfbbf7184044cc.colts_peyton_s_challenge_football_ny153.jpg?x=121&y=130&sig=JostP3Tvm7x6S4ojrB7imw--" align="left" height="130" width="121" alt="Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) celebrates after the Colts beat the Chicago Bears 29-17 in the Super Bowl XLI football game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, in this Feb. 4, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/David Duprey)" border="0" /></a>AP - Peyton Manning wants to stick to his offseason routine. Film a few commercials, visit New Orleans, watch some Tennessee basketball, maybe even show up at the Final Four. Even the NFL's best-known workaholic needs a break.</p><br clear="all"/>

Suns Rise: End Mavericks' home dominance (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070315/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_suns_mavericks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070315/capt.0c9ce7adbcbc4c7986398079e872873d.suns_mavericks_basketball_dna101.jpg?x=76&y=130&sig=0a3uzD_CiWUry6BFgJ5j8Q--" align="left" height="130" width="76" alt="Phoenix Suns Amare Stoudemire (1) drives between Dallas Mavericks center Erick Dampier and Jason Terry during the first half of their basketball game in Dallas, Wednesday, March 14, 2007. (AP Photo/LM Otero)" border="0" /></a>AP - When the second overtime began in a game that already had plenty of thrills, Amare Stoudemire was ready to settle things. So he went to the basket. Hard. Between points and fouls that got Dallas Mavericks starters disqualified, Stoudemire's strong start got the Phoenix Suns going toward a 129-127 victory Wednesday night in a tense, thrilling game between the league's two best teams.</p><br clear="all"/>

Indians' Sabathia makes pitch for blacks (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070315/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bba_sabathia_race"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070314/capt.eac612cef89343df80a521d6bd07e1a7.indians_sabathia_race_baseball_ny152.jpg?x=130&y=86&sig=xW0cTtKqzFy8KPgprh6gQA--" align="left" height="86" width="130" alt="Cleveland Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia throws during a spring training baseball workout in this Feb. 17, 2007 file photo, in Winter Haven, Fla. Sabathia considers himself a baseball rarity and not just because he's 6-foot-7 and throws a 95 mph fastball. Sabathia is among a diminishing number of black players in the major leagues, a trend he finds disturbing and feels baseball should take more seriously. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)" border="0" /></a>AP - C.C. Sabathia looks around Cleveland's clubhouse and sees something missing &#151; black ballplayers. "There aren't very many African-American players, and it's not just in here, it's everywhere," Sabathia said Wednesday between morning workouts. "It's not just a problem &#151; it's a crisis."</p><br clear="all"/>

U.S. wins Algarve Cup for fifth time (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070314/ap_on_sp_so_ga_su/soc_algarve_cup"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070314/capt.xaf11703141736.portugal_algarve_cup_womens_soccer_xaf117.jpg?x=92&y=130&sig=g5HXbk7WEGELcrz3d2PoOQ--" align="left" height="130" width="92" alt="Kristine Lilly, left, of the United States, challenges Denmark's Julie Bukh during their women's soccer Algarve Cup final Wednesday, March 14, 2007, in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, southern Portugal. (AP Photo/Steven Governo)" border="0" /></a>AP - The United States won the Algarve Cup for the fifth time, beating Denmark 2-0 in Wednesday's final on goals by Kristine Lilly and Carli Lloyd.</p><br clear="all"/>

Zherdev, Vborny lead Jackets over Ducks (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070315/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_blue_jackets_ducks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070315/capt.a7c82547ac834d46be98d85eb77b7214.blue_jackets_ducks_hockey_ana103.jpg?x=107&y=130&sig=OaOTbIuJXtvZ620.8s.ZoQ--" align="left" height="130" width="107" alt="Anaheim Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin (23) celebrates his goal against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Fredrik Norrena, right, of Finland, during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, March 14, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)" border="0" /></a>AP - All the spin doctoring by the Anaheim Ducks couldn't erase the fact that the Pacific Division leaders are 0-2 against the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets.</p><br clear="all"/>

LSU air show

Briggs: I will not play for Bears again (AP)
Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs reiterated Tuesday that he will not play another down for the Chicago Bears and is ready to sit out next season after they designated him as their franchise player. "There are a lot of different options, a lot of different decisions, that could happen as the season comes closer," Briggs told ESPN.

Stallworth takes Branch's advice on Pats (AP)
Newly signed New England Patriots wide receiver Donte' Stallworth received a glowing recommendation to join the team from an unlikely source: Deion Branch. Branch left New England last year after a messy holdout that forced the Patriots to deal their former Super Bowl MVP to Seattle. But when Stallworth asked his friend Branch about the Patriots, Branch offered only praise.

Championship throws Manning off routine (AP)
Peyton Manning wants to stick to his offseason routine. Film a few commercials, visit New Orleans, watch some Tennessee basketball, maybe even show up at the Final Four. Even the NFL's best-known workaholic needs a break. But thanks to Manning's first Super Bowl title and his MVP performance, the last month has been anything but typical for the Indianapolis Colts quarterback.

Cardinals re-sign LB Beisel (AP)
The Arizona Cardinals re-signed linebacker Monty Beisel to a two-year contract Wednesday. Beisel played in eight games for Arizona last season, including two starts. He signed with the Cardinals as a free agent last November after being released by the New England Patriots. Beisel had 14 tackles, 12 solos, including a team-high eight when he started at San Francisco in place of the injured Gerald...

Seahawks TE Stevens accused of DUI (AP)
Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens was accused of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana after police stopped his car in downtown Scottsdale early Tuesday. A Scottsdale patrol officer noticed the car traveling erratically and made the stop about 2:15 a.m. Stevens, an unrestricted free agent after five seasons with Seattle, told the officer he had "four of five margaritas"...

Titans, CB Harper agree to 3-year deal (AP)
Nick Harper is going from the Super Bowl champion Colts to a division rival, the Tennessee Titans. The free-agent cornerback agreed to a three-year deal with the Titans on Tuesday, agent Ian Greengross said. "Nick was impressed with what he saw when the Colts played the Titans," Greengross said. "They played the Colts close the first time and beat the Colts the second time.

Court appearance for Pacman delayed (AP)
A Georgia judge agreed to delay a court appearance for Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones to give his attorneys time to determine how the NFL might react to a potential plea agreement. Jones was charged in February 2006 with felony obstruction of police. Fayette County prosecutor Scott Ballard said he has no intentions of dismissing the case that involved Jones biting an officer...

Just a matter of time

Suns need 2OT to end Mavs' home streak (AP)
When the second overtime began in a game that already had plenty of thrills, Amare Stoudemire was ready to settle things. So he went to the basket. Hard. Between points and fouls that got Dallas Mavericks starters disqualified, Stoudemire's strong start got the Phoenix Suns going toward a 129-127 victory Wednesday night in a tense, thrilling game between the league's two best teams.

Bucks fire Stotts, hire Krystkowiak (AP)
As usual, Terry Stotts ran the Milwaukee Bucks' practice, trying to keep his downtrodden team motivated as they near the end of an injury-riddled season. It was only afterward Wednesday that players found out their coach was fired and one of his assistants, Larry Krystkowiak, had been given a multiyear deal to replace him.

Wizards hand Pacers 11th straight loss (AP)
Jermaine O'Neal's spirited effort on an injured knee didn't stop the Indiana Pacers from losing their 11th straight game. O'Neal started after sitting out three games with a sprained left knee and had 24 points and seven rebounds, but Gilbert Arenas scored 28 of his 35 points in the second half as the Washington Wizards beat the Pacers 112-96 on Wednesday night.

Jackson: NBA on 'witch hunt' for Kobe (AP)
Kobe Bryant says he can handle just about any kind of criticism. Calling him a dirty player crosses the line. Bryant reacted angrily to such a concept Wednesday, and expressed gratitude for the support given him by Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson. "It's insulting," Bryant said before the slumping Lakers flew to Denver for Thursday night's game against the Nuggets.

Hinrich lifts Bulls past 76ers 88-87 (AP)
Tip, tip, grab, run. Andre Miller was sure he had the loose ball in the open court and could have coasted toward a winning layup. Then Miller heard a whistle and stopped, thinking the refs called a travel. Then he realized Philadelphia called a timeout. The fast break stalled and the 76ers' best chance at a win was over like that.

NBA fines Bucks' Bogut $25K for gesture (AP)
The NBA fined Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut $25,000 on Wednesday for directing an obscene gesture toward fans. Bogut's outburst came near the end of Milwaukee's 108-93 loss at home to Toronto on Monday night. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft was ejected after committing a flagrant foul against Toronto's Chris Bosh with 49 seconds remaining, then he directed an obscene hand gesture...

James, Cavs roll past Grizzlies 118-96 (AP)
The Memphis Grizzlies wish LeBron James' back had bothered the Cleveland Cavaliers' star another night. James recovered from his injury to score 29 points, leading seven Cleveland players in double figures and helping the Cavaliers beat the Grizzlies 118-96 Wednesday night for their season-high seventh straight victory.

Head, Yao get Rockets past Clippers (AP)
Luther Head was never shy about taking clutch shots in college and he's still not afraid to take them in the pros. Head hit a 3-pointer with 12.2 seconds left and Yao Ming deflected a pass and created a game-sealing steal as the Houston Rockets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-105 on Wednesday night.

Howard leads Magic past Jazz 101-90 (AP)
Coach Brian Hill told his Orlando Magic they needed only one game to shake a losing streak and get back into the playoff picture. It happened Wednesday night, when Dwight Howard had 31 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Magic to a 101-90 victory over the Utah Jazz. The win put the Magic (30-36) back in position for the eighth seed in the dismal Eastern Conference after the New York Knicks and...

Red Wings pass Predators for league lead (AP)
The Detroit Red Wings surged past Nashville in both the NHL and Central Division standings with a pair of wins. Less than a month before the playoffs, Detroit coach Mike Babcock isn't sure that matters. "Is there a team we want to play in the first round?" Babcock asked Wednesday following a 4-2 victory over the Predators.

Stastny extends record streak, Avs win (AP)
Paul Stastny isn't just racking up points, he's also carrying the Colorado Avalanche to much-needed wins. Stastny extended his NHL rookie record point streak to 19 games with a third-period goal and the Avalanche stayed in the playoff hunt with a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.

Penguins' Thibault posts rare shutout (AP)
If the last two games are any indication, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins could go a long way in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Backup goalie Jocelyn Thibault stopped 25 shots for his first shutout in more than three years and the Penguins completed a two-night sweep of the conference's top two teams with a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

Vyborny gets Blue Jackets by Ducks in SO (AP)
All the spin doctoring by the Anaheim Ducks couldn't erase the fact that the Pacific Division leaders are 0-2 against the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. Nikolai Zherdev scored twice and David Vyborny got the only goal in a five-round shootout, leading Columbus to a 5-4 victory Wednesday night. It was the Blue Jackets' second stunning road victory over the Ducks this season.

Predators F Erat out up to four weeks (AP)
Nashville forward Martin Erat will miss up to four weeks with a sprained right knee, after colliding with teammate Jason Arnott. Erat and Arnott slammed into each other in the third period of Tuesday's 5-2 loss to Detroit and had to be helped from the ice. The Predators are scheduled to play the Red Wings on Wednesday night.

Flyers give GM Holmgren 2-year extension (AP)
With the Flyers mired in last place and his job status uncertain, Paul Holmgren made deals and created salary cap space to try to turn Philadelphia back into a playoff team. Now, he'll get to see how it all turns out. Holmgren was given a two-year extension through the 2008-09 season on Wednesday, giving him more time to lead the NHL-worst Flyers out of the cellar and back into the postseason.

Caps G Kolzig likely to return Thursday (AP)
Washington Capitals goalie Olie Kolzig is expected to start Thursday against the Boston Bruins, his first appearance since missing a month with a knee injury. Backup goalie Frederic Cassivi was assigned Wednesday to Hershey of the American Hockey League. Called up Feb. 13, a day after Kolzig was hurt during practice, Cassivi made one start and went 0-1-1 with a 2.59 goals-against average in four...

Isles G DiPietro may miss game vs. Sens (AP)
Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro has a stiff neck and is a gametime decision for New York's game in Ottawa on Thursday. DiPietro left Tuesday's 5-3 loss to Montreal with 4:19 remaining in the opening period after he collided with Canadiens forward Steve Begin. DiPietro was chasing down a loose puck at the Islanders blue line to prevent a breakaway when Begin's leg hit the goalie in the head.

Rangers D Rachunek out with knee injury (AP)
The New York Rangers are running out of games and healthy players in their push for the playoffs. Add Karel Rachunek to the list of injured regulars. The veteran defenseman will be out three to four weeks after an MRI taken Wednesday revealed a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Rachunek was injured in the first period of the Rangers' 3-2 loss to Ottawa on Tuesday when he...

Stars' Modano scores 500th goal in win (AP)
Mike Modano was more concerned with where he scored his 500th goal than how he did it. Modano became the second U.S.-born player to score 500 goals, and the 39th in NHL history, leading the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. The 36-year-old native of Livonia, Mich., beat Antero Niittymaki on a rebound at 9:36 of the third period to move within two of Joe...

Trading Paint: J-school
This week's mailbag is brought to you by Yahoo! Sports and the letter J.

France Jr. hospitalized in Daytona (AP)
Former NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. was hospitalized Wednesday night at Halifax Medical Center, where he was under the care of his personal physicians.

Champ Car makes a quick stop on standing starts (AFP)
Champ Car officials announced on Tuesday that standing starts would not be used for the first three races of the upcoming season, citing the need for greater testing of procedures.

Montoya settling into the NASCAR life (AP)
Juan Pablo Montoya had little time to celebrate his first NASCAR victory -- the Busch Series race in Mexico City -- before traveling to Las Vegas for the Nextel Cup race.

NASCAR's best defy track's perils (AP)
Hours before the race, Brett Bodine gave a pace-car ride around reconfigured Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Johnson makes it three straight in Vegas (AP)
A new track configuration and hard tires that made it difficult to drive. A pit road penalty and a brush against the wall.

Johnson wins Las Vegas NASCAR race for third straight year (PA SportsTicker)

Lack of crashes doesn't put brakes on tire issue (PA SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin PA SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Waltrip struggling after missing 2nd straight race (AP)
Michael Waltrip the car owner was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, his only participation in the Nextel Cup race coming as an announcer for DirecTV.

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