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Zito earns his 1st victory with Giants (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070417/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_giants_rockies"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070417/capt.34b5621387ee4963afc3938afd67a636.giants_rockies_baseball_dxf107.jpg?x=130&y=87&sig=tP9IYj5KSOgsQt9PkddRdw--" align="left" height="87" width="130" alt="San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito delivers to Colorado Rockies leadoff hitter Willy Taveras in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Monday, April 16, 2007. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)" border="0" /></a>AP - New team. Big contract. High expectations. It was all wearing on Barry Zito. He ignored the pressure and just pitched Monday night, giving up three hits in six innings to lead San Francisco over the Colorado Rockies 8-0 and gain his first victory with the Giants.</p><br clear="all"/>

Soriano hurt as Cubs roll past Padres (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070417/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_padres_cubs"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070417/capt.ef3bd5c8c30d424f9b937f1313abc126.padres_cubs_baseball_cxc107.jpg?x=130&y=110&sig=M0ff0qtFINGCQlYZFITh9A--" align="left" height="110" width="130" alt="Chicago Cubs' Alfonso Soriano, second right, is helped off the field by athletic trainer Mark O'Neil and teammates Cesar Izturis, left, and Ryan Theriot, right, after getting injured while diving for a flyball during the fifth inning of a baseballl game on Monday, April 16, 2007, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jerry Lai)" border="0" /></a>AP - The limp was clear as Alfonso Soriano dragged himself up the stairs, out of the clubhouse and into the night. His immediate future is a bit murky, though. On a night when the Chicago Cubs shook up their lineup, Soriano got shaken up.</p><br clear="all"/>

Sabres beat Isles to regain home-ice (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070417/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_sabres_islanders"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070417/capt.368530a53c53425991ba0928801d448f.sabres_islanders_hockey__uni104.jpg?x=130&y=127&sig=tIrLX09j6wgOXg2nqzUFIg--" align="left" height="127" width="130" alt="Buffalo Sabres' Adam Mair, left, celebrates his goal in front of New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro (39) as Ryan Smyth skates away during the second period of their hockey game, Monday, April 16, 2007 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Ed Betz)" border="0" /></a>AP - Ryan Miller froze twice as hard shots whizzed toward his mask. In a scoreless game during a tight playoff series, the options are few but clear.</p><br clear="all"/>

Nuggets cruise to 9th win in 10 games (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070417/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_timberwolves_nuggets"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070417/capt.7bd43376cf9f429a8996ffc801daccc6.timberwolves_nuggets_basketball_cojd102.jpg?x=95&y=130&sig=xjv7TIA1TAZyVaEygZNClg--" align="left" height="130" width="95" alt="Denver Nuggets' Allen Iverson looks to pass as Minnesota Timberwolves' Craig Smith (5) defends during the first quarter of a basketball game in Denver, Monday, April 16, 2007. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)" border="0" /></a>AP - Allen Iverson scored 25 points, then sat back and watched the reserves close out the Denver Nuggets' ninth win in 10 games, 122-107 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Dodgers send early message to D-Backs (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070417/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_dodgers_diamondbacks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070417/capt.8bd7da9e4cab47c3a948ac1e2b527d82.dodgers_diamondbacks_baseball_pnc103.jpg?x=106&y=130&sig=jaN_CiMoNkyedGpCXBF2MQ--" align="left" height="130" width="106" alt="Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny follows through on a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 16, 2007 at Chase Field in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)" border="0" /></a>AP - While it's too early to call any series critical, the Los Angeles Dodgers sent an early message to the young Arizona Diamondbacks.</p><br clear="all"/>

Chiefs guard Will Shields retires (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070416/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_shields_retires"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070416/capt.b519b3fe042842f19e2846100001aea1.shields_retires_nyol578.jpg?x=130&y=89&sig=eveANfv5MSk_AmZHoXmoOw--" align="left" height="89" width="130" alt="Former Nebraska All-American and Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowler Will Shields speaks to students on the Girls and Boys Town campus in Omaha, Neb., Thursday, May 6, 2004 in this file photo. The 35-year-old Shields announced his retirement on his web site Sunday after 14 seasons with the Chiefs. He played in a franchise-record 224 games and made his 12th Pro Bowl appearance last season, tying a record at his position. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)" border="0" /></a>AP - Kansas City guard Will Shields is retiring after 14 NFL seasons, during which he made a record 12 Pro Bowl appearances and anchored one of the top offensive lines in the league.</p><br clear="all"/>

David West helps Hornets end slide at 2 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070417/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_hornets_kings"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070417/capt.79cd90ff63e8418ba8e929ca50f37739.hornets_kings_basketball_sca104.jpg?x=92&y=130&sig=I5n2V2P.lv_DNacDJW3_YA--" align="left" height="130" width="92" alt="New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul, right, drives to the basket past Sacramento Kings forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim, during the first quarter of NBA basketball in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 16, 2007.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)" border="0" /></a>AP - David West scored 25 points Monday night to help the New Orleans Hornets defeat the Sacramento Kings 125-118.</p><br clear="all"/>

Pirates escape late jam to beat Cards (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070417/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_pirates_cardinals"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070417/capt.df8130b2a2db45ec84bb3e1ca8d666af.pirates_cardinals_baseball_mojr109.jpg?x=103&y=130&sig=SSv06o8cQ1kIokcjY2wUwQ--" align="left" height="130" width="103" alt="Pittsburgh Pirates closer Salomon Torres pumps his fist in celebration as teammate Jose Bautista catches a popup by St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols for the final out of a baseball game Monday, April 16, 2007, in St. Louis. The Pirates won 3-2. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)" border="0" /></a>AP - Salomon Torres refused to let the St. Louis Cardinals beat him again. The Pittsburgh Pirates' closer, who had a loss and a blown save during St. Louis' three-game sweep in Pittsburgh last week, got Albert Pujols to foul out with the bases loaded for the final out in a 3-2 victory on Monday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Doctors say Diego Maradona improving (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070417/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_maradona_hospitalized"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070415/capt.edb11804152149.argentina_soccer_edb118.jpg?x=87&y=130&sig=UP8E3z4MYVJB0D2.2f0caw--" align="left" height="130" width="87" alt="Soccer fans of Boca Juniors hold a banner with a painting of their idol Diego Maradona prior to the game against archrival River Plate during an Argentina's first division soccer game at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, Sunday, April 15, 2007 . Maradona was hospitalized with abdominal pain on Friday, just two days after he left a private clinic for treatment for acute hepatitis related to alcohol abuse. (AP Photo/Eduardo Di Baia)" border="0" /></a>AP - Diego Maradona showed signs of improvement Monday, four days after being hospitalized for abdominal pains, though doctors said some lab tests came back with abnormal results.</p><br clear="all"/>

Lightning top Devils for 2-1 series lead (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070417/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_devils_lightning"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070417/capt.e710805073a64b2faf1e45b55a57a4c8.correction_devils_lightning_hockey_tpa106.jpg?x=130&y=85&sig=3YDT3lH.k6SP2LOpHuPyBA--" align="left" height="85" width="130" alt="New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur hangs his head after giving up a third-period goal to Tampa Bay Lightning's Vaclav Prospal, of the Czech Republic, during an NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal hockey game Monday, April 16, 2007, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)" border="0" /></a>AP - Martin Brodeur made the tough saves. Keeping fluky shots out of the net was another matter.</p><br clear="all"/>

One big headache


Chiefs Pro Bowl G Shields retires (AP)
Kansas City guard Will Shields is retiring after 14 NFL seasons, during which he made a record 12 Pro Bowl appearances and anchored one of the top offensive lines in the league. The 35-year-old announced his decision on his Web site -- www.willtosucceed.org -- Sunday. He said the physical requirements of football had become more difficult with each passing day.

Olbermann to co-host Sunday night NFL (AP)
Keith Olbermann will return to sports for the first time in six years to join Cris Collinsworth as co-host of the pregame show for NBC's Sunday night NFL telecasts. Olbermann, who currently hosts a prime-time newscast and opinion show called "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" on MSNBC, will join with host Bob Costas and analysts Jerome Bettis, Tiki Barber and Peter King on NBC's "Football Night in...

Seahawks re-sign veteran G Chris Gray (AP)
Spurned by their primary offseason target for bolstering the offensive line, the Seattle Seahawks are instead bringing back veteran guard Chris Gray. Gray, who turns 37 in June, will be starting his 15th season -- his 10th with the Seahawks. His team record of 121 consecutive starts ended last Dec. 31 in the regular season finale because of a bruised right quadriceps, but he returned to start both...

Vikings sign former Jaguars WR Hankton (AP)
Cortez Hankton signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Monday, leaving Jacksonville after four seasons and joining a team needing to bolster its receivers. Hankton had 34 catches for 310 yards and two touchdowns with Jacksonville. He signed as a rookie free agent out of Texas Southern and has contributed mostly on special teams.

No appeal heard for ex-Broncos LB Mobley (AP)
Colorado's Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from former Denver Broncos linebacker John Mobley, who was sentenced to seven days in jail for a drunken driving conviction. Defense attorneys had implied during Mobley's trial in April 2004 that his conviction was the result of racial profiling.

Pacman says he'll appeal suspension (AP)
Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones said Friday night he will appeal his season-long suspension and thinks NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made him the league's poster boy for disciplining players. Jones has not talked to reporters since the suspension for conduct detrimental to the NFL was announced Tuesday.

Broncos cut five-time Pro Bowl LB Wilson (AP)
Broncos linebacker Al Wilson's heart tells him he can still play football. His neck is a different story. The Broncos released the five-time Pro Bowl player Friday because of a combination of injury and salary cap concerns. Wilson, who injured his neck against Seattle on Dec. 3, was scheduled to make $5.2 million in base salary this season.

The final rankings
Dallas finishes the regular season as the top-ranked team, but can they escape the playoffs as the NBA's No. 1 team?

Rockets clinch home-court in first round (AP)
Tracy McGrady wasn't afraid to exaggerate the magnitude of the Houston Rockets' 120-117 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. McGrady scored 39 points as the Rockets won their fifth straight and clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Houston also snapped a six-game losing streak to Phoenix and secured its best record since 1997.

Carter's triple-double powers Nets (AP)
The Nets might still catch Washington. Vince Carter can forget about catching Jason Kidd. Carter had 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Nets clinched at least the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference by beating the New York Knicks 104-95 Monday night to complete a season sweep. Carter had his second triple-double of the season of fourth of his career.

Gasol, Grizzlies top short-handed Spurs (AP)
The lowly Memphis Grizzlies are closing out their season on a high note against playoff-bound teams, even if the better opponents aren't exactly putting out maximum effort. Pau Gasol scored 25 points,grabbed 15 rebounds and had six assists to lead the Grizzlies to a 101-91 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

Wizards' Butler may play in second round (AP)
Caron Butler is not ready to write off the season. The Washington Wizards' All-Star forward said Monday he hopes to have the cast removed from his broken right hand in a week and thinks he could play if the team reached the second round of the playoffs. His recovery time was supposed to be six weeks after he broke a bone in his hand two weeks ago.

Celtics beat buzzer, defeat Heat 91-89 (AP)
The mission was simple for the Miami Heat. Stay healthy, and build momentum for the postseason. They failed on both counts. Al Jefferson hit a turnaround jump hook with one-tenth of a second to play for the deciding score, Delonte West scored 28 points for his second-biggest output of the season, and the Boston Celtics beat the Heat 91-89 on Monday night in the next-to-last regular season game for...

Reserves carry Nuggets in rout of Wolves (AP)
Allen Iverson scored 25 points, then sat back and watched the reserves close out the Denver Nuggets' ninth win in 10 games, 122-107 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. Linas Kleiza scored 23 points, delighting a spirited section of about 50 Lithuanians who were decked out in green and gold to cheer on their countryman whom Nuggets coach George Karl credited with making the most...

Boozer, Jazz roll past Blazers 130-93 (AP)
Carlos Boozer scored 26 points and the Utah Jazz tied a season high for points in a 130-93 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. Utah won its 50th game of the season, but will still open the playoffs on the road. Houston clinched home-court advantage by beating Phoenix earlier Monday. The Jazz and Rockets close the regular season Wednesday night in Utah.

No financing vote for Sonics' new arena (AP)
The Washington state Legislature will not vote on a measure to help finance a new $500 million arena for the Seattle SuperSonics this legislative session. At a meeting Monday night involving Gov. Chris Gregoire and House and Senate leaders, lawmakers decided there wasn't enough time to resolve the issue before the session adjourns on April 22.

West's 25 lift Hornets over Kings (AP)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)-- David West scored 25 points Monday night to help the New Orleans Hornets defeat the Sacramento Kings 125-118. Rasual Butler scored seven straight points during a crucial span of the fourth quarter as the Hornets snapped a two-game losing streak. Butler tied the game at 114 with a 3-pointer and put the Hornets ahead for good with a jumper with 3:27 left.

Playoff observations


Lightning stun shaky Brodeur, Devils 3-2 (AP)
Martin Brodeur made the tough saves. Keeping fluky shots out of the net was another matter. Vincent Lecavalier scored his fourth goal of the playoffs on a sharp-angle shot that skipped between the goalie's leg and the post, then Vinny Prospal delivered the winner on a third-period deflection as the Lightning beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in Game 3 of their first-round Eastern Conference series...

Tempers running high for Preds, Sharks (AP)
Perhaps the tempers are so short because the stakes are so high in San Jose's playoff series with Nashville. Both the Sharks and the Predators just completed the best regular season in franchise history. The clubs won 51 games apiece, more than anybody except league-leading Buffalo, and finished three points apart in the tough Western Conference.

Sabres' forwards come alive, top Isles (AP)
Ryan Miller froze twice as hard shots whizzed toward his mask. In a scoreless game during a tight playoff series, the options are few but clear. "You're just stuck," the Buffalo Sabres goalie said. "You either take it off the head or you surrender a goal." Miller stopped both first-period drives and 18 other New York shots Monday night as the Sabres beat the Islanders 3-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the...

Senators' Eaves to miss Game 4 vs. Pens (AP)
Ottawa forward Patrick Eaves, knocked out by a hard hit from Pittsburgh's Colby Armstrong on Sunday, will miss Game 4 of the teams' first-round playoff series Tuesday night. While Eaves was not hospitalized, and could be seen congratulating teammates following their 4-2 victory in Game 3, he will be replaced for at least one game by Oleg Saprykin.

Ex-NHL player Gaetan Duchesne dies at 44 (AP)
Gaetan Duchesne, who played in the NHL for 14 seasons and helped the Minnesota North Stars reach the 1991 Stanley Cup final, died while training at a gym Monday. He was 44. Duchesne collapsed and could not be resuscitated, said his former junior team, the Quebec Remparts. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Sens seek to escape past playoff flops (AP)
With so many postseason failures behind them, so many disappointing swings in momentum and breakdowns in confidence, the Ottawa Senators understand they should never feel comfortable with any Stanley Cup playoffs series lead. The bad memories are too recent and their flops too frequent for them to disregard their past -- even as they take a 2-1 lead into Game 4 of their first-round series against...

Stars need scorers to start scoring (AP)
Getting goals from the checking line is the kind of thing NHL teams need in pursuit of the Stanley Cup. And the Dallas Stars can proudly say they're getting that. Problem is, the guys they pay to score aren't. Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen, Philippe Boucher, Mike Ribeiro and Niklas Hagman -- Dallas' top five goal-scorers in the regular season -- have yet to beat Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, a big...

Rangers more relaxed heading into Game 3 (AP)
Tom Renney flashed a big smile and laughed when asked how this year's playoff experience compares to last season. "Well the fact that we're going into Game 3 with a couple of wins is probably all you need to know," he said. The New York Rangers coach looked relaxed in a sweater and jeans following practice Monday.

Wild face long road to try and advance (AP)
The Minnesota Wild are trying to do something that rarely happens: They have to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. It's only happened twice in NHL history, and most of the Wild players weren't even alive when the New York Islanders last did it in 1975. Before that, Toronto accomplished the feat in 1942.

WWD: Samsung 500
Jeff Burton let his driving do the talking, while Jimmy Spencer probably shouldn't have opened his mouth.

Great Scott: Baseball gives NASCAR a lesson in cherishing a pioneer (AP)
OK, NASCAR, it's your turn: When's Wendell Scott day?

Burton becomes first two-time winner at Texas (AP)
Jeff Burton was in the same position as the last time he was a runner-up. He was chasing the leader in the closing laps.

Earnhardt hops in Kyle Busch's car for final nine laps (AP)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn't seem to mind that Kyle Busch rear-ended him and essentially ruined his chance to win the Samsung 500 on Sunday.

Montoya, Stewart feud could be brewing (PA SportsTicker)
FORT WORTH, Texas (Ticker) - When Juan Pablo Montoya joined NASCAR, he realized he would have his share of run-ins with the proven stars of the sport.

Burton passes Kenseth on final lap, wins Samsung 500 (PA SportsTicker)


Bourdais captures Champ-car Long Beach Grand Prix (AFP)


Bourdais grabs Champ-car pole (AFP)


Canada's Tracy injured in Champ Car practice crash (AFP)
Canadian Paul Tracy was hospitalized with a fractured vertebrae after a crash in practice Saturday for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Long Beach.

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