MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) – While Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon kept it all in the Hendrick Motorsports family in the battle for the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup championship, it was a family feud involving the Earnhardts that may have left a lasting impact on the season.
Panthers starting strong safety Chris Harris is doubtful for Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay after sitting out a third straight practice Friday with a sore neck. Harris missed much of last week’s loss to Dallas after being injured. Veteran Marquand Manuel and rookie C.J. Wilson would likely split time at strong safety in Carolina’s season finale if Harris can’t play.
Buffalo starting safety Donte Whitner missed his third straight practice Friday because of the flu and is questionable for the Bills’ season finale at Philadelphia. Whitner started all 15 games for the Bills this season and is third on the team with 102 tackles. Receiver Josh Reed returned to practice Friday after missing the last two days because of a sore lower back.
Paul Pierce scored 26 of his season-high 37 points in the second half, and the Celtics held off the pesky SuperSonics 104-96 on Thursday night.
Amare Stoudemire had 30 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Suns to a 108-88 victory over the Clippers on Thursday night.
Putting the slam on his dunk, LeBron James helped the Cavs get their groove back Thursday night.
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The Vancouver Canucks could have used a better start and a more solid middle. Instead they settled on a strong finish, and that was enough to hand the Calgary Flames their first regulation loss this month. Henrik Sedin scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Taylor Pyatt added an insurance goal 6:59 into the third, leading Vancouver to a 5-3 win over the Flames on Thursday night.
Forget those two new guys who give Boston its latest version of the Big Three. Paul Pierce can still carry the Celtics just like the past when he was the only option. While most of the attention focused on Ray Allen’s return to Seattle, it was Pierce who took over for Boston on Thursday night, much as he had to do in past seasons without the type of All-Star help now surrounding him.
This time, Amare Stoudemire was the big man in the middle, and sometimes on the perimeter as well. Stoudemire had 30 points and 15 rebounds and played stifling defense against Chris Kaman to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 108-88 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night. Two nights earlier in the same building, 20-year-old Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum scored a career-high 28…
LeBron James’ night started with a face-full of a defender’s hand and got worse with a slip in an empty backcourt. Then came two painful drives, the first leaving him with an aching wrist, the other forcing him to blink away stars from another pop in the face. There was nothing easy or smooth about this game.
Heat center Shaquille O’Neal and point guard Jason Williams were listed as day-to-day Thursday, after both had nagging injuries checked out by Miami team doctors. O’Neal got treatment on his achy hips. Tests performed on Williams’ sore left knee did not reveal any major problems, and both may be available when the struggling Heat (8-21) host the Orlando Magic on Friday.
Jim Boylan was promoted Thursday to interim head coach of the Chicago Bulls, who fired Scott Skiles on Monday after the team’s disappointing start. Boylan was in his fourth season as an assistant under Skiles and has 14 years experience in the NBA but none as a head coach at the pro level. “Jim has paid his dues as an assistant coach and has his own ideas on the way he wants us to play,” Bulls…