FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Tom Brady and the New England Patriots made it to the AFC championship game with a high-powered offense that piled up points and yards.
SAN FRANCISCO - The Giants boasted a physical, intimidating defense with athletic linebackers and stout linemen capable of stifling the NFL's most productive offenses. San Francisco featured a high-powered passing attack led by an eventual Hall of Fame quarterback in his prime with receivers capable of turning short passes into big gains.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady walks silently to the chair at his locker. He talks quietly with Deion Branch in the adjacent stall. Later, he puts on his jacket and heads for the exit.
MIAMI (AP) - LeBron James shook off flu-like symptoms to score 31 points, Chris Bosh scored 15 and the Miami Heat won their second straight, topping the Los Angeles Lakers 98-87 on Thursday night.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Colin Greening and the Ottawa Senators are right at home on the road.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jaroslav Halak made 15 saves for his second straight shutout, and Alex Pietrangelo scored with 5:14 left in the St. Louis Blues' 1-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Roger Federer made the most of his rare opportunities Friday against the fastest serve in tennis, cashing in with some classic returns in a 7-6 (6), 7-5, 6-3 win over Ivo Karlovic to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - The Giants' Eli Manning has been forced to escape the shadow of superstar big brother, Peyton. San Francisco's Alex Smith? He only has a pair of Hall of Famers in Joe Montana and Steve Young hanging over him in 49ers lore.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - San Francisco tight end Delanie Walker has returned to practice for the first time since breaking his left jaw in two places late in the regular season and hopes to be healthy enough to play in the NFC championship game.
By JOSH DUBOW
SEATTLE (AP) - For this year at least, Lorenzo Romar is a big fan of an odd scheduling quirk in the Pac-12.
MIAMI (AP) - Kobe Bryant is 33 years old, has spent nearly half his life in the NBA, is dealing with a significant wrist injury and has taken about 3,000 more shots in his career than any other active player.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning missed part of Wednesday's practice session with an illness that coach Tom Coughlin called "a stomach bug, hopefully a 24-hour deal."
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Serena Williams was only two points from her 500th career match win when she tumbled to the court in the second round of the Australian Open.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady has been leading successful comebacks for more than a decade. Andrew Luck is just getting started.
CINCINNATI (AP) - The Bengals didn't wait long or look far for their next offensive coordinator, promoting Hue Jackson on Thursday shortly after Jay Gruden was introduced as the next head coach in Washington.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Pete Carroll told Percy Harvin that the Seattle Seahawks were considering placing him on injured reserve to open up a roster spot ahead of the postseason. Harvin's response: "Coach I'm ready to play ball."
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - Dennis Rodman apologized Thursday for comments he made in North Korea about a detained American missionary, saying he had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized a game with former NBA players.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Hall of Fame says it's up to baseball writers to propose any changes in the selection process.
DETROIT (AP) - Tigers ace Justin Verlander underwent muscle repair surgery Thursday after injuring himself last month during offseason conditioning.
HONOLULU (AP) - Sang-Moon Bae got off to a great start in pristine conditions along the shores of Oahu. Chris Kirk had an ideal finish.