Justin Alan Sweigart

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Kobe Bryant passes Michael Jordan for third in points

MINNEAPOLIS — By Kobe Bryant standards, it was an average offensive night in an unfriendly building a long way from home. But in this contest between two teams headed nowhere, the Los Angeles Lakers star recorded a milestone that had fans on their feet cheering anyway.<p>With a pair of free throws in …

Bell: Cowboys keep proving they aren't same old Cowboys

PHILADELPHIA — It was right there to be written. Same old Dallas.<p>When Tony Romo was crushed from behind in the third quarter — fumbling to set up a quick touchdown that gave the Eagles the lead and ignited all sorts of bedlam at The Linc on Sunday night — it seemed like the latest episode in one of …

Why Sacramento Kings fired coach Michael Malone

The Sacramento Kings fired Michael Malone on Sunday after a 11-13 start that did not live up to expectations of ownership and because of philosophical differences between the second-year head coach and management, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.<p>The people spoke on …

Which of the 10 potential open NFL head coaching jobs is the most appealing?

There are still two more weeks left in the NFL regular season, but barring any major surprises, we’ve seen enough to make a reasoned guess at which head coaching jobs could be in play at the end of the regular season.<p>Despite disappointing years, we wouldn’t expect the Bucs or Titans to jettison …

Sprint ending sponsorship of NASCAR's Cup series

If you looked closely, the texting was on the wall.<p>Sprint, the sponsor of NASCAR's premier Cup Series since 2004, had started cutting back. Positions were being eliminated, budgets slashed and racing-related elements like the Sprint Experience -- a massive marketing area which used to travel weekly …

The Yankees are making A-Rod a DH, and he could actually help them there

After signing free agent third baseman Chase Headley to a four-year deal, Yankees GM Brian Cashman suggested that returning slugger Alex Rodriguez will become a full-time designated hitter for the rest of his tenure in pinstripes.<p>“I can’t expect Alex to be anything,” Cashman told the <i>Associated …

Bears safety Chris Conte says he'd rather 'die 10 to 15 years earlier' than not play in the NFL

Chicago Bears safety Chris Conte has suffered two documented concussions this season, and against the Panthers in October Conte was diagnosed with a concussion after the game despite being cleared to play on the field after taking a hit earlier that day. Concussion awareness is at an all-time high …

Brennan: 49ers had no choice but to cut Ray McDonald

As an NFL regular season dominated by domestic violence approaches its conclusion, it is fitting that San Francisco defensive end Ray McDonald is finally gone from the 49ers, and, presumably, the National Football League.<p>A league that struggled to find its voice on the important issue of domestic …

Jay Gruden, RG3, and the Redskins deserve each other and the mess they've made

Jay Gruden doesn’t want Robert Griffin III as his starting quarterback. Dan Snyder has no intention of trading away the 24-year-old two seasons removed from earning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Snyder also plans to keep Gruden as his head coach.<p>It’s the most functional move the …

How is it that some of the most talented and charismatic people never make it out of the midcard in WWE? Well, there are lots of reasons for this. …

Charisma

Eat, Sleep, Conquer, Leave: WWE And Lesnar May Be Done After Wrestlemania 31

Brock Lensar’s future is very much up in the air — his WWE contract expires as of <i>Wrestlemania 31</i> and rumors are buzzing that he may take another purple-faced, sweaty run at MMA once his pro wrestling obligations are tied up. Bellator wants to sign Brock badly, and Jim Ross, who has some inside …

WWE Rumors: Examining Latest Buzz Around Undertaker, Sting and More

WWE doesn't appear to have an Undertaker and Sting collision at WrestleMania in mind.<p>Instead, The Deadman has a younger predator waiting for him on the horizon. An update of those plans headlines the latest batch of WWE rumors. As for Sting, the only thing certain about him is what the company …

Hall of Fame

Late field goal lifts Detroit past Vikings and into 1st-place tie

DETROIT — The Lions are agonizingly close to a playoff spot. And agonizing is a pretty good way to describe their latest victory.<p>Matt Prater’s 33-yard field goal with 3:38 remaining lifted Detroit to a 16-14 win over the Vikings on Sunday, and the Lions’ third straight win pulled them into a …

5 things to watch: Is Chicago still scared of the Detroit Lions' rush defense?

ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions throttled the Chicago Bears 34-17 just three weeks ago at Ford Field.<p>Now they face the Bears again, just one …

Lindsay Lohan Plans to 'grow up' how?

One major milestone in Lindsay Lohan's journey to rebuild her image and her life after a long period of legal troubles, was when she was cast in David Mamet's <i>Speed-The-Plow</i> on London's West End. Now, after less than a year of living in the major British metropolis, it seems the city has snared …

Britney Spears' Women's Health cover sparks Photoshop speculation

Is that you Britney?<p>A very different looking Britney Spears graced the cover of Women's Health magazine. The 33-year-old singer showed off her fit frame but it wasn't her bikini body that caught everyone's attention.<p>The pop singer's face seems to have been Photoshopped significantly.<p>More On …

Jennifer Lopez trying to prove she's a superwoman

Who says you can't have it all? Not Jennifer Lopez!<p>The 45-year-old entertainer flaunts her flawless physique for SELF magazine and confesses that despite her many jobs -- judging "American Idol," starring in the new thriller "The Boy Next Door" and performing her hit songs -- she has no plans to …

DeMarco Murray most deserving of MVP

The bad news for Dallas is that DeMarco Murray broke a bone in his left hand last week, had surgery, and is not a sure thing for Sunday’s game against Indianapolis.<p>The good news for Murray, or at least for his agent, is that he can sit out the final two games and still win the NFL rushing …