CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls have opened a three-game lead over Miami in the NBA's Eastern Conference by silencing the Orlando Magic 85-59. Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 13 rebounds as the Bulls won for the fifth time in six games to improve to a league-best 38-10. Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau became the fastest coach in NBA history to earn 100 career victories.
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Rangers are the NHL's first Eastern Conference club to clinch a playoff berth after Brandon Dubinsky and Derek Stepan (STEP'-ahn) each had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 victory over New Jersey. The Rangers won for only the third time in eight games to take a three-point lead over Pittsburgh, which has a game in hand. Vancouver lost 2-0 at Minnesota and Detroit was a 5-3 loser to Washington, keeping the Canucks six points behind West-leading St. Louis and two points ahead of the Red Wings.
DENVER (AP) — The Denver Broncos are finalizing contract negotiations that will bring four-time NFL most valuable player Peyton Manning to the Mile High City. Agent Tom Condon has spent the day working out parameters of a deal expected to be worth about $95 million over five years. Manning was wooed to Denver by Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, who led the Broncos to two Super Bowl championships and now serves as their vice president of football operations.
UNDATED (AP) — The father of North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall says his son had a screw inserted into his broken right wrist and it's unclear if he'll return for the NCAA regional games in St. Louis. Dennis Marshall says when Kendall plays again would be based on "what would be best for Kendall in the long term," and that he doesn't know whether the sophomore would be ready to play in the round of 16 against Ohio on Friday. The left-handed point guard fractured the scaphoid bone-- located near the thumb -- when he was fouled driving to the basket during the second half of Sunday's win against Creighton.
NEW YORK (AP) — With jury selection set to begin, the New York Mets owners and a trustee for Bernard Madoff's fraud victims settled a fraud case for $162 million. Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz won't have to pay anything for three years, and they still have an opportunity to recover money lost from Madoff's Ponzi scheme through the same trustee who was suing them. And a person familiar with the team's finances says the Mets have repaid loans of $25 million to Major League Baseball and $40 million to Bank of America, and have closed on the sales of 12 limited partner shares for $20 million each.