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Leading Off
April 24, 2006
Playoff Prep
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April 24, 2006

Leading Off

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Playoff Prep

Clippers forward Elton Brand split the defense of Dirk Nowitzki (left) and another Dallas defender during the Mavericks' 75-73 victory on April 10. Their Western Conference playoff spot clinched, the Clippers were joined last weekend by their Staples Center co-tenant, the Lakers, who qualified on Sunday when Kobe Bryant (inset) scored 43 points in a 109-89 rout of the Suns.

Photograph by John W. McDonough

Blowing Hot and Cold

Last Friday racers from 32 countries slogged through the sixth day of the seven-day, 212-kilometer Desert Marathon in southern Morocco, won by Morocco's Lahcen Ahansal (inset). On April 8 a record field of 54 runners participated in the North Pole Marathon, in which temperatures dipped to -23�C. Irish novelist Michael Collins (inset) prevailed.

Greeting Cards

After slugger Albert Pujols (inset) belted his third home run--a two-run walk-off shot to defeat the Reds 8-7 on Sunday in St. Louis--his elated Cardinals teammates anticipated his arrival at the plate. At week's end Pujols was batting .341 with an NL--leading eight homers.

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