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Sports Report: Pro Bowl On Sunday; Patriots Deny Underinflated Football Accusations

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New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick says he doesn't know how his team used underinflated footballs in Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts. The win earned the Pats a spot in the Super Bowl on February 1st against the Seattle Seahawks.

Meanwhile, in a second press conference yesterday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says he didn't touch or think about the footballs used to get his team into the Super Bowl after he picked out the ones he wanted to throw. Brady says he doesn't know how New England ended up using underinflated balls in Sunday's win over the Colts in the AFC Championship game.

Seattle Seahawks nickel cornerback Jeremy Lane says he doesn't think New England All-Pro Rob Gronkowski is that good, and being physical with the tight end is important. Lane is likely to be part of a group of Seahawks who will try to keep Gronkowski under control in the Super Bowl.

The 2015 Pro Bowl is on Sunday at 8 p.m. at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Team Irvin features wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants and center Nick Mangold of the New York Jets. Team Carter has defensive end Mario Williams of the Buffalo Bills, inside defensive linemen Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams of the Buffalo Bills.


In the NBA, Boston edged Portland 90-89, the Clippers blew out Brooklyn 123-84, Chicago bested San Antonio 104-81, and it was Utah over Milwaukee 101-99.


Sam Rowley scored a career-high 22 points as Albany won its sixth straight game to start the America East Conference season with a 62-53 win at Hartford Thursday night.


Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon will retire as a full-time driver after the 2015 season.

Gordon did not call his decision a retirement, leaving open the option of competing in selected events. But it is clear that he is ready to step away after spending his entire 23-year career in the No. 24 car with Hendrick Motorsports.

The 43-year-old Gordon is coming off one of his best seasons in years. He won four times in 2014, including the Brickyard 400.

Gordon has 92 career Sprint Cup wins and championships in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001. Gordon is third in career victories, trailing Hall of Fame drivers Richard Petty and David Pearson. He has three Daytona 500 victories and a record five Brickyard 400 wins.


Pedro Martinez's Hall of Fame plaque will have the cap of the Boston Red Sox and John Smoltz's will have the Atlanta Braves. The Hall of Fame said last week that Randy Johnson's plaque will have the cap of the Arizona Diamondbacks.


Roger Federer is done after just three rounds of the Australian Open. The second-seeded Federer dropped a pair of tiebreaks in a 6-4, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 victory by Andreas Seppi. The 30-year-old Seppi entered the tournament ranked 46th and had reached the fourth round of a grand slam event just three other times before ousting the four-time champion.

Men's sixth seed Andy Murray and No. 7 Tomas Berdych breezed into the fourth round with straight-sets victories. No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov trailed two sets to one against Marcos Baghdatis before pulling out a 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

Winners on the women's side include No. 3 Simona Halep, seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard 10th seed Ekaterina Makarova and No. 21 Peng Shuai. No. 14 Sara Errani won the opening set in her third-round match before falling 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to Yanina Wickmayer.

©2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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