Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Thursday. A full Sports Digest will be sent about 3 p.m. All times EST:
- LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Clippers, with the best record in the NBA, go for their 15th straight victory when the play the Celtics. The Clippers haven't lost at home since Nov. 26. Game starts 10:30 p.m.
- SAN DIEGO - Baylor plays No. 17 UCLA in the Holiday Bowl in the first game between these schools. The Bears are led by quarterback Nick Florence, the successor to Robert Griffin III. Game starts 9:45 p.m.
- CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Duke eyes its first bowl victory since 1961, facing Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl. The Bearcats are coached by interim Steve Strapling after Butch Jones left for Tennessee. Game starts 6:30 p.m.
- WASHINGTON - It's WAC vs. MAC in the Military Bowl, with San Jose State playing Bowling Green. Game starts 3 p.m.
- Stories on Friday's three bowl games: Independence Bowl (Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe); Russell Athletic Bowl (Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech); Meineke Car Care Bowl (Minnesota vs. Texas Tech).
- CINCINNATI - No. 8 Cincinnati, playing with its highest ranking in nine years, tries to improve to 13-0 when it plays New Mexico in college basketball's lone Top 25 game. Game starts 9 p.m.
- FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The Patriots are going through an unusual stretch of three close games in their last four. Now they're preparing for the Dolphins with hopes of regaining their dominance.
- LAKE FOREST, Ill. - The Bears could be in for a coaching shakeup and Brian Urlacher may have played his final down. What's more, there's a playoff spot up for grabs.
- AP's package of year-end sports stories: year in review (text and photos), deaths, odd moments, recap of year in verse. Resent from earlier in week.