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Reuters U.S. Sports Schedule at 2 PM EDT on Friday, Dec. 6

Reuters

Dec. 6 (Reuters) - Reuters U.S. sports schedule at 2 PM ET on Friday:

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The duty editor is Steve Ginsburg, 202-898-8427

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NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Houston, goodbye: Kubiak fired by Texans

After the Houston Texans lost for the 11th consecutive time, embattled head coach Gary Kubiak's days is fired with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips stepping in as the interim coach for the remainder of the 2013 season. (FBN-TEXANS-NEWS/, moved; will be led, The Sports Xchange, 500 words)

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Judge: Week 14 peek

Clark Judge previews Week 14, including Sunday's best - Carolina at New Orleans. (FBN-COLUMN/, expect by 2100 GMT/4 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, by Clark Judge, 850 words)

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Closing time for Cowboys

VALLEY RANCH, Texas - History indicates the Dallas Cowboys still do not know how to finish. Owner Jerry Jones suggests 2013 will be different. (FBN-COWBOYS-NEWS/, expect by 2200 GMT/6 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 450 words)

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Briggs, Cutler still not ready for Bears

LAKE FOREST, Ill. - Reinforcements won't be coming to the aid of the Chicago Bears on either side of the football this week, so they'll need to find a way to beat the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field with players who were part of two consecutive losses to teams already out of the playoff chase. (FBN-BEARS-NEWS/, expect by 2100 GMT/4 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 525 words)

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QB Ryan remains steady for fragile Falcons

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Given all of the injuries and personnel chaos, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is turning in a solid season. (FBN-FALCONS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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NFL notebook

The latest news and notes from around the league. (FBN-NOTEBOOK/, expect by 0000 GMT/7 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 500 words)

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green

DETROIT - Northern Illinois and Bowling Green meet for the MAC championship. A win would give the Huskies a third consecutive league title and keep NIU in the running for a BCS bid. (FBC-NORTHERNILLINOIS-BOWLINGGREEN-NEWS/, expect ASAP after the 0100 GMT/8 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Dana Gauruder, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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Washington lures Peterson away from Boise State

SEATTLE - Washington pulls off what several programs with more national cachet have not been able to accomplish in recent years - lure Chris Petersen away from Boise State. (FBC-WASHINGTON-BOISESTATE-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 700 words)

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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

*The Sports Xchange covers all NBA games. Key matchups outlined below

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Nuggets at Celtics

BOSTON - At 8-12, the Boston Celtics are in first place in the Atlantic Division. Denver (11-7) sits in third place in the Northwest, but the Nuggets haven't enjoyed recent trips to TD Garden. (BKN-CELTICS-NUGGETS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect first lede ASAP after the 0030 GMT/7:30 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Mike Shalin, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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Thunder at Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS - Oklahoma City has a 13-4 start for the second consecutive season. The New Orleans Pelicans strive to end a losing streak of eight games in this series Friday. (BKN-PELICANS-THUNDER-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 0100 GMT/8 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Peter Finney, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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NBA Wrap: Trail Blazers set out to widen West lead

The Portland Trail Blazers, winners of three straight, look to pad their lead atop the Western Conference when they host the Utah Jazz in one of 10 games on the schedule. (NBA-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0430 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 800 words)

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GOLF

Northwestern Mutual World Challenge (to Dec 8)

Johnson leads by one at Sherwood, Tiger four shots back

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Zach Johnson takes a one-shot lead over fellow American Matt Kuchar into the second round after opening with a five-under-par 67 at Sherwood Country Club where tournament host and five-time champion Tiger Woods sits four strokes off the pace. (GOLF-CHALLENGE/, expect by 0100 GMT/8PM ET, by Mark Lamport-Stokes, 500 words)

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Dominant Donaldson not put off by freak penalty

SUN CITY, South Africa - A freak penalty stroke does little to deter Welshman Jamie Donaldson as he posts a second-round 66 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge to top the leaderboard with an 11-under-par total of 133. (GOLF-EUROPEAN/, moved, 300 words)

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Els leads Mandela tributes at Sun City tournament

Ernie Els leads a brief tribute to Nelson Mandela as play continues as scheduled at the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in South Africa, one day after the death of the former South African president. (GOLF-EUROPEAN/MANDELA, moved, 300 words)

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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Cano, Mariners agree to $230 million deal

All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano agrees to a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners, pending a physical Monday. (BBO-MARINERS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 300 words)

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Mets, Granderson agree to terms

The New York Mets reach a four-year, $60 million deal with free-agent outfielder Curtis Granderson. (BBO-METS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 150 words)

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Yankees re-sign Kuroda

Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda agrees to a one-year, $16 million contract. (BBO-YANKEES-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 150 words)

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MLB Roundup

The latest news and notes from around the league. (BBO-NOTEBOOK/, expect by 0000 GMT/7 PM ET, 350 words, The Sports Xchange)

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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

*The Sports Xchange covers all NHL games. Key matchups outlined below

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Ducks at Blackhawks

CHICAGO - The first meeting of the season between two Western Conference favorites at the United Center. (HKN-BLACKHAWKS-DUCKS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 0100 GMT/8 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Jerry Bonkowski, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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Wild at Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS - Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky is out for the Blue Jackets. Columbus starts backup Curtis McElhinney in goal against Minnesota (17-8-5). (HKN-BLUEJACKETS-WILD-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU, expect ASAP after the 0000 GMT/7 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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NHL Wrap: Blackhawks look to ground Ducks

The Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks, two of the Western Conference's top teams, face off while the San Jose Sharks set out for a seventh consecutive victory when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes in two of the six games on the NHL ice. (NHL-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0430 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 500 words)

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SOCCER

World Cup draw opens door for game's big guns

COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil - The convoluted draw for next year's World Cup finals in Brazil produces a set of groups in which most of soccer's big guns will like their chances of reaching the knockout stages. (SOCCER-WORLD/ (UPDATE 2, PIX, GRAPHIC), moved; will be led, by Mike Collett, 650 words)

See also: (SOCCER-WORLD/FIXTURES), (SOCCER-WORLD/DRAW), (SOCCER-WORLD/REACTION)

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AUTO RACING

Coverage of NASCAR Sprint Series Awards

Coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Series Awards. (CAR-SPRINT-NEWS/, NASCAR wire service special to The Sports Xchange, expect by 0030 GMT/7:30 PM ET, 400 words)

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Notebook: Champions Week

News and notes from Champion's Week. (CAR-SPRINT-NEWS/, NASCAR wire service special to The Sports Xchange, expect by 0030 GMT/7:30 PM ET, 400 words)

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OLYMPICS

Hosting Games one of Mandela's last wishes

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - Anti-apartheid campaigner and IOC member Sam Ramsamy wants to bring the Olympics to South Africa so that he can fulfill one of Nelson Mandela's last wishes. (OLYMPICS/MANDELA (PIX, TV), moved, by Stephanie Nebehay and Vincent Fribault, 525 words)

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Canadian Rochon to miss Sochi Games with knee injury

Canadian freestyle skier Olivier Rochon, the 2012 aerials World Cup champion, will miss next year's Sochi Winter Olympics after tearing knee ligaments. (OLYMPICS-FREESTYLE/ROCHON, moved, 125 words)

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NELSON MANDELA

'Madiba Magic' cast spell of sporting success

CAPE TOWN - It was on his inauguration day in 1994 that the concept of 'Madiba Magic' was born - the winning influence that Nelson Mandela engendered whenever he went to watch a South African sports team. (SPORT-MANDELA/MAGIC, moved, by Mark Gleeson, 575 words)

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NORTH AMERICAN SPORTS

Roundups of off-field developments in the major North American professional sports leagues. (Expect by 0100 GMT/8 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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