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Leading Off

April 24, 2006
April 24, 2006

Table of Contents
April 24, 2006

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW
NHL Playoff Preview
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
SPECIAL REPORT: STEROID TRAFFICKING
Departments

Leading Off

Playoff Prep

This is an article from the April 24, 2006 issue

Clippers forwardElton Brand split the defense of Dirk Nowitzki (left) and another Dallasdefender during the Mavericks' 75-73 victory on April 10. Their WesternConference playoff spot clinched, the Clippers were joined last weekend bytheir Staples Center co-tenant, the Lakers, who qualified on Sunday when KobeBryant (inset) scored 43 points in a 109-89 rout of the Suns.

Photograph by JohnW. McDonough

Blowing Hot andCold

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

Greeting Cards

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

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PHOTOPhotograph by John W. McDonoughPHOTOPETER READ MILLERPHOTOPierre Verdy/AFP/Getty ImagesPHOTOPIERRE VERDY/AFP/GETTY IMAGESPHOTOMIKE KING/NPMARATHON.COMPHOTOMike King/NPMARATHON.COMTWO PHOTOSPhotographs by Dilip Vishwanat/US PRESSWIRE