Sports, March 7th

GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER

The Rifle Lady Bears kick off the spring sports season with a home game this afternoon against Delta. The Glenwood Lady Demons take on Palisade tonight under the lights at 7 at Colorado Mesa University.

NBA/NUGGETS

Denver–Tonight, the red hot Denver Nuggets host Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the LA Clippers tonight at the Pepsi Center.

NHL/AVALANCHE

Chicago–The Colorado Avalanche lost to the Blackhawks last night in the Windy City, 3 to 2. The Avs will try to repay the favor when they play in Denver tomorrow night.

Elsewhere in sports…

MIAMI (AP) – The Miami Heat blew a 20-point third-quarter lead and had to rally from five down to nip the Orlando Magic 97-96. The NBA’s Eastern Conference leaders stretched their franchise-record winning streak to 16 games.

CHICAGO (AP) – The NHL’s Blackhawks have completed half of their lockout-shortened season and have yet to lose a game in regulation. Chicago improved to 21-0-3 with a 3-2 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche.

NEW YORK (AP) – Doctors are optimistic that New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal will recover fully after being struck in the eye by a deflected puck during Tuesday night’s game. The 26-year-old defenseman will be sidelined indefinitely, but the team says he’s already showing improvement.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – After Mark Teixeira (teh-SHEHR’-uh) injured his wrist on Tuesday while hitting off a tee, the Yankees initially thought he might be sidelined eight to 10 days. They found out yesterday that it’ll be more like eight to 10 weeks.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The San Francisco 49ers have released David Akers (AY’-kurz). The six-time Pro Bowl kicker appeared in all 32 regular-season games and five playoff contests in his two seasons with the team, making 73 of 94 field goal attempts and all 78 extra points.