AP wire

Saints visit the Falcons...More tests for injured Steeler...Thunder and Nets meet in Mexico Cithy

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ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons host the New Orleans Saints tonight in an NFC South matchup with serious playoff ramifications. The 7-5 Falcons desperately need a win over the 9-3 Saints to have a realistic shot at a second straight NFC South title. In a 14-9 loss to Minnesota last week Atlanta failed to score a touchdown for the first time in nearly two seasons — a major embarrassment to a team that led the league in scoring a year ago.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Steelers are trying to find a way forward without injured linebacker Ryan Shazier. He's been transferred to a Pittsburgh hospital for further testing as he deals with a spinal injury suffered in a victory over the Bengals Monday night. His friend Vince Williams is wearing Shazier's No. 50 in practice and the Steelers say the best thing they can do for Shazier is to honor him with their play.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — The wildfire burning in California's Ventura County is affecting the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams' training complex is about 25 miles from the blaze. Concerns about the smoke prompted the team to skip practice yesterday in favor of a walk-through indoors at nearby Cal Lutheran University. Coach Sean McVay says if the air quality is still poor today, they'll practice at the University of Southern California in downtown Los Angeles. The Rams are preparing for an important showdown Sunday with the Philadelphia Eagles at the LA Coliseum.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Brooklyn Nets meet in Mexico City tonight. The game will be the 25th in NBA history South of the Border, the most for any country besides the United States and Canada. It's also the first since a 7.1 earthquake on Sept. 19 killed over 300 people, most of them in the capital.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey lawmakers want to give the state's horse racing tracks a piece of the action on internet gambling. The state Assembly is due to vote today on a bill that would authorize tracks to offer internet gambling on their premises if they reach a partnership agreement with an Atlantic City casino or an online affiliate of a casino. Proponents of the idea say it's a way to give the struggling racing industry new revenue.

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