Jim O'Brien resigned as Boston coach over philosophical differences with team executive Danny Ainge. The Celtics are 22-24 and trail first-place New Jersey by two games in the Atlantic Division, where the Nets are the only team with a winning record. Assistant John Carroll takes over as interim coach. "Jim and I share different philosophies on how best to attain our goal of a 17th championship," Ainge, the team's director of basketball operations, said in a statement. "I felt those differences could be overcome, and he felt differently."
_ Details, 8C
Heatley returns to Thrashers tonight
Atlanta All-Star Dany Heatley is expected to play against the Blues tonight in his first NHL game since being injured in a car crash that killed teammate Dan Snyder in September. "I feel 100 percent," Heatley told reporters after practice in Duluth, Ga. "I'm really excited. (It) is my opening night." Heatley, the team's leading scorer last season, has missed all of Atlanta's 51 games while recovering from knee and shoulder injuries sustained in the accident.
_ Details, 3C
QUESTION OF THE DAY
What NFL team drafted John Elway in 1983?
"As a fan base, we continue to lead the league in awful. Our baseball team may be the best in the majors, but this town remains minor-league."
_ DAN LE BATARD
Miami Herald columnist, on the Marlins' inability to sell season tickets
The Baltimore Colts, who a few days after the draft traded Elway to the Broncos for QB Mark Herrmann, offensive tackle Chris Hinton and a draft pick in 1984.