Blatter, Platini banned...Saints host Lions...Spurs place unbeaten home record on the line

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ZURICH (AP) — FIFA (FEE'-fuh) president Sepp Blatter and his potential successor Michel Platini have each been banned for eight years by soccer governing body's ethics committee stemming from a $2 million payment deal that is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland. Both have vowed to appeal.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Saints host Detroit in the Monday night football game that matches teams playing for pride and the future. New Orleans is 5-8 and needs a win to avoid a second straight losing season. The 4-9 Lions are guaranteed their third losing season in the last four, just a year after they posted 11 wins.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Spurs' 15-0 home record is the best in the NBA, and it gets put to the test tonight when the Pacers visit San Antonio. The Southwest Division-leading Spurs take a five-game winning streak into tonight's meeting with Indiana.

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta can move into a virtual tie with Miami for first in the Southeast Division with a win at home over Portland tonight. The Hawks head into the game on a three-game winning streak and are a half game back of the Heat for the Division lead.

NASHVILLE (AP) — Montreal heads into the second-game of its eight-game road trip at Nashville tonight, hoping to snap out of a recent downward spiral. The Atlantic Division-leading Canadiens have lost seven of their last eight games.

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