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First woman referee will marry partner

Violet Palmer made her biggest call yet: The NBA referee will marry her partner of 20 years Friday.

Palmer says she came out to her fellow NBA referees in 2007. She has not tried to keep her sexuality a secret from the league since that time.

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“This is actually the big formal coming out,” Palmer said. “We are saying to the world, to everyone, here’s my wife of 20 years. This is the big coming out.”

Palmer will marry celebrity hair stylist Tanya Stine in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be officiated by “Basketball Wives LA” star Tanya Young Williams, the ex-wife of former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams.

Palmer broke barriers in 1997 when she became the first female to referee an NBA game. Under scrutiny from her first tipoff, Palmer instantly proved she could withstand the grumbling and ref baiting that comes with forging a career in a men’s game. She was no publicity gimmick and has since officiated postseason games and the 2014 All-Star Game over a lengthy and varied career.

The Denver Nuggets reached deals with first-round picks Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris. The team picked up the rights to both players in a draft-night trade with Chicago that sent high-scoring Creighton forward Doug McDermott to the Bulls along with forward Anthony Randolph, who was later dealt to Orlando.

The 7-foot Nurkic was the 16th overall pick in the draft. He averaged nearly 12 points and six rebounds for Cedevita Zagreb last season in the Adriatic League. Harris was taken at No. 19 from Michigan State.

In other moves, free-agent guard Jerryd Bayless signed with the Milwaukee Bucks, and center Justin Hamilton is poised to become the 12th player under guaranteed contract to the Miami Heat when his partial guarantee kicks in Friday.


Lynx snap Phoenix’s 16-game winning streak

Maya Moore scored 20 points to power the host Minnesota Lynx past Phoenix 75-67, snapping the Mercury’s franchise-record 16-game winning streak.

Seimone Augustus added 19 points for Minnesota (21-6), which won its eighth straight.

Brittney Griner scored 18 points for the Mercury (22-4), which lost for the first time since June 12.

Phoenix came in leading the league at nearly 50 percent shooting from the field, but was just 37 percent (25 for 68) against the Lynx. Diana Taurasi shot 5 for 21.

Sylvia Fowles had 16 points and 14 rebounds as the host Chicago Sky beat the New York Liberty 87-74 in Elena Delle Donne’ return.

Delle Donne, playing for the first time since June 25 while dealing with Lyme disease, scored 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting in about 10½ minutes.

In another game, Tiffany Hayes scored a career-high 27 points, Angel McCoughtry added 21 and Erika DeSouza had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Atlanta Dream to an 85-75 victory over the host Tulsa Shock.


Li Na withdraws from Open

Second-ranked Li Na of China, who won this year’s Australian Open, withdrew from the U.S. Open because of a knee injury.

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia advanced to her first Bank of the West quarterfinal, beating Canadian qualifier Carol Zhao 6-1, 6-1 in Stanford, Calif. Ivanovic will face top-ranked Serena Williams on Friday.

American Steve Johnson knocked off another seeded player at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., beating ninth-seeded Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (9-7) to advance to the quarterfinals.

Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki plans to run the New York City Marathon on Nov. 2. The 24-year-old Dane had long wanted to run a marathon and looking at this year’s tournament schedule, she determined it was doable.


Markus Rehm, a German amputee long jumper who won his country’s title, will not contest the decision by his national federation to exclude him from the upcoming European Championships.

Michael Phelps will match his most grueling program since coming out of retirement, entering four events at next week’s U.S. national championships. The winningest athlete in Olympic history will compete in the 100-meter backstroke, 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle and 200 individual medley at the meet that begins Wednesday in Irvine, Calif.

Manu Ginóbili will not play for Argentina at the FIBA World Championships because of a stress fracture in his right leg that has bothered the San Antonio Spurs guard since the playoffs.

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