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Minnesota signs Pekovic to five-year, $60 million deal

Nikola Pekovic didn’t want to leave Minnesota, and the Timberwolves weren’t about to let him go.

After weeks of negotiations, waiting and watching, the two sides came to agreement on Wednesday on a new five-year contract worth $60 million that includes an additional $8 million in incentives.

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“He’s a dominating offensive player,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said in a conference call. “He plays extremely hard. He probably will work as hard as he can to live up to a contract he signs, whatever it is worth.”

Wizards sign Harrington

The Washington Wizards have signed veteran forward Al Harrington.

The Wizards are Harrington’s seventh NBA team as he enters his 16th season. He has averaged 13.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 947 career games.


Sixers owner will buy Devils

Josh Harris, the principal owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, will buy the New Jersey Devils and assume the team’s lease at the Prudential Center in Newark, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The deal, according to an NHL document sent to team owners, is said to be worth more than $320 million. It is expected to be announced Thursday. Harris would assume the roughly $170 million in debt on the team and repay Andrew Barroway, a lawyer who lent the Devils $30 million in June.


Serena wins after struggles

Serena Williams overcame what she described as one of her worst sets before beating qualifier Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in her opening match at the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio.

Older sister Venus Williams lost her second match of the tournament, falling to Russia’s Elena Vesnina 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. The 33-year-old Williams is slowly working back into shape after missing most of the summer because of a lower back injury.

No. 1 Novak Djokovic had a ragged first set while beating Juan Monaco 7-5, 6-2, leaving him 8-0 career against the Argentine.

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray opened pursuit of his third Western & Southern Open championship with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Mikhail Youzhny.

Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, 28, has retired after losing her latest match in an injury-plagued season.

USTA to put retractable roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium

The United States Tennis Association says a retractable roof will be constructed over Arthur Ashe Stadium, the main venue for the U.S. Open.

The USTA says it will reveal design plans for a makeover of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at a news conference Thursday.

The plans call for a roof on Ashe Stadium, along with two new stadiums and a plaza where fans can view practice courts.


• Sprint Cup driver Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw was none too pleased after being involved in a wreck at Watkins Glen last weekend.

Matt Kenseth, the man who caused it, has apparently reached out to Kahne to express his regret.

“He texted me, I don’t know, five to eight times apologizing, trying to explain what happened, how he felt really bad about how it happened and all that stuff. I understand and I appreciate the texts,” Kahne said. “At the same time, we’re trying to get in the Chase. It hurts when you get wiped out when you’re minding your own business. It’s happened enough this year that I don’t know what I can do about it, but I definitely am not pleased. It’s really annoying and upsetting.”

Tan White made a jumper with 0.5 seconds left to lift host Connecticut to an 88-86 victory over Atlanta in the WNBA. Tina Charles had 25 points for the Sun (7-15). Angel McCoughtry scored 33 on 13-of-27 shooting for Atlanta (11-9).

Also, Candice Dupree scored 16 points and host Phoenix beat Indiana 75-58 to win its third straight game under interim coach Russ Pennell.

• South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says a slightly banged-up Gamecocks All-American Jadeveon Clowney (bruised shoulder) will play against North Carolina on Aug. 29.

• California senior guard Justin Cobbs will be out six to eight weeks after he fractured a bone in his right foot.

• All-America receiver Marqise Lee has returned to practice at USC after missing four days of training camp with bruised shoulder.

• The Montreal Alouettes signed quarterback Troy Smith to a two-year deal. Smith, 29, won the Heisman Trophy with Ohio State in 2006.

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