Wednesday's Sports in Brief

Published July 05, 2012

| Associated Press

Steve Nash is going to the Los Angeles Lakers, a Pacific Division rival the two-time MVP point guard tried so hard to beat, with little success, in his eight seasons with the Phoenix Suns.

At Nash's request, the Lakers and Suns reached a sign-and-trade deal, with Los Angeles using the trade exception it got when it sent Lamar Odom to Dallas to facilitate the transaction.

The 38-year-old Nash, who spent the past eight seasons with the Suns, was a free agent but a sign-and-trade agreement was necessary for the Lakers to afford him. He agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract. In return, the Suns get four draft picks — first-rounders in 2013 and 2015 and second-rounders in 2013 and 2014.

Nash's deal was part of a busy 24 hours for the Suns.

On Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the talks, they agreed to a four-year, $58 million offer with restricted free agent guard Eric Gordon, although the Hornets say they will match it.

After the Nash agreement Wednesday night, according to a source who requested anonymity because deals can't be announced until July 11, the Suns reached a three-year, $18 million deal with free agent forward Michael Beasley. Then, an hour or so before midnight, they reached an agreement to bring back point Goran Dragic in a three-year, $30 million deal that can reach $34 million with incentives. The fourth year is a player option.

PRO HOCKEY

It was a Wild day for Minnesota, a team that landed both of the NHL's top players available in free agency: forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter.

Parise leaves the New Jersey Devils, while Suter leaves the Nashville Predators in joining forces to take their talents to the Land of 1,000 Lakes.

Each player agreed to a 13-year contract, the team said. Terms of the deals were not immediately announced, but each contact was expected to be in the $100 million range.

OLYMPICS

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Oscar Pistorius will be competing in the London Olympics in his favorite event, after all.

While his selection for the 4x400 relay team was expected, in a surprise last-minute turnaround South African sports officials announced their decision to give Pistorius the chance to run in the 400, as well, even though he just missed out on the country's qualifying criteria.

With the decision, the 25-year-old will become the first amputee track athlete to compete at any games.

LONDON (AP) — IOC President Jacques Rogge cannot guarantee "100 percent" that female athletes from Saudi Arabia will compete at the London Olympics, although he remains optimistic the Gulf kingdom will send women to the games for the first time.

Rogge told The Associated Press in an interview that the International Olympic Committee is discussing the "operational details" with Saudi officials for ending their four-decade-old policy of sending only men to the games.

TENNIS

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic easily set up another highly anticipated matchup with the six-time champion from Switzerland wrapping up a dominating 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Mikhail Youzhny of Russia just a few minutes before the top-ranked Serb finished off a 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Florian Mayer on Court 1.

It will be the 27th meeting between the two, but the first at Wimbledon.

Andy Murray of Britain and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga meet in the other semifinal, with each vying to reach his first Wimbledon final.

Murray rallied from a set and a break down to beat No. 7 David Ferrer of Spain 6-7 (5), 7-6 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (4), while Tsonga ousted first-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (6), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

BASEBALL

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Houston Astros traded slugger Carlos Lee to the Miami Marlins in exchange for a pair of prospects.

The Astros acquired third baseman Matt Dominguez and left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen in the deal.

The 36-year-old Lee spent five-plus seasons with the Astros and is hitting .287 with five homers and 29 RBI in 65 games this year.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz hit his 400th career home run, a leadoff drive to right in the fourth inning against Oakland's A.J. Griffin.

The 36-year-old Big Papi's home runs rank eighth among active players and 49th on the all-time list. Next up for him to catch: Hall of Famer Duke Snider with 407. Ortiz has 22 home runs on the season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Trial may be months away for two Penn State administrators charged with mishandling a 2001 sex abuse complaint regarding Jerry Sandusky and lying to a grand jury about it.

But testimony at Sandusky's recent criminal trial, the former assistant football coach's acquittal on one of the counts and leaked decade-old email traffic could have legal implications for the two administrators, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.

Sandusky was convicted last month of 45 counts for sexually abusing 10 boys.

Email from 2001, reported on recently by NBC and CNN, shows Schultz and Curley debating what to do after football team graduate assistant Mike McQueary told them he had seen Sandusky in a team shower with a young boy. In the email traffic, the two administrators indicated they knew there could be negative legal consequences if they did not report it. Those discussions also involved Paterno and the university's then-president, Graham Spanier.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas coach John L. Smith says he is making plans to declare bankruptcy as a result of several land developments gone bust in Kentucky.

Smith was hired by the Razorbacks in April to replace Bobby Petrino, who was fired after revelations that he had hired his mistress in the football department and given her $20,000 in gifts.

AUTO RACING

LONDON (AP) — Formula One test driver Maria de Villota lost her right eye in a crash during a testing session and remains hospitalized in Britain, with teammates describing her condition as critical but stable.

The 32-year-old Spaniard sustained serious injuries to her head and face after colliding with a team vehicle at the end of one of her straight-line test runs at Duxford Airfield north of London. She underwent a lengthy procedure by neurological and plastic surgery teams, her team said, adding that de Villota was in the operating theater from Tuesday afternoon until Wednesday morning.

CYCLING

ROUEN, France (AP) — Germany's Andre Greipel led a bunch sprint to win the fourth stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday after a late crash engulfed several riders, including world champion Mark Cavendish of Britain.

Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara avoided the late trouble and retained the overall lead for a fifth day after the 133-mile race along the English Channel from Abbeville to Rouen.

EATING

NEW YORK (AP) — Joey Chestnut won his sixth straight Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest at Coney Island, downing 68 dogs and buns to tie his personal best in a sweaty, gag-inducing spectacle.

Sonya Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., downed 45 hot dogs to win the women's competition. She reached her goal of eating 45 in the time limit — her age — and took home her own pink champion's belt and $10,000.

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