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Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - SPORTS -

IN BRIEF

NBA: Rock­ets owner Les­lie Alexan­der is sell­ing the team. Alexan­der, 74, took over as owner on July 30, 1993, and the Rock­ets won back-to-back ti­tles in 1994-95. In 24 sea­sons un­der Alexan­der, the Rock­ets won 56.9 per­cent of their games, fifth-best in the league. ... The Celtics signed Paul Pierce so the 10time All-Star can re­tire with the team on which he spent his best 15 sea­sons in the NBA. Pierce helped bring a cham­pi­onship in 2008 as part the “Big Three” with Kevin Gar­nett and Ray Allen. Pierce is the Celtics’ sec­ond all-time lead­ing scorer with 24,021 ca­reer points, trail­ing only John Havlicek.

NFL: Kirk Cousins will be the first quar­ter­back to play con­sec­u­tive sea­sons on the fran­chise tag. Be­cause Cousins and the Red­skins didn’t sign a long-term deal by Mon­day’s dead­line, he will make $23.94 mil­lion on the fran­chise tag in 2017 af­ter earn­ing $19.95 mil­lion last year. Cousins set fran­chise records with 4,166 and 4,917 pass­ing yards the last two sea­sons but has yet to win a play­off game . ... The Steel­ers and RB Le’Veon Bell failed to reach an agree­ment on a long-term con­tract, mean­ing Bell will play on a one-year ten­der for $12.1 mil­lion this sea­son, the av­er­age of the five high­est­paid run­ning backs in the league . ... The Pan­thers fired GM Dave Get­tle­man. They al­ready were without a team pres­i­dent af­ter Danny Mor­ri­son re­signed in Fe­bru­ary.

NHL: The Preda­tors signed F Fred­er­ick Gau­dreau to a three-year con­tract on the heels of his break­through play­off per­for­mance. Gau­dreau scored his first three ca­reer NHL goals dur­ing the Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal . ... The Sen­a­tors avoided ar­bi­tra­tion with re­stricted free-agent F Jean-Gabriel Pageau by agree­ing to terms on a three-year, $9.3 mil­lion con­tract. Pageau had eight play­off goals as the Sen­a­tors reached the Eastern Con­fer­ence fi­nals.

SWIM­MING: Gior­gio Min­isini and Manila Flamini earned Italy its first gold medal of the world swim­ming cham­pi­onships in Budapest, Hun­gary, by win­ning the mixed duet tech­ni­cal syn­chro­nized swim­ming com­pe­ti­tion. Min­isini and Flamini fin­ished with a to­tal of 90.2979 points, edg­ing Rus­sia’s Mikhaela Kalan­cha and Alek­sandr Malt­sev by just 0.034 of a point. Bill May and Kanako Spendlove claimed bronze, the United States’ first medal of the cham­pi­onships.

TENNIS: Roger Fed­erer’s record eighth Wim­ble­don ti­tle pushed him back up to No. 3 in the ATP rank­ings af­ter he ended last sea­son at No. 16. Be­cause he sat out the last half of 2016, his points will only con­tinue to ac­cu­mu­late, mak­ing a re­turn to No. 1 a real pos­si­bil­ity. “I’m play­ing for ti­tles at this stage of my ca­reer. Rank­ings, not so much, un­less I’m as close as I am right now,” the 35-yearold Fed­erer said. “So I just have to check the sit­u­a­tion, if it’s worth it to run af­ter it or not.”

Garbine Muguruza’s first cham­pi­onship at the All Eng­land Club re­turned her to the WTA’s top 10 at No. 5, a rise of 10 spots, while run­ner-up Venus Wil­liams moved from No. 11 to No. 9.

ALSO: For­mer Ken­tucky bas­ket­ball player Jerry Bird, a mem­ber of the school’s Ath­let­ics Hall of Fame whose No. 22 jersey was re­tired to the Rupp Arena rafters, has died. Bird died Sun­day at a hospi­tal in Corbin, Ky. He was 83. Bird scored 713 ca­reer points and had 589 ca­reer re­bounds un­der coach Adolph Rupp.

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