IN BRIEF

PRO BASKETBALL

Posey joins Hornets, sees title potential

James Posey, a key reserve for the NBA champion Boston Celtics last season, officially became a member of the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday after signing a four-year, $25 million contract.

The versatile 6-foot-8-inch forward said he saw enough of the Hornets during a franchise-best 56-win march to the Southwest Division title, first-round playoff victory over Dallas and seven-game series with San Antonio to believe he can win a third ring in New Orleans.

Posey averaged 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds and made 38 percent of his 3-pointers in 74 regular-season games for Boston. In 26 playoff games, he averaged 7.6 points and 4.7 rebounds, shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.

Also: Sebastian Telfair signed his new contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, a two-year deal that includes a player option for a third season.

The Timberwolves had declined to extend Telfair the one-year, $3.5 million qualifying offer he was eligible for, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Telfair averaged 9.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists last season and finished 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio.

Josh Childress is leaving the Atlanta Hawks for Greek club Olympiakos, reversing the course of the many international stars who have signed with the NBA.

Heading overseas allows Childress to make more money than he could have as a restricted free agent in the United States. Agent Jim Tanner said the three-year deal was worth about $20 million after taxes. The money is guaranteed, and Childress can opt out of the contract after each year.

The 6-8, 210-pound swingman averaged 11.8 points and 4.9 rebounds as the Hawks’ top reserve last season.

The Utah Jazz traded Jason Hart back to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Brevin Knight in a swap of point guards.

Hart rejoins the Clippers after averaging 2.9 points, 1.5 assists and 1.0 rebounds in 57 games for the Jazz last season.

Knight averaged 4.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 74 games for the Clippers last season.

The Portland Trail Blazers signed French guard-forward Nicolas Batum.

The 6-8 19-year-old was the 25th overall pick in the draft by Houston, which traded his rights to Portland for picks Darrell Arthur and Joey Dorsey.

BOXING

Pavlik will move up in weight to face Hopkins

Unbeaten middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik has finalized a deal to fight longtime champ Bernard Hopkins on Oct. 18 in Atlantic City, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said.

Arum is ambivalent about making the 170-pound fight between Pavlik and Hopkins, the cagey 43-year-old boxer who lost a narrow decision to Joe Calzaghe in April. But after potential matchups with Calzaghe and Arthur Abraham fell through, Pavlik decided to move up 10 pounds to face a famous opponent who specializes in messy, defensive fights.

Also: The fight between Roy Jones Jr. and Joe Calzaghe is expected to be rescheduled for early November.

Jones said in a statement that it probably will take place Nov. 8 at New York’s Madison Square Garden and will be televised on HBO Pay-Per-View.

The bout was postponed from Sept. 20 after Calzaghe sprained his right wrist in training Sunday.

CYCLING

Spain’s Sastre claims Tour de France lead

Carlos Sastre of Spain won the 17th stage of the Tour de France, taking the overall lead from CSC teammate Frank Schleck on the hardest ride up three huge Alpine climbs.

Sastre took the yellow jersey by speeding ahead of the main title contenders in the final ascent of the 130.8-mile ride from Embrun to L’Alpe d’Huez.

Also: Cyclists Riccardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli are to appear before the Italian Olympic Committee next week to answer questions about their links to doping at the Tour de France.

Ricco won two stages before he was expelled from the Tour last week after testing positive for the blood-booster EPO. Both Ricco and Piepoli were fired by Saunier Duval, with Piepoli let go for "violation of the team’s ethical code."

MISCELLANEOUS

Affliction plans to hold MMA card at T&M

Affliction is ready to announce, possibly as early as today, that its second event will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center on Oct. 11.

The promotion’s first-ever card took place Saturday in Anaheim, Calif., and was highlighted by Fedor Emelianenko’s 36-second knockout of Tim Sylvia.

Emelianenko is expected to headline the Oct. 11 show, as well.

"We’re excited about the opportunity to work with them and for the opportunity to bring back Fedor," said Darren Libonati, director of the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Russian heavyweight fought once before at the Thomas & Mack, winning his U.S. debut with a second-round submission of Mark Coleman in October 2006 on a Pride Fighting Championships card.

Also: UNR was picked to finish third in the Western Athletic Conference football race this season, behind Boise State and Fresno State in separate votes of league coaches and media.

Fresno State was No. 1 in the coaches’ poll, getting seven of the nine first-place votes, and Boise State was second. In the media poll, Boise State was No. 1 with 25 first-place votes, and Fresno State got 20 first-place votes.

Defending WAC champion Hawaii, which went unbeaten last season until losing to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, was fourth in both polls.

Boise State running back Ian Johnson, who has rushed for 3,417 yards and 46 touchdowns in three seasons with the Broncos, was the preseason offensive player of the year. Hawaii linebacker Solomon Elimimian was voted the top defensive player.

Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle has signed a two-year extension, putting him under contract with the 2007 Stanley Cup champions for the next three years.

The Bruins signed defenseman Dennis Wideman to a multiyear contract extension.

Wideman had career bests last season with 13 goals and 23 assists in 81 games with Boston.

Top-ranked Roger Federer was knocked out of the Rogers Cup in Toronto with a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 loss to France’s Gilles Simon in a second-round match.

Federer, who won the tournament in 2004 and ’06, was playing his first match since losing the Wimbledon final in five sets to Spain’s Rafael Nadal.

Sprinter Tyson Gay withdrew from the London Grand Prix, insisting the hamstring he injured at the U.S. Olympic trials won’t rule him out of next month’s Beijing Games.

Gay was due to race against Jamaica’s former world- record holder, Asafa Powell, in the 100-meter dash Friday but said he wasn’t taking any risks on the left leg.

UNLV placed three volleyball players and two women’s soccer players on the Mountain West Conference’s 10th anniversary teams for the two sports.

Middle blocker Lauren Miramontes (2003-07), outside hitter Maria Aladjova (2004-07) and defensive specialist/libero Jada Walker (2004-07) represented the Rebels on the 16-member volleyball squad.

Forward Annii Magliulo (2001-04) and goalkeeper Jenna Huff (2002-05) made the 11-player soccer team.

Georgia Tech basketball player Ra’Sean Dickey has given up his senior season to play professionally in the Ukraine.

The 6-10 center played in 89 games over three seasons for the Yellow Jackets, averaging 8.7 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 60.1 percent from the field. His best season was 2005-06, when he averaged 13.2 points and 6.8 rebounds.

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