In brief

PRO BASKETBALL

Nuggets’ Anthony says
comments misconstrued

Carmelo Anthony said Friday his recent comments about wanting to keep his options open rather than sign an extension with Denver have been taken the wrong way by many people.

The Nuggets’ star forward said wanting to have options “doesn’t mean anything else.”

Anthony said he appreciates that Nuggets fans are emotionally invested and want him to seem that way as well. He said those fans can still count on him to play hard and try to win games for the Nuggets as long as he’s with the club, and that everyone will just have to see what happens in the future.

Anthony also said he liked the way the Nuggets looked not only in their season-opening win over Utah this week, but throughout the preseason.

Also: NBA commissioner David Stern is again discussing the possibility of the league’s expansion to Europe, predicting there will be a five-team division there within the next 10 years.

The talk of teams in Europe is hardly new, though Stern offered more details regarding how it could work at a luncheon in Miai. He suggested a notion that teams would fly to Europe, play five teams in a division there twice, then return home and be done with “their European obligations.”

Stern has also recently said the NBA plans a regular-season game in London sometime before the city hosts the 2012 Olympics.

The Houston Rockets bolstered their front court when Erick Dampier agreed to a one-year deal.

The 6-foot-11-inch Dampier, who will enter his 15th season, played the last six years with Dallas. The Mavericks traded the 35-year-old Dampier to Charlotte in July, and the Bobcats voided his contract for the season, making him a free agent.

The Indiana Pacers picked up the fourth-year option on the contract of swingman Brandon Rush despite his recent suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Rush will make about $2.9 million next season.

The Charlotte Bobcats picked up the fourth-year option on point guard D.J. Augustin’s contract and the third-year option on shooting guard Gerald Henderson’s deal. Augustin will make about $3.2 million next season in the final year of his rookie contract, and Henderson will make about $2.2 million in 2011-12.

GOLF

Irwin shoots age, shares
lead in AT&T tourney

Hale Irwin shot his age for the first time on the Champions Tour, finishing with a 6-under-par 65 for a share of the first-round lead in the AT&T Championship in San Antonio with John Cook, Larry Nelson, Chien Soon Lu and Mark Wiebe.

Cook won the 2007 and 2008 tournaments.

Also: Martin Kaymer is unlikely to take over the No. 1 ranking from Tiger Woods after falling 11 shots behind leader Graeme McDowell at the Andalucia Masters in Sotogrande, Spain.

Kaymer struggled to a 3-over 74 in the second round to seemingly fall out of contention for the victory he needs to pass Woods. McDowell shot a 67 and was at 7-under 135. Fellow Northern Irishman Gareth Maybin was two strokes back after a 68.

Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand had five birdies in the final seven holes for a 6-under 65 and a share of the lead with Ben Crane after the second round of the inaugural Asia Pacific Classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Pariya, a business management graduate from Purdue, is at 11-under 131 overall. Crane, a three-time PGA Tour winner, shot a 64 at the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event in Southeast Asia.

Colt Knost shot a 3-under 69 for a share of the second-round lead with Joe Affrunti and Brendan Steele in the Nationwide Tour Championship in Charleston, S.C., the final chance for all three to earn 2011 PGA Tour cards through the developmental circuit money list.

Joe Affrunti and Brendan Steele shot 71s to match Knost, the 2007 U.S. Amateur champion, at 7-under 137. The top 25 on the money list after the tournament will earn PGA Tour cards. Steele is 30th on the money list, Affrunti 34th and Knost 36th.

American Vicky Hurst and South Korea’s Song-Hee Kim shot 4-under 68s to share the first-round lead of the LPGA Hana Bank Championship in Incheon, South Korea.

UNLV ATHLETICS

Women’s soccer team
falls to San Diego State

UNLV’s women’s soccer team surrendered two second-half goals and was outshot 15-9 in a 2-0 Mountain West Conference loss to host San Diego State.

The Rebels (10-7-1, 2-4-1 MWC) now await the announcement of pairings for the conference tournament, which starts Wednesday in San Diego.

Also: Nick Marshall scored a golden goal in overtime as the UNLV men’s soccer team beat San Jose State 2-1 in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match in San Jose, Calif.

Stephen Sifuentes scored in the 28th minute for UNLV (6-9-1, 3-4-1 MPSF).

The UNLV volleyball team won the first game but dropped a 3-1 Mountain West Conference decision to New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M.

Sara Neff had 15 kills for the Rebels (7-16, 2-7 MWC).

Mehdi Bouras, Alex Bull, Charlie Alvardo, Bernard Schoeman and Rene Ruegamer were first-day winners for UNLV and advanced to today’s singles semifinals of the Larry Easley Memorial Classic at the Fertitta Tennis Complex.

UNLV placed eighth in the nine-team Mountain West Conference Women’s Cross Country Championships in Laramie, Wyo.

Lauren Petersen (23 minutes, 1.8 seconds) was the fastest Rebels runner, finishing 23rd.

New Mexico won the title.

MISCELLANEOUS

Tennis star Dementieva
announces retirement

Beijing Olympics champion Elena Dementieva announced her retirement from professional tennis one day after bowing out of the WTA Championships in Doha, Qatar.

The 29-year-old Russian, who has struggled with injuries, ended her 12-year career, marked by two Grand Slam finals, by losing to French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday.

Also: Vera Zvonareva ended Kim Clijsters’ nine-match winning streak, securing the year-end No. 2 ranking by beating the U.S. Open champion 6-4, 7-5 at the WTA Championships.

Former IndyCar champion Tony Kanaan is looking for a new ride after reaching a settlement with Andretti Autosport that releases him from his contract immediately. Terms were not disclosed.

Kanaan spent the last eight seasons with Andretti, winning 14 races and the 2004 championship. He never finished out of the top six in points.

Kevin Harvick’s NASCAR Nationwide series team will feature several of his fellow Richard Childress Racing teammates with sponsorship from Rheem and Menards next season.

Harvick and fellow RCR drivers Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard and Austin Dillon will share driving duties for the No. 33 Chevrolet.

An Alabama grand jury declined to indict former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell on a felony drug possession charge related to a drink containing codeine syrup found at his home.

Defense attorney Donald Briskman said the prosecution office handling the Mobile County grand jury confirmed that no indictment was included with its report. He said that means the grand jury decided there was not sufficient evidence to keep the case from being dismissed.

Boise State and Michigan State will play a three-game football series, starting with a season opener for both teams in 2012.

Officials from both schools announced a deal that includes a game in Boise in 2022 and the final matchup in East Lansing, Mich., in 2023.

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