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Rockets Fire General Manager

From Staff and Wire Reports

Steve Patterson, 35, the youngest general manager in the NBA, was fired Monday by the Houston Rockets and replaced by PGA executive Tod Leiweke.

In announcing the moves, Rocket owner Les Alexander said Leiweke will hold the title of team president.

The Rockets gave no explanation for Patterson’s dismissal, but Alexander, who purchased the Rockets earlier this year, told a radio station he felt “the organization wasn’t running smoothly.”

Leiweke, 33, is vice president for marketing for the PGA Tour and lives in Florida. He has been in charge of corporate sponsorships and managed field staff operations.

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Lucious Harris, a second-round draft pick of the Dallas Mavericks, signed a two-year contract with an option for a third season. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Harris, a 6-5 guard from Cal State Long Beach, was taken with the first pick of the second round, the 28th choice overall.

Hockey

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Jvgenij Semeryak and Alexander Beljvaskij each scored two goals as Latvia beat Poland, 6-2, in the Olympic qualifying tournament at Sheffield, England.

Japan defeated Great Britain, 4-2, in another game of the five-team round robin tournament.

Rowing

Saiya Remmler of Boulder, Colo., and Lindsay Burns of Big Timber, Mont., led five American crews out of the first round of the World Rowing Championships at Roudnice, Czech Republic.

Remmler and Burns won their heat of the women’s lightweight double sculls to advance into Saturday’s final.

In the men’s lightweight four without coxswain, Matthew Collins of Cohasset, Mass., Thomas Beetham of Wellesley, Mass., Jonathon Moss of Tenafly, N.J., and Christopher Kerber of Philadelphia finished second to advance to Thursday’s semifinals. A U.S. team has not won a medal in that event since 1985. A U.S. team also reached the semifinals in the men’s four without coxswain, the men’s double and the men’s lightweight pair without coxswain.

Miscellany

A judge dismissed rape charges against former Bengal running back Larry Kinnebrew after a jury in Cincinnati for a second time was unable to reach a verdict.

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Sam Ermolenko of Cypress won the world individual speedway motorcycle championship Sunday in Pocking, Germany, by one point over three-time champion Hans Nielsen of Denmark and Chris Louis of Great Britain. Billy Hamill of Monrovia finished 10th and Greg Hancock of Costa Mesa 16th. . . . Bobby Yannes of East Los Angeles, who fought professionally during the 1940s, died of cancer last weekend. He was 76.

Max Gondon of West Covina skippered To the Max to first place in Division A of the Nautor Trophy Race at the Rolex Swan California Regatta off Long Beach. To the Max was the overall winner of the four-day event.

The Anaheim Bullfrogs will play the Los Angeles Blades tonight at the Anaheim Arena for the right to advance to the championship round of the Roller Hockey International League playoffs against Oakland.


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