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Nelson to Coach Warriors Again

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Golden State Warriors have lured Don Nelson back from retirement to replace Mike Montgomery, who was fired by the club Tuesday.

Nelson, 66, will be rehired for the job he held for nearly seven seasons before leaving 11 1/2 years ago, an NBA source told the Associated Press.

The Warriors scheduled a news conference for tonight but didn’t divulge the reason.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn’t been announced, said Nelson settled his differences with Warriors owner Chris Cohan and agreed to return as coach.

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Nelson, a three-time NBA coach of the year and the second-winningest coach in league history with 1,190 victories, had a 277-260 record with Golden State from 1988 until his departure in February 1995. He led the Warriors to their last playoff appearance, in 1994. Nelson also coached at Milwaukee, New York and Dallas, where he won 339 games and led the Mavericks’ revitalization from 1998 until March 2005.

Montgomery, a former Stanford coach, was 34-48 in each of his two seasons with the Warriors.

Chris Mullin, who played for Nelson at Golden State, will now be Nelson’s boss as the Warriors’ executive vice president of basketball operations.

“Based on this agreement, we will now focus our efforts in a different direction and do what we think is in the best interest for this team,” Mullin said in a statement regarding Montgomery.

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Andres Nocioni scored 21 points and Argentina dominated Turkey, 83-58, at Saitama, Japan, to reach the semifinals of the FIBA world championship for the second consecutive time.

Argentina (7-0) held Turkey (5-2) to seven points in the second quarter.

In another quarterfinal, Pau Gasol had 25 points and nine rebounds to help Spain (7-0) to an 89-67 victory over Lithuania (4-3), which got 17 points from Darius Lavrinovic.

Bob Elphinston of Australia was elected president of FIBA for the 2006-10 term during voting by the organization’s 212 national federations.

The Utah Jazz signed guard Dee Brown, its second-round pick in this year’s draft. Brown averaged 13.4 points and 4.9 assists in four years at Illinois.

The Detroit Shock (23-11) plays host to the defending champion Sacramento Monarchs (21-13) tonight in the first game of the best-of-five WNBA Finals. The teams split two games this season, each winning at home.

Three guards will sit out all or part of the season for the USC women’s team: Junior Camille LeNoir will be sidelined until mid-January because of a hip injury; junior Brynn Cameron will be a redshirt for personal reasons and freshman Jacki Gemelos will be a redshirt while recuperating from a knee injury.

San Jose State women’s Coach Janice Richard, 42, took a medical leave of absence to undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer.

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Greg Lockridge, hired in July as an assistant, will coach the team during Richard’s absence. Richard has coached the Spartans for seven seasons.

PRO FOOTBALL

Martin to Sit Out Jets’ First Six Games at Least

Curtis Martin, fourth in career rushing in the NFL, was put by the New York Jets on the regular-season physically unable to perform list.

Martin, 33, had knee surgery in December. He will sit out the first six weeks of the season and the Jets will have 21 days to decide whether to activate him.

The Jets also announced that Chad Pennington would be their starting quarterback.

Dallas receiver Terrell Owens, who had been nursing a hamstring injury, practiced for the first time in 10 days. Neither Owens nor Coach Bill Parcells were available for comment.

Veteran quarterback Rob Johnson, 33, was among 13 players released by the New York Giants.

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Johnson, who played at USC, was trying a comeback after sitting out two seasons because of reconstructive elbow surgery.

Fifth-round draft pick and Olympic freestyle skier Jeremy Bloom was put on injured reserve by Philadelphia after sitting out most of training camp because of a hamstring injury.

Bloom, 5 feet 9 and 172 pounds, was a standout receiver at Colorado.

Guard Steven Vieira, who signed with Cincinnati as an undrafted player out of UCLA last year, was waived by the Bengals.

BASEBALL

Reynolds Powers U.S. Past Puerto Rico

Second baseman Mark Reynolds hit two home runs and drove in four runs, and the United States defeated Puerto Rico, 5-2, in a Pool B game of an Olympic qualifier tournament in San Jose, Cuba.

The U.S. (4-0) and Cuba (4-0), the leader in Pool A, are the only undefeated teams in the tournament. Puerto Rico is 1-3.

SOFTBALL

Osterman, Mendoza Lift U.S. Over Canada

Cat Osterman gave up three hits to lead the United States past Canada, 4-0, in the softball world championships at Beijing.

Jessica Mendoza was three for four, including a home run, for the U.S. (3-0). Laura Berg had two hits, a run-scoring triple in the fourth inning and a run-scoring single in the sixth.

Osterman struck out 10 batters, her second double-digit strikeout performance of the tournament.

HOCKEY

Dumont, Nashville Agree on Contract

Forward J.P. Dumont agreed to a two-year deal with the Nashville Predators that will pay him $2 million next season and $2.5 million in 2007-08.

Dumont, 28, became an unrestricted free agent when the Buffalo Sabres exercised their walkaway rights after he was awarded a $2.9-million, one-year deal in arbitration this month.

Expected to challenge Jean-Sebastien Giguere for the starting job this season, Ducks goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov remains unsigned as training camp approaches, although his agent and the team remain confident a deal will be reached.

Bryzgalov continues to seek a one-year deal and keep open the possibility of testing the free-agent market after next season, but the Ducks would prefer to sign him to a two-year deal. David McNab, the team’s assistant general manager, said the two sides have closed ground recently. Camp opens Sept. 13.

Neither side would comment on the amount he is seeking, but Bryzgalov is believed to be asking between $1 million and $1.5 million.

-- Eric Stephens

MISCELLANY

Longshore to Start at Quarterback for Cal

Nate Longshore will start at quarterback for No. 9-ranked California in Saturday’s opener at No. 23 Tennessee, Coach Jeff Tedford said.

Giro d’Italia champion Ivan Basso, who was excluded from the Tour de France after being implicated in a Spanish doping investigation, denied using banned substances in his first appearance before Italian anti-doping authorities in Rome.

The hearing was adjourned to Sept. 12, when a decision on whether to refer the case to the Italian Cycling Federation is expected.

Veterinarians treating Lost In The Fog, the Eclipse Award-winning sprinter diagnosed with inoperable cancer, are trying to shrink the horse’s tumors with drugs in hopes they can be reduced enough to allow chemotherapy or other treatment.

Trainer Greg Gilchrist earlier had said he expected the horse to be euthanized.

-- Robyn Norwood


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