Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and president of basketball operations David Kahn found a middle ground as time ticked down on a five-year extension. Love signed a four-year maximum extension yesterday worth more than $60 million that allows him to opt out after three years. The deal offers the financial flexibility and protection from injury the team was seeking while giving the 23-year-old Love the freedom to become an unrestricted free agent in 2015 . . . The Suns’ Robin Lopez was suspended one game by the NBA for improper conduct toward a game official. Lopez was ejected after a run-in with referee Rodney Mott and brushed him when he walked past in the second quarter of the Suns’ 99-96 home loss to the Raptors Tuesday . . . A person familiar with the negotiations said forward Danilo Gallinari and the Nuggets agreed to a four-year, roughly $42 million extension.
Lakers are league’s most valuable team
The Lakers surpassed the Knicks as the NBA’s most valuable team, according to Forbes’ annual report. The magazine said the Lakers’ value had increased 40 percent since last year to $900 million. The Knicks’ value increased 19 percent to $780 million. The Bulls, Mavericks, and Celtics round out the top five. The Bucks are the least valuable team at $268 million . . . Kings leading scorer Marcus Thornton is expected to be sidelined 1-2 weeks with a deep bruise in his left thigh after an MRI revealed a significant hematoma . . . Hornets guard Eric Gordon will miss at least another three weeks as he recovers from a bruised right knee . . . The Bobcats exercised the fourth-year option on guard/forward Gerald Henderson. Henderson has started all 18 games and is averaging 15.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists.
Andruw Jones and the Yankees finalized a $2 million, one-year contract that keeps him in New York for a second season. The deal, agreed to last month, allows him to earn another $1.45 million in performance bonuses . . . The newest member of the Washington Nationals’ starting rotation, Gio Gonzalez, signed his $42 million, five-year contract . . . Major League Baseball has told teams that Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is eligible to be signed. Cespedes established legal residency in the Dominican Republic . . . Daryle Ward, an 11-season veteran who hasn’t played in the majors since 2008, was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned amphetamine under the minor league testing program.
Paterno laid to rest in State College
Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was laid to rest in a private funeral and burial service at State College, Pa., as quiet mourners lined the route of the procession, watching with grief and reverence as the electric-blue hearse carrying Paterno’s casket slowly drove by. Paterno died from lung cancer Sunday at age 85 . . . The child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State has prompted state lawmakers across the nation to take another look at laws designed to protect children and punish child predators. At least 12 states are considering mandatory reporting legislation this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures . . . Prosecutors in Colorado dismissed an assault charge against former Kansas quarterback Brock Berglund after he completed community service, took a conflict management course and paid $2,935 restitution to a man he allegedly punched during a party last April.
Bartoli left off France’s Fed Cup team
France captain Nicolas Escude has again left Marion Bartoli off the Fed Cup team. Escude selected Alize Cornet, Pauline Parmentier, Virginie Razzano and Aravane Rezai to face Slovakia in World Group II, with Kristina Mladenovic as reserve for the Feb. 4-5 best-of-five series on indoor hard courts in Bratislava. The ninth-ranked Bartoli is a former Wimbledon finalist, but also was left out of the team when France played Spain in the World Group playoff last April . . . Former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta will lead Italy’s bid to regain the Fed Cup title. Captain Corrado Barazzutti also picked Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci to play Ukraine in the World Group first round in Biella, Italy.
US women’s keeper Solo nursing injury
Goalkeeper Hope Solo is nursing a pulled quad as she tries to help the US women’s national team qualify for the Olympics. Solo was grabbing her right leg at times during the Americans’ 4-0 win Tuesday over Mexico. Solo, who says she hurt the leg about three days ago, hopes she’ll be fine for tomorrow’s semifinal vs. Costa Rica that will determine whether the US earns a berth to London . . . Athens Olympics champion Mizuki Noguchi has withdrawn from the Osaka International women’s marathon on Sunday because of a left hamstring injury, but will instead run in the Nagoya women’s marathon in March . . . NASCAR says it will stop issuing undisclosed fines and will no longer keep certain penalties private.