Nets to play Celtics at Garden Oct. 23
The Celtics and Brooklyn Nets will face off in a pair of preseason games this fall, including an Oct. 23 meeting at TD Garden that the Nets, in their announcement Thursday, stated would mark “the return of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to Boston.” Given that their much-anticipated return is expected to be one of the most emotional moments in recent Celtics history, there’s a realistic chance that Garnett and Pierce, and perhaps even Terry, who were all dealt to the Nets in a blockbuster trade in July, could miss the trip and wait until the regular season to play their first game at TD Garden as Nets. However, it’s equally possible that Garnett and Pierce, two Celtics icons who helped deliver the team’s first title in 22 years and whose numbers will almost certainly be retired by the Celtics one day, would like to get the emotional return out of the way sooner rather than later. The Celtics and Nets are also scheduled to face each other Oct. 15 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Irving shines in USA scrimmage
Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving had 23 points and seven assists to lead the White team to a 128-106 victory over the Blue in the USA Basketball Showcase Thursday night at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The scrimmage, played primarily using FIBA rules, concluded USA Basketball’s four-day minicamp for young players . . . The Knicks re-signed veteran forward Kenyon Martin . . . Phoenix Mercury rookie center Brittney Griner will miss Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game in Uncasville, Conn., while recovering from a sprained left knee. Griner will be replaced on the Western Conference roster by Seattle’s Tina Thompson. Thompson scored 23 points in lifting the Storm over the Sparks in Los Angeles, 73-66 . . . Mercury forward Penny Taylor had arthroscopic surgery on her right knee. She is expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, which could put her out for the rest of the season, which ends Sept. 15 . . . Danielle Adams had 20 points and eight rebounds and the Silver Stars defeated the New York Liberty, 65-53, in San Antonio for coach Dan Hughes’s 200th career victory . . . Tamika Catchings had 23 points for Indiana and moved into fourth place in the WNBA’s all-time scoring list while leading the Fever past the Shock, 71-60, in Tulsa.
Slumping Federer is upset again
Roger Federer lost to a low-ranked opponent for the third straight tournament, his new and larger racket failing him in a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to Germany’s Daniel Brands in the second round of the Swiss Open in Gstaad, Switzerland. Federer is ranked fifth. Brands is ranked 55th . . . The Boston Lobsters were no match for the Martina Hingis-led Kastles as host Washington won the World Team Tennis Eastern Conference championship, 25-12 . . . Fourth-seeded Jamie Hampton, third-seeded Dominica Cibulkova, No. 7 Urszula Radwanska and Vera Dushevina advanced to the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif. . . . Serbian player Viktor Troicki was suspended for 18 months for refusing to submit to blood testing before the Monte Carlo Masters. The International Tennis Federation said the 53d-ranked player broke an anti-doping rule in April by providing a urine sample but not a blood sample.
Stoops, Oklahoma near extension
The University of Oklahoma plans to extend the contract of head football coach Bob Stoops through the 2020 season, school president David Boren announced. Boren said that he will recommend that the OU Board of Regents take formal action at its September meeting . . . University of South Carolina spokesman Steve Fink says the school found no impermissible contact between All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Jay-Z, the rap mogul turned sports agency head . . . Georgia offensive lineman Kolton Houston was reinstated by the NCAA following three years under suspension for an anabolic steroid he was given for shoulder surgery. He has two years of eligibility remaining and could petition for a third year . . . President Obama will honor the University of Connecticut Huskies for their 2013 NCAA women’s basketball championship at the White House next Wednesday.
Bolt calls doping scandals setbacks
Usain Bolt said the recent doping scandals in sprinting have set the sport back, while insisting he is not a cheat. Bolt said in London he hopes to ‘‘help people forget what has happened’’ with his own performances and stressing: ‘‘I am clean.’’ . . . In the world swimming championships in Barcelona, Thomas Lurz led Germany to a dominating victory in the 5-kilometer open water team competition. China’s Si Yajie, 14, edged two-time Olympic gold medalist and defending world champion Chen Ruolin in 10-meter platform diving. In synchronized swimming, Russians Svetlana Romashina and Svetlana Kolesnichenko won the duet and duet technical . . . D.C. United and city officials signed an agreement that would keep the Major League Soccer franchise in the District of Columbia with a new, $300 million soccer-only stadium.