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Sports log: Pacers add capricious center Andrew Bynum

BASKETBALL

On Saturday, the Indiana Pacers added size and scoring to their roster by signing mercurial free agent center Andrew Bynum for the rest of the season. Team officials did not release additional details about the contract and said Bynum was expected to join this week. Bynum will back up All-Star center Roy Hibbert. Adding a guy with Bynum’s reputation to a locker room as selfless as the Pacers is a gamble. The 7-foot-1-inch, 285-pound center was traded from the Lakers to Philadelphia in 2012 but missed the season because of knee injuries. He played 24 games for Cleveland this season, but was suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team and dealt to Chicago, which released Bynum so it didn’t have to guarantee his remaining $6 million. With Cleveland, he averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds . . . Lakers center Pau Gasol will miss at least the next week with a strained right groin. The 7-foot Spaniard is averaging 17 points and 10.2 rebounds this season. He will be evaluated next weekend . . . Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley is expected to miss at least a week because of a sprained right ankle suffered Friday against Minnesota. Conley is the Grizzlies’ top scorer at 18 points a game and leading assist man with 6.3.

FIBA grants Finland controversial spot

Finland received a wild card for the World Cup of Basketball in a decision criticized for being more about business than basketball. Traditional contenders Brazil, Greece, and Turkey drew the other three spots to complete the 24-team field for this summer’s tournament in Spain, basketball governing body FIBA announced at its meeting in Barcelona. The draw is Monday. Finland is ranked 39th, but has the support of Rovio, the Finnish company behind the popular Angry Birds games that agreed to provide advertising if Finland was selected.

MLB

Chen, Kansas City to give it another go

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Kansas City announced the signing of veteran pitcher Bruce Chen to a $4.25 million, one-year deal that includes a mutual option for the 2015 season, and manager Ned Yost said he expects to keep the lefthander as a starter rather than a reliever. The 36-year-old Chen last season went 9-4 with a 3.27 ERA in 15 starts and 19 appearances out of the bullpen . . . Righthanded starter Doug Fister and the Nationals agreed to terms on a contract worth $7.2 million, avoiding arbitration. Fister was acquired from Detroit in a trade this offseason after he went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA over 208 innings . . . The Dodgers and catcher A.J. Ellis avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.55 million. Ellis hit .238 with 10 homers last season.

HOCKEY

Blues’ Sobotka on IR, to miss Olympics

The Blues placed forward Vladimir Sobotka on injured reserve with an injury to his left leg, keeping him out for at least a month and ruling him out of the Olympics. Sobotka, a former Bruin who had been named to the Czech Republic roster in Sochi, was injured Friday night at the end of a 3-1 loss to Carolina. The 26-year-old has seven goals and 25 points in 46 games . . . Center David Steckel was recalled by the Anaheim Ducks after Nick Bonino was injured Thursday. Steckel has played in 423 NHL games for four teams.

MISCELLANY

Ethiopian sets indoor 1,500m mark

Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia set a world indoor record in running 1,500 meters in 3 minutes, 55.17 seconds at the Karlsruhe indoor meet in Germany. The world indoor champion shaved over three seconds off the previous record of 3:58.28 set by Russia’s Elena Soboleva in 2006 in Moscow . . . The Tour de France will stage ‘‘La Course by Le Tour de France’’ — a one-day women’s race that will take place hours before Tour riders race on the same circuit to finish their event on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. The 110-year-old Tour has been almost exclusively a male preserve, with women sometimes employed as staffers or on the podium handing out flowers . . . Top-seeded Maria Sharapova lost, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semifinals of the Open GDF Suez in Paris. Pavlyuchenkova will play Sara Errani, who outlasted Alize Cornet, 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) . . . Chris Wondolowski scored both goals in a 2-0 soccer victory for the United States over South Korea in an exhibition in Carson, Calif. . . . Fashion Plate led all the way in winning the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by a half-length at Santa Anita. Ridden by Gary Stevens, Fashion Plate ran 1 mile in 1:37.22 and paid $11.40, $4.40, and $3.80 at 9-2 odds in the Grade 1 race . . . Samraat remained undefeated in four races with a 1-length victory over Uncle Sigh in the $250,000 Withers Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct . . . In the main event of UFC 169 in Newark, N.J., Renan Barao made quick work of Urijah Faber in his latest title defense, dropping the challenger with a right and pummeling him with a series of shots to retain his 135-pound championship.

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