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Originally published September 25, 2013 at 9:20 PM | Page modified September 25, 2013 at 9:30 PM

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George gets max extension

The Indiana Pacers signed Paul George to a five-year max contract extension that guarantees him between $80 million and $90 million and could be worth even more if George reaches an escalator clause.

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NBA

George gets max extension

The Indiana Pacers signed Paul George to a five-year max contract extension that guarantees him between $80 million and $90 million and could be worth even more if George reaches an escalator clause.

George’s deal comes after David West’s new three-year, $36 million contract, team president Larry Bird’s offseason spending spree to improve the bench and last year’s expensive deals to keep center Roy Hibbert and point guard George Hill. The Pacers are almost certain to have their core nucleus together for several more years.

And with the Pacers coming off back-to-back playoff runs in which they pushed Miami, the expectations are soaring.

The NBA is bringing its All-Star weekend back to New York in 2015, and the Knicks and Nets are putting aside a strengthening rivalry on the court to share it.

Barclays Center in Brooklyn will host the Rising Stars Challenge and the skills events, highlighted by the slam-dunk contest, before the 64th All-Star Game goes to Madison Square Garden on Feb. 15.

Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti said the timetable for All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook’s return from a knee injury remains uncertain as the Thunder opens training camp.

Westbrook tore the lateral meniscus in his right knee during Game 2 of the first-round playoff series against Houston.

Westbrook had surgery April 27 and hasn’t been fully cleared medically. Presti didn’t dispute the notion that Westbrook could miss the Thunder’s season opener Oct. 30 at Utah.

Although the Los Angeles Lakers are still uncertain when Kobe Bryant will be on the court this season, general manager Mitch Kupchak isn’t pushing for an answer.

Kupchak said the Lakers have “no real expectations” about the health of the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history.

Kupchak said Bryant was at the Lakers’ training complex almost every morning this summer, working aggressively to return from mid-April surgery on his torn left Achilles tendon. Although Bryant, 35, has made steady progress, he hasn’t yet returned to the court for basketball work — not in the Lakers’ building, anyway.

College basketball

VanDerveer to be honored

Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer will receive the Legends of Coaching award in April, recognizing college basketball coaches who exemplify John Wooden’s high standards of coaching and personal integrity.

WNBA

Taurasi ties Leslie’s record

Diana Taurasi tied Lisa Leslie with a record eighth appearance on the All-WNBA team. Taurasi was also on the team in 2004 and from 2006 to 2011. She averaged 20.3 points and 6.2 assists to get Phoenix back to the Western Conference finals, where it will face Minnesota and fellow first-team members Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen.

Chicago center Sylvia Fowles was the league’s leading vote-getter, while WNBA MVP Candace Parker roundedout the squad. The Los Angeles Sparks forward was the only member of the group who was on the first team last season.

Chicago’s Elena Delle Donne, the rookie of the year, made the second team. She was joined by Indiana’s Tamika Catchings, Connecticut’s Tina Charles, Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry and Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus.

Colleges

Pay-for-play not on horizon

Athletic directors meeting in Dallas said they are working on recommendations to help improve college athletics, but paying players is not in the plan.

Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke noted the value of a full scholarship and support services at Purdue is worth more than $250,000.

ELSEWHERE

Jason Johnson and Bobby Boswell scored to help the host Houston Dynamo beat Trinidad’s W Connection FC 2-0 in CONCACAF Champions League action.

• Chivas USA defender Mario De Luna was fined for violent conduct in the team’s Sept. 21 game against Houston.

• Egypt will play in Cairo for the first time in two years when it competes for a spot in the World Cup on Nov. 19 against Ghana.

• American Venus Williams rallied from a set down to defeat Simona Halep of Romania 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 and reach the quarterfinals of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

• Fifth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia overcame an illness and reached the second round of the Thailand Open in Bangkok by beating Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 6-3, 6-2.

• The LPGA Tour said it will open its season in January for the first time in 13 years, beginning with the Bahamas LPGA Classic on Jan. 23-26.

Tony Martin of Germany won his third straight title in the individual time trial at the road cycling world championships with a dominating performance in Florence, Italy.

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