Friday Sports in Brief

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HOUSTON (AP) -- Russell Westbrook knows he's in for a huge change in his move from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets.

And he's ready to do whatever it takes to make the move work as he prepares to play with James Harden for the first time since 2012.

''To be able to win something you have to be able to sacrifice some parts of your game and we both understand that,'' Westbrook said. ''We both understand that we have one common goal and that's to win championships. We understand what we have to do.''

Westbrook was introduced in Houston on Friday after being acquired from the Thunder for Chris Paul and draft picks this month. General manager Daryl Morey beamed as he sat next to Westbrook when he made his first appearance as a Rocket.

''Obviously, we're here for one reason only, to take that next step that we've been trying to do for the last few years,'' Morey said.

The 2017 NBA MVP joins the Rockets after spending his first 11 seasons with Oklahoma City, which included playing with Harden in his first three seasons. Though the two are close friends and played together successfully with the Thunder, many have wondered if pairing these two ball-dominant guards will be successful in Houston.

Westbrook brushed off such concerns.

''I'm not worried about it,'' he said. ''I know James is not worried about it. I can play off the ball. I don't have to touch the ball to impact the game. I can do other things on the floor to make sure we have a better chance to win.''


SAN DIEGO (AP) - Bruce Bochy isn't allowing much time for nostalgia during his final weekend in San Diego as a major league manager.

His San Francisco Giants are playing too well for the skipper to spend much time thinking back on the 12 seasons he managed the Padres.

''Maybe the last day I'll start doing more reflecting,'' said Bochy, who has an offseason home in Poway, about 25 miles northeast of Petco Park. ''I'm really concentrating on what's going on with this team.''

Bochy announced during spring training that this would be his 13th and final season managing the Giants. After he was pushed out as San Diego's manager following the 2006 season, he took the Giants' job and led them to three World Series titles between 2010 and 2014.

''I made this call back in spring training, and I said then I was going to kind of put it behind me and keep the focus here on the field, and that's what I'm trying to do,'' Bochy said before the Giants and Padres opened a three-game series Friday night. ''There's no question the last day driving here it's going to be a drive down memory lane, all my moments here, both with San Diego and San Francisco.''

The Padres honored Bochy with a pre-game ceremony, showing a video montage of his years playing with and managing the Padres. Former players Carlos Hernandez, Steve Finley, Andy Ashby and Mark Sweeney joined owner Ron Fowler in presenting Bochy with a huge bottle of wine and some saltwater fishing rods.


RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Bobby Wagner took on the challenge of representing himself when it came to negotiating a new contract with the Seattle Seahawks.

The risk paid off.

Wagner and the Seahawks reached agreement on a three-year contract extension Friday night, locking up the anchor of their defense for the foreseeable future. The lengthy negotiations came to a conclusion on the second day of training camp and keep the All-Pro in the only uniform he has played in as a professional.

''We feel blessed that we were able to draft Bobby in 2012, keep him here on a second contract, and now to have him sign a third contract is a huge deal for us,'' general manager John Schneider said in a statement. ''Everyone in the whole building is excited, I'm sure his teammates are going to be very excited. He exemplifies everything that we're all about, his professionalism, intensity, the way he handles himself off the field. There's no doubt in my mind that he'll go down not only as one of the greatest Seahawks, but also as one of the greatest middle linebackers in NFL history.''

NFL Network first reported the deal and said it's for $54 million with $40 million guaranteed. The contract makes Wagner the highest-paid middle linebacker in the NFL in average annual value, surpassing the $85 million, five-year deal signed by C.J. Mosley with the New York Jets in the offseason.

The 29-year-old is represented himself in negotiations, bypassing an agent for the first time in his career.


LAS VEGAS (AP) - Shekinna Stricklen and Diamond DeShields made the most of their first All-Star appearances.

Stricklen won the 3-point contest while DeShields took the skills contest Friday night at the WNBA All-Star festivities.

The Connecticut Sun forward scored 23 points in the final round of the 3-point contest to edge hometown favorite Kayla McBride by a point. It was the second straight year that McBride lost in the final, much to the disappointment of the large crowd that came to the event.

Stricklen put up 21 points in the opening round and she didn't think that would be enough to advance.

''I was thinking I need at least 25-27, not going to lie,'' Stricklen said. ''Still in shock about the first round. ... Thought Allie (Quigley) was going to get a lot more.''

Two-time defending champion Allie Quigley only scored 19 points in the first round and didn't make the final. She had many of her Sky teammates in the stands cheering for her.

DeShields had to come from behind to edge Jonquel Jones in the final round to win the skills contest. That three-round event featured two players competing simultaneously on identical obstacle courses that test ball handling, passing, agility and 3-point shooting skills. In the final, DeShields' first pass attempt missed, but she quickly made the second one. She finished the course in the final round in 23.4 seconds when her 3-pointer went in.


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