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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Martin officially joins Wolves

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 The Minnesota Timberwolves made it official last night. They have acquired shooting guard Kevin Martin from Oklahoma City in a "sign-and-trade" deal that involved three teams. Martin signed a deal with Oklahoma City as a way to maximize his pay based on the league's collective bargaining agreement, then was traded to Minnesota. The Wolves shipped guard Luke Ridnour to Milwaukee, which then sent recent draftee Szymon Szewczyk to the Thunder. The Bucks also got the Wolves second-round draft choice next year. Martin's arrival to Minnesota comes after he spent a year at Oklahoma City, filling the role of sixth man. He figures to be a starter for the Wolves, who desperately need his three-point shooting prowess He is a career 39-percent three-point shooter. Martin had five straight seasons between 2006 and 2011 where he averaged at least 20-points per game. He scored 14-points per contest last year with the Thunder. 

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The Timberwolves open play in the Las Vegas Summer League tomorrow against the NBA D-League squad. The T'wolves will also play Phoenix and Miami in preliminary round play. The teams will then be seeded in a single-elimination tournament, which starts next Wednesday and runs through the championship game on July 22nd. 

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Hutchinson native Lindsay Whalen scored 23 points to lead the Minnesota Lynx past the Indiana Fever 69-62 in Indianapolis. Monica Wright added 22 points and nine rebounds for the Lynx, who have won three in-a-row to improve to 10-and-3 on the season. Minnesota continues its four-game road trip Saturday at Tulsa. 

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Tampa Bay sluggers Luke Scott and Evan Longoria hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning to break up a 1-1 game as the Rays beat the Twins 4-3 in Florida yesterday. Will Myers went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles for Tampa Bay, which won its eighth in-a-row. Matt Moore struck out 10 over seven-and-a-third innings of three-run ball to improve to 13-and-3. Jake McGee fanned two in the ninth en route to his first save. Mike Pelfrey allowed three runs in six frames to fall to 4-and-7 for Minnesota. Jamey Carroll had an RBI single in the sixth and Joe Mauer singled in two in the eighth for the Twins, who have dropped 11 of their last 12 games. 

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The Twins begin a three-game series against the New York Yankees tonight in the Bronx. It's the final series before the All-Star break. Scott Diamond will take the mound for Minnesota. He is 5-and-8 with a 5.52 ERA in 16 starts. The Yankees will counter with Hiroki Kuroda, who is 7-and-6 with a 2.77 ERA. 

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The top of the leaderboard is jam packed after Thursday's first round of the U.S. Senior Open. Minnesotan Tom Lehman chipped in from 45 feet out on the final hole to finish in a seven-way tie for first place. Lehman fired a three-under-67. Kenny Perry, Michael Allen, Jay Don Blake, Gary Hallberg, Mark O'Meara and Fred Funk are also at minus three heading into day two. Round two is today. Lehman was born in Austin, raised in Alexandria, and golfed at the University of Minnesota. 

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The Minnesota Vikings are slated to have their first training camp practice in Mankato two weeks from today. Players are scheduled to check in on Thursday, July 25 and begin workouts the following day. The Mankato portion of training camp is scheduled to run July 25-August 14 with most of the practice days set up as two-a-day workouts. One of those practices each day is a walk-through. The team will host an evening practice/scrimmage on Saturday, August 3rd at Blakeslee Stadium. The Vikings open the exhibition schedule with a home game against Houston on August 9th. The regular season begins with a road game in Detroit on September 8th. 

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The Big Ten Conference has released the league football schedule for 2016 and 2017. The Golden Gophers will host four conference games and play five Big Ten road games in 2016, while hosting five league games and traveling for four games in 2017. The Big Ten had previously released the new scheduled for 2014 and 2015 in the spring. Here's the Golden Gopher Football Schedules for 2013-2017: 

2013: 

Thursday, August 29 - vs. UNLV, 6pm 

Saturday, September 7 - at New Mexico State, 7pm 

Saturday, September 14 - vs. Western Illinois, 11am 

Saturday, September 21 - vs. San Jose State, TBD 

Saturday, September 28 - vs. Iowa, 2:30pm (homecoming) 

Saturday, October 5 - at Michigan, 2:30pm 

Saturday, October 19 - at Northwestern, TBD 

Saturday, October 26 - vs. Nebraska, TBD 

Saturday, November 2 - at Indiana, 2:30pm 

Saturday, November 9 - vs. Penn State, TBD 

Saturday, November 23 - vs. Wisconsin, TBD 

Saturday, November 30 - at Michigan State, TBD

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