Nick Van Exel, second among active players in three-pointers, signed a free agent contract with the San Antonio Spurs yesterday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 33-year-old Van Exel is coming off a season in Portland in which he posted some of the lowest numbers of his 12-year NBA career. He averaged 11.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 53 games for the Trail Blazers.

For the Spurs, however, Van Exel's scoring ability might help an offense that sometimes has trouble putting points on the board.

"We are very happy to have Nick as a part of our team," Coach Gregg Popovich said. "His leadership and skills will be assets at both ends of the floor."

* HOCKEY: The Washington Capitals' game against Buffalo on Oct. 26 will be played in Rochester, N.Y. -- home of the Sabres' AHL affiliate, the Americans -- instead of Buffalo's usual rink, HSBC Arena. It is the second consecutive season Buffalo has played a regular season home game in Rochester, a city where the NHL team would like to solidify its fan following. . . .

The Pittsburgh Penguins accepted the $1.6 million salary awarded defenseman Dick Tarnstrom in arbitration and signed their leading scorer from the 2003-04 season to the one-year deal.

* BASEBALL: Trenidad Hubbard, an outfielder who has spent 10 seasons in the majors with nine teams, was among 24 players selected for the U.S. team at the World Cup in the Netherlands. The 18-nation tournament begins Friday.

* COURTS: Six people have pleaded guilty to charges connected to the sale of thousands of phony LiveStrong wristbands and have turned over almost $112,000 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office said.

In March, undercover investigators bought 1,000 of the counterfeit wristbands from a Manhattan storefront, authorities said. Investigators said they found 81,000 more there and at a home in Queens.

* SAILING: Defending America's Cup champion Alinghi of Switzerland won Act 6 of the Louis Vuitton sailing regatta in Malmo, Sweden, with a day to spare, extending its winning streak to 21 match races. U.S. team BMW Oracle, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa of Italy are vying for second place ahead of today's sixth and last day.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports