Howard's big night lifts Magic past Heat


Dwight Howard scored 22 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, passing Wilt Chamberlain as the youngest player to reach 5,000 rebounds, and the Magic kept its grip on the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference by beating the host Heat, 101-95, on Monday night. Rashard Lewis scored 21 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:32 remaining for Orlando (55-18), which stayed percentage points ahead of the Boston Celtics in the East. Dwyane Wade scored 42 points for the Heat (39-35), who lost backup point guard Luther Head to a broken left hand. Head will miss four to six weeks. Howard reached the 5,000-rebound mark at the age of 23 years, 112 days. Chamberlain was 25 years, 128 days old.

Et cetera:: Deron Williams had 24 points and 13 assists, and the Jazz (46-27) rallied for a 112-104 win over the Knicks (29-45) after blowing a huge lead at home for the second straight game. ... Richard Jefferson had 29 points and 10 rebounds against his former teammates, and the visiting Bucks (32-43) ended a season-high five-game skid with a 107-78 victory over the Nets (30-44). ... Hornets forward James Posey (sprained left elbow) will miss at least the next three games.

Hamels won't pitch in Phillies' opener


Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said ace Cole Hamels is out of the running for an Opening Night start Sunday against the Atlanta Braves. Hamels - who got an anti-inflammatory shot in the elbow two weeks ago - is expected to get his pitch count up to about 85 in an exhibition game Saturday. If all goes well, he could make his first start of the season in Colorado on April 10.

Brewers: : Closer Trevor Hoffman (strained oblique) was put on the 15-day disabled list, ruling the all-time saves leader out for the start of the season. The move is retroactive to March 27.

Angels: : The team is "encouraged" by the latest magnetic resonance imaging on John Lackey's strained right elbow and expects its ace to be on the mound by the end of April or early May, general manager Tony Reagins told ESPN The Magazine.

Athletics: : Frustrated at the team's inability to get a new ballpark, baseball commissioner Bud Selig appointed a committee to analyze the team's hopes of obtaining a stadium in its current territory.

Minor leagues: : The Bowie Baysox, the Orioles' Double-A affiliate, will take on the Portland Sea Dogs at Fenway Park in Boston on Aug. 8. The game will be the first in the Red Sox's popular "Futures at Fenway" minor league doubleheader. The Norfolk Tides, the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate, will take on the Pawtucket Red Sox in Game 2.

Md. panel advances stadium study bill


Maryland would pay up to $200,000 to study whether to build a D.C. United stadium in Prince George's County but withhold design funds until the review is complete, under legislation endorsed by a House committee. The House Appropriations Committee voted to approve a bill that would allow the Maryland Stadium Authority to study the site and financing options. Stadium authority officials, however, would need to return to state budget committees to brief them on study results before they could be granted any design money for the project.

Et cetera: : The Blast ended its regular season with a 19-4 loss at Monterrey La RaZa (10-8) on Sunday. Rich Lesmes and P.J. Wakefield scored the only two goals for the Blast (14-4). ... Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger joined the board of U.S. organizers bidding to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

Ex-Terp Lewis named Spalding hoops coach

et cetera

Former Terp Derrick Lewis was named the varsity boys basketball coach at Archbishop Spalding. Lewis, who was the Cavaliers' junior varsity coach this past season, previously coached the junior varsity team at Chapelgate Christian Academy. Lewis replaces Andy Bauer, whose contract was not renewed. Lewis played at Maryland from 1985 to 1988 and spent 16 years playing pro ball in France.

Auto racing:: NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was the leadoff defense witness in the Helio Castroneves tax evasion trial in Miami, testifying that a lawyer who is also charged in the case has a sterling reputation in the motor sports world. Johnson, a three-time Sprint Cup winner, said Michigan lawyer Alan Miller has many clients in NASCAR and the Indy Racing League, a circuit on which the Brazilian-born Castroneves is a top driver. Castroneves and Johnson have received financial guidance from Miller. "Alan's reputation is about honesty. His character is second to none," Johnson testified in a 10-minute appearance.

College football: : Nebraska coach Bo Pelini signed an extension after a 9-4 season, boosting his annual salary to $1.85 million. The contract runs through the 2013 season. ... Towson named Derrick Johnson cornerbacks coach. Johnson was the secondary coach last season.

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