Thursday's Sports in Brief

The Associated Press Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Dwight Howard agreed to stay in Orlando on a day plenty of other big men were on the move.

Nene, JaVale McGee and Marcus Camby were among the centers who found new homes before the NBA's trade deadline.

Denver dealt Nene to Washington, just three months after re-signing him to a five-year, $67 million contract. The Wizards sent JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver and Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers, trading away two of their talented young but sometimes immature players. Washington also picked up forward Brian Cook in the deal.

The Lakers got younger at point guard, acquiring Ramon Sessions from Cleveland and sending veteran Derek Fisher to Houston. Swingmen Stephen Jackson and Richard Jefferson were swapped in a Spurs-Warriors deal, and the New Jersey Nets picked up Gerald Wallace from Portland.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Trail Blazers waived center Greg Oden, ending the former No. 1 overall pick's disappointing career in Portland.

Oden was limited to just 82 games by injuries since the Blazers took him over Kevin Durant with the first selection in the 2007 draft. He recently underwent his third microfracture knee surgery, the second on his left to go with one on the right.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers fired coach Nate McMillan one day after a 42-point loss to the Knicks in New York. Assistant coach Kaleb Canales will be the interim head coach.

The Blazers have lost seven of their last 10 games to fall out of the Western Conference playoff race. The firing was part of an overhaul that included trading veteran center Marcus Camby to the Houston Rockets and versatile forward Gerald Wallace to the New Jersey Nets.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Indiana Pacers acquired veteran guard Leandro Barbosa from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for a second-round draft pick and cash considerations.

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) -- Linebacker-end Mario Williams signed a six-year contract with the Buffalo Bills worth $100 million, $50 million guaranteed, becoming the highest-paid defensive player in league history. Williams' mega-deal followed by one day the $132 million contract the Detroit Lions gave their star receiver, Calvin Johnson.

The first overall draft pick by Houston in 2006, Williams became a pass rushing force and all-around standout at end before moving to linebacker in the Texans' new 3-4 alignment last year. But he played only five games in 2011 before a torn chest muscle sidelined him.

Earlier Thursday, guard Ben Grubbs agreed on a five-year, $36 million contract with New Orleans, where he will replace All-Pro Carl Nicks, who left the previous day for NFC South rival Tampa Bay. Grubbs gets $16 million guaranteed, including a $10 million signing bonus.

Another offensive lineman switching teams was Steve Hutchinson, a five-time All Pro with seven Pro Bowls who left Minnesota for Tennessee.

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. (AP) -- Former Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Phil Hansen is entering a new career -- in Minnesota politics.

Hansen says he is running as a Republican for a newly created state Senate district in western Minnesota.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) -- A man was convicted of first-degree murder after his second trial for killing the daughter of former Oakland Raiders star Fred Biletnikoff in 1999.

Prosecutors said Mohammed Haroon Ali, 36, strangled Tracey Biletnikoff, then his girlfriend, at a drug and alcohol treatment center during a fight over whether Ali had relapsed.

GOLF

NEW YORK (AP) -- Tiger Woods plans to return to practice and says he will be at the Masters.

"I'll be there. Don't worry about that," Woods said on "Good Morning, America" to promote a new video game.

Woods withdrew from the final round of the Cadillac Championship at Doral on Sunday with what he described as tightness in the left Achilles tendon. He said the next day that doctors told him it was a mild sprain.

Woods said the soreness and swelling are gone, and he will start practicing Friday to test it out. He said he hopes to play next week in the Tavistock Cup, a made-for-TV exhibition among players from four exclusive country clubs; and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) -- Padraig Harrington shot a 10-under 61 to set the course record in the Transitions Championship and build a three-shot lead over Will Claxton.

Harrington took a step toward ending 17 months and 37 tournaments without a victory when he made 10 birdies, including a 75-footer late in his round.

PHOENIX (AP) -- Top-ranked Yani Tseng played a seven-hole stretch on the back nine in 7 under and finished with a 7-under 65 for a share of the first-round lead with Hee Young Park in the LPGA Founders Cup.

MARBELLA, Spain (AP) -- Italian teenager Matteo Manassero tied the course record with an 8-under 64 at the Andalucia Open, giving him a three-stroke lead and a strong start in his bid to qualify for the Masters.

Five players were at 67: Niclas Fasth of Sweden, Eduardo de la Riva of Spain, Henni Otto of South Africa and Englishmen Anthony Wall and European tour rookie Lloyd Kennedy.

SWIMMING

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- California's Caitlin Leverenz set an American and NCAA record in the 200-yard individual medley to help the defending champion Golden Bears take a first-round lead at the NCAA swimming and diving championships.

WRESTLING

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Defending champion Penn State got two pins each from top seeds David Taylor and Ed Ruth and had the lead over Minnesota after the first two rounds of the NCAA wrestling tournament.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

PHOENIX (AP) -- The former chief operating officer of the Fiesta Bowl pleaded guilty to a felony federal conspiracy charge for her role in a fraudulent campaign-contribution scheme.

Natalie Wisneski entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Phoenix and could face up to a year in prison when she's sentenced on June 16. She also could receive probation.

WINTER SPORTS

SCHLADMING, Austria (AP) -- Overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn added to her impressive season Thursday, winning the super-G title for her 16th career crystal globe and the fourth in super-G by finishing sixth in the final race in the discipline.

TENNIS

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) -- Top-ranked Novak Djokovic defeated Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-4, winning the final three games of the match to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

Ana Ivanovic earned a spot in the women's semifinals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Marion Bartoli, the 16th-ranked Serb's second straight win over a top-10 player.

She will play Maria Sharapova, who needed more than three hours to subdue fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.

HORSE RACING

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The horse racing series "Luck" was canceled by HBO after a third thoroughbred died during production of the drama starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte.