Tuesday's Sports In Brief


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will not be suspended for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors after the NBA decided to uphold his flagrant 1 foul.

NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn says in a statement Tuesday night that Howard was trying to free himself from Andrew Bogut when Howard ''recklessly hit him in the face with an open hand.'' Thorn says the contact was deemed unnecessary by game officials and the league doesn't ''see a reason to modify that call.''

Howard received a flagrant 1 foul early in the third quarter after throwing an elbow at Bogut's head after the Warriors center made contact with him. Howard could've been suspended for Wednesday night's game by accumulation of flagrant foul points if the NBA upgraded it to a flagrant 2.

The Warriors lead the series 3-1.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Milwaukee officials, leaders of the Wisconsin state Legislature and the president of the Milwaukee Bucks all said Tuesday they're close to reaching a deal to pay for a new $500 million arena for the NBA team.

The goal is to announce a deal Wednesday, said Rep. John Nygren, co-chairman of the Legislature's budget-writing committee. Nygren's committee is finalizing the state budget this week and intends to include a Bucks financing component.

Talks have been ongoing for months to come up with a way to pay for the arena that's part of a planned $1 billion entertainment district in downtown Milwaukee. Without a new stadium by 2017, the NBA has said it will buy back the team and relocate it.

No one has said publicly what the terms of any deal would look like.



BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Except for sporting a tighter haircut under his orange helmet, Johnny Manziel looked pretty much the same.

He scrambled from defenders and zipped passes. He talked to his coaches after plays, and joked around with Browns teammates during water breaks.

Manziel is back on the football field, where he built his Johnny Football reputation and where he must now prove he belongs. His comeback - day-to-day - is ongoing.

For the first time since a highly publicized, 10-week stay at a rehab facility in Pennsylvania this winter, Manziel practiced in front of journalists on Tuesday as the Browns moved into the next phase of their offseason program.

The 22-year-old, who played poorly in two starts last season and then sought treatment for an unspecified issue, did not speak with reporters afterward.

However, several of his teammates gave glowing reports on Manziel. They've been impressed with his determination to change a party-boy image following a bad rookie year.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California Highway Patrol has released audio from the 911 call that led to the arrest of NFL defensive end Ray McDonald on suspicion of child endangerment and domestic violence.

A woman, who is identified as the mother of the alleged victim, tells a dispatcher that McDonald is drunk during a 911 call about 3:41 a.m. PDT Monday.

McDonald was later arrested at a San Jose, California, home on suspicion of assaulting a woman who was holding the couple's baby.

Later in the day, the Chicago Bears released McDonald.

The arrest follows a pattern of similar incidents.

McDonald's agent, Tom Condon, has not returned multiple calls seeking comment.



DESTIN, Fla. (AP) - The Southeastern Conference wants a level playing field.

Yep, the league that boasts seven consecutive national championships, resides in some of the country's most fertile recruiting grounds and has loads of history and fan support is complaining about being at a competitive disadvantage.

SEC coaches and administrators gathered in a lush, beachside resort hotel for their annual spring meetings and the agenda included discussion about evening things out by potentially tweaking rules regarding satellite camps, graduate transfers and cost of attendance stipends.

Alabama's Nick Saban says, ''If we're going to compete for the championship, and everybody's going to play in the playoff system and everybody's going to compete for that, then we need to get our rules in alignment so we're all on a level playing field.''



NEW YORK (AP) - Yankees manager Joe Girardi thinks Major League Baseball should avoid the sticky situation of pitchers being caught using foreign substances to get better grips on the ball by providing the tacky stuff for them.

''I really believe there should be a substance behind the mound that every pitcher is allowed to use,'' Girardi said Tuesday. ''I'd like to see them come up with something that everyone can use when they go out there.''

Girardi's endorsement of a rule change was supported by Royals manager Ned Yost before the teams played at Yankee Stadium. They spoke after two pitchers were recently suspended for being caught with substances on their arms.

Brian Matusz of the Orioles and Will Smith of Milwaukee were both tossed from games when a visiting manager asked umpires to check the pitcher's forearm. Both are appealing eight-game bans.

Red Sox manager John Farrell, who detected Pineda using pine tar, also has backed a change that would give pitchers help.



SAO PAULO (AP) - Some of the most successful coaches in Brazilian soccer are without a job, slowly losing out to a younger generation who are bringing fresh ideas and willing to accept lower salaries.

The latest to become unemployed was former Brazil and Real Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, who was fired by Flamengo on Monday, joining a list that already includes Luiz Felipe Scolari, Muricy Ramalho, Abel Braga and Mano Menezes.

They were indisputable names not long ago thanks to their winning records in Brazil and abroad. Luxemburgo, Ramalho and Braga together won nine Brazilian league titles, while Scolari won four Brazilian Cups and the 2002 World Cup with the national team.

But most have failed to succeed recently, and now few Brazilian teams have shown interest in these high-profile coaches.

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