Lakers sign Dwight Howard
The Los Angeles Lakers have reached a deal to land six-time All-Star Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic as part of a four-team trade including the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets, ESPN reported on Thursday. According to the report, the Lakers have a trade call scheduled for Friday to secure the necessary approval from the National Basketball Association (NBA) to make the deal official. As part of the deal, Philadelphia will get Andrew Bynum from the Lakers and Jason Richardson from the Magic, Denver receives Andre Iguodala from the 76ers, the report said. In exchange, Orlando will take Arron Affalo and Al Harrington from the Nuggets and Nikola Vucevic and Maurice Harkless from the 76ers, and one first-round draft pick from each of the other three teams involved in the deal, ESPN said. Howard is a three-time NBA defensive player of the year who has led the Magic in scoring and rebounds in each of the past seven seasons. He would instantly bolster a Lakers team looking to recapture their form after being knocked out of the second round of the NBA playoffs in each of the past two seasons.
Lindberg leads Toledo
Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg poured in birdie putts of 40 and 50 feet en route to a round of seven-under 64 to take a two-shot lead on Thursday at the LPGA Tour’s Toledo Classic. The 26-year-old Swede has not finished in the top 10 of an LPGA event in her three years as a professional, and has missed the cut in a half dozen of her 10 starts this season. Lindberg rolled in a 50-foot birdie putt at the fifth hole and drained a 40-footer for a birdie on the par-three 14th. She made three 25-footers at Nos. 4, 12 and 18 in the rainy first round on Thursday. Two shots back were American Angela Stanford, Japan’s Mika Miyazato, South Korea’s Chella Choi, American Meredith Duncan, Thailand’s Numa Gulyanamitta and France’s Karine Icher. Taiwan’s Candie Kung shot a two-under 69, while Amy Hung and Lin Tzu-chi carded one-under 70s. Taiwanese world No. 1 Yani Tseng opened with a one-over 72.
Di Maria’s contract extended
Real Madrid has extended the contract of its Argentine winger Angel di Maria until 2018, the club said on Thursday, sealing his place as it seeks to retain the Spanish league title. “Angel di Maria has extended his contract with Real Madrid. [Coach] Jose Mourinho will have one of the key pieces of the Real Madrid attack available to him until at least the end of the 2017/18 season,” it said in a statement. Di Maria, 24, moved in 2010 from Portuguese side Benfica to Real, which is now preparing to host its fierce rivals Barcelona in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Aug. 23. “I’m very happy here and the extension of my contract gives me the possibility to continue with Real Madrid for many years in order to continue improving,” the club quoted him as saying.
Parker out after surgery
Tottenham Hotspur and England midfielder Scott Parker will miss at least the first month of the season after undergoing surgery on his Achilles, the Premier League club said on Thursday. “Scott Parker has undergone successful surgery to his right Achilles,” Spurs said on their Web site. “The midfielder is expected to return to training after the international break in September.” Parker missed several games toward the end of last season, but managed to start every England match at Euro 2012 despite the problem.