Professional basketball

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives against Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
December 15, 2018 - 10:22 pm
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Luke Walton was surprised to hear that LeBron James and Lonzo Ball were only the second Lakers teammates to record a triple-double in the same game. "I know it's not easy. There have been a lot of good players in Lakers history and I figured Walton and Kobe (Bryant) would...
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Phoenix Suns' Trevor Ariza, second from left, drives past Los Angeles Lakers' Tyson Chandler (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
December 15, 2018 - 8:32 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — After a three-way trade fell apart over mistaken identity, the Wizards are getting Trevor Ariza after all. Washington agreed in principle Saturday to acquire Ariza from the Phoenix Suns for Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers, according to a person familiar with the deal. The person...
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Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, front, exchanges words with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, back, as Denver center Nikola Jokic looks on in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 109-98. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
December 15, 2018 - 2:45 am
DENVER (AP) — For all his offensive contributions and rebounding, Nikola Jokic's most important role in the end was peacemaker. Jokic scored 24 points, Jamal Murray had 19 and the Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 109-98 on Friday night after Murray and Russell Westbrook had a heated...
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Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, center, drives to the basket between Sacramento Kings' Nemanja Bjelica, left, and Buddy Hield, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
December 15, 2018 - 1:58 am
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Golden State coach Steve Kerr praised his team's smothering defense for providing the spark it needed to bounce back from a disappointing loss. He also chided the Warriors' offense for a lack of focus that made the a late run necessary. Not much is coming easy for the two-...
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Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, right, tries to get past Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
December 15, 2018 - 1:58 am
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A struggling Trail Blazers bench finally got rolling Friday night, setting a season high for points in a confidence-boosting win over the NBA-leading Toronto Raptors. Zach Collins scored 16 points and Seth Curry added a season-best 13, including three key 3-pointers early in...
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Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis (11) and Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) leap for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Philadelphia. Indiana won 113-101. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
December 14, 2018 - 11:38 pm
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic excitedly slammed the ball to the floor as the final second ticked off and a stunned crowd headed for the exits. For the entire night, 76ers center Joel Embiid electrified Philadelphia fans with one of the best individual performances of the season. In the end,...
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Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) is fouled as he goes to the hoop against Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
December 14, 2018 - 10:52 pm
BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving credits Boston's defense for an offensive resurgence that has the Celtics riding the longest winning streak in the NBA. Irving scored 24 points in just three quarters, then rested in the fourth as the Celtics finished off a 129-108 rout of Atlanta on Friday night for...
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FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, file photo, police stand guard after the Confederate statue known as Silent Sam was toppled by protesters on campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. The board overseeing North Carolina’s public universities is meeting to decide the fate of "Silent Sam." The University of North Carolina System Board of Governors was meeting Friday, Dec. 14, to discuss a proposal to build a $5 million building to house the statue at UNC-Chapel Hill. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
December 14, 2018 - 5:34 pm
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's public university system rejected a proposal Friday to build a $5 million structure to house a toppled Confederate statue, opting instead to "go back to the drawing board" to figure out what to do with the monument. University of North Carolina System...
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Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki scores against the Phoenix Suns in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
December 14, 2018 - 2:03 am
PHOENIX (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki at last began his record-breaking 21st season with the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night, coming off the bench in the first quarter of a 99-89 loss to the Phoenix Suns. No other NBA player has played that many seasons with the same team. "It is good to be back," he...
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Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) reacts after dunking the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
December 14, 2018 - 12:11 am
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets were clinging to a lead over the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter on Thursday night when James Harden told coach Mike D'Antoni he needed to come out for a bit to rest — something the reigning MVP never does. D'Antoni was perfectly happy to fulfill Harden's...
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