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Wizards Cruise Past the Knicks, 102-91

Wizards Cruise Past the Knicks, 102-91

NBA via Washington Wizards(NEW YORK) -- Washington Wizards point guard showed a national audience just why he's become one of the best guards in the NBA on Christmas Day as he led the team past the New York Knicks for a 102-91 victory.

Wall finished the game with 24 points, six rebounds, and 11 assists. He leads all Eastern Conference guards in assists, and second overall in the NBA.

It was Wall's ninth game this season with at least 20 points and 10 assists, the most in the NBA.

"I'm just a feisty guy that likes to compete," Wall said. "And I want to win games."

Even though they only won by 11 points, the game was never close. The Wizards led as many as 22 points during the contest and never trailed at any point.

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony did all he could to keep the team in it, as he scored a game-high 34 points.

The Wizards improved to 20-8 while the Knicks fell to 5-26.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 12/23/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 12/23/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Chicago Bulls 99 (19-9) - Washington Wizards 91 (19-8)

Indiana Pacers 96 (10-19) - New Orleans Pelicans 84 (14-14)

Orlando Magic 100 (11-20) - Boston Celtics 95 (10-16)

Cleveland Cavaliers 125 (17-10) - Minnesota Timberwolves 104 (5-22)

Brooklyn Nets 102 (12-15) - Denver Nuggets 96 (12-17) 

Atlanta Hawks 107 (21-7) - Los Angeles Clippers 104 (19-10)

Philadelphia 76ers 91 (4-23) - Miami Heat 87 (13-16)

Charlotte Hornets 108 (10-19) - Milwaukee Bucks 101 (14-15)

Portland Trail Blazers 115 (23-7) - Oklahoma City Thunder 111 (13-16) - Overtime

Top 25 Men's Basketball: (4) Louisville 80 (11-0) - CS Northridge 55 (3-10)

(7) Villanova 92 (12-0) - N.J.I.T. 67 (5-8)

Stanford 74 (7-3) - (9) Texas 71 (10-2)

(14) Utah 80 (9-2) - South Dakota State 66 (9-4)

NCAAF Bowl Games: Boca Rotan Bowl: Marshall 52 (13-1) - Northern Illinois 23 (11-3)

NHL: Montreal Canadiens 3 (22-11-2, 46pts) - New York Islanders 1 (23-11-0, 46pts)

New York Rangers 4 (18-10-4, 40pts) - Washington Capitals 2 (17-11-6, 40pts)

Toronto Maple Leafs 4 (20-12-3, 43pts) - Dallas Stars 0 (14-14-5, 33pts)

Boston Bruins 5 (18-14-3, 39pts) - Nashville Predators 3 (22-9-2, 46pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 5 (14-14-6, 34pts) - Minnesota Wild 2 (16-13-3, 35pts)

Carolina Hurricanes 2 (10-20-4, 24pts) - New Jersey Devils 1 (12-17-7, 31pts) - Shootout

Detroit Red Wings 6 (18-8-9, 45pts) - Buffalo Sabres 3 (13-19-3, 29pts)

Tampa Bay Lightning 4 (21-11-4, 46pts) - Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (22-7-5, 49pts)

Colorado Avalanche 5 (13-13-8, 34pts) - St. Louis Blues 0 (21-10-3, 45pts)

Arizona Coyotes 5 (12-18-4, 28pts) - Edmonton Oilers 1 (7-21-7, 21pts)

Winnipeg Jets 5 (18-10-7, 43pts) - Chicago Blackhawks 1 (23-10-2, 48pts)

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Brad Stevens Denies Rumors He’s Going Back to the College Ranks

Brad Stevens Denies Rumors He’s Going Back to the College Ranks

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the Boston Celtics dive further and further into their rebuilding effort, head coach Brad Stevens has denied any rumors that he will eventually leave the team for a college job.

“I’ve committed to being here,” Stevens told Paul Flannery of SB Nation. “I’ve already left a situation once and that was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to choose to do. This is something that as long as they want me to be here, this is what I want to be doing and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got."

As the team slips further into the standings, there have been whispers saying Stevens will jump ship back to the collegiate ranks -- specifically replacing Tom Cream at Indiana.

"I know it’s all specific to the rumor mills and the discussion of one spot," Stevens continued. "I think they’ve got a good coach who’s done a helluva job. He doesn’t deserve that speculation."

Stevens experienced tremendous success at Butler, which led him to being hired by the Celtics last season at the age of 36. He signed a six-year deal with the Celtics prior to the 2013-2014 season.

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Spurs’ Forward Kawhi Leonard has Torn Ligament in Right Hand

Spurs’ Forward Kawhi Leonard has Torn Ligament in Right Hand

Andy Lyons/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The San Antonio Spurs will be without one of their best players for a little while as forward Kawhi Leonard has a torn ligament in his right hand, and it is unknown when he'll return.

Leonard must wait for swelling to reside before considering returning.

Not as bad as it sounds,” he said. “I should be back soon,” Leonard said via Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News said.

There is some speculation/hope that Leonard will only miss a few games, which would be best-cast scenario for the team.

Leonard is the reigning NBA Finals MVP and a key cog of the team's offense as well as defense.

In 22 games this season, Leonard is averaging 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Since his rookies year during the 2011-2012 season, Leonard's points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks per game have improved each season.

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Report: Rockets Acquire Corey Brewer

Report: Rockets Acquire Corey Brewer

National Basketball Association(HOUSTON, Tx.) -- The Houston Rockets are adding some much needed depth to their bench.

Corey Brewer has been traded to the Houston Rockets from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Friday, according to Yahoo Sports.

 The Timberwolves will receive guard Troy Daniels as well as two second round draft picks - one via Sacramento.

Houston is currently 18th in scoring offense in the NBA, averaging 99.8 points per game.  Their bench is also last in the NBA with 21.4 points per game.

Brewer will likely improve those numbers as he is averaging 10.5 points per game this season and shooting 41.8% from the field. 

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Scoreboard Roundup – 12/19/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 12/19/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA:  Utah Jazz 101 (8-19) - Orlando Magic 94 (10-19)

Charlotte Hornets 109 (7-19) - Philadelphia 76ers 91 (2-23)

Boston Celtics 114 (10-14) - Minnesota Timberwolves 98 (5-20)

Toronto Raptors 110 (20-6) - Detroit Pistons 100 (5-21)

NHL: New Jersey Devils 3 (11-16-6) - Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (20-10-4)(F/SO)

NCAAM:  Eastern Kentucky 72 (6-4) - (18) Miami Fl 44 (9-2)

(20) St. Johns 53 (6-3) - Saint Mary's 47 (9-1)

 

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Celtics Send Rondo to Mavericks

Celtics Send Rondo to Mavericks

NBA via Boston Celtics(NEW YORK) -- The Boston Celtics traded point guard Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, and a future first and second round pick, the teams announced Thursday.

"My time in Boston has meant so much," Rondo tweeted. "I've grown up with this city both as a basketball player and person. The love I have for the most loyal And supportive fans in the league is unmatched. I look forward to building something special in Dallas."

The Celtics will also send forward Dwight Powell to the Mavericks and will waive center Vitor Faverani. The C's also receive a $12.9 million trade exception.

"We would like to thank Rajon for everything that he has done for the Celtics organization and the success we have experienced during his tenure with us," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said.The 28-year-old Rondo is in the final year of his current contract and is averaging a league high 10.8 assists per game this season.With Rondo the Mavericks (19-8) would get a pure point guard to help deliver the ball to current starters Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Tyson Chandler, and Chandler Parsons.

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Bucks’ Jabari Parker Out for Season

Bucks’ Jabari Parker Out for Season

Kelly Kline/Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) -- Milwaukee Bucks rookie forward Jabari Parker is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, the team announced on Tuesday.

Parker, 19, underwent an MRI that showed a complete tear in his left knee.

The injury occurred in the third quarter of Monday's 96-94 win over Phoenix.

Parker was averaging 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 25 games, and was a rookie of the year contender.

He spent one season with the Blue Devils before being drafted by Milwaukee with the second overall pick in June.

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Trail Blazers Center Robin Lopez Out Indefinitely with Broken Hand

Trail Blazers Center Robin Lopez Out Indefinitely with Broken Hand

Ronald Martinez/Getty Image(NEW YORK) -- One of the NBA's best teams will be without its starting center for the foreseeable future as Portland Trail Blazers big man Robin Lopez is out indefinitely after breaking his hand.

Lopez suffered the injury in the third quarter during the team's game against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

Lopez hasn't missed a game in nearly three years and established himself as a defensive presence on a Blazers team that has the fourth-best record in the Western Conference.

"It's a little frustrating," said Lopez. "I've been pretty fortunate with injuries in my career."

While there is no timetable for his return, head coach Terry Stotts admitted he will "be out a while."

"He's a big part of this offense and this team and our identity," forward LaMarcus Aldridge said of Lopez. "He does so many things that people don't notice. He's a hard worker, the guy that does all the things that nobody else really does in the first unit. So it's going to be tough."

In 25 games this season, Lopez averaged 9.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.

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Fast Start Powers Cleveland Past Hornets

Fast Start Powers Cleveland Past Hornets

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers jumped out to a 21-0 lead over New Orleans and pulled away in the third as the Cavaliers (14-9) defeated the Hornets (6-18) 97-88 on Monday night.

It was the third straight loss for New Orleans and the sixth straight home win for Cleveland.

"We had a lull in the second quarter and in the third quarter, which really allowed them to get back in the game, but we sustained the effort for close to 48 minutes," Cavaliers forward LeBron James said.

The 21-0 lead to open the game is the largest since a 22-0 lead for Portland against Boston in 2004.

"Being 21 down against an elite team on their floor is tough to overcome," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "We played a good enough offensive game to win against a terrific team, but our first-quarter defense was obviously poor."

Despite trailing 21-0, the Hornets did fight back and closed the gap to within two points. However, after cutting the deficit to 59-57, New Orleans watched as the Cavs went on a 21-9 run to end the third.

James finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds while Kevin Love added 22 points and 28 rebounds for Cleveland. Meanwhile, Kemba Walker led the way for the Hornets, pouring in 24 points while Al Jefferson added 14.

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Heat Forward Chris Bosh Out with Injured Calf

Heat Forward Chris Bosh Out with Injured Calf

NIBA via Miami Heat(MIAMI) -- 

As the Miami Heat look to keep their heads above water in the Eastern Conference playoff race, they'll be without forward Chris Bosh for a few games, possibly more, after he suffered a calf strain.

Bosh missed the team's game against against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, which Miami wound up losing.

Even though he has yet to undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury, Bosh still plans to meet with a team doctor Monday to have the injury reevaluated.

"We're just trying to see how my body responds," said Bosh. "It's one of those things that can get worse, if you don't take care of it. It can be a lot worse than it has to be. So we have to take this precaution right now."

The Heat, who have made the NBA Finals the past four seasons, are off to their worst start in seven years, at 11-13.

A lot of the team's struggles can be traced back to Lebron James' departure back to Cleveland, as well as injuries to starters Dwayne Wade and Luol Deng.

Bosh is off to his best start since joining the Heat prior to the 2010-2011 season. He's averaging 21.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in 23 games.

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Knicks Guard Iman Shumpert Out 3 Weeks with Shoulder Injury

Knicks Guard Iman Shumpert Out 3 Weeks with Shoulder Injury

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The bad news keeps coming for the New York Knicks as guard Iman Shumpert will miss the next few weeks with a dislocated left shoulder.

Shumpert suffered the injury during the second quarter of the team's win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night after colliding with Celtics' forward Jeff Green.

Now in his fourth year in the NBA, the 24-year-old Shumpert is one of the team's best defenders. In 24 games, he's averaging 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.

According to the team, Shumpert will be reevaluated after three weeks to see if and when he'll be ready to return to the court.

"We don't want to jeopardize the remaining part of his season, so we'll have to see," Knicks head coach Derek Fisher said.

Filling in for Shumpert will likely be second-year guard Tim Hardaway Jr. He's averaging 9.9 points per game this season so far.

Guard J.R. Smith is still dealing with a small partial tear of the plantar fascia and is day-to-day.

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Kings Fire Head Coach Mike Malone

Kings Fire Head Coach Mike Malone

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In a move that has some people around the NBA scratching their heads, the Sacramento Kings have fired head coach Mike Malone.

The Kings started the season on a roll, going 5-1 behind the play of center DeMarcus Cousins. Still, Cousins has missed the last nine games and the team wound up losing eight of their last ten games.

Despite Cousins absence, the Sacramento ownership group and front office "expected more" from the team at this point as they have gone 11-13 to start the season.

Malone was hired by the team following the 2013 season. He was the sixth head coach hired by the Kings since the 2005-2006 season, the last season they made the postseason. Overall he went 39-67 during his time tenure as head coach.

Assistant coach Tyrone Corbin will take over the team on an interim basis. He went 112-146 in three-plus seasons as the head coach for the Utah Jazz.

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Warriors Tested by Pelicans, Win 16th Straight

Warriors Tested by Pelicans, Win 16th Straight

NBA via Golden State Warriors(NEW ORLEANS) -- The Golden State Warriors were tested on Sunday night against the Pelicans, but found a way to pull out a 128-122 victory in overtime.

Curry scored eight of his 34 points in overtime and led the team to their 16th straight victory.

"It was just a tough game to win. (The Pelicans) were playing well and hitting shots," Curry said. "Obviously we had enough in the tank at the end to finish it up."

Klay Thompson chipped in with 29 points of his own and will prepare for the Grizzlies next.

"This winning streak feels great and we don't want it to end any time soon," Thompson said.

Pelicans forward Tyreke Evans scored 34 points with eight rebounds in the loss.  Anthony Davis did not play in the game.

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Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan on All-Time Scoring List

Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan on All-Time Scoring List

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(MINNESOTA) -- In his 1,269th career game, Kobe Bryant took over the No. 3 spot on the all-time scoring list on Sunday.

Bryant passed Michael Jordan with a pair of free throws in the second quarter of their game against the Timberwolves.

Bryant moved into third place on the all-time list and trails Karl Malone (36,928 points), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points).

Following the free throws, the game was stopped so Bryant could exchange hugs and handshakes with his teammates and Minnesota's side of the court.

Bryant entered the game with 32,284 points and needed eight to tie Jordan.

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Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan on All-Time Scoring List

Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan on All-Time Scoring List

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(MINNESOTA) -- In his 1,269th career game, Kobe Bryant took over the No. 3 spot on the all-time scoring list during their 100-94 win against Minnesota on Sunday.

Bryant passed Michael Jordan with a pair of free throws in the second quarter of their game against the Timberwolves.

"The most important thing to me I think is playing for that," Bryant said.

"Playing for respect of the greats and feeling like I'm a part of that culture."

Bryant moved into third place on the all-time list and trails Karl Malone (36,928 points), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points).

Following the free throws, the game was stopped so Bryant could exchange hugs and handshakes with his teammates and Minnesota's side of the court.

Bryant entered the game with 32,284 points and needed eight to tie Jordan.  He finished with 26.

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Dwight Howard Back on the Court for the Rockets

Dwight Howard Back on the Court for the Rockets

Bob Levey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After an 11 game absence, Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will make his return to the court Saturday night against the Denver Nuggets.

Howard was out of action after dealing with knee soreness. While the injury wasn't considered too serious, the team felt it was best to hold him out until he felt healthy enough to play at his All-Star level.

He underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy to help restore the cartilage in his knee, and is feeling like his old self again.

"I'm just thankful to be back out there," Howard said. "Nobody wants to sit on the bench in a suit and watch his team play. You want to get out there in the action. But I'm happy to be back out there, thankful. I thank God for just allowing me to be able to play again. I'm just happy to play again. That's the big thing."

The Rockets haven't missed a beat without Howard. The team sits at 17-5 heading into Saturday, which is the third-best record in the NBA.

The 29-year-old Howard is averaging 18.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.

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Bulls Forward Doug McDermott Out Indefinitely with Knee Injury

Bulls Forward Doug McDermott Out Indefinitely with Knee Injury

Ingrim Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Chicago Bulls depth has taken a hit as rookie small forward Doug McDermott is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

"Doug McDermott will have an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee," the team said in a release. "The procedure will be performed by Chicago Bulls head team physician Dr. Brian Cole of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.  A timetable for his return will be determined after the procedure."

The Bulls acquired McDermott on draft night from the Denver Nuggets.

McDermott is one of the most prolific college scorers in NCAA history. He ranks fifth all-time in points scored with 3,150.

His rookie season has been a little bumpy. In 17 games this season, McDermott is averaging 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 11.6 minutes per game.

Despite McDermott's struggles, the Bulls are off to a great start this season. Heading into Saturday, the Bulls stand at 14-8, good for the fourth-best record in the NBA.

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Young’s Late Three Helps Lakers Beat Spurs in OT

Young’s Late Three Helps Lakers Beat Spurs in OT

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO) -- Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young hit a monster three with 7.4 seconds remaining in overtime to help give the Lakers (7-16) a 112-110 win over San Antonio on Friday. Young finished with a game-high 29 points while Kobe Bryant added 22 points and nine rebounds.

"I'm so happy it ended up in my hands," Young said. "I wanted to shoot that bad, especially being on the floor watching Kobe and playing for the Lakers; nothing like those types of shots."

San Antonio (16-7) rallied from down 11 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game and send it into overtime, but Young's shot was too much to overcome. With the shot clock about to expire, and Manu Ginobili in his face, Young let go a 30-foot prayer that found the net for a 112-110 lead. The Spurs had a chance to tie but Ginobili's three-point attempt was off the mark and time expired before another they could get another shot off.

"The last 3, Manu was everything but inside his jersey, and he had to adjust his shot in the air and kind of shoot around Manu's hands, and it goes in," Duncan said. "If you put a team in a situation like that, things like that can happen. We put the blame on ourselves for the 48, 50 minutes before it gets to that point."

The Spurs also had a chance to win it in regulation, holding possession with less than two seconds remaining. However, Duncan missed a 17-foot, turn-around jumper that forced the extra session. Duncan finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds for San Antonio.

Bryant's 22 points leaves him eight shy of tying Michael Jordan for third on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

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Knicks Snap Skid with Win Over Boston

Knicks Snap Skid with Win Over Boston

Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images(BOSTON, Mass.) -- The New York Knicks finally snapped a 10-game losing streak on Friday night, defeating the Boston Celtics 101-95 on the road. It was the first win for New York (5-20) since beating Philadelphia back on Nov. 22 at Madison Square Garden.

"It's always hard when you're climbing uphill, then you get that one game like today. It's kind of like relief," Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said. "It gives you a chance to feel what winning a basketball game is like."

Anthony cause some headlines, before leading his team with 22 points, when rumors swirled that the forward would be willing to waive his no-trade clause if the right situation presented itself. The 30-year-old told reporters before the game that those were just rumors. Anthony shot 9-for-20 in the win, pulling down five rebounds and blocking three shots.

New York opened the game shooting well, holding a 26-19 lead after the first quarter, while their defense helped set the tone. The Knicks held Boston (7-14) to just 7-of-22 from three-point land and forced 17 total turnovers.

The win snapped the longest losing streak for the Knicks since 2005-06 when they also dropped 10 in a row.

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