Kurt Helin

Hassan Whiteside tallies 11 blocks, triple-double against Denver

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Eventually, Emmanuel Mudiay learned not to drive all the way to the rim when Hassan Whiteside was waiting there, but it took a couple of highlight blocks for him to figure it out.

Whiteside blocked 11 shots on his way to a triple-double against Denver (19 points and 17 rebounds). It was quite a show.

Miami escaped Denver with the 98-95 win thanks to Whiteside and 24 points from Chris Bosh. Darrell Arthur had 18 to lead the Nuggets.

Kyrie Irving shows off handles, beats three Rockets for layup


That is just not fair.

Kyrie Irving was leading the charge for Cleveland Friday — he had a team high 23 points — and along the way showed off some of the best handles in the game. The man can get to the rim and make a defender look foolish in the process. Or three defenders, as may be needed. And that first guy was Patrick Beverley, one of the better defensive point guards in the game.

The Cavaliers handled the Rockets just about as easily, 91-77, behind Irving and 19 from LeBron James.

Russell Westbrook’s triple-double leads Thunder past Timberwolves

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, shoots in front of Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio, center, and guard Andrew Wiggins right, during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. Oklahoma City won 113-93. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Associated Press
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook got his 23rd career triple-double, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 113-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

Westbrook finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season. He bounced back from being ejected Wednesday against Dallas following skirmishes with J.J. Barea. He sat out the fourth quarter Friday because the Thunder were in control.

Kevin Durant had 21 points, Dion Waiters scored 20 and Cameron Payne added 14 for the Thunder, who won their third straight.

Andrew Wiggins had 25 points, Shabazz Muhammad scored 15 and Zach LaVine added 13 for the Timberwolves, who lost their ninth straight. Karl-Anthony Towns, the league’s No. 2 rookie scorer with 15.7 points per game, had nine points and 12 rebounds.

Oklahoma City led 57-43 at halftime. Durant scored 15 points and Waiters had 10 off the bench before the break.

In the second half, Westbrook clinched his triple-double. He got his 10th rebound with 7:02 left in the third quarter. He made a layup midway through the third to reach double figures in points. Durant secured the triple with an assist on an alley-oop lob to Andre Roberson from just beyond halfcourt. The basket gave the Thunder a 75-54 lead, and Oklahoma City was up 82-65 at the end of the period.

The Thunder held the Timberwolves to 40 percent shooting overall.


Timberwolves: Minnesota missed its first 10 shots and didn’t score for the first 4:22. The Wolves made 16 of 34 the rest of the half. … Towns and Wiggins both went 1 for 6 from the field in the first quarter. … Minnesota outrebounded the Thunder 45-40.

Thunder: Oklahoma City shot 60 percent in the first quarter to take a 31-17 lead. … The Thunder shot 53 percent for the game. … Durant also had seven assists and six rebounds.

Bulls’ Joakim Noah leaves game vs Mavs with separated left shoulder

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CHICAGO (AP) — Forward Joakim Noah left the Bulls’ game against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night after separating his left shoulder with just under 10 minutes to play in the second quarter.

Noah was in his fourth game back after returning from a nine-game absence because of an injury to the same shoulder.

The Bulls said Noah wouldn’t return to the game. No timetable for his return, but a second dislocation of the same shoulder often means even a longer time to recover than the first.

Noah got tangled up with the Mavericks’ JaVale McGee under the basket, yelled in pain while holding his shoulder, and immediately ran off the court and to the locker room.

Anthony Davis finishes game-winning alley-oop to beat Charlotte


If Anthony Davis is the roll man, you may want to have somebody stick with him. Especially if the game is on the game is on the line.

The Charlotte Hornets had done a decent job of that all night, often leaving Ryan Anderson open for threes, which is why he had 32 points on the night. But on the game-winner, both Jrue Holiday and Cody Zeller went with guard Jrue Holiday. Davis rolled to the rim, the other big was near the top of the key not leaving Anderson, and Jeremy Lin was late and not big enough or physical enough to stop Davis anyway.

Kemba Walker had tied the game at 107-107 knocking down a three with 19.2 seconds left. Both he and Nicolas Batum had 25 for the Hornets, who have won just two of their last 10 games.