Kurt Helin

Los Angeles Lakers guard Louis Williams, right, falls while trying to guard Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 119-115. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Associated Press

Wolves beat Clippers 108-102, snapping 14-game skid

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Wiggins scored 31 points, Zach LaVine added 17 and the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 108-102 on Wednesday night, snapping a 14-game skid with their first win over Los Angeles at Staples Center in nearly four years.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Gorgui Dieng had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves, who also ended two other streaks: five straight losses and 12 in a row on the road.

Chris Paul scored 22 points and Jamal Crawford added 21 off the bench for the Clippers. Their four-game winning streak ended and they fell to 15-4 without injured Blake Griffin. Their streak against the Wolves was the Clippers’ longest active winning streak against any opponent.

The teams traded runs in the fourth, when the Wolves led by nine points before the Clippers briefly regained a one-point lead. Twice the Clippers tied the game in the final two minutes, but the Wolves scored to regain the lead.

Trailing 102-100, Paul hit Ricky Rubio on the head and knocked him down while trying desperately for a foul, resulting in a technical. Rubio hit the free throw and the Wolves scored four in a row for a 106-100 lead to put the game out of reach.

The Clippers closed within one early in the fourth before Minnesota went on an 8-0 run to extend its lead, 85-76. Dieng and Andre Miller each had 3-point plays and Shabazz Muhammad added a pair of free throws.

Los Angeles answered with a 12-2 spurt, including six by Crawford, for its first lead since early in the third, 88-87.

DeAndre Jordan had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Clippers. Crawford made all 10 of his free throws.

Minnesota ran off 14 unanswered points for its largest lead of the game, 69-59, in the third. Towns had 11 points in the period after missing his first six shots of the game.

The Clippers rallied from 3-point range, hitting four treys, as part of a 15-7 run to trail 76-74 heading into the fourth. They started the quarter with 1 of 12 shooting.

The teams were nearly even in the first half, when the Clippers led 55-53 at the break. Both shot 53 percent, had 19 rebounds apiece and five turnovers each, and the Clippers’ reserves outscored the Wolves’ bench 21-20.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: They improved to 1-2 against the Clippers this season. … F Kevin Garnett missed his sixth straight game with a sore right knee. … G Kevin Martin sat out his sixth in a row with a sore right wrist. … C Nikola Pekovic was out for the second game in a row with a sore right foot.

Clippers: Jordan had three blocks to reach 1,000 for his career. … G Austin Rivers was ejected after receiving back-to-back technicals in the second quarter. … With still no word from the NBA on its investigation of Griffin punching a team staff member, the forward remained away from the team. Coach Doc Rivers said Griffin won’t be on the upcoming four-game trip because of his broken hand from the punch-out and a partially torn tendon he already had. Rivers wasn’t sure whether assistant equipment manager Matias Testi would re-join the team pending the outcome of the league’s inquiry. … Paul’s young son, Chris Jr., presented his dad with his All-Star jersey before the game.

 

Stephen Curry lights up Wizards for 51, Warriors win 8th straight

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 36 of his 51 points in the first half to offset a monster offensive game from John Wall and the Golden State Warriors pulled away to beat the Washington Wizards 134-121 Wednesday night for their eighth straight victory.

Curry made 13 of his first 14 shots and finished 19 of 28 from the field and 11 of 26 from 3-point territory. His 11 3s tied a career high.

The defending-champion Warriors (45-4) continued on their run by tying the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers for the best 49-game start in NBA history.

Along with Curry’s 51, Klay Thompson scored 24 points and Draymond Green had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Wall led the Wizards (21-26) with 10 assists and his season-best 41 points.

Curry made his first six shots from the field, including his first 5 3-point attempts, and finished the first quarter with 25 points on 9-for-10 shooting. The Warriors led 43-28 after the first and let the lead slip to nine with Curry on the bench for the first portion of the second.

Back on the floor, Curry just kept scoring. His 36 points at halftime were the most of any first half in his career and broke the Verizon Center record of 34 set by Michael Jordan on Dec. 29, 2001.

Curry went 3 of 10 in the third quarter. With him actually missing shots, the Wizards cut a 14-point halftime deficit down to two at one point and three at another until Golden State went on a 10-0 run to take the game back over.

MEMORY LANE

Twenty years after he and the Chicago Bulls won their record-setting 72nd game of the 1995-96 season against the Washington Bullets in Landover, Maryland, Steve Kerr returned to the area as Warriors coach seeing a lot of similarities as far as the attention the teams received.

“It was a pretty big deal then, obviously with Michael (Jordan) drawing so much attention everywhere we went,” Kerr said. “I think today things are bigger in a lot of ways with social media and so many different media outlets. And Steph is getting a lot of notoriety, obviously, and drawing fans and media everywhere we go.”

TIP-INS

Warriors: Golden State reached 30 assists for the eighth consecutive game, the most since Charlotte had 13 in a row in 1989. … Green tied his career high with five blocks. … The team is set to be honored for its NBA title at the White House on Thursday by President Barack Obama. … C Festus Ezeli missed his fourth straight game with a sore left knee.

Wizards: The 134 points by Golden State were the most Washington allowed this season. … Curry’s 51 are the most points against the Wizards this season. … Assistant Don Newman served as head coach in place of Randy Wittman, who missed his second game following the death of his brother. … The Wizards wore jerseys with Mandarin lettering to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

 

Lin scores 24 as Hornets rally to beat Cavaliers 106-97

Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin reacts after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. Charlotte won 106-97. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Associated Press
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jeremy Lin scored 24 points and the Charlotte Hornets rallied in the second half to beat the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers 106-97 on Wednesday night.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 11 points and 13 rebounds, and three other players finished in double figures for the Hornets, who overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to snap a four-game losing streak against the Cavaliers.

Marvin Williams added 16 points, Frank Kaminski had 15 off the bench and Nicholas Batum scored 10 for Charlotte, which trailed 58-49 at halftime. Playing without ailing point guard Kemba Walker, the Hornets outscored Cleveland 33-17 in the third quarter to take an 82-75 lead and went on to lead by as many as 15 late in the fourth.

Kyrie Irving had 26 points and LeBron James added 23 for the Cavaliers, who had won five straight. J.R. Smith scored 14 and Kevin Love 12.

Irving gave the Cavaliers their final lead, hitting a layup with 6:36 left in the third quarter that put Cleveland up 69-67. Lin followed with a three-point play 28 seconds later to put the Hornets ahead to stay.

Charlotte’s biggest lead came with less than 5 minutes remaining, when Kidd-Gilchrist knocked down a jumper to put the Hornets up 98-83. The Cavaliers got no closer than six the rest of the way.

There were nine lead changes and 11 ties in a back-and-forth first half before a late run put the Cavaliers in front by nine.

Charlotte took its biggest lead of the first half late in the second quarter, going up 47-43 on Kaminsky’s layup with 4:23 remaining. But the Cavaliers closed the period with a 15-2 spurt.

Cleveland opened the run with Tristan Thompson‘s tip-in with 4:07 left, took the lead at 50-48 on James’ jumper with 1:35 remaining and capped it with Smith’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Cleveland is 5-2 since Tyronn Lue replaced David Blatt as head coach on Jan. 22. . G Matthew Dellavedova was inactive with a sore left hamstring.

Hornets: Walker sat out with a sore left knee, the first game he’s missed this season. . Batum (strained right toe), center Cody Zeller (sore right shoulder) and guard Jeremy Lamb (sprained right toe) returned to action, with Zeller and Batum starting.

Report: Zach Lavine, Andre Drummond, Will Barton, Aaron Gordon in dunk contest

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Zach LaVine didn’t just win the All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest last season, he re-energized it. And then said after it was over he didn’t even break out his best dunk.

Looks like he will be back this year in Toronto to defend his title. Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer broke the story (which likely becomes official on Thursday).

The defending champion in Minnesota’s Zach LaVine, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Denver’s Will Barton and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon are this year’s participants, league sources informed cleveland.com.

That’s an impressive field. LaVine is the clear favorite, but Will Barton should provide some exciting competition, he has had some huge dunks this season.

Drummond brings the power, and Gordon is another freak athlete. This is going to be entertaining.

But the smart money is on LaVine.

Serge Ibaka block sets up Kevin Durant game-winning three (VIDEO)

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It started with one of the best shot blockers in the game doing his thing — Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka tracked down Orlando’s Victor Oladipo and rejected his lay-up to put the Magic up two.

Then rather than take the timeout, Billy Donovan rightly just puts the ball in Kevin Durant‘s hands and lets him work.

Three ball. Game winner. Thunder get a win at home over a feisty Magic team.