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Updated: 28 min 55 sec ago
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Philadelphia guard Michael Carter-Williams sat out the 76ers' game Saturday night against Denver, the second straight game he has missed because of a skin infection on of his right knee.
The Trail Blazers had the perfect recipe for a record shooting night - nice ball movement, open shooters, a good rhythm, and one of the NBA's worst teams as an opponent. ''We were feeling it,'' Wesley Matthews said after Portland set franchise and league 3-point records in a 130-98 win over the struggling Utah Jazz on Friday. Matthews scored 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 points and 15 rebounds for the surging Blazers, who have won four straight and 15 of 16. Portland made 17 of 23 shots from 3-point range for 73.9 percent, an NBA record for a team with at least 20 attempts, according to basketball-reference.com.
The Los Angeles Lakers navigated the first 19 games of the season without star Kobe Bryant well enough to welcome him back with a winning record. Jodie Meeks made two huge 3-pointers in the final minutes to finish with 19 points, lifting the Lakers past the Sacramento Kings 106-100 Friday night in what's expected to be their last game before Bryant returns. ''You know who he is, he's Kobe Bryant. But he's not going to be able to do it by himself,'' said Lakers center Jordan Hill, who had seven points and nine rebounds.
Big games aren't out of the ordinary for Markieff Morris anymore, and he had another one Friday night. Morris made his first 11 shots en route to a 25-point performance and the Phoenix Suns handed the Toronto Raptors their fifth straight loss, 106-97. ''You get his motor like that every game, I think he can do that every single game, night in and night out.'' Entering this season, Morris' career best was 23 points. ''He is able to take a big guy and if a guy gets up on him, he is able to drive by him,'' Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said.
When Pelicans 7-footer Jason Smith stepped outside for the type of mid-range jumper he hits routinely, Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka sprang out to the perimeter and blocked the shot. While the Thunder can usually rely on plenty of scoring from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, it was a concerted defensive effort in the second half that helped them build and keep a comfortable lead down the stretch in a 109-95 victory over New Orleans on Friday night. Some nights they will make them but I think tonight we did a great job and that was the key.'' Durant scored 29 points and Westbrook added 25 as Oklahoma City beat New Orleans for the ninth straight time and 14th in 15 meetings. Most of those games occurred when New Orleans' team was called the Hornets.
The Rockets' offense is one of the best in the NBA. However, against Golden State on Friday night, it was the defense that was the key. Houston leaned on its defense in the first quarter while jumping out to a double-digit lead it didn't relinquish. James Harden scored 34 points, Dwight Howard had 22 points and 18 rebounds, and the Rockets beat the Warriors 105-83.
After watching Jeffery Taylor lead Charlotte to its latest win, Bobcats coach Steve Clifford was full of praise for his young star. Taylor matched a career high with 20 points, leading six teammates in double figures, and Charlotte beat the Philadelphia 76ers 105-88 on Friday night. ''He's a talented guy,'' Clifford said of the 24-year-old Taylor. And he's a hard worker.'' Subbing for injured starter Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at small forward, Taylor mixed mid-range jumpers with athletic drives and cuts to the basket to scored nine of Charlotte's first 22 points.
Milwaukee coach Larry Drew waited less than 30 seconds to call timeout and express his displeasure with his young team's defense against the Washington Wizards. Khris Middleton scored a career-high 29 points and Brandon Knight added 20 as the Bucks beat the Wizards 109-105 in overtime. Washington went 0 for 6 from the field in the extra period. ''I think they really locked in.'' John Henson had 19 points and 17 rebounds for the Bucks (4-15), who had lost 13 of their previous 14.
I'm glad that it did,'' point guard Raymond Felton said. ''It was a good night to happen in Brooklyn, then we came back tonight and showed it wasn't a fluke. Carmelo Anthony had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and New York snapped a seven-game home losing streak by beating the Orlando Magic 121-83 on Friday night for its first victory at Madison Square Garden since October. Andrea Bargnani and J.R. Smith each added 17 points for the Knicks, who followed their 113-83 rout of Brooklyn on Thursday with an even more powerful performance, giving them consecutive victories for the first time this season after a nine-game losing streak.
Kobe Bryant will make his long-awaited return from a torn left Achilles tendon when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night. In a dramatic video posted on his Facebook page before the Lakers played at Sacramento on Friday night, Bryant set his much-anticipated comeback date. Lakers announce Kobe's return.'' The video shows Bryant's No. 24 jersey flapping in the wind. Finally, words flash across the screen that read, ''The Legend Continues...December 8.'' ''That's something special right there,'' Lakers teammate Nick Young quipped when a reporter showed him the video on his smartphone in the locker room.
ATLANTA (AP) -- Hawks swingman Kyle Korver has set an NBA record by making a 3-pointer in his 90th straight game.
NEW YORK (AP) -- The NBA has fined Nuggets guard Nate Robinson $25,000 for criticizing the officials following Denver's 97-95 victory over the Knicks last week.
The Knicks resembled the division champions of a season ago rather than the biggest losers in New York, outplaying and even outtalking the Brooklyn Nets, who look like the real Big Apple busts. Carmelo Anthony had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Iman Shumpert scored a season-high 17 points, and the Knicks ended a nine-game losing streak with 113-83 romp Thursday night in the first meeting of the season between the city rivals. ''It showed from the tipoff.'' The Knicks (4-13) snapped a tie with the Nets (5-14) for most losses in New York, winning the game and the crowd with a dominant second half that had Spike Lee and the rest of the fans wearing blue and orange cheering perhaps the Knicks' most complete performance of the season. Andrea Bargnani scored 16 before he was ejected in the fourth quarter, Knicks fans roaring in support of him standing up to Kevin Garnett.
The way everything was crumbling, the Chicago Bulls sure needed a reprieve. Carlos Boozer scored 27 points, and the Bulls pounded LeBron James and the Miami Heat 107-87 on Thursday night. Luol Deng had 20 points, Taj Gibson chipped in with 19, and Joakim Noah added 17 points and 15 rebounds as the Bulls had no trouble taking out the Southeast Division leaders. Chicago took control early on and hung on down the stretch after watching a 25-point lead in the third quarter dwindle to 12 late in the game.
The Los Angeles Clippers tightened their defense waiting for the offense to come around. The result was a second-half burst with a strong push from the reserves to lead Los Angeles to a 101-81 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night. ''I looked up at one point, and we were shooting like 28 percent,'' Clippers forward Blake Griffin said. That's a good lesson for us.'' Reserves Darren Collison and Jamal Crawford scored 15 points each to lead the Clippers.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has left the team to mourn the passing of his maternal grandmother.