SAN ANTONIO -- Here comes Tim Duncan once again. It turns out San Antonio's steady star needed a couple of weeks to find his rejuvenated form from a year ago.
Duncan made a jumper with 0.4 seconds left to lift the Spurs to a 102-100 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.
"(Duncan) did a great job," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We were having a tough night in a lot of ways, and he was superb."
Duncan, 37, finished with 23 points and 21 rebounds, becoming the oldest player with 20 points and 20 rebounds.
"We know the type of player he is," Atlanta center Al Horford said. "He's just a winner; he finds ways every time."
Boris Diaw had 16 points and Tiago Splitter finished with 11 as San Antonio outscored the younger and more athletic Atlanta frontcourt 50-40.
The Hawks had all five starters score in double figures. Jeff Teague had 19 points, Horford added 18 and DeMarre Carroll finished with 17.
After struggling in the first month of the season, including a career-low two points Nov. 13 against Washington, Duncan is starting to pick up his play. He is averaging 16.6 points and 10.2 rebounds in his past five games.
"I feel a lot healthier now," he said. "For a while there, I was dealing with some stuff, but now my body is feeling good and I'm starting to get my legs underneath me."
The Hawks trailed 98-94 when Paul Millsap made a 3-pointer over Diaw with 17.5 seconds remaining. Manu Ginobili then made a pair of free throws for the Spurs, but Teague drained a 3 over Kawhi Leonard to tie it at 100 with 4.7 seconds left.
Curling off a pick by Marco ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
SALT LAKE CITY -- Gordon Hayward's pinpoint shooting got the Utah Jazz off to their best start of the season, and Marvin Williams made the plays at the end for their most impressive victory of the season.
Williams scored five points in the final two minutes, Hayward broke out of a shooting slump to score 29 points and the Jazz earned their first back-to-back wins of the season with a 109-103 victory over the Rockets on Monday night.
"What a huge win for us," Williams said. "Houston has been playing really, really well. For them to come into our building and put up a big-time fight, and then for us to come out on top is a great feeling."
With Utah clinging to a 101-98 lead, Williams stole James Harden's pass and raced down for a dunk with two minutes left.
"Thankfully I was able to take advantage of a miscommunication on their part. It was a huge break for us," Williams said.
Williams, who has been playing with a mask since breaking his nose last month, then hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 59 seconds to go to boost the lead to 108-100.
"Gordon made a very, very unselfish play," Williams said. "I thought he was going to shoot it. He was really going and had been making plays all night for us. I'm glad I stayed there and stayed ready."
Rookie Trey Burke posted career highs of 21 points and six assists for Utah, which shot 54 percent and made 10 of 17 shots from beyond the arc. The Jazz were coming off a 112-104 win over the Suns on Saturday.
Harden had 15 of his season-best 37 points in the fourth quarter to keep the ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards are a .500 basketball team for the first time in years, and John Wall wants to build on the early success.
Wall had 16 points and 13 assists to lead Washington to a 98-80 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.
Trevor Ariza scored 24 points, Nene had 14 and Marcin Gortat finished with 13 as Washington (9-9) got to .500 for the first time since it split its first four games of the 2009-10 season, when Wall was just a touted freshman at Kentucky.
"We are playing basketball the right way, trusting our teammates and trusting our defensive concepts," Wall said.
With top scorer Bradley Beal out of the lineup for the fifth straight game, Ariza supplied the offense. He was 8-for-9 from the field and made each of his four 3-point attempts, three off passes from Wall.
The Wizards have won seven of nine games and are 4-1 since Beal went out with a leg injury.
Reaching .500 is no small feat for a Washington team that opened 0-8 in 2011-12 and 0-12 last season.
"These guys lost a lot of games last year," Gortat said. "Everybody's excited we're finally winning."
Arron Afflalo scored 21 points for Orlando, and Victor Oladipo added 13 points and six rebounds in a special game for the rookie. Oladipo is from nearby Upper Marlboro, Md.
He had a tough assignment against Washington, trying to keep up with Wall.
"He's a good player. Gets everybody else involved," Oladipo said. "He's improved on his jump shot. He's a one-man fast break."
Maurice Harkless had 16 points, but the Magic still lost for the ninth time in 12 games.
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Nov 29 2013
NEW YORK -- Nets coach Jason Kidd has been fined $50,000 for appearing to intentionally drop a cup of soda on the court late in Wednesday night's loss to the Lakers, the league announced Thursday.
With 8.3 seconds left and his team out of timeouts, Kidd, who was holding a cup of soda, appeared to say "hit me" to point guard Tyshawn Taylor in order to stop the game so the team could draw up a last-second offensive play.
After Lakers guard Jodie Meeks made the first of a pair of free throws, giving his team a 96-94 lead, Taylor walked toward Kidd near the sideline and collided with his coach, who was holding a cup of soda at the time. The cup of soda spilled on to the court. While it was being cleaned up, the coaching staff drew up a last-second play. Taylor was subbed out of the game for forward Mirza Teletovic.
Adding to the chaos of the moment, while Nets assistant John Welch drew up the team's final play, two Lakers appeared to be in the middle of the huddle.
Meeks then made the second free throw, and on the ensuing Brooklyn possession, small forward Paul Pierce missed a 3-pointer that would've tied the game with 2.2 seconds remaining. The Nets ended up losing to the Lakers 99-94 at Barclays Center.
"Cup slipped out of my hand while I was getting Ty," Kidd said of "Cupgate." "Sweaty palms. I was never good with the ball.
"In the heat of the battle, you're trying to get guys in and out of the game, and the cup fell out of my hand."
Video replays appeared to show Kidd saying "Hit me," something Taylor flatly denied.
Said Taylor: "No [Kidd didn't ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James could finally be himself. He smiled easily, joked around and blew a few kisses to the crowd.
This trip home was different than the others. There was less tension, fewer boos, nothing to fear.
This time, James almost felt welcomed.
James scored 28 points and seemed more relaxed than in previous games back in Cleveland, leading the Miami Heat to their eighth straight win, 95-84 over the Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
He added eight rebounds and eight assists in his fifth game as a visitor against the Cavs, the team that drafted him and the one he led to the NBA Finals before leaving as a free agent three years ago to chase NBA championships in Miami. James improved to 11-1 against Cleveland.
Unlike his previous four visits, James wasn't the target of nonstop booing or taunts. There wasn't the hatred that filled Quicken Loans Arena the first time he came back on Dec. 2, 2010.
"It's been less and less since the first time I was here," said James, soaking his ankles in an ice bucket and drinking a postgame smoothie. "Nothing can be worse than that."
Dwyane Wade added 22 points and Michael Beasley 17 for Miami, which coasted during long stretches and never appeared threatened.
Dion Waiters, the subject of trade rumors, scored a season-high 24 and Kyrie Irving had 16 for Cleveland.
The Heat opened a 15-point lead in the third and responded to every spurt by the Cavs, who got within eight in the final two minutes.
James outscored Cleveland's starters 28-26, and except for arguing a few calls with the officials that didn't go his way, the four-time MVP and two-time champ enjoyed his visit home as he reminded Cavaliers ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The shots weren't falling early for Kevin Durant and never fell for Russell Westbrook, so it was Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb who carried the Oklahoma City Thunder to their most impressive win of the season.
Durant finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, Jackson matched his career high with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting and Lamb scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, lifting the Thunder to a 94-88 win over San Antonio and snapping the Spurs' 11-game winning streak.
Jackson scored eight straight points for the Thunder during a surge early in the fourth quarter that put Oklahoma City ahead by 11 points. The Spurs rallied within three points before Jackson and Durant combined to score the Thunder's final 13 points and put the game away.
"We couldn't guard (Jackson) tonight," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "He really helped them. He was basically the difference in the game. He did a great job."
Serge Ibaka added 17 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which is 7-0 at home, the franchise's best home start since 2004-05, when it was in Seattle. The Thunder have won five straight, their longest streak of the season.
The Thunder took control of a tight game with an 8-0 run in the third quarter and withstood a run by San Antonio midway through the fourth.
"I just attacked gaps and shots went down for all of us," Jackson said. "We just kept trying to get in the lane and make the passes for the next man and just keep attacking the bigs off pick-and-rolls. ... I think we as a team, we did it pretty successfully tonight, but it all started defensively."
Tony Parker had 16 points and seven assists for San Antonio ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Nov 29 2013
LOS ANGELES -- After the New York Knicks lost their seventh consecutive game Wednesday night to fall to 3-11 on the season, players and coaches held a 20-minute, closed-door meeting.
"The easiest thing for us to do is just to crumble right now," Carmelo Anthony said. "We are in a dark place but we have to get out of this. We just have to get out of it."
The meeting took place in the visitors' locker room of Staples Center following the Knicks' 93-80 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Knicks have the third-worst record in the league, and a loss Friday night in Denver would mean losing eight straight for the first time since February 2010.
"We talked. Everybody talked," Anthony said. "The players had a meeting, the coaches -- everybody had a meeting after the game. We had to talk. We're trying to figure it out together. We have to put four quarters together. We got to do it for one another. Right now the game is not fun for nobody. We're just not making it happen."
Last season, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert were two of the big reasons the Knicks won 54 games and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. But both players have struggled this season, and on Wednesday, Smith and Shumpert combined for just nine points on 4-of-14 shooting.
"They have to figure it out, and we have to help them figure it out," Anthony said. "I really don't know how we do that but we're going to keep trying and we're going to keep trying to figure this out. Them guys have to figure it out on their own, too, and along the way, we all have to be there for one another. The easiest ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- C.J. Watson needed a night like this.
The sixth-year NBA pro wasn't knocking down shots and didn't feel like much of a contributor this season for the Indiana Pacers.
That all changed Wednesday night.
Watson hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with a season-high 18 points to help the Pacers to their fifth straight victory, a 99-74 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.
"I have been struggling and I knew I'd been struggling," Wilson said. "But I just stayed in the gym, stayed focused and just kept working and stayed confident. I tried to go out there, be aggressive and take what the game gave me."
Watson had made just 6 of 29 3-pointers this season coming into the game. He was 6 of 8 against the Bobcats.
"I think he was just looking for it and we drew some plays up for him," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "One of them was in transition and we got him one early when we got him a corner flare. Sometimes, when you hit the first shot, it changes your momentum of the game. He'd been struggling with his shot but he's kept working."
Lance Stephenson had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Roy Hibbert added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers. Paul George had 15 points to surpass 3,000 for his career.
Al Jefferson had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats, who have lost six of their last seven at home.
The NBA's best defense limited the Bobcats to 31 percent shooting as the Pacers improved to 14-1, the best start in franchise history. Indiana held Charlotte's backcourt duo of Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson to a combined 6 of ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
NEW YORK -- Nick Young and the Lakers' 3-point shooters couldn't miss early. Paul Pierce couldn't believe he missed at the end.
Young scored a season-high 26 points to spark a huge effort from the league's most productive bench, and Los Angeles beat the Brooklyn Nets 99-94 on Wednesday night after blowing a 27-point lead.
Wesley Johnson made the tiebreaking basket when he stole Pierce's pass and dunked with 1:35 left, and the Lakers used their sizzling start to bounce back from a loss in Washington a night earlier and win for the fourth time in five games.
"We weren't doing anything wrong (early in the game)," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Everything was going and going, and guys were hitting shots. We just have to understand how we do it and bottle it and keep going."
Pau Gasol added 21 points for the Lakers, moving into second place on the NBA's career list for points by a European player.
Wearing new black uniforms and hearing "Let's go Lakers!" chants, the Lakers jumped on the Nets right from the start and were ahead 48-21 early in the second quarter. But the Nets fought all the way back, also behind their bench.
They had a chance to tie it again at the end, but Pierce just missed from straightaway with 2.2 seconds left, capping a 4-for-17 night.
"It's frustrating when the ball doesn't go your way, but eventually I know these shots throughout the course of 82 games are going to fall for me," Pierce said.
Joe Johnson scored 18 points but missed nine of 10 shots in the second half for the Nets, who failed in their bid to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
Mirza Teletovic had ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
DALLAS -- Shane Larkin dribbled the length of the court in a full sprint and hit a running shot off one foot just before the third-quarter buzzer.
When the Dallas Mavericks needed to stop a Golden State rally in the fourth quarter, they looked for defensive help from the rookie point guard playing in just his sixth game.
The best game so far in Dallas for the son of Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin came on a night when Monta Ellis needed a little help.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, Larkin made several big plays in the second half and Ellis found a way to contribute with his passing to help the Mavericks hold off the Warriors 103-99 on Wednesday night.
"It's not even about the points or the assists," said Larkin, who scored seven to go with six assists. "I think I just gave my best energy effort off the bench and helped the team get going in that way."
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle thinks Larkin helped the crowd, too. After his shot from just inside the 3-point line put Dallas up 11, a fan made one from half court to win a 70-inch TV during the break between quarters.
"I mean, he went from end to end in less than four seconds to get that shot, and that was a huge momentum shot," Carlisle said. "I'm sure it helped that guy throw in that half-court shot at the break. It helped create a lot of positive energy in the building."
Ellis finished with a season-low four points on 2-of-16 shooting, but he had 10 assists, including one to get Samuel Dalembert a dunk and push Dallas' dwindling lead to 101-95 with 1:21 remaining.
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