Best of NBA: Lou Williams nails game-winning three

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Best of NBA: Lou Williams nails game-winning three

LOS ANGELES — The way things have been going for the struggling Clippers, it figures a wild finish involving an arcane clock rule would be the way they'd finally win again.

Lou Williams hit a go-ahead pull-up 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining, lifting Los Angeles to a 113-112 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday to end a four-game skid.

"Nothing has been easy," coach Doc Rivers said.

With Bradley Beal guarding him, Williams unleashed the winner from the top of the key, capping a wild final 12 seconds in which both teams traded leads on clutch plays.

"I made a move and Bradley bit on it," Williams said. "I was able to pull up with one dribble. If I go left, I like my chances." (See full recap).

Dunn hits late free throws, Bulls edge Knicks
CHICAGO — Kris Dunn made two free throws with 2.9 seconds left to give the Chicago Bulls a 104-102 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday night.

Dunn was fouled by Courtney Lee while driving to the basket.

Following a timeout, the Knicks - who scored 10 straight points to tie it at 102 - had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Kristaps Porzingis missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Nikola Mirotic, in just his second game of the season, had 19 points to help Chicago win its second straight. Dunn finished with 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and Luari Markkanen and David Nwaba had 15 points apiece.

Porzingis had 23 points for New York. The Knicks are 1-8 on the road (see full recap).

Bazemore, Ilyasova lead Hawks past Magic​
ATLANTA — Ersan Ilyasova scored 26 points on 9-for-9 shooting and the Atlanta Hawks overcame Nikola Vucevic's triple-double to beat the Orlando Magic 117-110 on Saturday night.

Vucevic had 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, and Jonathan Simmons added a career-high 29 points for the Magic. They beat the Hawks 110-106 in overtime Wednesday night in Orlando.

Kent Bazemore scored six late points for Atlanta, with two baskets coming on dunks following steals.

With the game tied at 110, Bazemore stole a pass from Simmons to Vucevic and took it two-thirds of the court to dunk for the lead with 36 seconds remaining. He was fouled 21 seconds later after grabbing a rebounding on Shelvin Mack's airball, and made a pair of free throws (see full recap).

Clarkson leads Lakers past struggling Hornets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jordan Clarkson scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away late to defeat the fatigued and short-handed Charlotte Hornets 110-99 on Saturday night.

Brandon Ingram added 18 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 15 for the Lakers, who have won two straight after losing five in a row.

Clarkson got so hot that he played the entire fourth quarter while Lonzo Ball sat out. Ball finished with five points and nine assists after turning in perhaps his most complete game Wednesday night against Philadelphia, when he had 10 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and four blocks in a 107-104 win.

Kemba Walker scored 23 points and Dwight Howard had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the injury-riddled Hornets, who have lost seven of eight (see full recap).

NBA Notes: Underdog Isaiah Thomas now facing biggest challenge of career

NBA Notes: Underdog Isaiah Thomas now facing biggest challenge of career

BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas' basketball journey is littered with decision-makers who have underestimated the diminutive guard.

He was selected last in the 2011 NBA draft coming out of Washington, and when he arrived in Boston he looked only to be a role player for the storied franchise. Thomas has had to prove his worth with every stop.

Now, following the biggest slight of his NBA career, he'll have to do it again.

All eyes will be watching how he rebounds after Tuesday's blockbuster trade . The Celtics sent the two-time All-Star packing from a franchise and city that he'd embraced with every ounce of his 5-foot-9 frame. He's now bound for Cleveland in exchange for a bigger star -- and what the Celtics believe is a better point guard for them -- in Kyrie Irving.

For all the praise Boston president of basketball operations Danny Ainge showered on Thomas in explaining what he's meant to the Celtics, the organization took Irving -- a four-time All-Star, Olympic and NBA champion -- over the scrappy underdog who's just beginning to build his resume (see full story).

Celtics: Irving switches to No. 11 with new team
BOSTON -- Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce's No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

Spurs: Undrafted Perrantes signs contract
SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs have signed guard London Perrantes.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed Wednesday

The 22-year-old Perrantes wasn't drafted out of Virginia this year but made summer league appearances for the Miami Heat in Las Vegas and Orlando.

The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 10 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds and 1.5 steals in the MGM Resorts Summer League. He averaged 11.3 points, 4.8 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in Orlando summer league action.

Perrantes set school career records at Virginia with 138 games and 4,425 minutes. He averaged 12.7 points, 3.8 assists and 3 rebounds during his senior season. He made 40.9 percent of his career 3-point attempts (211 of 516).

Clippers: Team reportedly close to deal with Winger as GM
LOS ANGELES -- The expansion of the Los Angeles Clippers' front office isn't done yet.

After removing Doc Rivers' title as president of basketball operations earlier this month, the team has reached an agreement with Oklahoma City's Michael Winger to become their general manager, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Winger will replace Dave Wohl, who is staying with the team as a special adviser, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has yet to be announced publicly.

Winger had been an assistant GM and team counsel for the Thunder for the last seven years. Previously, the 37-year-old executive worked for the Cavaliers (see full story).

NBA Notes: Nets to play 2 regular-season games in Mexico City

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NBA Notes: Nets to play 2 regular-season games in Mexico City

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets will travel to Mexico City in December for two regular-season games as part of the 25th anniversary of the first NBA game in Mexico.

The league announced Wednesday that the Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder will play in Mexico City on Dec. 7. The Nets will play the Miami Heat on Dec. 9. Both games will be in Arena Ciudad de Mexico.

It's all part of the NBA's emphasis on expanding the popularity of basketball in Mexico. Last season, the Phoenix Suns played the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City. The league has played 26 times in Mexico dating back to 1992, the most games held in any country outside of the U.S. and Canada.

The games will be televised on ESPN.

Clippers: Reed’s wife wants domestic battery charge dropped
MIAMI -- The wife of Los Angeles Clippers center Willie Reed said Wednesday she does not wish to press battery charges against her husband after an argument between the couple led to his weekend arrest.

Jasmine Reed said in statement issued by her attorney, Ivlis Mantilla, that the situation was blown out of proportion and that she never called police. Willie Reed, who played last year for the Miami Heat, was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge after the argument Saturday night with his wife at their Miami residence.

A police report quoted Jasmine Reed as saying her 6-foot-11 (2.1 meters), 245-pound (111 kilograms) husband pulled her hair, grabbed her wrists and dragged her in a struggle over her purse. She also told officers she hit Willie Reed with a glass candlestick holder.

On Wednesday, she called Willie Reed "a good man and a great father." The couple has two children.

"This is a private matter between my husband and I and for the sake of our family I would like to keep it that way," Jasmine Reed said (see full story).

Hawks: Veteran Babbitt signs 1-year contract
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks have signed veteran forward Luke Babbitt to a one-year deal.

The Hawks announced the deal on Wednesday. Babbitt will earn about $1.9 million, the league minimum for a player entering his eighth year.

Babbitt has averaged 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds during his NBA career. He will bring experience to a young rebuilding Hawks roster. The 6-foot-9 forward started 55 games for the Miami Heat last season and shot 41.4 percent from 3-point range. He started 36 of the final 41 games when the Heat finished the season 30-11.

Babbitt believes his ability to shoot the 3-pointer is why Atlanta signed him. He says "the way the game is played now, it's so much about shooting and spacing and giving guys room to make plays."

Before his time in Miami, the 28-year-old Babbitt spent three seasons each with New Orleans and Portland.