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James scores 30, Heat win again, top Jazz 105-89

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James scores 30, Heat win again, top Jazz 105-89

MIAMI (AP) LeBron James scored 30 points, Dwyane Wade added 21 points and seven assists, and the Miami Heat rode the strength of a big third-quarter run to beat the Utah Jazz 105-89 on Saturday night.

James added nine rebounds and seven assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Heat, who won their fourth straight game and next play on Christmas against Oklahoma City in a rematch of last season's NBA Finals. Shane Battier scored 15 and Ray Allen added 13 for Miami, which opened the second half on a 22-6 run to build a 69-49 lead.

Marvin Williams scored 16 for Utah, which got 15 from Gordon Hayward and 11 from Paul Millsap.

The Jazz played the second half without Mo Williams, who appeared to hurt his right thumb. Miami was without Chris Bosh, home with what the team said was a cold.

James has scored at least 20 points in all 24 Heat games this season, matching the longest run of 20-or-more efforts to start a year since Karl Malone did it for Utah in the 1989-90 campaign.

Maybe it was fitting that James tied Malone's mark in a game against the Jazz.

``Karl Malone's a great player,'' James said before the game. ``Awesome player, by the way.''

It also was the 29th straight regular-season game in which James scored at least 20 points and 45th consecutive overall.

That is just one of two streaks James has going.

He also didn't get called for a personal foul for a sixth straight game. James' most recent foul was an offensive call against New Orleans on Dec. 8. He has played 250 minutes, 4 seconds without being whistled for a personal foul, though he was hit with a technical for arguing a no-call late in the first half on Saturday.

``I'd be concerned if he was just standing around, if he was hiding and taking himself out of plays and taking mini-vacations on possessions,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ``But he's been activating our defense. And when you have his type of athletic, God-given ability and you add that to his mind and then the preparation, he can be one or two steps ahead of the play - which allows him to be a playmaker defensively.''

As usual, he was a playmaker offensively, as well.

Miami scored the first eight points of the second half to finally create some breathing room. James started the half by making a jumper, then set up Battier - who started in place of Bosh - for a 3-pointer. Battier then made another 3 off an assist from Wade to give Miami a 55-43 edge by the time the third quarter was 90 seconds old.

The margin eventually grew to 20, but Utah wasn't done.

The Jazz cut the deficit by the end of the third, getting within 73-63, and the Heat lead was only eight after a free throw by Millsap with 4:40 remaining.

That would be the end of the drama.

James drove the lane for a left-handed layup with 3:55 left to put Miami back up by 12, and after a Utah turnover on the ensuing possession, Allen hit a 3-pointer from the left corner for a 97-82 lead.

Neither team led by more than six in the first half, one that ended with the Heat holding a 47-43 edge.

The NBA's new 90-second pregame countdown clock also played a bit of a role down the stretch.

The Heat were called for a delay-of-game technical with 8:24 remaining, in part because the team wasn't fully ready to go when the countdown-to-tipoff expired. That led to the team's first delay warning of the night, and the second came after Norris Cole scored on a reverse layup and then knocked the ball out of the hands of Utah forward Derrick Favors as he prepared to throw an inbounds pass.

NOTES: James was presented with the trophy commemorating his Eastern Conference player-of-the-month award for November (and the last two days of October) in a brief halftime ceremony. ... Utah closes its four-game trip on Sunday at Orlando. ... Wade's foundation, Wade's World, brought 50 people to the game as part of his three-day schedule of ``3 Under The Tree'' series of Christmas-themed charity events. ... Heat F-C Josh Harrellson also missed the game because of illness.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

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Report: Former Terp Diamond Stone included in federal documents detailing NCAA violations

Report: Former Terp Diamond Stone included in federal documents detailing NCAA violations

A bombshell article published Friday morning by Pat Forde and Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports details potential NCAA violations involving more than 20 schools and 25 players.

Several of the biggest names and programs in college basketball were referenced in the Yahoo! report, including former Maryland Terrapin, Diamond Stone.

According to documents and bank records that are part of an FBI investigation, Stone received $14,303 while a freshman at Maryland, a clear violation of NCAA rules. 

Former NBA agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports was the primary handler dishing out incentives, which included cash advances, entertainment expenses and travel expenses for high school and college prospects.

Other players referenced in the documents include Dennis Smith who played at North Carolina State, Isaiah Whitehead from Seton Hall, DeMatha star Markelle Fultz who played at Washington and Edrice "Bam" Adebayo who went on to play at Kentucky. 

Player's and their families from Duke, Michigan State, USC, North Carolina, Texas and Alabama were also included.

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season before declaring for the 2016 NBA Draft. He was selected 40th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans and traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. 

RELATED: DIAMOND STONE ADMITS TO 'MISTAKES' DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AT MARYLAND

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon postponed Friday morning's media availability, but he did release the following statement through the school.

"Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community."

Stone did end up signing with a different agency.

While this is still under investigation, large consequences for the NCAA can be expected.

The NCAA also released a statement following the news. 

These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules. Following the Southern District of New York's indictments last year, the NCAA Board of Governors and I formed the independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to provide recommendations on how to clean up the sport. With these latest allegations, it's clear this work is more important now than ever. The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.