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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Kevin Durant scored 18 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder opened a 40-point halftime lead in one of the most lopsided first halves in NBA history on their way to a 114-69 blowout of the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night.

Russell Westbrook had 12 points and 11 assists before he and the rest of Oklahoma City's starters were pulled less than 5 minutes into the second half with the Thunder leading 79-25.

Westbrook powered home a right-handed slam to put an exclamation point on the first half and put Oklahoma City up 64-24. It was the fifth-biggest halftime lead in NBA's shot clock era and the largest since Golden State set the record with an 88-41 edge on Sacramento on Nov. 2, 1991, according to STATS.

It was the largest blowout ever for Charlotte, which had shown promise with seven early wins - the same number it had last season while setting an NBA record for futility.

NETS 96, KNICKS 89, OT

NEW YORK (AP) - The Nets worked overtime to pull out the opener of their new-look rivalry with the Knicks, winning to tie their city rivals for first place.

Jerry Stackhouse, wearing the No. 42 Jackie Robinson made famous in Brooklyn, made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 3:31 left in overtime as the Nets controlled the extra period of a playoff-like game that neither team led by more than seven.

Brook Lopez had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Deron Williams added 16 points and 14 assists as the Nets improved to 7-1 in their new home and tied the Knicks atop the Atlantic Division at 9-4.

Carmelo Anthony had 35 points and 13 rebounds, but was only 10 of 16 at the free throw line. Tyson Chandler finished with 28 points and 10 boards, but no other Knicks player was in double figures.

PISTONS 108, TRAIL BLAZERS 101

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Brandon Knight scored 16 of his 26 points in the first half, outplaying Damian Lillard in a matchup of young guards and leading the Pistons to a victory over the Trail Blazers.

Lillard entered the day as the NBA's top rookie scorer, averaging 19.6 points per game. He missed his first 12 shots from the field against the Pistons.

Detroit is 4-3 since dropping its first eight games. The Pistons won for the first time when allowing more than 90 points.

LaMarcus Aldridge was back in the lineup for Portland after missing a game with back spasms. He scored 32 points but didn't have enough help with Lillard struggling.

SPURS 118, WIZARDS 92

WASHINGTON (AP) - Boris Diaw scored 16 points, Tiago Splitter had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Tony Parker added 15 to help the Spurs win their fourth straight over the still-winless Washington Wizards.

The Wizards are the 12th team in NBA history to start the season 0-12 according to STATS and are six away from equaling the New Jersey Nets' record 0-18 start in 2009-10. In their first 11 games, Washington lost by a total of just 72 points and never by more than 16.

The Spurs had seven players in double figures as they continued their successful road trip. Tim Duncan had 14, Gary Neal 13, Manu Ginobili 12 and Matt Bonner had 11. After winning the first four games of the six-game trip, they're now 8-1 on the road and 12-3 overall.

GRIZZLIES 84, CAVALIERS 78

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol scored 19 points each and the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a lethargic performance to escape with a victory over the Cavaliers.

Rudy Gay scored 15 points, and Quincy Pondexter had 10 points, including 2 of 3 from outside the arc as Memphis won its second straight and maintained its position with the best record in the NBA.

Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters scored 15 each to lead Cleveland, Varejao grabbing 22 rebounds, including eight offensive board. Daniel Gibson scored 11 for the Cavs, who lost their third straight and ninth in the last 10.

The Cavaliers still held the lead with 8:28 left, but Memphis closed the game on a 13-4 run, part of the Grizzlies outscoring Cleveland 22-9.

BUCKS 93, BULLS 92

CHICAGO (AP) - Ersan Ilyasova scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half and the Bucks overcame a 27-point deficit in a stunning win over the Bulls.

Richard Hamilton scored a season-high 30 points for the Bulls but missed a shot at the buzzer that could have won it.

Ilyasova led a 31-4 second half-run as the Bucks snapped a nine-game losing streak to Chicago and prevented the Bulls from moving past Milwaukee into first place in the Central Division.

Ilyasova scored 12 points in the fourth quarter when Milwaukee outscored Chicago 30-12. Milwaukee played the entire fourth quarter with five reserves: Ilyasova, Epke Udoh, Beno Udrih, Mike Dunleavy and Doron Lamb.

John Henson, Udrih and Udoh all scored 11 points while Monta Ellis added 10. The Bucks hadn't beaten Chicago since April 6, 2010.

Old Dominion at Syracuse Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

syracuse-odu.jpg
USA Today Sports

Old Dominion at Syracuse Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Following a thrilling 72-71 win over rival Georgetown, Syracuse (7-2) returns to the floor on Dec. 15 and welcomes Old Dominion (7-3) to town. The Orange will play four more non-conference games before starting ACC play on Jan. 5 at Notre Dame.

Old Dominion has won five-straight games entering their game against Syracuse. In the Monarchs' last game, B.J. Stith led the way with 28 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. 

Tip-off is scheduled for noon ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Old Dominion at Syracuse How to Watch

What: Old Dominion Monarchs at Syracuse Orange
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
When: Noon ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Old Dominion at Syracuse Preview

Conference: ACC (Syracuse), C-USA (Old Dominion)
Record: 7-2 (Syracuse), 7-3 (Old Dominion)
Last Game: 72-71 win vs. Georgetown, 12/8 (Syracuse), 79-69 win vs. Fairfield, 12/9 (Old Dominion)
Leading Scorers: Tyus Battle, 18.0 ppg (Syracuse), Ahmad Caver, 18.5 ppg (Old Dominion)
 

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Drew Gooden describes playing with LeBron James: It was 'like a traveling rock band'

Drew Gooden describes playing with LeBron James: It was 'like a traveling rock band'

LeBron James and the media circus that comes along with him is coming to Washington, D.C., as the Lakers will face off with the Wizards at Capital One Arena.

Drew Gooden played with James for the better part of four seasons in Cleveland from 2004-08, and so he knows exactly what it's like when one of the NBA's greatest players comes to town. 

"It's only real until you actually see it," Gooden said during Thursday's edition of the Wizards Talk podcast. "We used to joke and call ourselves not the Beatles, but the 'Cleatles,' because it was almost like a traveling rock band. And everybody played their part."

Gooden recounted one particular incident during a day off in Detroit in 2006, when he, James and a couple of their teammates went to a shopping mall to buy some watches.

"When we walked into the shopping mall in Detroit, it was like Michael Jackson had entered the shopping mall," Gooden explained. "Kids were running up, grownups were running up, everybody ran into the store we were in. They had to shut it down with mall security, and wouldn't let anybody in."

"The only thing I was thinking of is like, 'How are we gonna get out of here?' Because we came on our own with no security, so we were just thinking of how we were gonna get out of the mall now. And when I saw that star power of LeBron James back in 2006, this was before he won a championship, I couldn't imagine how it is now, and what he's become in today's game."

James' star power has only grown since then, and many have already declared him the greatest basketball player of all-time.

This label in reference to James is nothing new to Drew Gooden: he heard it when they were both teenagers playing AAU baskeball. 

"Calvin Andrews, who was a sports agent of Carmelo Anthony, Calvin Andrews told me when LeBron was 15 years of age, he said, 'You see that guy right there?'" Gooden recalled. "I said, 'Yeah, what about him?'"

"'He's gonna be the best basketball player ever.'"

"So it's no surprise to me, and this is not new to me, it's just I'm more amazed that it actually happened," Gooden concluded. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, he's gonna be the best ever or he has an opportunity of being the best ever.' But I literally heard a man tell me that in Calvin Andrews, and that guy actually becoming one of the best ever, or the best ever." 

For more on LeBron James and the Lakers' upcoming visit to D.C. to take on the Wizards, listen to the full Wizards Talk podcast below.

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