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NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

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

James also didn't get called for a personal foul for a sixth straight game.

Lakers 118, Warriors 115, OT

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Kobe Bryant had 34 points and 10 rebounds, Steve Nash finished with 12 points and nine assists in his first game in almost two months, and Los Angeles rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Golden State in overtime.

Metta World Peace and Nash each made a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minutes of regulation before the Warriors came back. World Peace scored 20 points, and Nash converted a step-back shot for the final points in overtime to lift Los Angeles to its fourth straight victory.

Jarrett Jack scored 29 points and David Lee had 20 points and 11 rebounds in a disappointing collapse for Golden State, which had won 11 of 14 games to get off to its best start in 20 years.

The 38-year-old Nash missed the previous 24 games because of a small fracture in his lower left leg. He was injured in the second game of the season, the former Phoenix star's first with the Lakers.

Bryant made three quick jumpers in overtime, including a fadeaway that put Los Angeles ahead by four. He has scored at least 30 points in eight straight games.

The matchup marked the first time the Warriors faced the Lakers with a better record through at least 25 games since April 23, 1994.

Nuggets 110, Bobcats 88

DENVER (AP) - Kosta Koufos scored a season-high 16 points, and Kenneth Faried and Andre Iguodala added 15 points apiece as Denver sent Charlotte to its 15th consecutive loss.

JaVale McGee added 14 points, and Danilo Gallinari had 12 for Denver, which won its sixth in a row at home since its only loss there - 98-93 to Miami on Nov. 15.

Charlotte, playing the second of a back-to-back set on the road, was without injured guards Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon.

Ramon Sessions had 23 points to lead Charlotte. Byron Mullens added 16.

Hawks 92, Bulls 75

ATLANTA (AP) - Al Horford had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and every Atlanta starter scored in double figures as the Hawks routed Chicago to snap a two-game losing streak.

Lou Williams added 16 points in his first start, and the Atlanta native led the way as the Hawks outscored the Bulls 61-33 in the second and third quarters combined.

Luol Deng paced Chicago with 11 points, but the Bulls (15-11) couldn't build on its 110-106 victory over the Knicks in New York on Friday. The Hawks (16-9), however, bounced back from a poor fourth-quarter performance in a 99-80 loss at Philadelphia.

Atlanta starters outscored Chicago's starters 72-39 in Hawks coach Larry Drew's 100th victory (100-73).

Williams started at shooting guard, but began the second quarter playing point guard in place of starter Jeff Teague. Williams had 11 points in the period as the Hawks outscored the Bulls 25-6 over the final 6:58.

Pistons 96, Wizards 87

WASHINGTON (AP) - Charlie Villanueva scored 19 points, Rodney Stuckey added 18, and Detroit earned its second win in two nights over Washington.

The Pistons have won consecutive games only twice this season. Detroit grabbed a season-high 58 rebounds for the second straight night.

The Wizards, who trailed throughout, have lost seven straight and are an NBA-worst 3-22. Washington got within 88-81 with 6:15 to play, but didn't score for nearly four minutes as Detroit stretched its advantage to 94-81 with 2:55 left.

Jordan Crawford, who scored his only point of the first half with 1:05 to play, scored 20 after halftime to lead Washington with 21 overall. Emeka Okafor scored 14 points and tied a season high with 14 rebounds.

Rockets 121, Grizzlies 96

HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden scored 31 points with eight assists, and Houston earned its third straight win by topping Memphis.

The Grizzlies entered the game allowing an NBA-low 89.2 points a game. But they had no answer for Harden. He did all his scoring in the first three quarters and reached at least 20 points for an eighth straight game.

Houston used a big run midway through the second quarter to take the lead, and didn't trail after that to break a four-game winning streak by the Grizzlies.

Mike Conley had 16 points for the Grizzlies on a night when leading scorer Rudy Gay finished with a season-low six points.

Memphis hadn't allowed 100 points since the Clippers scored 101 in the season-opener - an NBA-best streak of 23 games. The Rockets needed just over three quarters to reach the mark with a free throw by Jeremy Lin with 9 1-2 minutes left.

It was the Rockets' 13th straight home victory over the Grizzlies. Memphis hasn't won in Houston since April 2006.

Lin added 15 points and 11 assists, and Marcus Morris scored 16 points.

Pacers 81, Hornets 75

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - David West scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half and Indiana overcame a 22-point deficit to hand New Orleans its 11th straight loss.

Paul George steadied Indiana in the first half with 11 points, and finished with 17 to help the Pacers win for the seventh time in eight games.

Robin Lopez had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, stuck in their worst stretch since December 2004. Greivis Vasquez added 14 points, and Anthony Davis had 10.

After the Hornets took a 46-24 lead, the Pacers outscored them 57-29 - including 24-7 in the third quarter.

West scored his 10,000th career point midway through the third quarter.

Cavaliers 94, Bucks 82

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Dion Waiters scored 18 points and Cleveland snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Milwaukee.

C.J. Miles added 16 points, and Kyrie Irving had 15 for the Cavaliers, who played without starting center Anderson Varejao for the third straight game because of a bruised right knee.

Monta Ellis had a season-high 37 points for Milwaukee. The Bucks had won the previous nine games against the Cavaliers.

Trail Blazers 96, Suns 93

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - J.J. Hickson had 19 points and 15 rebounds for his seventh straight double-double, and Portland defeated Phoenix for its fifth straight win. Rookie Damian Lillard had 25 points, including 18 in the second half.

Sasha Pavolic and Lillard made consecutive 3-pointers as Portland pulled in front 92-85 with 4:02 left. The Suns got to within 94-91 on Marcin Gortat's layup with 1:24 to go.

After Lillard's 19-foot, step-back jumper, Jared Dudley had a layup for the Suns to make it 96-93. Phoenix furiously tried to get a shot off in the final seconds, but Goran Dragic missed a 3-pointer, and Shannon Brown missed a short jumper.

Gortat had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Suns, who led by as many as 12 points in the first half. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Phoenix.

The Blazers haven't won five straight since February 2011.

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Jimmy Butler requests trade, gives Timberwolves three preferred teams, not including Wizards

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USA Today Sports

Jimmy Butler requests trade, gives Timberwolves three preferred teams, not including Wizards

Just days before NBA training camps are set to begin, All-NBA guard Jimmy Butler is trying to force his way out of Minnesota.

The four-time All-Star has requested a trade from the Timberwolves and, according to ESPN, has given them a list of three preferred teams: the Knicks, Nets and Clippers. That list is extra-pertinent because Butler has a player option after this upcoming season, and he is reportedly willing to sign a contract extension with any of those three.

That does not mean the Wolves will honor his request, but any team other than those three that trades for him will be at risk of losing him after one year. That risk worked out well for the Thunder this past year in their trade for Paul George, but every situation is different.

Butler’s list tells us a few things about his priorities. For one, he wants to play in a major market. New York and L.A. are the top two markets in the NBA. To that point, it’s interesting he has omitted the Lakers.

The three teams Butler listed would give him no realistic chance of winning, at least in his first season. Either he’s taking a long-term approach to competing, or he would rather be the No. 1 guy on a bad team than the No. 2 or 3 star on a good team.

For those wondering if the Wizards would be a fit, those factors would seemingly work against them retaining him beyond one season. Though D.C. is a big market, it’s not L.A. or New York. And Butler would not be the clear star in Washington with two All-Stars in John Wall and Bradley Beal already in place.

That is all beyond what the Wizards would have to give up for Butler. Though he’s not quite Kawhi Leonard, the return probably wouldn’t be far off. The Raptors had to give up DeMar DeRozan, a perennial All-NBA selection, among other pieces. The Thunder had to part with Victor Oladipo in their package for George and that has since proven to be a steep price.

Maybe the Wizards could offer Otto Porter, Jr. and/or some combination of draft picks and young, emerging players. But it would be a hefty price given the risk of him potentially leaving, and though Butler is very good, he’s not as young or as good as Leonard, for comparison.

To give up the farm in a trade, that player better make his new team significantly better. It’s questionable if Butler could do that for the Wizards.

The Wizards have done their due diligence in checking in on George, Leonard and others who have become available in recent years. It would not be surprising if they make a call for Butler, but as of now not enough adds up to make it a perfect match.

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Maroon 5 to perform at Super Bowl LIII halftime show

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USA Today Sports

Maroon 5 to perform at Super Bowl LIII halftime show

Super Bowl LIII will be played in the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., but the halftime musical performance will not be headlined by anyone from the A-T-L. 

Maroon 5 will take the stage in Atlanta on Feb. 3, according to Variety

The seven-man pop group will follow in the footsteps of Justin Timberlake, who performed during last year's halftime show in Minnesota. Notable recent performers include Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and the Black Eyed Peas.

Many expected the halftime performance to be an artist or group with Atlanta roots -- a city full of musical talent -- particulalry in hip-hop. Acts such as Usher, the Migos, Future, and Ludacris all come from the 'Big A.' But the NFL opted to go with the Los Angeles-based group instead. The NFL has not released a statement yet regarding the performer.

Maroon 5 has produced hits with many of today's musical stars, including a 2017 track with Future, as well as Cardi B and SZA. Should Maroon 5 want to bring out a suprise guest, they will have plenty of artists to choose from.

The NFL has seen several spectacular halftime performances, so it will be interesting to see where Maroon 5 will rank.