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Clippers ride Jamal Crawford's shooting to comeback win over Nuggets (January 27, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, left, and guard Jamal Crawford celebrate during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Los Angeles, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

LOS ANGELES -- Jamal Crawford never stews over statistics. As a prolific scorer, he knows he's usually one shot away from triggering an offensive outburst.

So it was easy for him to shrug off his 20-of-62 shooting in five previous games and let things fly. Crawford scored 21 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers held off the struggling Denver Nuggets 102-98 Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

"I wanted to be aggressive and try to open up stuff," said Crawford, last season's Sixth Man of the Year.

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Prince helps Celtics edge Jazz 99-90 (January 27, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Boston Celtics' Tayshaun Prince (12) high-fives Tyler Zeller (44) in the fourth quarter during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, in Salt Lake City. The Boston Celtics won 99-90. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY -- Tayshaun Prince scored 19 points, and the Boston Celtics held off the Utah Jazz for a 99-90 victory on Monday night.

Tyler Zeller had 14 points and seven rebounds for Boston, which grabbed control with a big second quarter. Jared Sullinger had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Avery Bradley also scored 12.

Prince, who was acquired from Memphis in a three-team trade on Jan. 12, was 7 for 10 from the field and 3 for 4 at the free-throw line.

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Thunder down Timberwolves behind Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka (January 27, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- JANUARY 26: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder stands on the court during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 26, 2015 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook scored 18 points, Serge Ibaka added 13 points and a season-high 19 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 92-84 on Monday night without the injured Kevin Durant.

Durant sat out after spraining the big toe on his left foot Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Westbrook shot just 7 for 22 from the field, but was 4 for 6 and scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to help the Thunder remain in control. Reserves Anthony Morrow and Reggie Jackson each added 14 points to help Oklahoma City's bench outscore Minnesota's 45-21.

Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points, Thaddeus Young had 22 and Gorgui Dieng had a season-high 18 rebounds for the league-worst Timberwolves, who shot a season-low 34.1 percent from the field.

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Davis' dunks aplenty lead Pelicans past 76ers, 99-74 (January 27, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) slam dunks in front of Philadelphia 76ers center Henry Sims (35) and forward Robert Covington in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. The Pelicans won 99-74. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS -- Anthony Davis stood at the top of the key, pumping his fist and letting out a roar.

His adrenaline-infused reaction was inspired not by one of his five thunderous dunks against the Philadelphia 76ers, but the way Omer Asik converted Davis' crisp pass under the basket into a layup as he was fouled.

"Everybody's having fun, moving the ball. It doesn't matter who scores," Davis said. "Everybody's playing together. Everybody's playing hard and that's all that the coaches ask for."

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Double-doubles by Randolph, Gasol lead Grizzlies over Magic (January 27, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) rebounds between Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton, left, and Nikola Vucevic (9) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies closed out their longest homestand of the season by dominating another struggling visitor from the Eastern Conference.

Zach Randolph had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Marc Gasol added 16 points and 10 boards, and Memphis beat the Orlando Magic 103-94 on Monday night. The victory, the Grizzlies' third straight, gave them a 4-1 record during the homestand.

Randolph was the catalyst early as the Grizzlies, who beat the Philadelphia 76ers 101-83 Saturday, were never really threatened. They had a double-digit advantage midway through the second period and built the lead to 20 before halftime.

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Golden State Warriors to wear special Chinese New Year uniforms (January 27, 2015)
Darren Rovell [ Source: ESPN ]

In a uniform that is sure to draw some eyeballs, the Golden State Warriors announced on Monday that the team would wear a special Chinese New Year uniform.

On the uniform's front, Warriors is spelled out in Mandarin with the sleeve featuring a goat, the animal the Chinese attribute to this upcoming year. The jersey also features red and yellow piping. Red is the color associated with good luck, while yellow is connected to wealth and happiness.

"The meaning of a warrior certainly translates into the Chinese culture well as they are very familiar with what being a warrior means," said the team's president and chief operating officer Rick Welts. "I think they'd be hard pressed to make a similar connection to the Lakers."

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Jared Dillinger of Meralco and Joseph Yeo of Brgy. Ginebra. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

The PBA makes its return from a short break with four teams pinning their hopes on some of the tallest reinforcements in the Commissioner’s Cup that tips off Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Fans can watch the games either live on TV5 or at the venue as tickets at the general admission section are free of charge.

Ginebra is aiming to have a good start with comebacking coach Ato Agustin and import Michael Dunigan boosting the Gin Kings.

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Brooklyn Nets evaluating future of Lionel Hollins, players (January 27, 2015)
Ohm Youngmisuk and Marc Stein [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

The Brooklyn Nets, increasingly worried about a recent lack of competitiveness, have launched an in-season evaluation of various facets of the team, including new coach Lionel Hollins, according to league sources.

The Nets lost consecutive road games last week to the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz by 39 and 35 points, respectively, sparking concern within the organization about whether Hollins' message is getting through. It's just the fifth time in NBA history that a team has lost back-to-back games by 35 points or more.

Nets ownership, sources said, is monitoring the situation closely, with Brooklyn having just fallen out of the East's top eight after a 2-10 slide that coincides with the franchise being up for sale.

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KIA opens PBA campaign against Globalport today (January 27, 2015)
Frank C. Calapre [ Source: SunStar ]

Manny Pacquiao of Kia. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

MANILA — Exciting action resumes today as the 40th PBA Commissioners’ Cup starts at The Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. Expansion team Kia Sorento of coach Manny Pacquiao faces Globalport in the opening game at 4:15 p.m. while Ginebra Kings tangle against Meralco Bolts at 7 p.m.

The import-laden conference will have five games a week every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud said that the hectic scheduling is designed to finish the season early and allow the Philippine national team to prepare for the 2015 FIBA-Asia Championship in China. It will serve as a qualifying tournament for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Kobe Bryant pays price for what greatness requires (January 27, 2015)
J.A. Adande [ Source: ESPN ]

Kobe Bryant tried to shake off a blow from Dwyane Wade at the 2012 All-Star Game. Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant did in Kobe Bryant.

A man's greatest strengths are often his greatest weaknesses. Line up all of the admirable attributes that led Bryant to the highest level of hoops -- drive, determination, dedication, self-confidence -- and you'll find the reasons he no longer gets to play seasons out on his own terms.

The road to greatness charges steep tolls. Bryant always willingly paid -- and never asked for his change. He was defiant until the end and checked back into the game last week in New Orleans, even though he knew his right shoulder, which he will have surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn right rotator cuff, was out of whack. Then he put up two left-handed shots.

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