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Ty Lawson lead Nuggets over Bulls for fifth straight win (November 26, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 25: Ty Lawson #3 of the Denver Nuggets controls the ball against Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls at Pepsi Center on November 25, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

DENVER -- Ty Lawson scored 20 points, including a key jumper in the waning seconds, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Chicago Bulls 114-109 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.

Arron Afflalo added 19 points and Danilo Gallinari had 15 for the Nuggets, who defeated the Bulls for the eighth straight time in Denver.

Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was limited to 10 minutes in his second game back from a left hamstring strain. Rose, who scored 18 points in his return Monday night against Utah after a four-game absence, felt tightness in the hamstring during the first quarter and didn't play the rest of the way.

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Cousins, Kings beat Pelicans 99-89 (November 26, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 25: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans and DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings look on during the game on November 25, 2014 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS -- DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three steals, leading the Sacramento Kings to a 99-89 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.

Omri Casspi also scored 22 for Sacramento, which has won three in a row. Casspi, who made his first start of the season in place of the injured Rudy Gay, was with New Orleans for a brief stretch this offseason before being released in a salary-cap move.

New Orleans forward Anthony Davis was held to 14 points after he scored 28 in a victory over the Kings last Tuesday. He also had nine rebounds and blocked two shots.

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Knight helps Bucks beat Pistons 98-86 (November 26, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 25: Brandon Knight #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket against D.J. Augustin #14 of the Detroit Pistons on November 25, 2014 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE -- Brandon Knight had 20 points and eight assists to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 98-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

O.J. Mayo, making his first start of the season, added 17 points as Milwaukee (8-7) avoided its first three-game slide of the season. Rookie Jabari Parker contributed 14 points and nine rebounds.

Detroit (3-11) has lost five in a row and eight of nine.

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Stephen Curry hits 8 3s, scores 40 as Warriors down Heat (November 26, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 25: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts to a play during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on November 25, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

MIAMI -- Stephen Curry scored 40 points, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Miami Heat 114-97 on Tuesday night for their sixth consecutive victory.

Golden State scored 14 straight points to open a 107-95 lead with 2:50 to go. Curry and Thompson capped the run with consecutive 3-pointers.

Thompson had 24 points for the Warriors, who shot 57 percent. Curry was 12 for 19 from the field, including an 8-for-11 performance from 3-point range.

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Hawks top Wizards 106-102 for 6th win in 8 (November 26, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 25: Dennis Schroder #17 of the Atlanta Hawks drives to the basket against Andre Miller #24 of the Washington Wizards on November 25, 2014 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON -- Surely, everybody can't have a so-so night. At some point, in an NBA game, somebody has to develop that hot hand that leads one team or the other toward victory, right?

It wasn't until the start of the fourth quarter of Tuesday night's matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards that some difference-makers finally made a difference. Hawks reserves Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack proved up to the task, scoring 16 straight Atlanta points to spur a 106-102 win.

"We kind of got into a rhythm," Mack said. "I've been kind of struggling all season, off and on, but we were able to make some plays."

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NBA

The Los Angeles Lakers have been granted a $4.85 million disabled player exception by the NBA for Steve Nash, who is out for the season with a back injury, league sources told ESPN.com.

The injury-ravaged Lakers, who are 3-11 for the season, can use the exception to sign or trade for a player. They were previously awarded a $1.5 million disabled player exception for rookie Julius Randle, who is out for the season with a broken leg.

The two exceptions, which both expire March 10, cannot be combined.

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LeBron James, others comment on Ferguson decision (November 26, 2014)
Dave McMenamin [ Source: ESPN ]

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- LeBron James said the decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer responsible for the shooting death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, "hit home for me" and spoke out about the violent aftermath of the announcement Monday night.

"That's not the answer," James said Tuesday on reports of rioting in Ferguson. "What does that do? What does that actually do? Just hurt more families, hurt more people, draw more attention to things that shouldn't even be going on instead of people going to the family's household and praying with them. And saying, 'Things are going to be great.' You know, 'Mike Brown is in a better place now,' and 'Trayvon Martin is in a better place now.' That's where it should be. I mean, burning down things and shooting up things and running cars into places and stealing and stuff like that, what does that do? It doesn't make you happy."

James initially responded to the news on Monday night by posting a cartoon depiction on Instagram of Brown with his arm wrapped around Martin walking toward a heavenly light.

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Jimmy Butler's unusual path to becoming a star (November 26, 2014)
Nick Friedell [ Source: ESPN ]

In his fourth season with the Bulls, Jimmy Butler leads the team in scoring, steals and PER. Matt Marton/USA TODAY Sports

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Jimmy Butler isn't supposed to be here.

He's not supposed to be in the NBA. He's not supposed to be a key member of a Chicago Bulls team that has championship aspirations. He's not supposed to be in the midst of an All-Star type season -- the best of his career -- in which he has carried the Bulls on both ends of the floor at various times. And he's certainly not supposed to be on the verge of cashing in on a contract offer at season's end that will likely pay him well over $50 million over the next four seasons.

The odds have always been against Butler. His path to the NBA is as unlikely as anyone who plays in the league given that his backstory (of being homeless at 13 before moving in with a friend's family) reads like the basketball version of "The Blind Side." No matter how many ups and downs Butler endured in his journey to the precipice of NBA stardom, the 25-year-old never stopped believing in himself. The same drive that helped get him out of Tomball, Texas, and into Marquette University is the same fuel that's pushed him to average over 20 points a game early this season.

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Manny Pacquiao of Kia Sorento. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

The Purefoods Star Hotshots are looking to give a rude welcome to the returning player-coach Manny Pacquiao as the defending champions face the Kia Sorento in PBA Philippine Cup action Wednesday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.

The Hotshots and the Sorento tangle in the nightcap at 7 p.m. after the curtain-raiser between the Barako Bull Energy and the Blackwater Elite in a crucial game at 4:15 p.m. Both games will be aired live on TV5.

After his victory over Chris Algieri last Sunday in Macau, Pacquiao is back in the bench for Kia (1-7). He last played in the Sorento’s lone win so far this season against Blackwater last October 19 at Philippine Arena.

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Rogemar Menor of Blackwater Elite. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

Blackwater fights for its tournament survival against Barako Bull.

The Elite (0-8) are in a must-win game, needing to beat Barako Bull to have a shot at advancing to the playoffs. The bottom two teams after the eliminations will be automatically out of contention.

The Energy (2-6) are trying to inch closer to a playoff spot.

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