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Paul, Griffin lift Clippers over Bucks 106-102 (December 21, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Milwaukee Bucks' Larry Sanders, left, fouls Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 106-102. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

LOS ANGELES -- The schedule maker hasn't been kind to the Los Angeles Clippers in December. Still, they have found a way to win some narrow victories against tough opponents.

Chris Paul scored nine of his 27 points in the final 4:04 and Blake Griffin added 24 to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 106-102 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.

"We've been struggling a little bit lately, so after a tough loss last night and then going on a tough road trip to San Antonio and Atlanta after this game, we really needed to get this one," Paul said.

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Gallinari leads Nuggets past Pacers, 76-73 (December 21, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Indiana Pacers forward Damjan Rudez, left, of Croatia, blocks Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari, of Italy, as he tries to work the ball inside for a shot in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, in Denver. The Nuggets won 76-73. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER -- On a rough shooting night for both teams, one solid offensive stretch late in the game helped the Denver Nuggets come out on top.

Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points, including a 3-pointer to spark the critical fourth-quarter run, and the Nuggets hung on to beat the Indiana Pacers 76-73 on Saturday night.

"That's what we needed," Gallinari said. "We knew that if we kept our defense up, once our offense clicked for two or three possessions, we'll be fine."

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Rajon Rondo collects 6 points, 9 assists as Mavs rally past Spurs (December 21, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 20: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Dallas Mavericks walks on the court prior to the start of play agains the San Antonio Spurs at American Airlines Center on December 20, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

DALLAS -- Monta Ellis equaled his season high with 38 points, including 11 during the final four minutes, to spark a late rally as the Dallas Mavericks beat the depleted San Antonio Spurs 99-93 Saturday in Rajon Rondo's debut with the Mavericks.

Ellis broke a 91-91 tie with a basket from the right corner that sailed over the corner of the backboard to give Dallas the lead for good.

Rondo, the four-time All-Star who played his first eight-plus seasons with the Boston Celtics, finished with six points on 3-for-11 shooting. He had nine assists and seven rebounds. Acquired in a multi-player trade Thursday, he went into the game leading the league averaging 10.8 assists.

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Korver leads Hawks over Houston 104-97 (December 21, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 20: Kyle Korver #26 of the Atlanta Hawks goes to the basket against the Houston Rockets on December 20, 2014 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

HOUSTON -- The Atlanta Hawks won for the 12th time in 13 games on Saturday night, beating the Houston Rockets 104-97. The victory gave the Hawks 19 wins this season.

They're not quite ready to celebrate their success though.

"We've had a nice start to the season, but the season's only a couple of months old," Kyle Korver said. "We had a losing record last year. We made the playoffs last year but we won 38 games. So by no means are we like happy with ourselves. But I think we feel good about what we're building."

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Former NBA player Carl Herrera shot and wounded in Venezuela (December 21, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

International Basketball

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Officials say former NBA player Carl Herrera has been shot and wounded during an apparent robbery attempt in Venezuela.

The country's prosecutor's office says the shooting occurred Saturday in a restaurant on Margarita Island.

The Venezuelan newspaper El Universal says he is in stable condition at a hospital.

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Brooklyn Nets, Sacramento Kings have discussed trade for Deron Williams, sources say (December 21, 2014)
Ohm Youngmisuk and Mike Mazzeo [ Source: ESPN ]

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 19: Deron Williams #8 of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Quicken Loans Arena on December 19, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Nets and Sacramento Kings have engaged in trade talks involving Brooklyn point guard Deron Williams, league sources confirmed to, but no deal is imminent.

Sources confirmed Saturday that the Kings have inquired about Williams. Yahoo! Sports reported that Sacramento has proposed swapping guard Darren Collison and forwards Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson in exchange for Williams.

But sources close to the situation insisted that no deal is close. With Williams owed $63.1 million over the next three seasons, Sacramento must be sure about Williams to take on such a substantial amount of money, even though the Kings recently pursued Rajon Rondo and clearly are on the hunt for a point guard.

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Hornets end winless streak vs. Jazz, 104-86 (December 21, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 20: Marvin Williams #2 of the Charlotte Hornets reacts after making a basket against the Utah Jazz during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 20, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Al Jefferson said he could have returned from a strained groin late in the fourth quarter.

The Charlotte Hornets didn't need the big man for a change.

The Hornets (8-19) improved to 2-0 with Lance Stephenson out of the lineup and snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Utah Jazz with a 104-86 win on Saturday night.

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Aldridge leads Trail Blazers over Pelicans 114-88 (December 21, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 20: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks to move the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans during the game on December 20, 2014 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS -- LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Portland to a 114-88 win over the Pelicans Saturday night.

While Portland (22-6) was coming off a triple overtime win at San Antonio a night earlier, it was New Orleans that appeared tired. Including Anthony Davis' 3 of 14 shooting, the Pelicans (13-13) made only 35 percent of their shots. Davis finished with seven points and six rebounds.

Portland showed no signs of slowing down from the 15 extra minutes against the Spurs. The Trail Blazers shot 53 percent and forced 17 turnovers.

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Chris Ross of San Miguel Beer. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

The San Miguel Beermen seek to duplicate their dominant showing over the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in Game Two of their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Game is set at 5 p.m. with the Beermen aiming for a 2-0 lead over the Tropang Texters.

San Miguel Beer demolished Talk ‘N Text by 23 points, 109-86, last Friday in Game One in an intense affair between the two rivals.

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Bledsoe, Thomas carry Suns past Knicks, 99-90 (December 21, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Phoenix Suns' Eric Bledsoe (2) drives past New York Knicks' Quincy Acy (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK -- Isaiah Thomas thrust both arms in the air and started back down the court, his 3-pointer having just essentially clinched a victory.

A lot of players are celebrating at Madison Square Garden these days, and none of them are Knicks.

Eric Bledsoe had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Thomas scored 22 points, and the Phoenix Suns beat New York 99-90 on Saturday.

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