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Kevin Durant-less Thunder hold off Lakers as Kobe misses at buzzer (December 20, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 19: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder smiles during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at STAPLES Center on December 19, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES -- Russell Westbrook scored 31 points and hit a key jumper with 38 seconds left, and the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame the absence of NBA MVP Kevin Durant for a 104-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.

Kobe Bryant missed a 17-foot jumper right before the buzzer for the Lakers, who had won three of four. Bryant had nine points on 3-of-15 shooting, but added eight rebounds and eight assists.

Reggie Jackson scored 25 points and hit the go-ahead free throws with 1:05 left for the Thunder, who persevered down the stretch for their eighth victory in nine games.

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Nuggets hang on to beat Clippers 109-106 (December 20, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

DENVER, CO - December 19: Nate Robinson #5 of the Denver Nuggets handles the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 19, 2014 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

DENVER -- After the Denver Nuggets blew a big lead, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler were there to help bail them out.

Chandler and Gallinari hit successive 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, and the Nuggets recovered after squandering a 16-point halftime lead to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-106 on Friday night.

"We definitely have to do a better job on that, not losing a 16-point lead, but a win is a win. We'll take it," Gallinari said.

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SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 19: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives to the basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the game on December 19, 2014 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO -- The Portland Trail Blazers know firsthand how cold and methodical the veteran San Antonio Spurs can be when they have a team in trouble.

So when the defending champions failed to close out the Blazers in the first two overtimes, Portland point guard Damian Lillard had a simple message for his teammates.

"Step on them," Lillard said.

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Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, front right, looks to shoot against Memphis Grizzlies forward Tayshaun Prince, right, and forward Zach Randolph (50) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. The Bulls won 103-97. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Jimmy Butler scored 31 points, Nikola Mirotic added a season-best 27, and the Chicago Bulls snapped Memphis' six-game winning streak with a 103-97 victory over the Grizzlies on Friday night.

Butler connected on 11 of 21 in the game, while Mirotic connected on all six of his shots beyond the arc, setting a season standard for 3-pointers made. Aaron Brooks scored 17 points and Joakim Noah finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Butler also had 10 rebounds as the Bulls outrebounded Memphis 51-45.

Mike Conley led Memphis with 21 points, while Beno Udrih added 15 points before leaving with a hand injury in the fourth quarter. Marc Gasol had 13 points, but was 5 of 15 from the field, part of Memphis shooting 39 percent for the game. Vince Carter scored 10 for Memphis.

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Wizards rally down stretch, top Heat 105-103 (December 20, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 19: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards calls a play during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 19, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

MIAMI -- One of the biggest reasons why Paul Pierce decided to join the Washington Wizards was because he thought they could be a contender if they learned how to finish games.

He might have been on to something.

John Wall scored 20 points and added 10 assists, Nene scored 20 off the bench and the Wizards rallied to beat the Miami Heat 105-103 on Friday night for their sixth straight win and 11th in their last 12 games.

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Raptors hand Pistons 12th straight home loss (December 20, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Toronto Raptors forward Terrence Ross (31) passes around Detroit Pistons guard Jodie Meeks (20) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. The Raptors won 110-100. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Jonas Valanciunas scored 17 points to lead a balanced offense as the Toronto Raptors beat Detroit 110-100 on Friday night, handing the Pistons their 12th straight home loss.

Brandon Jennings scored 22 points to lead Detroit, which extended its single-season franchise record for consecutive home losses and moved within seven of the NBA record set by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks.

Kyle Lowry and Lou Williams had 15 points each, James Johnson scored 12, and Patrick Patterson and Terrence Ross added 11 each for the Raptors.

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LeBron James moves up scoring list as Cavaliers top Nets (December 20, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 19: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game against the Brooklyn Nets at The Quicken Loans Arena on December 19, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images)

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 22 points and Mike Miller, making his first start of the season, added 21 on seven 3-pointers, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 95-91 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.

James, who moved into 23rd place on the all-time scoring list, scored eight points in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers bounced back from their biggest loss of the season Wednesday against Atlanta.

Joe Johnson led the Nets with 26 points. Brooklyn guard Deron Williams limped off the court in the second quarter with a strained right calf and didn't return.

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Celtics start post-Rondo era with win over Wolves (December 20, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk, center, reaches for a rebound between Minnesota Timberwolves forward Anthony Bennett (24) and guard Zach LaVine, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BOSTON -- Kelly Olynyk scored 21 points and the Boston Celtics showed crisp ball movement as they began the post-Rajon Rondo era with a 114-98 win over the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

One day after trading their star point guard to the Dallas Mavericks, the Celtics had six players score in double figures in their third straight victory, all against teams that have combined for just 17 wins this season.

Leading 95-92 midway through the fourth quarter, the Celtics scored the next eight points and 12 of 14 to take a 107-94 lead with 3:25 remaining. They stayed ahead by at least 12 the rest of the way.

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Walker, Jefferson lead Hornets past 76ers 109-91 (December 20, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker, center, chases down a loose ball as Philadelphia 76ers' Michael Carter-Williams, left, and Robert Covington pursue during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA -- Kemba Walker scored a season-high 30 points, Al Jefferson added 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Charlotte Hornets snapped a four-game losing streak with a 109-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

Tony Wroten and Robert Covington scored 19 apiece for the Sixers, who dropped to 0-14 at home this season. They're closing in on the NBA record for the most home losses to start a season, which is held by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks at 19.

The Hornets (7-19) had lost 14 of 16 coming in but dominated the rebuilding Sixers (2-23).

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Favors, Hayward lead Jazz over Magic 101-94 (December 20, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

ORLANDO, FL - December 19: Gordon Hayward #20 of the Utah Jazz handles the ball against the Orlando Magic on December 19, 2014 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

ORLANDO, Fla. -- It took nearly two months, but the Utah Jazz finally has a winning streak going -- modest as it might be.

The Jazz rode 23 points from Derrick Favors and 20 from Gordon Hayward to a 101-94 win over the Orlando Magic.

The win comes two nights after beating Miami, giving the Jazz back-to-back victories for the first time this season. Enes Kanter had 11 points and seven rebounds and Trey Burke added 11 points and five assists for Utah.

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