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Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury (December 19, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 18: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after the Warriors took the lead in the second quarter of their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at ORACLE Arena on December 18, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Curry had 34 points and nine assists, and the Golden State Warriors rallied from an early 17-point deficit to beat Oklahoma City 114-109 on Thursday night after Thunder star Kevin Durant left with a sprained right ankle.

Durant scored a season-high 30 points on 10-for-13 shooting in a spectacular first half that ended with him stepping on Marreese Speights' foot. The Thunder said Durant had a mild ankle sprain, and the NBA MVP did not return.

Oklahoma City had won seven straight games, which was the longest active streak in the league after Memphis snapped Golden State's 16-game winning streak Tuesday night.

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Kevin Durant suffered a mild right ankle sprain Thursday night. He has played in only eight games since returning from a stress fracture in his right foot. Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant left Thursday night's game against the Golden State Warriors late in the first half with a mild right ankle sprain. The Thunder announced he would not return.

Seconds before halftime, Durant stepped on Marreese Speights' foot and badly rolled his ankle. He stayed on the floor as teammates huddled around him before limping off with some assistance.

Durant had X-rays as a precaution, and results were negative. His status for Friday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers is unknown.

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Bucks spoil Cousins' return, beat Kings 108-107 (December 19, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 18: Jerryd Bayless #19 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives against the Sacramento Kings on December 18, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Brandon Knight scored 20 points and the Milwaukee Bucks spoiled DeMarcus Cousins' return to the struggling Sacramento Kings with a 108-107 victory Thursday night.

With their inside game lacking due to missing players, the Bucks shot well from the perimeter for much of the night in winning their third in four games. They went 10 of 14 from 3-point range in the first half and made 13 overall from beyond the arc.

O.J. Mayo and Jared Dudley added 19 points apiece for Milwaukee. Jerryd Bayless scored 17 and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 11 for the undersized Bucks, outscored 48-26 in the paint.

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Davis scores 30, leads New Orleans over Houston (December 19, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER18: Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets defends against Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans during their game at the Toyota Center on December18, 2014 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

HOUSTON -- Anthony Davis had 30 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 99-90 win over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.

The Pelicans trailed by one early in the fourth quarter before using a 7-0 run to take a 79-73 lead and they didn't trail again. Ryan Anderson scored the last five points on that spurt to help New Orleans snap a six-game skid in Houston.

Jrue Holiday added 16 points with 10 assists for New Orleans and Anderson had 16 points.

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Jimmy Butler scores career-best 35 to help Bulls beat Knicks (December 19, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) dunks as New York Knicks guard Shane Larkin (0) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Bulls won 103-97. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO -- Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 35 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks 103-97 Thursday night in a game missing All-Stars Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony.

Playing without Rose, who sat out with an illness, the Bulls got another strong game from Butler. He was 11 of 21 from the floor with four 3-pointers, five rebounds, seven assists and four steals.

Still, the Bulls had trouble shaking a short-handed New York team that's lost three straight and 13 of 14. The Knicks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr., who had 23 points and five 3-pointers.

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Charlotte Hornets to keep Lance Stephenson 'for now' (December 19, 2014)
Ramona Shelburne Chris Broussard [ Source: ESPN ]

The Hornets have not found a suitable trade for Lance Stephenson and will hold on to the volatile guard for now, sources say. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Underwhelmed by the quality of trade offers they've received for Lance Stephenson, the Charlotte Hornets have decided to keep the volatile guard "for now,'' according to league sources.

A stunningly poor start to the season, chemistry issues and Stephenson's sub-par play had led the Hornets (6-19) to explore trade possibilities for their prized offseason acquisition just a few months after signing him to a three-year, $27 million deal.

But while sources say as many as seven teams registered interest, including Miami and Brooklyn, no offers intrigued Charlotte and several teams that called did not make trade proposals.

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Rajon Rondo. Image from HoopsHype Twitter account

The Boston Celtics have traded Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks, the teams announced.

"We would like to thank Rajon for everything that he has done for the Celtics organization and the success we have experienced during his tenure with us," said Danny Ainge, Celtics president of basketball operations.

The Celtics are sending the All-Star point guard and forward Dwight Powell to Dallas for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson and draft picks. Boston will receive a conditional first-round pick in the 2015 draft and a second-rounder in 2016, as well as a $12.9 million trade exception.

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New York Knicks president Phil Jackson took to Twitter to defend his decision to trade Tyson Chandler, saying Chandler could not have helped the team this season.

He also said that those questioning the trade should "relax."

"I'm OK with the Dallas deal. Tyson fits there and our three players, Jose, Sam, and Shane are on the court," he tweeted in response to a writer who opined the Dallas Mavericks got the better end of the trade.

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Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders suspended for 1 game (December 19, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

NEW YORK -- Milwaukee center Larry Sanders was suspended for one game without pay by the NBA on Thursday for pushing Portland forward Nicolas Batum in the back as he elevated toward the basket.

The fourth-quarter incident in the Bucks' 104-97 loss at Portland on Wednesday night was upgraded to a flagrant foul 2. Sanders sat out the Bucks' game Thursday night in Sacramento.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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Kevin Alas of Talk 'N Text scores after beating the defense of San Miguel Beer's Jeric Fortuna. Sports5/Paul yan Tan

The San Miguel Beermen and the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters renew their budding rivalry as they tip off their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinals series Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.

San Miguel Beer and Talk ‘N Text collide at 7 p.m. live on TV5.

The Beermen and the Tropang Texters, the marquee teams of corporate rivals San Miguel Corp. and MVP Group of Companies, are facing off once again in a matchup full of history and bad blood between the two.

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