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Byron Scott vowed to create a plan to reduce Kobe Bryant's burden that enables Bryant to play at full strength while on the court. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Byron Scott knows that Kobe Bryant can't play as many minutes as he's been playing and that Bryant can't handle the offensive workload he's been trying to handle.

But Scott, the Los Angeles Lakers head coach, has not come up with a firm plan of how to rein in his 36-year-old shooting guard, who routinely talks about feeling more and more fatigued yet continues to push himself as if he's at least a decade younger.

"You know him," Scott said after practice at the Lakers' facility on Monday, which Bryant sat out to rest. "It's real difficult. He's such a competitor. He wants to go out there and play every minute that he can. The mind is willing, but sometimes the body is not."

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Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio Spurs gets injection in right hand (December 23, 2014)
Ramona Shelburne [ Source: ESPN ]


SAN ANTONIO -- Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard had an injection in his injured right hand on Sunday and there is no timetable for his return, coach Gregg Popovich said Monday before the team's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

"I don't know about Kawhi," Popovich said. "That one's very problematic."

Leonard injured his hand Dec. 9 against the Utah Jazz. He sat out two games, then returned for two games. But when pain from the injury lingered, he had to sit out again.

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MILWAUKEE -- A person with knowledge of the private negotiations of the purchase of the Milwaukee Bucks tells The Associated Press that the new ownership group has committed another $50 million toward the construction of a new arena.

The move was confirmed Monday by a person who requested anonymity because that person was not authorized to disclose details.

Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens pledged at least $100 million after purchasing the team in April from former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, who also pledged $100 million for a new arena. The additional money increases the new owners' pledge for a new arena to $150 million.

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Russell Westbrook has missed 14 of his 17 attempts from 3-point range in the last three games. "It's not always a great shot for myself or my team," he said. "So I've got to do a better job of taking those out." Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Often criticized for his shot selection, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook said Monday that he needs to cut back on the number of 3-pointers he attempts.

"I need to stop taking as many as I'm taking, to tell you the truth," he said. "I'm going to take those down as the season goes along."

Westbrook, who has actually reduced the number of long balls he's attempting this season to 3.4 per game from a career-high 4.7 last season, said despite lowering his 3-point shots already, he wants to be more selective with them.

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Jay Washington of Talk 'N Text challenges the dunk attempt of San Miguel Beer's June Mar Fajardo. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

Though Talk ‘N Text dropped into a 2-0 hole against San Miguel in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Sunday, both veteran Jimmy Alapag and coach Jong Uichico said that the team isn’t losing hope just yet.

“Absolutely,” Alapag told a small group of sportswriters after the game. “That’s why it’s called a series. At the end of the day it’s race to four. But at the same time, Tuesday’s game is a must-win for us.”

Alapag and some of the over Talk ‘N Text veterans have been in a similar situation before, trailing the Petron Blaze Boosters in the 2011-12 Philippine Cup semis, 1-3, before coming back with three consecutive wins to advance to the championship round.

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Detroit Pistons waive Josh Smith (December 23, 2014)
[ Source: ESPN ]

Josh Smith averaged 15.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game with the Pistons since signing as a free agent after the 2012-13 season. Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons on Monday waived veteran forward Josh Smith, who still had two years and at least $26 million remaining on his contract after this season.

The 29-year-old Smith was averaging 13.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game this season.

"Our team has not performed the way we had expected throughout the first third of the season and adjustments need to be made in terms of our focus and direction," coach and team president Stan Van Gundy said in a statement.

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Jayson Castro of Talk 'N Text. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

The Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters are facing a tough situation after dropping the first two games in the best-of-seven Philippine Cup semifinals series against San Miguel Beer, but Jayson Castro is still confident that they will be able pull through against the top seeded Beermen.

"Alam namin race to four e, hindi naman 0-2. Hindi pa naman tapos," said the guard, who led his team with 26 points in Game 2. "We've been here before, and then napanalo pa rin namin 'yung series."

In the 2012 Philippine Cup, Talk 'N Text went down 1-3 against the franchise then called Petron Blaze Boosters. The Texters swept the last three games of the series to enter the finals and eventually win the championship against the Powerade Tigers.

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Talk 'N Text executive Ricky Vargas (left). file/Mikkel Bolante

Talk ‘N Text executive Ricky Vargas hit back at San Miguel counterpart Robert Non on Monday after Non responded to comments made by Tropang Texters coach Jong Uichico after a Game Two loss.

Uichico expressed his disappointment at how officiating was handled in last Sunday’s game, which Talk ‘N Text lost, 87-81, to fall into a 2-0 hole in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series.

“Maybe Robert should look at himself first. He said it’s unbecoming for Jong to issue such statements. What is there to hide? Why is he overreacting?” Vargas told on Monday.

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Kevin Love is averaging 16.8 points and 10.5 rebounds this season for the Cavaliers. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

On the eve of the Timberwolves' first game against Kevin Love, president and coach Flip Saunders says he harbors no grudges against the former face of the franchise for wanting out of Minnesota.

He can't say the same for the fans.

Saunders says he doesn't think Timberwolves fans will forgive Love for orchestrating his exit from the Wolves this summer after six years in Minnesota. On Monday after practice, Saunders said "Minnesota people are pretty loyal. When you turn on Minnesota, they don't forgive you."

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Jayson Castro of Talk 'N Text pleads his case to the official on a non-call. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

The PBA Philippine Cup playoff series between rival teams San Miguel and Talk ‘N Text took a bitter turn on Sunday after Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico issued some comments about the officiating following an 87-81 loss in Game Two.

The San Miguel Beermen, the flagship team of the San Miguel Corporation, and the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, the flagship of the group headed by Manuel V. Pangilinan, are currently embroiled in a best-of-seven semifinal series, which the Beermen lead 2-0.

Uichico said that he hoped the referees would do “a better job” in the next game and added that officiating concerns were “a given” when playing against teams from the San Miguel group. “I’ve been there,” added Uichico, who coached both the San Miguel and Ginebra franchises before moving to the MVP group.

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