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Westbrook, Thunder cruise past Bulls 109-94 (January 10, 2017)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Russell Westbrook scores 21 points and records 14 assists and nine rebounds to lead the Thunder past the Bulls on the road 109-94.

CHICAGO -- Even Russell Westbrook was impressed with the passing by Oklahoma City's big men.

Westbrook flirted with another triple-double and Steven Adams led a dominant effort in the paint, helping the Thunder pull away from the Chicago Bulls for an easy 109-94 victory Monday night.

Westbrook had 21 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, falling just short of his 18th triple-double of the season. But his all-around performance is practically a sure thing these days.

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Towns, Rubio lead Timberwolves over Mavericks, 101-92 (January 10, 2017)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Karl-Anthony Towns records his 28th double-double of the season with 34 points and 11 rebounds in the Timberwolves' 101-92 victory over the Mavericks.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Karl-Anthony Towns dominated at the start, Ricky Rubio took over in the end and it added up to a big win for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Towns had 34 points and 11 rebounds, Rubio added 13 points and a season-high 15 assists, and the Timberwolves snapped a four-game losing streak with a 101-92 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.

"The team was struggling lately and everybody had to do a better job in the fourth quarter, and I think we did today," said Rubio, whose team has lost 12 games after leading by double digits this season, including a two-point home defeat against Utah on Saturday. "We've been doing a pretty good job for three quarters all season, but the fourth quarter is just different. It's when you win games."

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Davis dominates, Pelicans roll past depleted Knicks 110-96 (January 10, 2017)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Anthony Davis scores 40 points and grabs 18 rebounds before leaving the game in the third quarter with a left hip injury as the Pelicans defeat the Knicks 110-96.

NEW YORK -- Anthony Davis dominated the Knicks until they finally knocked him out of the game with a hard foul.

New York was more concerned with Derrick Rose than Davis.

Davis had 40 points and 18 rebounds before leaving with a left hip injury in the New Orleans Pelicans' 110-96 victory over the Knicks, who started the game without Rose and lost Carmelo Anthony to an ejection.

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"Yeah, I heard the words 'slump' and 'down year' and all sorts of other ways to describe something that wasn't really a problem for me," Warriors guard Steph Curry told ESPN. Jason Miller/Getty Images

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- For Stephen Curry's own standards, he acknowledges his shooting statistics this season haven't been to his liking.

But the Golden State Warriors' franchise point guard told ESPN he took exception to some of the criticisms he has received, and added that there has been a healthy dose of overreaction.

"Yeah, I heard the words 'slump' and 'down year' and all sorts of other ways to describe something that wasn't really a problem for me," Curry told ESPN. "I obviously hold myself to the highest standard. Still, at this point, I'm not at the numbers I was last year, but I'm not worried about that because it's a different year. Every shot I take, I have confidence I'm going to make it, and over the course of the season, I expect that to show itself as we go along."

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Sources: Hawks tell teams Paul Millsap no longer available (January 10, 2017)
Marc Stein [ Source: ESPN ]

Paul Millsap said Saturday that he hoped he wasn't on his way out of Atlanta. Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks have abruptly decided to halt their attempts to trade All-Star forward Paul Millsap, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that the Hawks, after signaling to a number of teams that they were ready to trade Millsap and fellow pending free agents Kyle Korver and Thabo Sefolosha, made it known Monday that they are pulling back after completing a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Korver.

The fact that Atlanta has managed to put together a season-high-tying winning streak of six games in the midst of all the recent trade speculation has likely contributed to the Hawks' sudden reluctance to talk trades. Yet it remains to be seen, with the NBA's annual trade deadline on Feb. 23 still 45 days away, whether the Hawks will hold firm with their new stance on Millsap or decide once again to reconsider their trade options.

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NBA

Australian Dante Exum was with the Utah Jazz's D-League affiliate Monday, but only briefly.

Exum's stint in the D-League lasted just one practice as he was recalled later in the day.

The 21-year-old, who has seen limited playing time of late, practiced with Salt Lake City Stars on Monday (Tuesday AEDT).

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Warriors, Wolves to play two preseason games in China (January 10, 2017)
Michael Yuan [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors will meet in two preseason games in China next season as part of the NBA's 2017 Global Games, Wolves owner Glen Taylor confirmed to ESPN on Monday.

Games will be held in Shenzhen and Shanghai in October.

The news was first reported by Chinese outlet Lanxiong Sports.

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 Ginebra's LA Tenorio drives against June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer during their PBA Philippine Cup game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night. | PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – The Barangay Ginebra Kings remain hopeful they will make the playoff round even as they have dropped out of the Magic Eight following their 70-72 loss to the San Miguel Beermen in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.

Ginebra chief playmaker LA Tenorio saw a positive sign in that defeat, pointing out the defensive effort they put up to hold June Mar Fajardo down to nine points and limit the whole SMB team more than 30 points below their average.

"Yes, we're disappointed with the loss, but at least there's a bright side on it. We had a tremendous defensive effort. There's no June Mar Fajardo in our last four games. If we'll be able to sustain the same effort in our remaining games, we may get good results," said Tenorio.

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 San Miguel's Alex Cabagnot drives past Ginebra's LA Tenorio. Photo courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Not even a fractured nose can stop San Miguel guard Alex Cabagnot, who was named the PBA Player of the Week for the period of December 28 to January 8 after helping the Beermen rack up three impressive victories.

Cabagnot sustained a depressed nasal fracture in their game against Meralco last December 28 and was advised by doctors to undergo surgery.

Nevertheless, he got the green light to play by agreeing to wear a protective face mask during games, and the 34-year-old has not missed a beat.

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NBA

NEW YORK -- Lakers reserve guard Jordan Clarkson was fined $15,000 on Monday for hitting Heat guard Goran Dragic in the head with his forearm during Los Angeles' 127-100 victory over Miami last week.

"I thought it was going to be worse, to be honest with you," Clarkson said. "But, you know, it is what it is now. So I've just got to move past it."

Clarkson and Dragic collided several times while fighting for position under the basket during the third quarter of Friday's game. Clarkson finally knocked down Dragic with a blow to the head.

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