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Blazers win fifth straight with 94-75 victory over Mavericks (March 06, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 5: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 and Nicolas Batum #88 of the Portland Trail Blazers celebrate during a game against the Dallas Mavericks on March 5, 2015 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. -- LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers pulled away in the second half for a 94-75 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.

It was Portland's fifth straight win but it was costly: Starting guard Wesley Matthews had to be helped off the court with a left foot injury early in the third quarter. He did not return and the extent of the injury was uncertain.

Nicolas Batum added 15 points and a season-high 12 rebounds for Portland, which had four players in double figures despite coming off back-to-back games.

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CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 05: E'Twaun Moore #55 of the Chicago Bulls gets a hug from teammate Pau Gasol #16 after hitting the game-winning three point shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the United Center on March 5, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Thunder 108-105. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO -- E'Twaun Moore hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds remaining and the Chicago Bulls rallied to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-105 on Thursday night, ending Russell Westbrook's triple-double streak at four.

Westbrook had 43 points on 14-of-32 shooting and added seven assists and eight rebounds. On Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, he had career highs with 49 points and 16 rebounds and added 10 assists in an overtime victory over Philadelphia.

Westbrook scored 19 points in the third quarter to help the Thunder take a 79-72 lead into the fourth. The Bulls pulled within one on Nikola Mirotic's two free throws with 2:16 remaining. Westbrook then split two with 1:07 to play, and Enes Kanter rebounded the miss and scored to give Oklahoma City a 103-99 lead.

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr would like Stephen Curry to win the MVP award, but his focus is elsewhere as his team enters the stretch.

"I care. I'd like for Steph to win the MVP, and I think he deserves it," Kerr said Thursday after practice.

However, Kerr said, "I don't think it's our job to promote it," and drew a distinction between the Warriors' approach and that of the Houston Rockets. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has publicly supported James Harden's MVP campaign, actively promoting it on Twitter and in other venues.

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Joe Devance. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

South All-Star Joe Devance of Purefoods Star will take over the starting spot vacated by PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer while Talk ‘N Text’s Jayson Castro will be among the North starters following an injury to Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa when the 2015 PBA All-Star Game kicks off on Sunday in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

PBA operations chief Rickie Santos told that Devance, who got the highest vote among the reserves of the South All-Stars, will be inserted into the starting lineup with Fajardo out due to a severe ankle sprain.

The 6-foot-10 slotman got injured in the Beermen’s last game and did not return to action and was limited to just over seven minutes.

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HOUSTON -- It might not make Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale feel better, but the NBA ruled Thursday the three officials erred in the closing moments of Wednesday night's Houston loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

In the daily "Last Two Minutes" report, in which the league reviews all plays in the final two minutes of regulation/overtime when the score is within five points, the NBA said Zach Randolph should have been whistled for fouling James Harden with four seconds to play.

In a tie game, Harden drove to the basket and was hit by Randolph across the arm but no whistle was called. After a Memphis timeout, Marc Gasol nailed a 10-foot jumper with one-tenth of a second to play giving the Grizzlies a 102-100 lead, which eventually became the final score.

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Justin Melton with a slam dunk. PBA/Nuki Sabio

The 2015 PBA All-Star Weekend is off to an exciting start as festivities begin on Friday at the Puerto Princesa Coliseum in Palawan.

The annual showcase tips off with the Skills Challenge set at 4:15 p.m. while the league’s best young players go head-to-head in the Rookies vs. Sophomores Blitz Game at 7 p.m. Both events will be aired live on TV5.

Purefoods Star Hotshots guard Mark Barroca is trying to defend his Obstacle Challenge crown, but he is going to face a tough field composed of former champion Jonas Villanueva of NLEX, Simon Atkins of Meralco, Jayson Castro of Talk ‘N Text, Jeric Fortuna of San Miguel Beer, LA Tenorio of Ginebra, LA Revilla of Kia, RR Garcia of Barako Bull, Chris Banchero of Alaska, Stanley Pringle of GlobalPort and Brian Heruela of Blackwater.

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Atlanta Hawks unveil statue of Dominique Wilkins (March 06, 2015)
Kevin Arnovitz [ Source: ESPN ]

"I bleed and breathe Hawks," Dominique Wilkins said Thursday at the unveiling of a 13½-foot bronze statue that will stand outside Philips Arena. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

ATLANTA -- The Hawks unveiled a large statue of franchise legend Dominique Wilkins on Thursday at Philips Arena.

Measuring 13½ feet in height, the bronze statue with a granite base was unveiled at a private luncheon and ceremony on the arena floor. Guests included NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the current Hawks roster and coaching staff, Hawks alumni and NBA notables of Wilkins' generation such as Karl Malone, Clyde Drexler, Bernard King and Charles Barkley.

Philadelphia 76ers luminary Julius Erving invited Wilkins on stage and counted down from 10 to the unveiling of the statue. An emotional Wilkins took a moment to gather himself before delivering his remarks to the audience.

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Baguio eyes to reclaim slam dunk title (March 06, 2015)
Nelson Beltran [ Source: Philippine Star ]

2015 PBA All-Star logo

PUERTO PRINCESA – Cyrus Baguio, over lunch Thursday, expressed his desire to reclaim the precious slam dunk crown that he won in 2004, adding excitement to what is already expected to be a classic aerial showdown among five high-flyers and power-slammers in one of the highlight skills competitions in the PBA All-Star Friday at the Puerto Princesa Coliseum here.

If ever, Baguio is challenging reigning co-champs Justin Melton and Rey Guevarra and three other aspirants Japeth Aguilar, JC Intal and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser in the slam dunk competition that will be missing two former winners Gabe Norwood and Chris Ellis plus Calvin Abueva for various reasons.

“He was overheard saying he wants to join the contest again. Surely, we’ll entertain his desire. We’ll inform commissioner Chito Salud,” said PBA operations chief Rickie Santos.

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JaVale McGee deal with Boston Celtics falls through (March 06, 2015)
Chris Forsberg [ Source: ESPN ]

JaVale McGee has averaged 4.6 points and 2.7 rebounds this season for Philadelphia and Denver. Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

Talks between the Boston Celtics and 7-footer JaVale McGee have fallen apart Thursday afternoon, a source told

After Celtics general manager Danny Ainge acknowledged earlier Thursday that the two sides were close to a deal, a source told that it unraveled when McGee wanted a player option for next season while the Celtics wanted a team option.

McGee, 27, was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday after the franchise acquired him at the trade deadline from the Denver Nuggets.

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Meralco's Mark Macapagal. Photo by Nuki Sabio, PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – Meralco shooter Mark Macapagal will be going for a fifth title when the PBA All-Stars Three-Point Shootout takes place on Saturday.

The “Three-Point King” will have formidable opposition this year, which includes former Talk ‘N Text superstar Jimmy Alapag and five-time Slam Dunk champion Niño "KG" Canaleta.

“Malakas yung mga maglalaro eh. Si Jimmy (Alapag) siyempre galing sa bakasyon, so malaki 'yung chance na magawa niya kasi fresh sya. Pero honestly, lahat naman sila malaki ang chance eh,” Macapagal said in

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