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Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes (22) and center DeAndre Jordan (6) combine on Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce (34) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in Washington. The Wizards won 104-96. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Pierce out against Timberwolves

- The Washington Times

Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce will not play Tuesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves because of a sore right toe.

Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (4), from Poland, loses control of the ball against Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27), from France, in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Wizards overcome sluggish start to top Jazz

- Associated Press

For a while, the Washington Wizards seemed determined to make the game live down to its billing. That turnover-filled first half? It looked more like a bad practice.

North Carolina's Marcus Paige, left, draws a charging foul on Kentucky's Andrew Harrison during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

No. 1 Kentucky rolls No. 21 North Carolina

- Associated Press

Devin Booker and Willie Cauley-Stein each scored 15 points and Kentucky shook off the shock of losing Poythress by rolling past No. 21 North Carolina 84-70 on Saturday.

Georgetown head coach John Thompson III directs his players during their third place game against Butler in the Battle 4 Atlantis basketball tournament in Paradise Island, Bahamas, Friday Nov. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Aylen)

Georgetown’s reserves help sink Radford

Associated Press

Aaron Bowen scored 16 points and Paul White added 12 to lead a strong performance by Georgetown’s reserves, leading the Hoyas to a 76-49 win over Radford on Saturday.

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Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, center, tries to put up a shot as Indiana Pacers forward David West, second from left, fouls him and center Roy Hibbert, left, guard Rodney Stuckey, second from right, and forward Matt Barnes, right, watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers edge Pacers for 102-100 win

- Associated Press

Defense, and DeAndre Jordan's unyielding effort on the glass at both ends of the court, ultimately was the deciding factor for the Los Angeles Clippers in a grueling victory over the struggling Indiana Pacers.

Washington's Andrew Andrews swings from the rim after missing on a dunk against Grambling during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

No. 16 Washington routs Grambling State 86-38

- Associated Press

In previous seasons when Washington was playing lesser competition and was clearly the more dominant side, coach Lorenzo Romar would invariably burn a timeout at some point to remind and refocus his team.

Davis double-double helps Pepperdine hold off Howard 53-45

Associated Press

Stacy Davis scored 18 points with 11 rebounds and Amadi Udenyi came off the bench to score a career-high 16, including three 3-pointers as Pepperdine survived a lengthy scoring drought to beat Howard 53-45 Wednesday night.

NBA Capsules

- Associated Press

Shelvin Mack scored a career-high 24 points and the Atlanta Hawks routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-98 Wednesday night for their 11th victory in 12 games.

New Mexico beats Central Arkansas 76-55

- Associated Press

Deshawn Delaney equaled his career in points with 22 and Hugh Greenwood added 14 to help New Mexico overcome an early deficit Wednesday night in a 76-55 win over Central Arkansas.

Top 25 Men's Capsules

Associated Press

Farad Cobb hit a 3-pointer that put Cincinnati in control in overtime, and the Bearcats pulled away to a 71-62 victory over No. 19 San Diego State on Wednesday night after letting a late lead slip away in regulation.

FILE - In this July 23, 2014, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig leads off first during a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. Twenty-five Cuban-born players appeared in the major leagues this year, a group that includes outfielders Puig and Yoenys Cespedes, and hard-throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman. Fred Claire can see the day when Major League Baseball teams open academies for prospects in Cuba. "It's absolutely a natural, just as the Dominican was and Venezuela. You go to where the talent is," the former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager said Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. "The high talent level for Cuban players is still there." (AP Photo/File)

Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

- Associated Press

If one ripple from the thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations means baseball prospects get off the island and into the major leagues without payoffs to smugglers and threats from kidnappers, it's hard to see the downside.

Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza, left, pulls in a loose ball as Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried watches during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Harden scores 41, Rockets beat Nuggets in OT

- Associated Press

James Harden couldn't quite fight his way through traffic and just barely missed getting his hand in the face of Arron Afflalo as the Nuggets swingman knocked down a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end regulation.