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Lakers rip Sixers without Bryant

Los Angeles – The young Los Angeles Lakers are eventually going to have to learn how to play well as a team minus Kobe Bryant once he retires at the end of this season. They had an opportunity Friday night to gauge themselves as a group and as individuals without him on the floor. And it was veteran Lou Williams, who led the way. Williams scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter against his former club and Jordan Clarkson added 19, leading Los Angeles to a 93-84 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers, who were coming off a 112-104 victory at Boston on Wednesday night, have won consecutive games for the first time since a three-game stretch last February against Boston, Utah and Milwaukee. “We're starting to play off each …

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SMB coach wary of Lee’s return

News that Rain or Shine is back at full strength with the return of star point guard Paul Lee may have tilted a little the crown on the head of the defending champion San Miguel Beermen. When their best-of-7 semifinal series in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup starts on Jan. 5, not only will SMB has to deal with veteran starter Gabe Norwood, much improved slasher Jericho Cruz, backup point guard Chris Tiu and hard-driving rookie Maverick Ahanmisi, but also with the guy who used to do it all for the Elasto Painters before hurting his knee early in the conference. And this has given SMB coach Leo Austria added reason to pause. “Noong wala pa nga si Paul Lee e nagpapapanalo na sila, ngayon pa kayang babalik na siya?” Austria said …

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Globalport’s deep bench worries Aces

Alaska mentor Alex Compton said his team will not just contend with Globalport’s dynamic backcourt tandem of Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle but also with two other players who are capable of doing damage to his team’s title aspirations.  “I think people miss out on and forget how good Joseph and J-Wash are,” said Compton, referring to veteran Joseph Yeo and Jay Washington, who joined Globalport prior to the start of the season. “I think Globalport has four legitimate stars, and then they’re surrounded by excellent role players who are doing their jobs very well,” added Compton. Aside from Yeo and Washington, the team is likely to get solid support from veterans Billy Mamaril, Doug Kramer, Dorian Pena and Rico Maierhofer, who were all acquired from trades. They join holdovers in third-year forward Keith …

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Curry-less Warriors slip past Rockets

Houston — Soon after Draymond Green posted his NBA-leading fifth triple-double he was asked whether Stephen Curry should worry that he was trying to steal his job as point guard while the NBA MVP is out with a leg injury. “I don’t think Steph Curry got to worry about too much of nothing,” Green said, laughing. Klay Thompson scored 38 points, Green had a career-high 16 assists and added 10 points and 11 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors overcame Curry's absence to beat the Houston Rockets 114-110 on Thursday night. “I just tried to step up and make plays,” Green said. “One thing we talked about was kind of trying to slow the pace of the game down and executing our offense.” Golden State was blown out by Dallas on Wednesday night for …

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