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Associated Press

Posted on December 15, 2012 at 4:00 AM


Bryant's 30 points help Lakers edge Wizards 102-96

WASHINGTON (AP) — Straining to work out the kinks in an offense coach Mike D'Antoni compared to dancing with two left shoes, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers even struggled to put away the Washington Wizards.

A night after joking about wanting to face the Washington Generals, the Harlem Globetrotters' longtime foils, Bryant scored 30 points, and reserve Jodie Meeks added 24, helping the Lakers beat the Wizards 102-96 on Friday to end a four-game losing streak.

Slowed by foul trouble, Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds, and the Lakers improved to 10-14.

Cartier Martin scored a season-high 21 points for Washington, which fell to an NBA-worst 3-17.


Magic hit 9 3-pointers, hold off Warriors 99-85

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — J.J. Redick had 16 points and Nikola Vucevic added 12 points and 17 rebounds to help the Orlando Magic hold off the Golden State Warriors 99-85 on Friday night.

The Magic led by as many as 20 before having their lead trimmed to 10 points late. But they connected on nine 3-pointers to help secure the win. Andrew Nicholson added 15 points and nine rebounds.

The victory snaps a four-game home losing streak for the Magic, who have won eight of their past nine against the Warriors.

Stephen Curry led Golden State with 25 points and David Lee had 24.

Golden State had its five-game win streak ended. The Warriors conclude their seven-game road trip Saturday in Atlanta.


Thunder win 10th straight, 113-103 over Sacramento

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Serge Ibaka added 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Sacramento Kings 113-103 on Friday night for their 10th straight win.

It's the franchise's longest winning streak since 1996, when it won 11 in a row as the Seattle SuperSonics.

The Kings didn't go away easily, closing to 103-98 after trailing by as many as 24 in the fourth quarter. Isaiah Thomas scored all 26 of his points in the final 13½ minutes. He had four 3-pointers, a layup and a jumper during a 23-4 comeback attempt by Sacramento.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks had already emptied his bench, but ended up calling timeout to put starters back in and hold off the Kings.


Angels plan news conference for Hamilton deal

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels have scheduled a news conference for Saturday to announce the signing of free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton.

The team sent out a news release Friday saying it plans to make a major announcement Saturday at 11:30 a.m. PST at the ESPN Zone at Downtown Disney.

Hamilton agreed Thursday to a $125 million, five-year contract with the free-spending Angels, and the sides were working to finalize the deal. The 2010 AL MVP is leaving the AL West rival Texas Rangers, making him the latest high-profile star to migrate to Southern California.

Hamilton hit a career-high 43 home runs last season and batted .285 with 128 RBIs in 148 games.


Branch returns to practice for Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch practiced for the first time this week, an encouraging turn for a struggling secondary sorely lacking depth.

The news wasn't as promising for Richard Seymour. The seven-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle has not played since injuring his hamstring on Nov. 4 and did not practice Friday after aggravating the same injury a day earlier.

The Raiders need all the healthy bodies they can get. The defense is already minus four starters from the opening day lineup, including middle linebacker Rolando McClain, who returned this week following a two-game team suspension.

Oakland has dropped six straight and is trying to avoid losing 11 or more games for the eighth time in the last 10 years.


Cal Poly edges Eastern New Mexico 60-57

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — Chris Eversley scored 14 points and Cal Poly held off Eastern New Mexico 60-57 Friday night.

Brian Bennett had 11 points and Kyle Odister scored 10 for the Mustangs (4-4), who struggled to put away the Division II Greyhounds.

The Mustangs led by as many as six points down the stretch. Rafael Love made two free throws to cut Cal Poly's lead to 58-57 with a minute to play, but Eversley's layup with 31 seconds to go accounted for the game's final points. The Greyhounds missed one free throw and two jump shots in the final seconds.

Rodney Blackmon led all scorers with 22 points for Eastern New Mexico (5-5). Love added 12 points.


Galaxy trades Buddle to Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — The Los Angeles Galaxy traded forward Edson Buddle to the Colorado Rapids on Friday for a first-round supplemental draft pick in 2013 and allocation money.

Buddle is a World Cup veteran with 93 career goals in Major League Soccer. He appeared in two matches for the U.S. at the FIFA World Cup in 2010, when he was the runner-up for the MLS Golden Boot

Buddle started his MLS career in 2001 in Columbus, where he played for five seasons. He also played for the New York Red Bulls in 2006, Toronto FC in 2007 and with the Galaxy from 2007-10 and in 2012. In 2011, he played for FC Ingolstadt of the German second division.


Modesto Central Catholic rolls to IV title 66-7

CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Rey Vega ran for 202 yards and four touchdowns and Ray Lomas IV ran for 183 yards and three scores as Modesto Central Catholic defeated Solana Beach Santa Fe Christian 66-7 in the California State Division IV Championship on Friday night.

Vega achieved his total on only six carries and did not play in the second half after the Raiders (14-2) ran for 411 yards and took a 59-7 lead into the break. Vega went untouched on a 60-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and broke off an 80-yard score on Central Catholic's first offensive play after Santa Fe Christian (11-4) scored on a 67-yard touchdown run by Jerry Harper.

The Raiders finished with 521 yards rushing and scored 21 points off turnovers after two interceptions by Joey Abbate and another by Tyler Johnson. Central Catholic, which averages 50 points a game, reached 49 in the second quarter on Vega's 24-yard touchdown run on third-and-10.


La Tech assistant Ingram to join Cal staff

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Louisiana Tech running backs coach Pierre Ingram has agreed to do the same job for new coach Sonny Dykes at California.

Ingram served in the same role for Dykes at Louisiana Tech the last three seasons.

Dykes, who was hired earlier this month to lead the Golden Bears, says Ingram is one of the best young coaches in the country.

Dykes also announced Friday that Mark Tommerdahl has agreed to become the special teams coordinator and inside receivers coach at Cal. Tommerdahl spent the past four seasons at Louisiana Tech.

Dykes announced Tuesday that Tony Franklin will be the offensive coordinator for the Golden Bears and Rob Likens will coach receivers. Both men had the same role under Dykes at Louisiana Tech.


Steroids figure released from probation early

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge has terminated probation 11 months early for a former elite cyclist convicted of lying about her steroid use.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston on Friday granted Tammy Thomas' request for early termination, which was made last month. Thomas was a minor figure in the sports-doping scandal that ensnared Barry Bonds and several other notable athletes.

A jury in 2008 convicted her of perjury and obstruction of justice after she told a grand jury that she never used steroids though she tested positive twice and was suspended from competition.

Thomas has since graduated from law school and says an early release from probation may help her in obtaining a license to practice law.