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FILE - In this Tuesday, July 30, 1996 file photo, Brazil's Oscar Schmidt (14) drives past Scottie Pipen (8) of the United States during the quarterfinals of basketball competition at the Centennial Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. For little Kobe Bryant growing up in Italy the player that amazed him as a child was skinny and half-bald Brazilian guard Oscar Schmidt.  (AP Photo/Hans Deryk, File)

Kobe's boyhood hero Oscar Schmidt celebrates 'annoying kid'

Jan. 29, 2020 3:43 AM EST

SAO PAULO (AP) — For little Kobe Bryant growing up in Italy, the player that amazed him as a child was a skinny and half bald Brazilian guard that often beat his father's teams with long distance shots. Oscar Schmidt, one of basketball's all-time leading scorers with almost 50,000 points, played with...

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid goes up for a shot against Golden State Warriors' Omari Spellman during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

'He was special': The NBA tributes continue for Kobe Bryant

Jan. 29, 2020 3:40 AM EST

MIAMI (AP) — In Philadelphia, Joel Embiid paid tribute to Kobe Bryant by wearing one of his jersey numbers. Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie and Orlando’s Terrence Ross are showing their respect by no longer doing so. Boston’s Kemba Walker is considering such a change. And coaches around...

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) goes for a slam dunk as Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber (42) and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) look on during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Booker, Ayton lead Suns to 133-104 blowout of Mavericks

Jan. 29, 2020 12:12 AM EST

DALLAS (AP) — All Devin Booker can do now is wait for the announcement of All-Star reserves. The last impression for the Phoenix guard was a good one. Booker scored 20 of his 32 points in a decisive third quarter, Deandre Ayton had a season-high 31 points and the Suns never trailed in a 133-104 dismantling...

Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton puts up a shot against Washington Wizards' Troy Brown Jr. during during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 28. 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Middleton has career-best 51, Bucks win minus Antetokounmpo

Jan. 29, 2020 12:10 AM EST

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Middleton dedicated the best game of his career to Kobe Bryant. Middleton scored a career-high 51 points, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a 151-131 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night. Middleton, hoping to be chosen an All-Star reserve for the second straight year on...

Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (17) hangs from the rim after a dunk in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Brooks, Valanciunas lead Grizzlies to third straight win

Jan. 29, 2020 12:04 AM EST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have improved greatly since a month ago, and they showed that off against the Denver Nuggets. Dillon Brooks scored 24 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and the Grizzlies beat Denver 104-96 Tuesday night for their third straight win. The...

Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter hugs Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, after Lowry became the franchise leader in assists, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Lowry leads Raptors past Hawks for eighth straight win

Jan. 28, 2020 11:30 PM EST

TORONTO (AP) — Kyle Lowry locked up another spot in Raptors franchise history and got a hearty congratulations from the high-flying star who was once the face of basketball in Toronto. Lowry had 12 points and 11 assists while becoming Toronto's career assist leader and the Raptors beat the Atlanta Hawks...

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, left, passes as Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Hayward scores 29, Celtics hold off Heat 109-101

Jan. 28, 2020 11:19 PM EST

MIAMI (AP) — The Eastern Conference standings are not difficult to decipher. There’s Milwaukee on top, and then a five-team race for second place. And the Boston Celtics made the mess even messier. Gordon Hayward scored 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Jaylen Brown added 25 points and the...

Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon, right, drives into New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox II in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Hornets beat Knicks 97-92 to snap 8-game losing streak

Jan. 28, 2020 11:13 PM EST

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets are back home and back in the win column. Terry Rozier scored 30 points and the Hornets rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat the New York Knicks 97-92 on Tuesday night and snap a season-high, eight-game losing streak. Charlotte (16-31) trailed by 13 points...

New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson (1) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers' Larry Nance Jr. during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Zion scores 14 in road debut, Pelicans down Cavs 125-111

Jan. 28, 2020 11:00 PM EST

CLEVELAND (AP) — Zion Williamson's NBA road debut didn't have much flash or any fireworks. It wasn't a show, and that was just fine with the hyped rookie. Check off another box. Williamson scored 14 points — all inside — in his first pro game outside New Orleans and Jrue Holiday had 26,...

Philadelphia 76ers stand during a tribute to Kobe Bryant, before the team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Philadelphia. Bryant died along with his daughter and seven other people during helicopter crash Sunday. (Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Embiid scores 24 in uniform No. 24 for Bryant in 76ers' win

Jan. 28, 2020 10:44 PM EST

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had to do it like the kids on the playground, a yell of "Kobe!" as he shot a fadeaway in the one-night-only No. 24 jersey he wore for his basketball idol. Embiid buried the bucket to give him a tidy 24 points — and yes, eight defensive rebounds — in a somber...