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Wolves' Butler out with meniscal injury

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota All-Star Jimmy Butler has a meniscal injury to his right knee that the Timberwolves are optimistic will not sideline him rest of the season as they try to end the NBA's longest playoff drought.

The team stopped short of calling the injury a tear, and coach Tom Thibodeau said he didn't want to speculate on timing. Still, the news Saturday could've been worse for the organization, which feared a season-ending torn ligament after Butler had to be helped off the floor Friday night in a loss at Houston.

"The big thing is ruling out the ACL, that would've been an extended amount of time, so we're hopeful that it's not too long," Thibodeau said.


Warriors stifle Thunder in blowout win

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) �� The Golden State Warriors played stifling defense for a full game. They went on a jaw-dropping scoring frenzy midway through the third quarter.

Yes, the dominant defending champions are back and ready to build some consistency.


76ers cruise by Magic, push streak to 7

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown was sticking with his subs no matter what.

With 5:45 left in their 116-105 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday, the Sixers led by 22 points.


Lilllard hits 40 on game-winning shot

PHOENIX (AP) Passing the ball inbounds at a critical time proved too big a challenge for the sputtering Phoenix Suns. So, Damian Lillard got one final chance.

Of course, he came through.


Irving's 31 help Celtics hold off Knicks

NEW YORK (AP) The Celtics are back from the break and appear to be back on track.

Kyrie Irving had 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, leading Boston over the New York Knicks 121-112 on Saturday for its second victory in two nights since the All-Star break.


Short-handed Wolves surge past Bulls

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Before his team faced the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night, Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau stressed the Timberwolves couldn't replace injured star Jimmy Butler with a single player. To overcome his absence, they would need a collective effort.

For at least one game, the Wolves responded.


Jazz bounce back, pull away from Mavs

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The Utah Jazz turned to their defense to close out the lowly Dallas Mavericks.

Donovan Mitchell had 25 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Utah limited Dallas to just one field goal over the final 5:12 in a 97-90 victory on Saturday night.


Caldwell-Pope's 34 get Lakers by Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) During a five-minute span in the third quarter, everyone in the Golden 1 Center knew where the ball was going when the visiting Los Angeles Lakers were on offense. That didn't mean the Sacramento Kings could do anything to stop Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from putting on a one-man shooting show.

Caldwell-Pope scored 17 of his season-high 34 points in the third and the Lakers snapped a three-game road losing streak with a 113-108 win Saturday night against the Kings.


Heat end slide as Grizzlies' skid hits 9

MIAMI (AP) After three consecutive narrow defeats and 17 close games in a row, the Miami Heat were in the market for a laugher.

Bring on the Memphis Grizzlies.


Bucks win in OT, Raptors' run ends at 7

TORONTO (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks felt extra good about getting a rare win against the Toronto Raptors.

Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Milwaukee snapped Toronto's seven-game win streak with a 122-119 overtime victory Friday night.

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