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L.A. story: Surging Clips, Lakers win

Blake Griffin dunks during the Clippers’ 16th straight win. (Associated Press)
Blake Griffin dunks during the Clippers’ 16th straight win. (Associated Press)

NBA: Chris Paul scored 29 points and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a 19-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Utah Jazz 116-114 on Friday night in Salt Lake City, stretching their winning streak to 16 games.

Paul scored the Clippers’ final seven points as Los Angeles extended the NBA’s longest winning streak this season.

In Los Angeles, Dwight Howard had 21 points and 14 rebounds, Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and the Los Angeles Lakers never trailed in their sixth win in seven games, 104-87 over the Portland Trail Blazers, to get back to .500 (15-15).

At halftime, the Lakers retired the No. 52 jersey of Jamaal (formerly Keith) Wilkes.

• Carlesimo winner in debut: Brooklyn gave P.J. Carlesimo a victory in his debut as the Nets coach, and visiting Charlotte a 17th straight loss, getting 26 points and 11 rebounds from Brook Lopez in a rout. Carlesimo became interm coach a day after Avery Johnson was fired.

• Pistons beat Wade-less Heat: Will Bynum had 25 points and 10 assists, leading another spirited performance by the Detroit reserves, and the host Pistons beat short-handed Miami despite 35 points by LeBron James. Miami was without Dwyane Wade, suspended for a game by the NBA.

Former Indy driver Walther dies at 65

Auto racing: David “Salt” Walther, the former auto and hydroplane racer who was severely burned in a spectacular crash in the 1973 Indianapolis 500, has died. He was 65.

The Montgomery County (Ohio) Coroner’s Office confirmed the death Friday, saying Walther was reported dead Thursday night and that the cause of death hadn’t been determined.

Walther also drove briefly in NASCAR, finishing 12th in the 1976 Daytona 500.

At the start of the 1973 Indy 500, Walther’s car pinwheeled down the track, his legs sticking out of his torn-up racer, after touching wheels with Jerry Grant and slamming into the catch fencing in a fiery crash near the starting line. Blinded by the fireball that spread across the front straightaway, several other drivers slammed into Walther’s car.

He fought an addiction to pain killers after the accident and spent time in jail and prison.

Men’s basketball: Shabazz Muhammad hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:01 left in overtime to help UCLA (10-3) upset No. 7 Missouri (10-2) 97-94 and extend the host Bruins’ winning streak to five games.

Travis Wear finished with a career-high 22 points for the Bruins, who got their first win over a top-10 nonconference opponent since 2007.

Illinois women upset No. 6 Georgia 70-59

Women’s basketball: Karisma Penn had 27 points and 19 rebounds, and Illinois (7-5) sent Georgia to its first loss of the season with a 70-59 victory over the No. 6 Lady Bulldogs (12-1) in Champaign, Ill.

Djokovic in final of Abu Dhabi event

Tennis: Top-ranked Novak Djokovic routed David Ferrer 6-0, 6-3 to reach the final of the World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Djokovic will face Spain’s Nicolas Almagro in the final.

A last-minute replacement for Rafael Nadal, Almagro rallied from a set down to beat Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the second semifinal.

Nadal announced Friday that a stomach virus will keep him out of the Australian Open.

U.S. loses to Russia 2-1 at world juniors

Hockey: Andrei Makarov made 41 saves to help Russia beat the United States 2-1 at the world junior ice hockey championships at Ufa, Russia.

Earlier, Ryan Strome scored two goals to help Canada beat Slovakia 6-3.

Canada leads Group B with six points. Russia is second, a point behind. The United States has three points after two games while Slovakia has one point and Germany has lost both its games.

Austrian wins World Cup giant slalom

Skiing: In Semmering, Austria, Anna Fenninger of Austria had two near-perfect runs to win a World Cup giant slalom ski race, while second-place Tina Maze of Slovenia extended her lead in the overall standings.

American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin, who won her first World Cup race last week, was eighth for the best GS result in her career. She’s now 10th in the overall standings.


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