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In brief: Bucks thump Heat, spoil Wade’s return

Miami’s LeBron James, top, and Milwaukee’s Monta Ellis scramble for a loose ball on Saturday in Milwaukee. (Associated Press)
Miami’s LeBron James, top, and Milwaukee’s Monta Ellis scramble for a loose ball on Saturday in Milwaukee. (Associated Press)

NBA: Brandon Jennings scored 25 points and Mike Dunleavy had 13 of his 18 in the fourth quarter as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Miami Heat 104-85 on Saturday night in Milwaukee to spoil Dwyane Wade’s return.

Wade was back after serving a one-game suspension for flailing his leg and making contact with guard Ramon Sessions’ groin during the Heat’s 105-92 victory over Charlotte on Wednesday. Wade sat out Miami’s 109-99 loss to Detroit on Friday night, which snapped the Heat’s six-game winning streak.

Wade had 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting, four assists, six rebounds and three turnovers. LeBron James added 25 points as Miami failed to reach 100 points for just the third time in 28 games.

“Obviously, the last 48 hours has not gone the way we wanted it to,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We don’t want to make any excuses about it. Milwaukee kicked our butt.”

“It’s going to take time,” Wade said. “We go through this every year. It’s a part of the journey. You have to have these moments throughout the season. To win later in the year, you have something to pull from.”

• Thunder crush Rockets: Russell Westbrook scored 28 points and Kevin Durant added 26 as the Oklahoma City Thunder built a big lead in the second quarter and rolled to a 124-94 win over the Houston Rockets in Houston.

Former Thunder sixth man James Harden scored 25 for the Rockets, who went cold on offense for long stretches.

Kevin Martin, who came to Oklahoma City in the trade for Harden, finished 19 points and five 3-pointers. Marcus Morris added a career-high 24 points for Houston.

• Timberwolves edge Suns: Nikola Pekovic had 28 points and 11 rebounds and Kevin Love added 23 points and 18 boards to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 111-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns in Minneapolis.

Luis Scola had 33 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who lost their fifth straight game.

• Lopez sparks Nets: Brook Lopez scored a season-high 35 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets improved to 2-0 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-100 in New York.

• Bobcats’ skid at 18: Eric Gordon had 24 points and seven assists, helping the New Orleans Hornets overcome a 21-point first-half deficit and extend the Charlotte Bobcats’ losing streak to 18 games with a 98-95 victory in Charlotte, N.C.

The Bobcats are one game away from a winless December. They haven’t won since Nov. 24.

• Trail Blazers stay hot at home: Nicolas Batum had 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, Damian Lillard added 20 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 89-85 for their eighth straight victory at home.

J.J. Hickson had 16 points and 13 rebounds for Portland.

Jrue Holiday had 29 points, nine assists and nine rebounds to lead the Sixers.

• Warriors pummel Celtics: Stephen Curry had 22 points and nine assists, David Lee scored 20 points and the Golden State Warriors whipped the short-handed Boston Celtics 101-83 in Oakland, Calif., to close a memorable month.

Golden State (21-10) finished December with a 12-4 record and has at least 20 wins before New Year’s Day for the first time since 1980.

Courtney Lee had 18 points and five rebounds starting in place Rajon Rondo, who was a late scratch for Boston because of a bruised right thigh and hip.

North Carolina defeats No. 20 UNLV

Men’s basketball: P.J. Hairston scored 15 points in his first career start to help North Carolina beat No. 20 UNLV 79-73 in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Dexter Strickland added a season-high 16 points for the Tar Heels (10-3), who led by 15 points in the first half and by nine at the break.

But UNC had to turn away a second-half surge by the Runnin’ Rebels (11-2) to earn the program’s 63rd straight home win against nonconference opponents.

• Illinois holds off Auburn: Tracy Abrams scored a career-high 29 points and No. 12 Illinois beat Auburn 81-79 in Chicago.

The Illini (13-1) saw an 11-point lead shrink to one in the closing minutes but they prevailed over the Tigers (5-7) after falling to Missouri in the Braggin’ Rights game a week earlier – their first loss under coach John Groce.

• Louisville tops Kentucky: Russ Smith scored 21 points and Chane Behanan had 20 and No. 4 Louisville (12-1) ended a four-game losing streak against rival Kentucky (8-4) with an up-and-down 80-77 victory in Louisville, Ky.

Archie Goodwin scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half for Kentucky.

• Oregon State stunned: Marcus Damas drilled an 18-foot shot with eight-tenths of a second left to give the Towson Tigers (5-8) a shocking 67-66 overtime win over the Oregon State Beavers (9-3) in Corvallis.

The Tigers, who got 20 points and a career-high 21 rebounds from Jerrelle Benimon, overcame a 19-point second-half deficit to force the five-minute extra period.

• Duke beats Santa Clara: Seth Curry scored 12 of his season-high 31 points during a late run that helped the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils (12-0) pull away for a 90-77 victory over the pesky Santa Clara Broncos (11-3) in Durham, N.C.

Mason Plumlee added 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils.

Kevin Foster scored 18 of his 29 points in the first half for upset-minded Santa Clara.

No. 5 Notre Dame tops No. 11 Purdue

Women’s basketball: Kayla McBride scored 18 points, Natalie Achonwa had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Skylar Diggins shook off early foul trouble to finish with 16 points to help No. 5 Notre Dame (10-1) romp to a 74-47 win over No. 11 Purdue (11-2) in South Bend, Ind.

Courtney Moses led the Boilermakers with 13 points.

Reichelt, Paris share victory in downhill

Skiing: Hannes Reichelt of Austria and Dominik Paris of Italy shared a downhill victory in Bormio, Italy, in one of the closest races in skiing history, with the top four finishers separated by two-hundredths of a second.

• Zuzulova pulls off upset: Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia upset favorites Kathrin Zettel and Tina Maze to win a World Cup night slalom in Semmering, Austria, for her first career victory.

American teenager Mikeala Shiffrin straddled a gate and didn’t finish her second run.

• American wins Tour de Ski prologue: Kikkan Randall of the U.S. claimed her second cross-country World Cup win of the season when she won the prologue event of the Tour de Ski in Oberhof, Germany.


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