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Lakers, Rockets shaking off losses

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Los Angeles Lakers' record against teams with losing marks this season before Wednesday was both noteworthy and improbable. It stood as both a testament to their collective professionalism and a representation of a statistical anomaly likely destined for a run-in with mean regression.

In falling 119-118 to the Orlando Magic, who entered Staples Center two games under .500, the Lakers dropped to 22-1 against sub-.500 teams. They were again short-handed, playing without Anthony Davis (glutes) and Rajon Rondo (finger) before losing Alex Caruso to a concussion.

When the Lakers visit the Houston Rockets on Saturday at Toyota Center, odds are good L.A.'s roster will not be whole. Given their previous efforts, who is and who isn't available won't impact how the Lakers approach an opponent expected to be on par come the postseason.


Grizzlies hold off Cavs, push run to 7

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies kept the NBA’s longest winning streak alive with a fourth-quarter burst and defensive stops in the final seconds.

Dillon Brooks scored 26 points, Ja Morant added 16 points and eight assists and the Grizzlies survived a late rally by Cleveland to defeat the Cavaliers 113-109 on Friday night for their seventh straight win.


Jazz look to start new streak vs. Kings

The red-hot Utah Jazz haven't had to bounce back from a loss in 3 1/2 weeks.

But that is the position the Jazz are in as they host the Sacramento Kings in Salt Lake City on Saturday.


Sixers hoping to end road losing streak

The Philadelphia 76ers continue to get healthy at home with 20 wins in 22 games, but their road record still leaves plenty to be desired.

After completing a sweep of a brief two-game homestand, the 76ers aim to snap a six-game road losing streak on Saturday when they visit the New York Knicks.


Raptors rounding into form

After recording consecutive victories for the first time in nearly a month, a healthier Toronto Raptors team will push for more Saturday night in a road game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The defending NBA champions crushed the visiting Washington Wizards 140-111 on Friday, two days after they got the best of the Thunder by scoring 130 points at Oklahoma City. A resurgent offense is no surprise with a number of Toronto players back in the mix.


Orlando on road again at Golden State

The Orlando Magic were unable to build off the momentum of defeating one Los Angeles team by losing to the other in their last time on the court.

The Magic aim to get back on track Saturday when they continue a six-game road trip in San Francisco by facing the Golden State Warriors, who have lost a season-high 10 in a row.


Heat eye season sweep over Spurs

The Miami Heat, winners in their past two outings and one of the league's most surprising teams, will go for the season sweep of the San Antonio Spurs when the two teams square off on Sunday afternoon in the Alamo City.

The two teams played Wednesday in Miami, with the Heat producing a 106-100 victory.


Blazers face Thunder, want better starts

Chris Paul isn't sure what's been going on with the Oklahoma City Thunder early in games.

"It seems like right now we're two totally different teams in the first half and second half," Paul told reporters after Friday's home loss to Miami. "I've got to look at (why), but we've got to figure it out because it kind of sucks right now."


NBA needs more time for schedule changes

MIAMI (AP) The NBA no longer expects the league’s board of governors to vote in April on whether to make significant changes to the league’s schedule in time for the 75th anniversary season in 2021-22.

The changes remain a real possibility. The new twist, as detailed in a memo the NBA sent to teams Friday, is that much of the feedback the league received on the ideas for change suggested that more time is necessary to implement them correctly.


Heat: Winslow out at least 2 more weeks

MIAMI (AP) The Miami Heat say Justise Winslow will miss at least two more weeks while recovering from a back injury.

Winslow has played only once since Dec. 4 and is slated to be out for at least the remainder of January. The team originally called Winslow's injury a back strain, then updated the diagnosis to a bone bruise.

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