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Jazz seek 12th straight win vs. Blazers

(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY -- An 11-game winning streak put Utah back on the fringes of the playoff picture. The Jazz still have plenty of work to do before they close the gap that remains.

It starts with facing Portland for a second time in February when the Trail Blazers visit Salt Lake City on Thursday night.

Utah was the league's hottest team before the NBA All-Star break. The Jazz have strung together their longest winning streak since the 2008-09 season and the remaining schedule is conducive to even more upward mobility.

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Harden, Rockets look to extend run to 11

HOUSTON -- Locked in a battle with the defending champion Golden State Warriors for the top seed in the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets will initiate their stretch run healthy and energized by the reality that homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs is a possibility.

The Rockets (44-13) will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday at Toyota Center riding a 10-game winning streak and expecting the return of forward Trevor Ariza, who has missed nine consecutive games with a left hamstring strain.

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Curry has 44, Warriors fend off Clippers

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Draymond Green wants the Golden State Warriors to be rolling into the playoffs again this spring.

Steve Kerr is looking for ways to spark the defending NBA champions to make sure that happens, to bring the high-flying Warriors back to playing superb basketball on both ends.

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Wizards hold on to down new-look Cavs

CLEVELAND (AP) Maybe life without John Wall won't be as miserable as the Wizards feared.

The All-Star break barely slowed them down, and the Cavaliers couldn't stop them either.

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76ers rally by Bulls, win sixth straight

CHICAGO (AP) Ben Simmons couldn't recall winning a game from the free throw line at any level before Thursday night.

Still, the rookie stepped to the line with the confidence of a veteran.

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Westbrook's late 3 gets Thunder by Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Russell Westbrook had a harder time trying to figure out the official score sheet than getting free for a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Westbrook made a 3-pointer off an inbounds pass as time expired, lifting the Thunder to a 110-107 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.

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Burke's 26 help Knicks end 8-game slide

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) The New York Knicks got a season-high 26 points from Trey Burke and put up 120 playing without their All-Star.

Yet all they talked about was defense after breaking an eight-game losing streak with a 120-113 victory over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night.

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Hornets hand Nets eighth straight loss

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Dwight Howard said he was tired. He called his legs "noodly" and "wobbly."

"My legs and mind wasn't on the same page," the Charlotte center explained. "Next time, I've got to make sure they're on the same page so I can get more rebounds for the team and we can get a good win."

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NBA plans workplace misconduct hotline

NEW YORK (AP) The NBA is establishing a confidential hotline for league and team employees to report concerns about misconduct in their workplace.

The move comes after a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile environment for women in the Dallas Mavericks organization.

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Spurs not counting on Leonard returning

SAN ANTONIO (AP) The Spurs are preparing to play without star forward Kawhi Leonard this season, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

Leonard has missed all but nine games this season as he battles right quadriceps tendinopathy.

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