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FIVE THINGS TO WATCH THIS WEEK

  • Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry is congratulated by teammate David Lee after scoring against the Sacramento Kings during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. The Warriors won 115-113 .(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

<b>LONDON CALLING: </b>Brooklyn and Atlanta meet Thursday in London, the fourth regular-season game there since 2011, the third involving the Nets. It sold out in less than four hours, the NBA's fastest ever in Britain.

<b>HELLO AGAIN, MR. PRESIDENT:</b> Miami returns to the White House on Tuesday to be honored by President Barack Obama for its second straight championship. The Heat resume their road trip Wednesday in Washington.

<b>WINNING KNICKS: </b>Winners of a season-high four straight, New York plays nine of its next 11 at home, including an eight-game homestand that starts Friday against the Clippers.

<b>NO DENG, NO PROBLEM:</b> Written off after trading Luol Deng on top of losing Derrick Rose, the resilient Chicago Bulls have run their winning streak to five and can get back to .500 if they beat Washington on Monday.

<b>LILLARD-IRVING II: </b>The thrilling duel between top young point guards wasn't settled until Damian Lillard's 3-pointer way beyond the arc with 0.4 seconds left gave the Trail Blazers a 119-116 win in Cleveland on Dec. 17. Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers can get revenge Wednesday in Portland.

<b>STAT LINE OF THE WEEK: </b>J.R. Smith - DNP, Coach's Decision. The Knicks' 102-92 victory over Miami on Thursday was overshadowed a bit when Smith sat the bench. Coach Mike Woodson was fed up after the Sixth Man of the Year was fined $50,000 by the NBA for attempting to untie an opponent's shoelace after being warned not to do it again.


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