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22:30, Mar 19 2018

Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers goes for a layup against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday at Target Center in Minneapolis Carlos Boozer Lakers Jersey , Minnesota. Photo: CFP
Blake Griffin scored 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds on -Saturday in a 119-105 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis that spoiled the return of guard Ricky -Rubio.

Point guard Chris Paul had 19 points and eight assists for the Clippers. J.J. Redick added 18 points and Luc Mbah a Moute contributed a season-high 15 as half a dozen players scored in double figures for the Clippers, who improved to a league-best 9-1.

"That was good Byron Scott Lakers Jersey ," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of his team's quick start a night after their hard-fought victory over the Thunder in Oklahoma City. The Clippers made 15 of their first 22 shots and led 34-21 after the first quarter.

"I thought our starters came out and performed great. The defensive energy was great."

He was especially pleased with how the Cameroonian forward teamed defensively with DeAndre Jordan, saying that with both of them on the floor "it makes our defense special."

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 24 points for Minnesota who -welcomed Spanish guard Rubio back after he missed five games with a sprained right elbow.

Rubio produced seven points with six assists and six rebounds but the Timberwolves never led -after the first quarter.

Griffin surpassed 9 Brandon Ingram Lakers Jersey ,000 -career points in the game, the 420th of his NBA career. He became the -fastest player to reach 9 Abdul-Jabbar Lakers Jersey ,000 points, 4 Wilt Chamberlain Jersey ,000 rebounds and 1,500 assists since Larry Bird accomplished the feat in 398 -matches.

The Timberwolves face -another Los Angeles test one day later when they host the Lakers Vlade Divac Jersey , who powered past the Pelicans in New Orleans 126-99 on Saturday. Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points, D'Angelo Russell added 22 and Lou Williams contributed 21 as the Lakers won for the fifth time in six games.

In Houston Tyler Ennis Jersey , scoring bursts from Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili helped the Spurs to a 106-100 victory over the Rockets, who were playing just their second home game of the season after opening with seven of eight on the road.

Spurs forward LaMarcus -Aldridge notched a double--double of 16 points and 10 rebounds Timofey Mozgov Jersey , point guard Tony Parker added 16 points and center Pau Gasol contributed 15.

Leonard started strong en route to his total of 20 points, keying an 18-4 scoring run in the first quarter that rattled the Rockets. Ginobili finished with 12 points Shaquille O'Neal Jersey , eight of them in a vital third--quarter stretch after the Rockets had trimmed a 15-point deficit to 69-63 and the Spurs withstood James Harden's triple--double of 25 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.

ISTANBUL, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- As the tension mounts between Turkey and Iraq following Ankara's military buildup on its neighbor's border on the ground of national security, analysts have cautioned that a military intervention could have devastating consequences for the region.

"Such a military action may open Pandora's box with consequences difficult to predict," observed Yasar Yakis, the first foreign minister of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party.

In response to the Turkish move, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that a military intervention would lead to the disintegration of Turkey, adding Iraq is ready to fight if necessary.

Turkey is concerned that the involvement of Iraqi Shiite militia in the liberation of Mosul and Tal Afar from the Islamic State (IS) would lead to sectarian violence against Sunni Arabs and Turkmens in the two cities.

"Turkey should not see conducting a ground operation into Iraq as an option on the pretext of (protecting) Turkmens in Tal Afar or (fighting) the PKK in Sinjar, because this would serve to spark a sectarian war," warned Cahit Armagan Dilek, a security and foreign policy analyst.

The Iraqi army, backed by Kurdish groups, Iraqi Shiite militia called al-Hashd al-Shaabi and an air force coalition led by the United States, have been fighting to retake Mosul from the IS for nearly three weeks.

"I may only wish that Turkey's reaction to the developments regarding Tal Afar does not reach the level of a military intervention," said Yakis.

Turkey, which has emerged as a protector of Sunnis against rising Iranian influence in the region particularly since the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, has earlier declared Shiite militia's entry into central Mosul and Tal Afar as a redline.

In Dilek's opinion, al-Abadi's message is aimed at deterring Turkey from an incursion by giving the impression that Iraq has the backing of the U.S. and Iran.

The Turkish Armed Forces began deploying on Nov. 1 tanks and armored vehicles near the town of Silopi in Sirnak province on the Iraqi border. A second shipment of tanks was sent to Silopi by rail late Friday.

Turkey's demand for being part of the Mosul campaign against the IS was previously rejected by Iraq's Shiite-dominated government.

Earlier in the past week, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik described the deployment of tanks on the border as a preparation in view of the important developments in the region.

Noting that Turkey needs to be prepared for all sorts of contingencies, Isik added, "Turkey has redlines. If those redlines are violated, Turkey will do what it must do."

Turkey does not want the Iraqi army's campaign to drive the IS from Mosul and Tal Afar to change the ethnic composition of the region, which is predominantly Sunni.

Isik said Turkey respects Iraq's territorial integrity, but would not tolerate a terrorist group getting a foothold in northern Iraq by being part of the anti-IS fight.

The minister's remarks are an obvious reference to the presence of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Sinjar, a town near the Syrian border in northern Iraq.

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