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UConn loses its first

Ashton Gibbs scored 21 points as Pittsburgh's balance overcame Kemba Walker's one-man offense for No. 4 Connecticut, and the No. 6 Panthers easily won the Big East's first matchup of Top 10 teams by 78-63 on Monday night.

Walker scored 31 points, but missed 17 of 27 shots as Pittsburgh repeatedly limited the Huskies to a single shot in a possession -- often a bad one. The Huskies shot 31.7 percent, 19 of 60, and had only two scorers with more than 5 points until the closing minutes in the conference opener.

Brad Wanamaker, who took turns with Gibbs shadowing one of the nation's leading scorers, added 14 points as Pittsburgh (13-1) beat Connecticut (10-1) for the fourth straight time and the fifth in six games.

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LeBron takes do-over

LeBron James is clarifying remarks he made about contraction and the NBA.

Speaking after Heat practice Monday, James said he "didn't mean to upset anybody" when he called the NBA "watered down" last week and that the league was more popular in the 1980s because there were fewer teams and thus more stars on the top squads.

James referenced Minnesota's Kevin Love and New Jersey's Brook Lopez and Devin Harris when making his comments last week in Phoenix. On Monday, he insisted he was not suggesting that the Timberwolves and Nets should be shut down.

James says he "didn't say let's abandon the Nets and not let them move to Brooklyn, or let's tear down the Target Center in Minnesota. I never said that. Never said that, all right."

Elsewhere in the NBA, Shaquille O'Neal has been fined $35,000 by the NBA for his public comments about the officiating.

O'Neal criticized the referees following the Boston Celtics' 86-78 loss at Orlando on Christmas.

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Mets, Dodgers make swap

The New York Mets have acquired shortstop Chin-lung Hu from the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league left-hander Michael Antonini.

The 26-year-old Hu spent the majority of last season at Triple-A Albuquerque where he hit .317 with four home runs and 25 RBIs.

Antonini was 6-9 with a 4.23 ERA in 23 starts for Double-A Binghamton. The 25-year-old also made six starts for Triple-A Buffalo, going 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA.

From News and wire service reports.

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