January 1,2020 at 3:00 PM
1/24/2020 3:00 PM
Bucks and Hornets Set for France Showdown
The Milwaukee Bucks take on the Charlotte Hornets at AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France on Friday afternoon. The Bucks (39-6) check into Friday's international affair with yet another impressive winning streak, as they've notched seven consecutive victories. Their most recent success came at the expense of the Chicago Bulls, which they toppled by a 111-98 score Monday night. Giannis Antetokounmpo paced the Bucks with a 28-point, 14-rebound, 10-assist triple-double that also included one steal and one block. Khris Middleton turned in 24 points, six rebounds and six assists. Wesley Matthews poured in 13 points and supplemented them with two rebounds, two assists and one steal. Kyle Korver finished with 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal. The Bucks will list Wesley Matthews (illness) as probable for Friday's game. Robin Lopez (undisclosed) did not travel with the team. The Hornets (15-30) come into Friday's game in diametrically opposite shape from their opponent, as Charlotte has dropped seven consecutive contests. Their most recent stumble came at the hands of the Orlando Magic, which routed them by a 106-83 score Monday afternoon. Malik Monk led the Hornets with 20 points. P.J. Washington delivered 19 points, seven rebounds and one assist. Devonte' Graham posted 15 points, six assists and two rebounds. The Hornets will come into Friday's contest without any injuries to report. Friday's game marks the second of three meetings between the teams this season. The Bucks own a 1-0 series lead, having notched a 137-96 win Nov. 30.
January 1,2020 at 7:00 PM
1/24/2020 7:00 PM
Grizzlies and Pistons Tangle in Motor City
The Memphis Grizzlies take on the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on Friday night. The Grizzlies (20-24) recently looked like they'd finally figured things out by putting together a seven-game winning streak, but they've subsequently dropped back-to-back games. Their most recent stumble came versus the Boston Celtics, which bested them by a 119-95 score on Wednesday night. Jonas Valanciunas led the Grizzlies with a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double that also included one assist, two steals and two blocks. Jaren Jackson, Jr. and Solomon Hill turned in 13 points apiece, with Jackson also pulling in five rebounds. Kyle Anderson and Grayson Allen generated matching 10-point tallies. The Grizzlies will list Bruno Caboclo (knee) and Andre Iguodala (team decision) as out for Friday's game. The Pistons (17-28) will come into Friday's matchup with a bit of momentum, as they've prevailed in three of their past four games. Their most recent success unfolded versus the Sacramento Kings, which they throttled by a 127-106 score Wednesday night. Christian Wood led the way with 23 points, adding three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Derrick Rose and Reggie Jackson posted 22 points apiece, with Rose also supplying 11 assists and six rebounds. Langston Galloway offered 14 points, one rebound and four steals. Markieff Morris generated a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double that also included one assist. Thon Maker provided 10 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, two blocks and one steal. The Pistons will list Bruce Brown (illness), Tim Frazier (illness) and Andre Drummond (mouth) as probable for Friday's game. Luke Kennard (knee), Blake Griffin (knee) and Khyri Thomas (foot) will all remain out. Friday's game marks the first of two meetings between the teams this season. The Pistons swept the two-game 2018-19 season series from the Grizzlies.
January 1,2020 at 7:00 PM
1/24/2020 7:00 PM
Celtics and Magic Face Off in Central Florida
The Boston Celtics take on the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on Friday night. The Celtics (29-14) have gone through some swings in either direction recently, but they'll check into Friday's contest with consecutive victories. Their most recent success came versus the Memphis Grizzlies, which they disposed of by a 119-95 score Wednesday night. Jayson Tatum paced the Celtics with 23 points, complementing them with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block. Daniel Theis furnished 14 points, four boards, two assists, three blocks and two steals. Enes Kanter delivered 13 points, eight boards, three assists and one block. Gordon Hayward registered 12 points, four assists, three rebounds and one steal. Marcus Smart matched Hayward's scoring and added six rebounds, six assists and one steal. The Celtics will list Jaylen Brown (ankle) and Tatum (groin) as questionable for Friday's contest. Robert Williams III (hip) and Enes Kanter (hip) will both be out. The Magic (21-24) have also had some trouble with consistency of late, and they'll come into Friday's conference battle with losses in three of their past four games. Their most recent defeat came courtesy of the Oklahoma City Thunder, which toppled them by a 120-114 score Wednesday night. Terrence Ross paced the Magic with 26 points, complementing them with three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Nikola Vucevic followed with 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block. Michael Carter-Williams supplied 15 points, three assists, two rebounds, one steal and one block. Aaron Gordon registered 14 points, eight boards, three assists and one steal. Evan Fournier and Markelle Fultz contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively, while dishing out six assists apiece. The Magic will continue without D.J. Augustin (knee), Jonathan Isaac (knee) and Al-Farouq Aminu (knee) for Friday's game. Friday's game marks the first four meetings between the teams this season. The Magic swept the three-game 2018-19 season series from the Celtics.
January 1,2020 at 7:30 PM
1/24/2020 7:30 PM
Knicks Look To End Three-Game Home Losing Streak
The New York Knicks play host to the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden on Friday evening. The Knicks (12-33) have dropped eight of their last 10 games and started off their current three-game home stand with a loss to the Lakers on Wednesday. They have dropped their last three home games and have a 6-16 home record. The Knicks average 104.0 points per game, which is third fewest in the league, and they are giving up an average of 112.0 points against. The Knicks lead the league with an average of 11.9 offensive rebounds per game. Marcus Morris Sr. leads the Knicks with 19.1 points per game. Julius Randle is averaging 18.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Mitchell Robinson tallied 12 rebounds, four points and a block, in 24 minutes of action in the Knicks' most recent contest, and he is averaging 6.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks, in 23 minutes per game, over the last 10 games. Meanwhile, the Raptors (30-14) have won seven of their last 10 games, including their last five in a row. This marks their first game of a two-game road trip, as they look to build on a five-game road winning streak. The Raptors are shooting 37.4 percent from long range, which is third best in the league, and they are averaging 13.5 three-pointers made per game, which is fifth most in the league. They also do a great job on the defensive end, as they are holding opponents to an average of 105.9 points per game, which is fifth fewest in the league. Pascal Siakam leads the Raptors with 23.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. Kyle Lowry is averaging 20.0 points, 7.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, while Norman Powell is averaging 15.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.
January 1,2020 at 8:00 PM
1/24/2020 8:00 PM
Pelicans Host Nuggets on Friday
The Denver Nuggets travel to The Big Easy to face the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on Friday. The Nuggets (30-14) training room is more full than their bench right now and that has this franchise in a precarious position. In the 16-point loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, Denver played without Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Mason Plumlee, Paul Millsap and Michael Porter Jr. That would make up a decent starting-five and it has made this deep roster look extremely thin. The good news is that none of the injuries are expected to be long-term. All of these players are expected to return right around the All-Star break and that should make Denver a major threat in the second half. The major key is to hold on before then though because Denver dropped from second to fourth in that defeat on Wednesday and they could continue to fall if the injuries continue to bite like this. The Pelicans (17-28) had the greatest player of all-time make his debut on Wednesday. While that's obviously not the case, fans can't stop talking about what Zion Williamson did in that debut. While he played just 19 minutes, Williamson went 4-of-4 from three-point range to finish with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists. That's a heck of a line in just 19 minutes of action and if he plays like that from here on out, maybe he will be the best player in the league at some point. The thing that people aren't discussing is the fact that New Orleans lost that game to a San Antonio Spurs team who owns the eight-seed in the West. That's the mark that the Pelicans are aiming for and that could end up being a devastating defeat when looking back at the end of the year. In any case, this team looks revived with Williamson and Jrue Holiday back and fully healthy, making this one of the scariest teams in the NBA. These clubs have played twice this season, with the Pelicans winning each game by a double-digit margin.
January 1,2020 at 8:00 PM
1/24/2020 8:00 PM
Bulls Look To Continue Home Winning Streak
The Chicago Bulls play host to the Sacramento Kings at United Center on Friday evening. The Bulls (17-29) have dropped six of their last 10 games but are coming off a home win over the Timberwolves, where six players scored in double digits. Zach LaVine led the way with 25 points, while Lauri Markkanen added 21 and Kris Dunn tallied 15 points. The Bulls have won three in a row at home and look to build on their 10-14 home record. Zach LaVine leads the Bulls with 25.0 points per game and is shooting an average of 44.5 percent from the field. Thaddeus Young is averaging 10.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals, over the last 10 games. Lauri Markkanen (ankle) is considered probable for action on Friday and is averaging 14.5 points and 6.0 rebounds, over the last 10 games. Tomas Satoransky (ankle) and Chandler Hutchinson (shoulder) are both also considered probable to play, while Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle) remains sidelined. Meanwhile, the Kings (15-29) have dropped seven of their last 10 games, including their last six in a row. This marks their fourth game of a five-game road trip, as they look to improve on their 7-16 road record. The Kings average 106.8 points per game, but they are giving up an average of 110.5 points against. Marvin Bagley III (foot) and Richaun Holmes (shoulder) will both be sidelined through Friday's action. Despite the team's struggles, De'Aaron Fox is playing well lately, averaging 22.6 points, 7.8 assists 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals, over the last 10 games. Buddy Hield leads the Kings with an average of 20.0 points per game but is shooting an average of 41.6 percent from the field. Nemanja Bjelica is averaging 15.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals, over the last 10 games.
January 1,2020 at 8:00 PM
1/24/2020 8:00 PM
Heat Host Clippers on Friday
The Los Angeles Clippers travel to South Beach to face the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on Friday. The Clippers (31-14) blew a 19-point halftime lead in their most recent game on Wednesday, losing to an Atlanta Hawks team who has only 10 wins. That's bad news and it looks even worse when you consider that they were without Trae Young. It's not like the Clippers were at full boar themselves though, playing that game without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Leonard was resting in the second half of a back-to-back set while George continues to nurse a hamstring issue. The good news is that Leonard is fully expected to return here and George's return is right around the corner. It's easy to blame the loss on those absences but the road form has been a nightmare all season long. In fact, the Clippers are just 12-10 outside of Los Angeles and that's an unacceptable mark from a team who's battling for a title. The Heat (31-13) have been a very similar team to the Clippers. The good news here is that they're the home team in this matchup which gives them the upper hand. In fact, Miami owns a 20-1 record at American Airlines Arena this season which is easily the best home record in the NBA. That's a truly ridiculous mark and it says a lot about a fanbase that gets a bad rep for being fair weather fans. What's also crazy is the fact that this team is a perfect 8-0 in overtime games. That's what they had to do on Wednesday against the Washington Wizards and that sort of overtime record says a lot about how much this team grinds from night-to-night. These teams played twice last season, with the road team prevailing in each outing. With that said, Miami has won three of its last four games over Los Angeles in total.
January 1,2020 at 8:00 PM
1/24/2020 8:00 PM
Timberwolves Look To End Seven-Game Slide
The Minnesota Timberwolves play host to the Houston Rockets at Target Center on Friday evening. The Timberwolves (15-29) have dropped eight of their last 10 games, including their last seven in a row. This marks their first game of a three-game home stand, where they look to snap a four-game home losing streak and improve on their 6-15 home record. Karl-Anthony Towns has been great since returning to action and poured in 40 points in the Timberwolves' most recent contest. Andrew Wiggins is averaging 16.4 points on 41 percent shooting, 4.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds, over the last 10 games. Jarrett Culver has been playing well, averaging 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals, over the last 10 games. The Timberwolves average 111.1 points per game, but they are giving up an average of 114.6 points against. They are shooting 43.3 percent from the field, which is second worst in the league, including 32.5 percent from long range, which is also second worst in the league. Meanwhile, the Rockets (27-16) are 5-5 in their last 10 games and are coming off a home win over the Nuggets in their most recent contest. This marks their first game of four-game road trip, as they look put an end to a two-game road losing streak and build on their 12-9 road record. The Rockets average 118.4 points per game, which is second most in the league. They average a league-high 15.2 three-pointers per game, but they are shooting 34.6 percent from beyond the arc, which is ninth worst in the league. Russell Westbrook is averaging 29.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game, and James Harden is averaging 31.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.2 blocks per game, over the last 10 games. Clint Capela continues to carry the load inside for Houston, averaging 15.6 points, 13.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.0 steals, over the last 10 games.
January 1,2020 at 8:00 PM
1/24/2020 8:00 PM
Thunder Look To Build On Three-Game Winning Streak
The Oklahoma City Thunder play host to the Atlanta Hawks at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Friday evening. The Thunder (26-19) have won six of their last 10 games, including their last three in a row. They are 14-9 at home but have dropped three of their last four home games. The Thunder average 109.0 points per game, and they are holding their opponents to an average of 108.1 points per game. Dennis Schroder has been playing great lately, averaging 19.0 points, 4.6 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game, over the last 10 games, including 31 points and nine assists, in the Thunder's most recent contest. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging a team-high 19.8 points per game, while Chris Paul is averaging 17.0 points and team highs with 6.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Steven Adams (ankle) is questionable, while Abdel Nader (ankle) and Terrence Ferguson (personal) will both be sidelined. Meanwhile, the Hawks (11-34) have dropped six of their last 10 contests but are coming off a win over the shorthanded Clippers, on Wednesday. They are 5-18 on the road but are coming off a win in their last road contest. They average 107.7 points per game, but they are giving up an average of 117.0 points against, which is third most in the league. The Hawks are shooting a league-worst 32.3 percent from long range, while they average 11.4 three-pointers per game. Trae Young (thigh) missed the last contest and remains questionable for action. DeAndre Bembry (personal) will not play, while Alex Len (back) is probable for action. John Collins came up huge with 33 points and 16 rebounds, in the Hawks' most recent contest, and he is averaging 18.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game, over the last 10 games. De'Andre Hunter is averaging 9.7 points and 3.7 rebounds, over the last 10 games.
January 1,2020 at 8:30 PM
1/24/2020 8:30 PM
Spurs Host Suns on Friday
The Phoenix Suns travel to Texas to face the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on Friday. The Suns (18-26) own a 7-6 record across their last 13 games which is really encouraging after losing eight-straight before that. The eight-game skid is probably the one thing keeping this from being a playoff contender and the absence of DeAndre Ayton is surely a major reason why they struggled. He's back now and balling out though, averaging about 20 points and 10 rebounds per game since being reinserted into the starting lineup. What's really discouraging is the fact that they took a 25-point home loss on Wednesday at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. Phoenix appeared to be playing much better before that but defeats like that are simply unacceptable from a team who wants to reach the postseason. The Spurs (20-23) enter this matchup in the midst of a three-game winning streak and it appears this club's early-season woes are a thing of the past. What really has fan excited is the nature of those victories, grabbing wins over the New Orleans Pelicans, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks over their last six victories. That's an impressive stretch from anyone and getting those tough matchups out of the way should make way for an easier schedule down the line. That's big news for a team who's trying to continue their 20-year playoff streak and it would be silly to bet against them with consistency like that. These teams have played two competitive games this season, with San Antonio winning both in equal two-point margins. That gives the Spurs 18 wins in their last 20 meetings with the Suns in total.
January 1,2020 at 10:30 PM
1/24/2020 10:30 PM
Warriors Host Pacers on Friday
The Indiana Pacers travel to San Francisco to face the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on Friday. The Pacers (29-16) come into this matchup winning six of their last seven games. What makes that even more impressive is the fact that the only loss came on the road against the Utah Jazz. That's a Utah club who has won 18 of their last 20 games and there's simply not many teams that can win there right now. That makes the hot stretch from Indiana look even better and fans are ecstatic to see this team grow, especially with Victor Oladipo's return just a week away. Getting an All-Star back into the fold makes this team all the more dangerous and it's certainly a welcomed sight with Malcolm Brogdon picking up a concussion in that 25-point win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. While that's not expected to be a long absence, Brogdon hasn't been the model for good health and getting Oladipo as insurance is a huge boost. The Warriors (10-36) have been the best team in the NBA for about a decade but this season is a different story. The simple fact is, this roster is a shell of itself. If you look at the roster last season, this team is missing Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney. That could be a dominant starting lineup for any team and this franchise simply can't make up for all those losses. The lost season isn't all bad though because it's helping this franchise develop. Not only will they land a top-pick in next year's draft, the Warriors are also getting major development from key role players. That alone is big with Thompson and Curry returning next season and no one would be surprised to see them play elite basketball this time next season. Golden State swept the two-game season series over Indiana last year and has won six of their last eight games over them in total. These are different teams now though.