January 1,2020 at 3:30 PM
1/26/2020 3:30 PM
Rockets and Nuggets Meet in Battle of Western Conference Elite
The Houston Nuggets take on the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on Sunday afternoon. The Rockets (28-16) check into Sunday's contest in the midst of a spiral, as they've generated an unsightly 3-5 record over their last eight games. However, two of their victories during that span have come in their last pair of contests, with their most recent a 131-124 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Russell Westbrook led the way for the Rockets with 45 points, adding 10 assists, six rebounds and one steal. Eric Gordon followed with 27 points, adding five rebounds and three assists. Clint Capela delivered 18 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Austin Rivers poured in 16 points. James Harden shot just 3-for-13 on the way to 12 points, which he complemented with five assists, four rebounds and three blocks. The Rockets will list Harden (thigh) as questionable for Sunday's contest. Gerald Green (foot) and Nene Hilario (hip) will remain out. The Nuggets (31-14) come into Sunday's showdown in the midst of another strong stretch of play, as they own a 7-3 mark over their last 10 games. Denver's most recent success came versus the New Orleans Pelicans, which they toppled by a 113-106 score Friday night. Nikola Jokic led the way for the Nuggets with 27 points, adding 12 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and one block. Torrey Craig and Michael Porter, Jr. had matching 15-point, 10-rebound tallies. Jerami Grant provided 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block. Will Barton delivered 13 points, five boards, one assist, two steals and one block. Monte Morris and Malik Beasley each posted 10 points off the bench. The Nuggets will remain without Jamal Murray (ankle), Paul Millsap (knee) and Mason Plumlee (foot) for Sunday's game. Sunday's game marks the fourth and final meeting of the season between the teams. The Rockets hold a 2-1 series lead, having notched 130-104 and 121-105 wins on Dec. 31 and Jan. 22, respectively.
January 1,2020 at 4:00 PM
1/26/2020 4:00 PM
Raptors and Spurs Clash in Lone Star State Affair
The Toronto Raptors take on the San Antonio Spurs at AT & T Center on Sunday afternoon. The Raptors (31-14) come into Sunday's game on another hot stretch of play, as they've rattled off six consecutive victories. Their most recent success came Friday night, when they toppled the New York Knicks by a 118-112 score. Kyle Lowry paced the Raptors with 26 points, complementing them with six rebounds, three assists, four steals and one block. Siakam followed with 23 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one block. Fred VanVleet managed 16 points, nine assists and one steal. Norman Powell matched VanVleet's scoring tally, while Serge Ibaka posted 14 points and two blocks. The Raptors will list Patrick McCaw (nose) and Dewan Hernandez (ankle) as out for Sunday's game. The Spurs (20-24) are still enduring a season that's well below their usual standards, but they do come into Sunday's contest with a solid 4-3 mark over the last seven contests. However, one of their losses during that span came versus the Phoenix Suns, which edged them by a 103-99 score Friday night. DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 30 points, complementing them with eight rebounds, four assists and one steal. LaMarcus Aldridge delivered 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal. Derrick White managed 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals. The Spurs come into Sunday's game without any injuries to report. Sunday's game marks the second and final meeting between the teams this season. The Spurs hold a 1-0 series lead, having notched a 105-104 win Jan. 12.
January 1,2020 at 6:00 PM
1/26/2020 6:00 PM
Wizards and Hawks Meet in Peach State Battle
The Washington Wizards take on the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on Sunday evening. The Wizards (15-29) check into Sunday's contest looking to improve their recent caliber of play, as they've forged a 2-4 record over their last six games. One of their two wins during that span came their last time on the court, however, as they toppled the Cleveland Cavaliers by a 124-112 score Thursday night. Bradley Beal led the way for the Wizards with 36 points, adding eight assists and two rebounds. Ish Smith and Davis Bertans generated matching 17-point tallies, with Smith adding five assists and four rebounds. Isaiah Thomas totaled 13 points, four assists and three rebounds. The Wizards will continue without Rui Hachimura (groin), Garrison Mathews (ankle) and Moritz Wagner (ankle) on Sunday. The Hawks (11-35) haven't been at their sharpest recently either, as they arrive at Sunday's contest with a 3-7 record over their last 10 contests. Their most recent stumble came against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which throttled them by a 140-111 score Friday night. John Collins led the way for Atlanta with 28 points, adding six rebounds and one steal. Trae Young furnished a 26-point, 16-assist double-double that also included two rebounds and one steal. Cam Reddish supplied 20 points and six boards. De'Andre Hunter totaled 10 points, two rebounds, one steal and one block. The Hawks will list Jabari Parker (shoulder), Alex Len (hip) and Chandler Parsons (concussion) on Sunday. DeAndre' Bembry (hand) will be listed as doubtful. Sunday's game marks the second of four meetings between the teams this season. The Wizards hold a 1-0 series lead, having notched a 111-101 win Jan. 10.
January 1,2020 at 6:00 PM
1/26/2020 6:00 PM
Pelicans Host Celtics on Sunday
The Boston Celtics travel to The Big Easy to face the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on Sunday. The Celtics (30-14) come into this matchup winning three-straight games. What makes that run all the more impressive is the fact that they're dealing with a ton of injuries right now. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Enes Kanter all missed the last two games and it's amazing that they're winning games with all of those guys out. That's about 50 points and 25 rebounds out of the lineup and winning without those guys shows just how deep this roster can be at times. Where they're really dangerous is on the defensive end, allowing the second-fewest points in the NBA. As long as that continues, Boston should compete with anyone no matter who is out. The Pelicans (17-29) have arguably the most dangerous starting lineup in the NBA right now, sending out Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and Derrick Favors. All of those players have shown flashes of All-Star capabilities throughout the year and it's amazing just how good of a roster they've put together after the Anthony Davis trade. The unfortunate thing is the fact that it hasn't led to many wins. Injuries have dismantled the roster and this is only the third time this starting-five has played together. They're actually 0-2 in the first two games with this lineup and it's clear that everyone is trying to adjust to one another's games. What they also need to fix is their defense, ranked 29th in points allowed. This is too good of a team to be that poor and they simply won't make a playoff run unless that improves drastically over the next month. Boston won the first meeting between these teams at home, 140-105, on January 11. That gives the Celtics three-straight victories over the Pelicans dating back two years.
January 1,2020 at 6:00 PM
1/26/2020 6:00 PM
Knicks Look To Build Momentum At Home
The New York Knicks play host to the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden on Sunday evening. The Knicks (12-34) have dropped eight of their last 10 games, including their last two in a row. This marks their third and final game of a home stand, as they look to snap a four-game home losing streak and build on their 6-17 home record. The Knicks average 104.2 points per game, which is third fewest in the league, and they are allowing their opponents to score an average of 112.1 points per game. The Knicks average a league-best 12.0 offensive rebounds per game. Marcus Morris Sr. averages a team-high 19.1 points per game. Julius Randle is averaging 18.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Mitchell Robinson is average 6.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals, over the last 10 games. Elfrid Payton has been playing well, averaging 10.0 points, 6.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals, over the last 10 games. R.J. Barrett (ankle) remains sidelined. Meanwhile, this marks the second game of a back-to-back for the Nets (19-25), as they are coming off an overtime win in Detroit, where they outscored the hosts by 10 points in the extra period, to secure the road win. Prior to Saturday's win, the Nets had lost six straight on the road, as they look to build on their 8-13 road record. Kyrie Irving led the Nets with 45 points, six rebounds and seven assists, on Saturday, and has been playing well since returning to action. Jarrett Allen added 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Joe Harris chipped in 16 points and six rebounds, in Saturday's win. DeAndre Jordan (finger) has missed the last four games and remains doubtful for Sunday. The Nets are averaging 15.4 turnovers per game, which is third most in the league. They average 12.5 threes per game and are shooting an average of 33.6 from long range, which is third worst in the league.
January 1,2020 at 6:00 PM
1/26/2020 6:00 PM
Magic Look To Get Back On Track At Home
The Orlando Magic play host to the Los Angeles Clippers at Amway Center on Sunday evening. The Magic (21-25) are 5-5 in their last 10 games, but they have dropped their last two in a row. This marks their third and final game of a home stand, as they look to build on their 13-10 home record. The Magic average 103.8 points per game, which is second fewest in the league, but they are holding their opponents to a league-low 104.4 points per game. They limit themselves to 12.3 turnovers per game, which is second fewest in the league, and they average 8.5 steals per game, which is fourth most. Evan Fournier leads the Magic with 19.2 points per game. Nikola Vucevic is averaging 19.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.0 steals per game. Aaron Gordon is averaging 13.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, over the last 10 games. Meanwhile, the Clippers (32-14) have won seven of their last 10 games, including an impressive win in Miami in their most recent contest. This marks the fourth game of a five-game road trip, where they are 2-1, so far. The Clippers average 115.7 points per game, which is fourth most in the league, and they are holding their opponents to an average of 109.5 points per game. They make a league-best average of 20.8 free throws per game and shoot 78.2 percent from the line. Kawhi Leonard has been playing great lately, averaging 34.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.6 steals per game, over his last eight games. Lou Williams is averaging 22.0 points, 6.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds, over the last 10 games, while Montreal Harrell is averaging 21.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, over the last 10 games. Paul George (hamstring) will remain sidelined, while Patrick Beverley (groin) and Patrick Patterson (ankle) are questionable for action.
January 1,2020 at 6:00 PM
1/26/2020 6:00 PM
Grizzlies Host Suns on Sunday
The Memphis Grizzlies play host to the Phoenix Suns at FedEx Forum on Sunday. The Suns (19-26) enter this matchup with an 8-6 record across their last 14 games. That run actually snapped a season-worst eight-game losing streak and that one poor stretch is the one thing keeping the Suns out of the playoff picture. Not having DeAndre Ayton was surely a major reason why they struggled, missing 25 games for a suspension. That's a really frustrating thing to deal with from your top-pick and it does say something about his immaturity. The good news is that he's been balling out since his return, averaging about 20 points and 10 rebounds since being reinserted into the starting lineup last week. The Grizzlies (21-24) have established themselves as one of the most exciting teams in the NBA. What's really interesting about this club is its young core. Players like Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr show flashes of brilliance on a nightly basis while Jonas Valanciunas continues to dominate at center. That doesn't even taker into consideration guys like Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke and De'Anthony Melton, with all three guys having breakout seasons too. That's why this young team is playing at the third-fastest pace in the NBA and it has them looking like a highlight reel on a nightly basis. Looking good is one thing but it's also led to wins. In fact, the Grizzlies own an 8-2 record over their last 10 games, catapulting them to the eight-seed in the Western Conference. This is a rebuilding franchise and being this far along is a testament to how well the rebuild is going. These teams have played three times this season, with Memphis prevailing in two of three. In fact, the road team has won all three meetings in this series so far this year.
January 1,2020 at 9:00 PM
1/26/2020 9:00 PM
Trail Blazers Look To Salvage Home Stand
The Portland Trail Blazers play host to the Indiana Pacers at Moda Center on Sunday evening. The Trail Blazers (19-27) have dropped six of their last 10 games, as they enter their third game of a four-game home stand, looking to build on their 10-11 home record. They are 1-1 on the home stand, with a win over the Warriors, followed by a loss to the Mavs, in their most recent contest. Damian Lillard has been playing great lately, averaging 33.1 points on 48 percent shooting, 8.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. Carmelo Anthony is averaging 16.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Hassan Whiteside is averaging 14.8 points, 15.0 rebounds and 3.6 blocks, over the last 10 games. C.J. McCollum (ankle) has missed the last three games but is not on the injury report heading into Sunday. The Trial Blazers average 112.2 points per game, but they are giving up an average of 114.5 points against, which is sixth most in the league. Meanwhile, the Pacers (30-16) have won eight of their last 10 games, including their last two in a row. This marks their fifth and final game of a road trip, where they are 3-1, as they look to continue building on their 13-11 road record. T.J. Warren has been playing well lately, averaging 20.1 points on 56.9 percent shooting, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals, over the last 10 games. Domantas Sabonis continues to dominate, averaging 18.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists, over the last 10 games. Malcolm Brogdon (concussion) will be out through Sunday's action. The Pacers average 109.5 points per game, but they are holding their opponents to an average of 106.4 points per game. They shoot an average of 47.5 percent from the field, which is third best in the league, including 37.3 percent from long range, which is fourth best.