December 12,2019 at 3:00 PM
12/8/2019 3:00 PM
Nuggets and Nets Face Off in Interconference Matinee Action
The Denver Nuggets take on the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on Sunday afternoon. The Nuggets (14-6) check into Sunday's game with an impressive record overall, but also looking to eliminate the bad taste of a 108-95 loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday night that was worse than the final score implies. Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 30 points, adding 10 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal. Jamal Murray provided 10 points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block. Michael Porter, Jr. supplied nine points and three rebounds in just eight minutes. Monte Morris matched Porter's scoring, while Will Barton, Gary Harris and Juancho Hernangomez all contributed seven points apiece. The Nuggets will come into Sunday's game without any injuries to report. The Nets (12-10) continue to thrive despite some key injuries in their backcourt, as they'll come into Sunday's contest having won three of their past four games. Their most recent success came at the expense of the Charlotte Hornets, which they toppled by a 111-104 score on Friday night. Joe Harris paced the Nets with 22 points, adding five assists, one rebound and one steal. DeAndre Jordan followed with a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double that also included three assists and two blocks. Taurean Prince matched Jordan's scoring and also recorded five rebounds and assists apiece. Jarrett Allen furnished 14 points, 10 boards, two steals and two blocks. Spencer Dinwiddie and David Nwaba tallied 13 points each, with Dinwiddie also dishing out 12 dimes. The Nets will continue to be without Kyrie Irving (shoulder), Caris LeVert (thumb) and Wilson Chandler (suspension) on Sunday. Sunday's game marks the second and final meeting between the teams this season. The Nuggets hold a 1-0 series lead, having notched a 101-93 win Nov. 14.
December 12,2019 at 5:00 PM
12/8/2019 5:00 PM
Hawks and Hornets Tangle in Sunday Evening Battle
The Atlanta Hawks take on the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on Sunday evening. The Hawks (5-17) come into Sunday's game in the midst of a complete spiral, as they've dropped 11 of their last 12 games. Atlanta's most recent defeat came at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets, which bested them by a 130-118 score Wednesday night. Trae Young paced the Hawks with 39 points while also dishing out 10 assists, pulling down three rebounds and recording one steal. Cam Reddish delivered 25 points, six boards, three steals and one block. Damian Jones turned in 20 points, eight rebounds, one assist and one block. Alex Len went for 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block off the bench. Jabari Parker furnished 10 points and three boards. The Hawks will continue to be without John Collins (suspension) on Sunday. De'Andre Hunter (finger) will be doubtful, while Allen Crabbe (knee) and Chandler Parsons (illness) will likely be considered questionable at best. The Hornets (9-15) continue to struggle to put together any extended stretch of winning, and they'll come into Sunday's game having lost three of their past four contests after having managed a modest two-game winning streak just prior to that stretch. However, Charlotte's most recent stumble came against the Brooklyn Nets, which toppled them by a 111-104 score Friday night. Devonte' Graham led the Hornets with 29 points, adding eight assists, three rebounds and one steal. Terry Rozier furnished delivered 24 points, six rebounds and four assists. Cody Zeller compiled 17 points, six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal. P.J. Washington supplied 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks. The Hornets will list Marvin Williams (knee) as probable for Sunday's contest. The Hornets won the four-game 2018-19 season series with the Hawks by a 3-1 margin. Sunday's game marks the first of four meetings for Atlanta and Charlotte this season.
December 12,2019 at 6:00 PM
12/8/2019 6:00 PM
Heat Host Bulls on Sunday
The Chicago Bulls travel to South Beach to face the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on Sunday. The Bulls (8-15) just lost a home game against the Golden State Warriors on Friday and that exemplifies where this team is at right now. Losing at home to Golden State used to be a normal occurrence but it's embarrassing this season with the roster the Warriors are sending out there. What's worse is the fact that the Bulls were outscored by eight points in that final quarter, lacking in late-game execution yet again. That's OK to see from a young team on occasion but it has become way too common for this struggling franchise. That has to make one believe that changes are right around the corner, with many fans calling for Jim Boylen to be fired. The Heat (16-6) have been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA and their home form is definitely a reason why. In fact, Miami currently has a perfect 9-0 record at AAA this season, after a 112-103 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday. That victory got another gem from Jimmy Butler, who's actually averaging nearly 30 points a game over his last three fixtures while approaching nearly 10 rebounds and 10 assists as well. Those near triple-double averages show just how valuable he's become for this franchise and adding a superstar like him has put this team on another level. Getting a breakout from Bam Adebayo hasn't hurt either, as he's stuffing the stat sheet at will too. As long as those two continue to thrive and that get stellar play from guys like Kendrick Nunn, Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro, this team should continue to win ballgames at ease. Miami won the first game between these teams, 116-108, on November 22, That gives the Heat seven wins in their last 10 fixtures against the Bulls.
December 12,2019 at 6:00 PM
12/8/2019 6:00 PM
Sixers Host Slipping Raptors
The Philadelphia 76ers play host to the Toronto Raptors at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday evening. This marks the second game of a back-to-back for the 76ers (16-7), as they are coming off a blowout, home win over the Cavaliers on Saturday. They topped the Cavs by 47 points, to move to 11-0 at home. Ben Simmons led the way with a career-high 34 points on 12-of-14 shooting, while Mike Scott followed up with 21 points, in the win. Joel Embiid (hip) did not play in Saturday's contest but is expected to be ready for action on Sunday. Embiid leads the Sixers with an average of 22.6 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Ben Simmons is averaging 13.2 points and team highs with 8.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Tobias Harris is averaging 19.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.0 steals per game. The 76ers are averaging 26.0 assists per game, which is sixth most in the league, but they are giving up an average of 16.0 turnovers per game, which is third most in the league. Meanwhile, the Raptors (15-6) have dropped two in a row, but are 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Raptors have won their last two in a row on the road and are 6-4 on the road this season. The Raptors are averaging 14.2 threes per game, which is fourth most in the league, and they are shooting 38.9 percent from long range, which is second best in the league. Pascal Siakam leads the Raptors with team highs of 25.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Fred VanVleet is averaging 18.7 points and team highs with 7.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Kyle Lowry returned to the lineup recently after missing a few weeks of action, but the Raptors have lost both games since his return. He is averaging 15.5 points on 27 percent shooting, 9.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds over two games since returning.
December 12,2019 at 6:00 PM
12/8/2019 6:00 PM
Wizards Host Clippers on Sunday
The Washington Wizards play host to the Los Angeles Clippers at Verizon Center on Sunday. The Clippers (16-7) are coming off their worst loss of the season, taking an absolute beatdown at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. In fact, they lost 119-91 in that game which says more about how good Milwaukee is than anything the Clippers did. That was actually only the second loss that this team has suffered with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard both on the floor, showing just how dangerous this duo can be. What makes this team so good is the fact that they play so effectively on both ends of the floor. That's clear when you see that they're Top-10 in both scoring and points allowed, as there's only one other team who can say that. As long as these two are healthy, the Clippers remain one of the best teams in the NBA despite the poor effort on Friday. The Wizards (7-14) come into this matchup losing four of their last five games and it's pretty clear what the issue is. This team is making defense look like one of the toughest things in the world, allowing a league-worst 122.4 points per game. What's sad about that is the fact that this team ranks Top-5 in both points scored and offensive efficiency. A lot of that has to do with the pace but just a little bit of defense would make this a .500 team. The losses and poor defense have people talking about the future of this team though, with Bradley Beal and John Wall as the focal point of those trade discussions. Both of those guys could bring back a haul and this franchise needs to decide if they want to rebuild or hover in this .500 purgatory. Los Angeles went nuts in the first meeting between these teams, winning 150-125, on December 1.
December 12,2019 at 7:00 PM
12/8/2019 7:00 PM
Kings and Mavericks Face Off in Sunday Night Battle
The Sacramento Kings take on the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on Sunday night. The Kings (8-13) are in the midst of a downswing in what has been a difficult season overall, as they'll check into Sunday's game with losses in five of their last six contests. Their most recent stumble was a narrow 105-104 overtime defeat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. Buddy Hield paced the Kings with 23 points, adding seven rebounds and one block. Harrison Barnes generated a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double that also included five assists. Yogi Ferrell registered 17 points, while Richaun Holmes turned in a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double that also included five assists, three steals and two blocks. The Kings will list Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee) as probable for Sunday's game. Marvin Bagley (thumb) and Cory Joseph (back) will be listed as questionable, while De'Aaron Fox (ankle) will remain out. The Mavericks (16-6) check in on the opposite end of the spectrum from their opponent, as they're currently riding a five-game winning streak. Their most recent success was a sensational one, as they blasted the New Orleans Pelicans by a 130-84 score on Saturday afternoon. Luka Doncic led the way with 26 point while also managing nine assists, six rebounds and one steal. Boban Marjanovic saw 23 minutes in the blowout and posted a 15-point, 16-rebound double-double. Jalen Brunson and Tim Hardaway managed matching 14-point, three-assist tallies. Kristaps Porzingis registered 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal. The Mavericks will be without Delon Wright (groin) for Sunday's game. Sunday's game marks the first of four meetings between the teams this season. The Kings swept the three-game 2018-19 season series with the Mavericks.
December 12,2019 at 9:00 PM
12/8/2019 9:00 PM
Blazers Host Thunder on Friday
The Portland Trail Blazers play host to the Oklahoma City Thunder at Moda Center on Sunday. The Thunder (9-12) just pulled off one of the most miraculous wins on Friday night. They actually faced a T'Wolves team who missed three free-throws in the final 15 seconds of that game and then committed a technical foul for a player not tucking in his shirt. They then proceeded to make a free-throw with 1.1 seconds left and OKC with no timeouts, which allowed Steven Adams to throw a full-court outlet pass to Dennis Schroeder to tie the game on a banked floater. The Thunder then outscored the Timberwolves, 17-5 in a dominating overtime, proving to be one of the wildest finishes of the season. Thunder fans are just hopeful that a win like that is the kickstart of something special, as this team has plenty of talent to compete with anyone. The Trail Blazers (9-14) come into this matchup winning three of their last five games, with the only losses coming against the two Los Angeles teams. That's certainly nothing to be ashamed by either, with the Clippers and Lakers posing as two of the best teams in the NBA. What is worrisome is the fact that Rodney Hood just tore his Achilles in the loss on Friday. That is a guy who's regularly been playing 30 minutes a game and it's scary that this team lost yet another wing. Losing Zach Collins to injury was obviously a detriment but it's hard to imagine what they'll do without Hood too. That means it's time for Kent Bazemore and Mario Hezonja to take on a bigger role, as Carmelo Anthony has been doing all he can to take on some of that workload too. As long as Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum remain healthy though, this team will always compete. Portland has won the two meetings between these teams this season which extends a recent trend. In fact, Oklahoma City swept the four-game season series last year after the Blazers swept the previous season series in 2017-18.
December 12,2019 at 9:30 PM
12/8/2019 9:30 PM
Lakers Host T'Wolves on Sunday
The Los Angeles Lakers play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on Sunday. The Timberwolves (10-11) just had one of the most embarrassing losses in recent memory on Friday. While they did make a late run to send the game into overtime, a comedy of errors kept them from winning that ballgame. Not only did they get a technical foul in the final three seconds because of Jordan Bell's shirt not being tucked in, they also made a free-throw that ultimately cost them the game. Karl-Anthony Towns could have intentionally missed with 1.1 seconds left and OKC with no timeouts but he made it and the Thunder responded with an outlet pass and a bank by Dennis Schroder to send the game into OT. The Thunder then dominated after that, outscoring the Timberwolves, 17-5, in that extra session. That doesn't even take into consideration that Minnesota missed their other three free-throws in the final 15 seconds, proving just how disastrous that defeat was. It's just one loss though and they'll look to play better here in what's sure to be a tough matchup against the hottest team in basketball. The Lakers (20-3) are downright incredible right now. That was really clear on Friday when Los Angeles went into Portland and handed the Trail Blazers yet another defeat. The first half was truly amazing, with Los Angeles scoring a season-best 77 points, shooting over 60 percent from both the field and from three-point range. That emphasizes just how good this team is feeling and it's scary just how cohesively they're playing right now. Anthony Davis and LeBron James are obviously the key cogs but don't forget about role players like Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Danny Green, JaVale McGee and Avery Bradley, with all five guys playing a pivotal role too. Minnesota has dominated this series over recent years, winning seven of their last eight games over Los Angeles dating back three seasons.