National Basketball Association
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                ***** NBA Previews from The Sports Network *****
                              Tuesday, January 27
                              (All times Eastern)
 ( - The Toronto Raptors are in the midst of playing six of
 eight games on the road and will visit the Indiana Pacers Tuesday evening.
 Toronto went 2-1 on a recent road trip and recorded a 114-110 victory over the
 Detroit Pistons at home Sunday from Air Canada Centre.
 DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points and Jonas Valanciunas ended with 20 and 11
 rebounds for the Raptors, who shot 53.1 percent and ended a five-game drought
 without reaching the century mark in scoring.
 "I was really pleased with our offensive production," Raptors coach Dwane
 Casey said. "We're having our ups and downs. We just have to continue to
 improve in a lot of areas."
 Amir Johnson scored 17 points and All-Star Kyle Lowry ended with 11 and eight
 There were 11 lead changes and seven ties, and each team scored 56 points in
 the paint.
 The Raptors are 12-8 on the road and will host Sacramento on Wednesday before
 visiting Brooklyn and Washington later this week.
 Indiana is back home for the next five games versus Toronto, New York,
 Sacramento, Detroit and Cleveland, and has an 8-11 record in Indy.
 The Pacers salvaged the finale of a five-game road trip (1-4) with Sunday's
 106-99 victory in Orlando, as David West recorded 20 points, Damjan Rudez
 chipped in 18 and George Hill netted 17 points.
 Rodney Stuckey scored 15 points and Roy Hibbert supplied 11 to go along with a
 game-high 13 rebounds for the Pacers, who shot 51.8 percent and posted a 31-17
 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter.
 "We needed a victory," Rudez said. "We're better than our record shows."
 A 16-30 record doesn't resemble a winner, but Indiana was able to stop a
 seven-game losing streak in the Magic Kingdom.
 Pacers guard C.J. Miles (groin) is questionable Tuesday and did not play
 against the Magic. He played only 6:32 in Friday's 89-87 loss in Miami and is
 averaging 12.4 ppg.
 Indiana dropped a 106-94 decision at Toronto on Dec. 12 and Lou Williams paced
 the hosts with 26 points off the bench. Solomon Hill led Indiana with 16
 points and both Stuckey and C.J. Watson ended with 13.
 The Pacers and Raptors will meet again March 16 in Indianapolis. Toronto has
 won three of the last four games in this Eastern Conference series.
 ( - The Cleveland Cavaliers are riding another lengthy
 winning streak and look to make it seven in a row Tuesday against the Detroit
 Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
 The Cavaliers ripped off eight straight wins earlier this season and made it
 six consecutive victories with Sunday's 108-98 decision versus the Oklahoma
 City Thunder in the finale of a four-game homestand.
 Cleveland exploded for 37 points in the second quarter and was led by LeBron
 James, who scored 34 points on 11-of-25 shooting with seven rebounds, five
 assists and two blocks. James is averaging 30.3 points in his last seven.
 James' layup eight seconds before halftime gave him 22 first-half points and
 sent the Cavaliers into the break leading 57-49. His 3-pointer made it 91-80
 with less than 10 minutes to go in the game.
 "We're a confident bunch, but we're a humble bunch," said James. "We have to
 continue to work."
 Kyrie Irving posted 21 points, Kevin Love had 19 and 13 rebounds, and Tristan
 Thompson contributed 10 points and a game-best 16 rebounds for the Cavs, who
 have scored 100 or more points in each of the last seven games and made 43.9
 percent for the game. The Cavs hit on 16-of-36 3-pointers.
 Cleveland is 10-11 on the road and had lost four straight as the guest prior
 to this two-game win streak away from home. After visiting the Central-rival
 Pistons, the Cavaliers will host Portland and Sacramento.
 Love is six assists shy of 1,000 in his career.
 The Pistons hope to break out of their mini slump when they host the Cavs and
 have lost two straight and three of the last four games.
 Detroit is coming off Sunday's 114-110 setback at Toronto and received 35
 points from D.J. Augustin, who is taking over point guard duties with Brandon
 Jennings done for the season with a ruptured Achilles. Jennings went down in
 Saturday's loss at Milwaukee.
 Greg Monroe had 21 points and 16 rebounds against Toronto, while Kentavious
 Caldwell-Pope and Andre Drummond netted 16 and 14 points, respectively.
 "Our defense is terrible," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. "It really is,
 it's terrible."
 There were 11 lead changes and seven ties, and each team scored 56 points in
 the paint.
 The Pistons have won two straight and three of four games at home, and are
 7-15 at The Palace this season. They will visit Philadelphia on Wednesday.
 Detroit smashed Cleveland, 103-80, on Dec. 28 at Quicken Loans Arena to stop a
 three-game slide in this series. Drummond had 16 points and 17 rebounds, while
 James countered with 17 points, 10 boards and seven assists.
 The Central foes will meet again Feb. 24 and April 13.
 MILWAUKEE BUCKS (22-22) AT MIAMI HEAT (20-24), 7:30 P.M.
 ( - The Miami Heat haven't won three in a row since opening
 the campaign with a 3-0 mark and will try to match that streak Tuesday versus
 the Milwaukee Bucks at AmericanAirlines Arena.
 The Heat posted a big 96-84 win at Chicago on Sunday afternoon and former Bull
 Luol Deng scored 15 points. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh scored 26 and 20
 points, respectively, and Mario Chalmers ended with 15 points.
 Hassan Whiteside returned from a two-game absence because of injury and
 recorded a triple-double of 14 points, 13 rebounds and 12 blocks. Alonzo
 Mourning held the previous Heat single-game blocks record with nine.
 "Three months ago I was at the downtown Y just chilling, working on my game,"
 Whiteside said.
 Whiteside has become a key piece off Miami's bench and helped his team to its
 fifth win in the last eight games. The Heat will also host the Dallas
 Mavericks on this short residency and are 8-13 at home.
 The Bucks will resume a three-game road swing Tuesday and suffered a 101-95
 loss in San Antonio on Sunday.
 Milwaukee had a 55-47 lead at halftime, but was limited to 13 points in the
 third quarter. The Spurs posted a 32-28 scoring advantage over the final 12
 minutes to send the visitors to their fourth loss in six tries.
 Khris Middleton scored 21 points and Jerryd Bayless ended with 15 off the
 bench for the Bucks, who shot a decent 47.6 percent for the game, but
 committed 21 turnovers for 16 San Antonio points.
 "For us, in the third quarter, we turned the ball over," Milwaukee head coach
 Jason Kidd said. "We're playing the world champs. We know that they're going
 to make a run."
 Zaza Pachulia had 12 points and Ersan Ilyasova 11 in a losing effort.
 The Bucks have a 12-12 road record and will wrap up the trip Thursday against
 the Orlando Magic.
 Milwaukee is 2-0 against Miami this season and the two teams will close out
 the season series March 24 at the Bradley Center. Including the playoffs, the
 Heat had won nine in a row in this series before this season.
 Miami is 60-36 all-time against the Bucks (30-17 at home).
 ( - The Dallas Mavericks will try to avoid losing three
 straight games for the first time this season when they host the Southwest-
 rival Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday at American Airlines Center.
 The Mavericks had won three in a row and four of five games before dropping
 back-to-back decisions to the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans.
 In Sunday's 109-106 setback in the Big Easy, Monta Ellis poured in 36 points
 on 16-of-27 shooting, Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points and Rajon Rondo supplied 17
 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
 Dallas made 48.1 percent and sank just 9-of-24 3-pointers. It had a chance at
 the end, but Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis came up huge on defense.
 With his team trailing by one with 12.3 seconds left, Davis drew a foul on
 Tyson Chandler while working to get open and made both free throws. Then at
 the other end, Davis used his length to intercept Rondo's inbounds pass and
 sank two more from the line to make it 109-106.
 "It's hard to lob it up over one of the longest guys in the NBA," said
 Nowitzki, who is averaging 21.4 ppg in his last seven games.
 Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle is one win shy of 600 in his career (599-414).
 Dallas will start a three-game road trip Wednesday in Houston with trips to
 Miami and Orlando afterward.
 The Grizzlies are 13-7 on the road and will play four of the next six games
 away from FedExForum.
 Memphis enters tonight's tilt in Dallas with three straight wins and seven in
 the past eight games. The Grizzlies went 4-1 on a recent homestand and closed
 the stay with Monday's 103-94 triumph over the Orlando Magic. Zach Randolph
 posted 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Marc Gasol chipped in 16 points
 and 10 boards.
 Randolph has recorded nine straight double-doubles and is posting an average
 of 19.3 points and 13.4 rebounds in that stretch.
 "When he gets going, we're hard to guard," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said of
 Beno Udrih scored 15 points for the Grizzlies, who scored 67 points in the
 first half and survived a famine 14-point fourth quarter.
 Grizzlies guard Tony Allen missed Monday's game with an ankle injury and is
 listed as day-to-day.
 After visiting the Mavericks, Memphis will host Denver and Oklahoma City.
 Memphis and Dallas have split the first two of four matchups this season --
 both on Beale Street -- and will meet again March 20 in Big D. The Mavericks
 are 4-2 in the last six games in this series and have prevailed in four of the
 past five as the host.
 ( - The NBA-best Golden State Warriors have recorded a
 franchise-record 19 straight wins at home and will face a challenge Tuesday
 versus the Chicago Bulls at Oracle Arena.
 The Warriors are 21-1 as the host and 4-0 on a five-game homestand. They
 squeezed by the Boston Celtics, 114-111, on Sunday and were led by Klay
 Thompson's 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting. Thompson scored 37 points in the
 third quarter of Friday's win over Sacramento and finished with 52 points.
 Stephen Curry had 22 points and 11 assists, while Draymond Green ended with 14
 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors, who fended off a 34-point rally by
 the Celtics in the fourth quarter.
 "They put a lot of pressure on you and they stayed with it," Warriors coach
 Steve Kerr said of the Celtics. "They just kept fighting."
 Golden State has won five in a row overall and 13 of the last 14 games, and
 will visit the Utah Jazz Friday night.
 The Warriors are averaging an NBA-best 111.1 ppg this season and have a
 league-high 48.6 field goal percentage. Opponents are shooting an NBA-low 42.2
 percent against the Warriors.
 Chicago will face a Warriors squad that is 14-0 against the Eastern Conference
 (9-0 at home), but it is one of the top road teams in the league at 16-6.
 The Bulls will play the next six games away from the Windy City against the
 Warriors, LA Lakers, Phoenix, Houston, New Orleans and Orlando. They dropped a
 96-84 decision to the Miami Heat on Sunday, as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh
 scored 26 and 20 points, respectively.
 Derrick Rose paced the Bulls with 19 points, Aaron Brooks netted 17 off the
 bench and Pau Gasol collected 13 points and 17 rebounds. The Bulls shot a
 miserable 35.6 percent and had only 18 points in the second quarter.
 "Started off slow, it cost us a loss," Rose said.
 The Bulls had won two in a row and lost for the seventh time in the last 11
 Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy (ankle) is questionable Tuesday and hasn't played
 since New Year's Day.
 Chicago dropped a 112-102 decision to Golden State at the United Center on
 Dec. 6, as Jimmy Butler scored 24 points and Green pumped in 31 for the
 visitors. Golden State has won four of the last five at home in this series.
 ( - The Washington Wizards were able to avoid losing three
 straight games the last time out and will resume a four-game western road trip
 Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.
 The Wizards dropped their second straight game with a loss at Portland on
 Saturday in the opener of the swing, then bounced back the next day with a
 117-115 overtime triumph against Denver.
 Kris Humphries stepped up his game to the tune of 21 points and 14 rebounds,
 and scored four early points in the extra session. Paul Pierce scored 19
 points and John Wall supplied 19 points to go along with 16 assists for 24
 "We made plays when it counted," Humphries said.
 Nene and Bradley Beal scored 14 points apiece for the Wizards, who made 53.3
 percent for the game and improved to 12-9 away from DC. The Wizards will wrap
 up the trek Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns.
 Washington will play four games in five days and is 24-1 when holding
 opponents under 100 points this season. The Wizards are 8-0 on the road when
 giving up less than 100 points.
 Wall is averaging 18.3 points in his last four games and Pierce is posting
 15.5 ppg in that span. Pierce is 30 points shy of tying Alex English (25,613)
 for 15th on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
 The Lakers are mired in an eight-game losing streak and opened a three-game
 homestand with Sunday's 99-87 loss to the Houston Rockets.
 Carlos Boozer scored 18 points and Jeremy Lin added 14 for the Lakers, who
 were held under 90 points for the fifth time in the last seven games. Wayne
 Ellington had 13 points and Jordan Hill added 10 and seven rebounds in the
 Los Angeles was in a hole at 30-15 following the first 12 minutes and played
 tough over the next three quarters, but the first stanza was too much to
 overcome. The Lakers shot 43 percent and committed 21 turnovers for 21 Houston
 The Lakers will be without the services of guard Kobe Bryant for the remainder
 of the season, as he will undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his
 right shoulder.
 A timetable for Bryant's recovery won't be known until after Wednesday
 morning's procedure. Bryant suffered the injury in last Wednesday's 96-80 loss
 at New Orleans.
 Bryant could be facing a third consecutive season-ending injury. He suffered a
 torn Achilles tendon in April 2013 and a broken bone in his knee last season.
 The 36-year-old Bryant averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists in
 35 games this season.
 With Bryant's absence, the Lakers will look to see more production out of
 reserve Nick Young, but that wasn't the case on Sunday.
 "I felt with his body language that I didn't want to play him," Lakers coach
 Byron Scott said of Young, who went 0-for-2 from the field in just under 8 1/2
 minutes off the bench.
 LA is 6-6 against the East (4-2 at home) and will close the homestand Thursday
 versus the Chicago Bulls. It is 6-16 as the host in 2014-15.
 The Wizards topped the Lakers, 111-95, on Dec. 3 at the Verizon Center and
 were led by Beal's 27 points. Marcin Gortat added 21 points and 11 rebounds,
 while Bryant was healthy at the time and finished with 29 points.
 Washington defeated Los Angeles twice last season and has won four straight
 and five of the last six matchups between the teams. Los Angeles has lost two
 straight at home in this series.
 01/27 09:47:18 ET

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