***** NBA Previews from The Sports Network *****
Monday, March 10th
(All times Eastern)
DENVER NUGGETS (27-35) AT CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (29-34), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Al Jefferson and the Charlotte Bobcats aim to get on
track when they return home Monday to host the Denver Nuggets.
The Bobcats were in Memphis Saturday night and dropped a 111-89 decision to
the Grizzlies, as they shot a poor 39.8 percent and struggled from 3-point
range to the tune of 5-for-21.
Jefferson was cooled off with 17 points and was averaging 27.2 points in nine
games prior. Chris Douglas-Roberts (15), Kemba Walker (11) and Anthony
Tolliver (10) rounded out the double-digit scorers for Charlotte, losers in
four of six games since a four-game win streak.
"Tonight was five (games) in seven (days)," said Bobcats head coach Steve
Clifford. "Obviously it's been a tough week."
Charlotte is currently seventh in the Eastern Conference and has been playing
well at home with a 17-14 record. The Bobcats have won six in a row at home,
the longest streak as the host since a seven-game run from March 5-26, 2010.
Jefferson, the only player in the East averaging 21.2 points and 10.3
rebounds, is posting an average of 26.7 points at home this season. Walker is
averaging 19.0 ppg and 10.2 assists at Time Warner Cable Arena.
In injury news, Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson (calf) has missed four straight
games and is questionable Monday. He is scoring 14.6 ppg.
Denver fell back into the loss column with Sunday's 111-107 overtime defeat to
the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday in the first of five straight road games.
The Nuggets squandered a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter and Anthony
Morrow hit a game-tying jump shot for New Orleans to send the game into
overtime. Pelicans All-Star center Anthony Davis had a big night with 32
points, 17 rebounds and six blocks, and swatted a Ty Lawson layup attempt late
Kenneth Faried led the Nuggets with 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Lawson
added 15 points and 12 assists. Aaron Brooks had 15 points and Wilson
chipped in 14 for the Nuggets, who had a two-game win streak stopped and lost
for the 12th time in the last 15 tries.
"We let them get back in the game. It's something about us and this team this
year, we don't have that killer instinct quite yet," Faried said.
Denver is 11-19 on the road and will also visit Orlando, Miami and Atlanta. It
has lost three in a row away from the Pepsi Center and sits nine games off a
playoff spot in the West.
The Nuggets are 28th in opponents' scoring at 105.6 ppg and have allowed 100
or more points in each of the last four contests.
Charlotte defeated Denver 101-98 in the Mile High City on Jan. 29 and was led
by Jefferson's 35 points and 11 rebounds. Randy Foye scored 33 points in that
one for the Nuggets, who had a four-game win streak in the series halted.
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (15-47) AT NEW YORK KNICKS (24-40), 7:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Losing has become quite the norm for the Philadelphia
76ers and they'll try to stop a 16-game slide Monday against the rival New
York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
The Sixers haven't won since a buzzer-beating triumph at Boston on Jan. 29,
when they last prevailed on the road. Philadelphia is mired in a seven-game
road losing streak and has a 7-23 record as the visitor. It hasn't posted a
winning road mark since going 23-18 in 2002-03.
Philadelphia is coming off Saturday's 104-92 home loss to the Utah Jazz and is
winless in the past 13 games at Wells Fargo Center. It actually held a 52-50
lead at halftime, but the Jazz recorded a 54-40 advantage in the final 24
minutes to send the Sixers to a 3-26 mark since a season-best four-game win
streak from Dec. 29-Jan. 4.
Tony Wroten provided a spark off the Philly bench with a career-high 30 points
on 12-of-15 shooting and Thaddeus Young followed with 18 points. James
Anderson rounded out the double-digit scorers with 16 points and rookie
Michael Carter-Williams ended with just four points to go with nine assists,
seven rebounds and five steals for the 76ers, who shot 47.4 percent and
committed 19 turnovers.
The Sixers have the worst defense in the league and forced Utah into making 20
turnovers, leading to 26 points. It still wasn't enough to stop the drought.
"It was a good game we played," said Wroten. "We felt like we could have came
out with that one, but we let it slip away."
Philadelphia, which is 11-44 when allowing 100-plus points and last in the NBA
in opponents' scoring (110.9), will start a three-game homestand Wednesday
versus Sacramento, Indiana and Memphis.
Meanwhile, the Knicks have ripped off three straight wins since a seven-game
slide and posted a 107-97 victory at Cleveland on Saturday behind another
solid effort from Carmelo Anthony. Anthony scored 26 points and Amare
Stoudemire ended with 17 and 12 rebounds.
Tyson Chandler had another double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, and has
posted 10 or more points and rebounds in three straight and seven of 10 games.
He is averaging 12.3 points and 15.0 rebounds in that stretch for the Knicks,
who will try to match a four-game win streak from Jan. 24-30.
The Knicks are still in the hunt for a playoff spot in the weak Eastern
Conference and sit just 3 1/2 games off a postseason berth with 18 to play.
"We've been trying to figure out the chemistry on both ends of the court all
along, but it's better late than never," Stoudemire said.
New York is 13-20 at home and will visit Boston on Wednesday.
The team has reportedly offered legendary coach Phil Jackson a front office
position and is waiting for a response from the Zen Master. Jackson played for
the Knicks and won 11 titles as head coach of the Bulls and Lakers.
New York and Philadelphia have split two meetings this season and will close
the series March 21 in south Philly. The Knicks have won eight of the last 11
matchups between the Atlantic rivals.
WASHINGTON WIZARDS (33-29) AT MIAMI HEAT (43-17), 7:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat could be leading the Eastern Conference
right now, but they have failed to take advantage of the opportunity.
Miami returns home Monday to battle the Washington Wizards.
The Heat lost all three games on a recent trip to Houston, San Antonio and
Chicago, and are 1 1/2 games behind the East-leading Indiana Pacers, who are
mired in a season-high four-game losing streak.
Miami let another chance to get closer to the top fade away in Sunday's 95-88
overtime loss to the Bulls. LeBron James was stripped by Jimmy Butler on his
drive to the basket in the waning seconds with the score tied 86-86. The Bulls
would score nine of the 11 points in overtime.
"I dropped the ball. It's like a double entendre," James said. "I actually
dropped the ball, but I dropped the ball on my team. I had it. That's a great
play. I give a lot of credit to Jimmy. He got his hand on the ball, but I had
the lane. I had the layup."
James scored 17 points and has failed to reach 20 points in his last two
games. He has totaled 58 points over the previous three games since a 61-point
blowout of Charlotte on March 3.
Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 25 points, Chris Bosh netted 15 and Norris Cole
added 11 points off the bench for Miami, which had won eight in a row before
the recent slide and hasn't lost four in a row since a five-game drought from
Feb. 27-March 8, 2011.
The Heat have played well at home this season as evidenced by a 24-4 mark and
are unbeaten in the past five contests in south Florida. They will also host
Brooklyn, Denver and Houston.
Washington will play its next three games against Southeast opponents, Miami,
Charlotte and Orlando.
The Wizards have won five in a row on the road and have a 17-14 mark away from
home this season. The last time the Wizards ripped off six straight road wins
was from Dec. 6-22, 2001. They are 14-6 at home in the last 20 games and have
a 103.3 ppg average in that time. John Wall is averaging 18.7 points and 8.6
assists in that stretch.
Wall was held to nine points on 4-of-14 shooting and handed out 13 assists in
a 114-107 win over Milwaukee on Saturday, while Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal
scored 28 and 23 points, respectively, for the Wizards, who came out sluggish
in the third quarter and were outscored 21-10 in the stanza.
The Wizards had a 75-53 lead at halftime.
"We've got guys that need to learn that the game is never over in the NBA,"
said Washington head coach Randy Wittman. "We came out in the third quarter
like we were going to run the clock out and go on home."
Wittman's squad held on to win for the eighth time in nine tries and sits
fifth in the East, 1 1/2 games behind Chicago.
Wall is averaging 20.3 points and 10.4 assists in his last seven games. Marcin
Gortat, who had 11 points and six rebounds against the Bucks, is posting 17.3
ppg and 10.3 rpg in that span.
The Wizards have six players averaging at least 10 points per game and are not
the same pushover team in years past. They have split two meetings with Miami
this season and the last eight games overall. Washington, though, has lost
three in a row and 16 of 20 trips to South Beach.
TORONTO RAPTORS (35-26) AT BROOKLYN NETS (31-30), 7:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors look to distance themselves from the
Brooklyn Nets in the Atlantic Division standings when the two teams collide
Monday at Barclays Center.
The Raptors are four games ahead of Brooklyn for the division lead and have
won two of the first three matchups this season, including a 104-103 triumph
in the Empire State on Jan. 27.
Monday's game should be an exciting one for how close the Raptors and Nets are
in the Eastern Conference standings.
Toronto will end a quick road trip against the Nets and posted a 111-104
victory Sunday in Minnesota, as DeMar DeRozan led the way with 25 points and
Kyle Lowry followed with a triple-double of 20 points, 12 rebounds and 11
"Kyle and DeMar down the stretch really turned it on," said Raptors coach
Dwane Casey. "Kyle's triple-double was huge for us. We needed all of his
assists, all of his buckets and all of his rebounds."
Terrence Ross, Amir Johnson and Steve Novak all scored 15 points for the
Raptors, winners in three straight and nine of 11 games. Success beyond the 3-
point line aided the Raptors, who sank 14-of-24 from long distance.
Novak was 5-of-6 beyond the arc.
"They shot the heck out of it from 3," said Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman.
"It's a game we just didn't do enough to win."
Toronto is 17-14 on the road and unbeaten in three straight as the guest. They
are third in the East standings -- one game ahead of Chicago and four in front
of Brooklyn -- and will start a three-game homestand Wednesday versus Detroit,
Memphis and Phoenix.
Brooklyn is sixth in the conference standings and 1 1/2 games behind
Washington. It will shoot for a seventh straight win at home with the Raptors
in town and handed the Sacramento Kings a 104-89 defeat Sunday.
Former King Marcus Thornton scored 27 points off the bench and Joe Johnson
added 18. Deron Williams ended with 10 points and seven assists for a Nets
team that shot 53.2 percent and scored 28 points on 25 Sacramento turnovers.
"It's always fun to play your former team and see your homeboys," said
Thornton, "but my job was to focus on getting this win and we did."
The Nets have won five of six and 11 of their last 16 games, and have a 19-11
record at Barclays Center this season. They will visit Miami and Washington in
the middle of the week.
Nets veteran Kevin Garnett is still nursing a back issue and is questionable
Monday versus Toronto. Garnett hasn't played since Feb. 27 at Denver. Paul
Pierce (shoulder) and Andrei Kirilenko (ankle) are both questionable as well
and left Sunday's game.
ORLANDO MAGIC (19-45) AT MILWAUKEE BUCKS (12-50), 8 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Two of the worst teams the Eastern Conference has to
offer tangle Monday night, as the Milwaukee Bucks host the Orlando Magic at
the Bradley Center.
The Bucks have the worst record in the NBA at 12-50 and are 1-5 in their last
six games overall. In a 114-107 setback versus the Washington Wizards on
Saturday, Brandon Knight's 25 points went to waste and Khris Middleton chipped
in 15 points.
Ramon Sessions (14), Ersan Ilyasova (13), John Henson (12) and Nate Wolters
(10) rounded out the double-digit scorers for Milwaukee, which was down 75-53
at halftime and outscored the Wizards in the second half. The Bucks cut the
lead to three points late in the game, but it was too late.
"When you're down that much, to fight back it takes a lot out of the tank,"
said Knight, who is averaging 20.1 points in the last 17 games. "We've got to
do a better job of not putting ourselves in that position early in the game."
Bucks guard O.J. Mayo was suspended for the game after "forcibly striking" New
Orleans center Greg Stiemsma on Friday and is eligible to return Monday.
Milwaukee is 7-26 at home and will begin a three-game road trip Tuesday
against Minnesota, Atlanta and New York.
The Magic have seven more wins than the Bucks and are third-to-last in the
Eastern Conference, just ahead of Philadelphia and Milwaukee.
Orlando was previously in action Saturday and suffered a 121-112 loss at San
Antonio. Tony Parker had 30 points to lead six Spurs in double figures, while
Manu Ginobili scored 24 points. The Magic were paced by Tobias Harris' 23
points and Nikola Vucevic contributed 19 and 13 rebounds.
"I'm pretty happy with how we played offensively, but defensively we could
have done a better job," Vucevic said.
The Magic had a 61-59 halftime lead until a 20-8 run by the Spurs in the third
quarter ended any hope of an upset. Arron Afflalo scored 17 points in defeat.
Orlando is only 4-29 on the road this season and snapped its team record-tying
16-game road losing streak against the Sixers on Feb. 26. It will return home
Tuesday for a quick stay versus Denver and Washington.
In injury news for Orlando, rookie guard Victor Oladipo (ankle) is
questionable against Milwaukee Monday and has missed the last two games. He is
averaging 13.9 points this season.
The Magic have a 2-1 record against Milwaukee this season and are 10-3 in the
past 13 contests in this series. The Bucks, though, have won three in a row at
home versus the Magic.
ATLANTA HAWKS (26-35) AT UTAH JAZZ (22-41), 9 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks are barely clinging to the final
postseason spot in the Eastern Conference and could very well lose the
position if their bad play continues.
The Hawks hope to end their unsuccessful six-game road trip on a winning note
when they invade Salt Lake City Monday to take on the Utah Jazz. The Hawks
have lost the first five tests on the jaunt, including Saturday's tough
109-108 setback to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Hawks guard Jeff Teague drove on Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and put up a
wild shot, but Jordan was called for a foul. Teague stepped to the stripe with
1.2 seconds left and missed the first of two free throws. He then tried to
miss the second attempt, but the shot banked in giving the ball back to L.A.
The Clippers ran out the remaining clock to send Atlanta to its sixth straight
loss and 14th in the last 15 tries. Atlanta led 32-25 after one and brought a
slim 58-57 lead into the locker room at the half. The Hawks pushed their
halftime lead to 67-63, but the Clippers used a 13-3 run to grab a 76-70
"We had a chance to send it into overtime, but things didn't go our way late,"
said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. "I'm proud of our guys for their effort. We
just couldn't get it done."
DeMarre Carroll scored 19 points, Kyle Korver had 17 and Pero Antic added 16
points for the Hawks, who shot 50 percent from the floor. The Hawks had 19
turnovers converted into 25 L.A. points and received 14 points from All-Star
forward Paul Millsap. Teague ended with nine points.
The Hawks have lost 10 in a row on the road, are 9-24 as the visitor this
season and own a lowly 1-12 road record against teams from the West. They
haven't won as the guest since Jan. 31 at Philadelphia.
Atlanta, winless in six straight against Western teams, will return home to
host Milwaukee and Denver later in the week.
Utah was able to find a win in the finale of their six-game road trip with
Saturday's 104-92 victory over the slumping 76ers on the second night of a
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 22 points, Alec Burks scored 19 and Derrick
Favors finished with 15 and 14 rebounds in the win. Enes Kanter provided a
double-double of his own with 13 points and 10 boards. The Sixers were pesky
toward the end, but the Jazz fended them off.
"We did a good job of finishing the game," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin.
Hayward is averaging 18.3 points in his last seven games.
Corbin's squad will begin a three-game homestand Monday versus Atlanta, Dallas
and the Clippers, and has a 14-16 record in Salt Lake City. Burks has played
well in the last 12 games at home, averaging 19.6 ppg. He has five 20-point
efforts in that span.
Utah lost at Atlanta by a 118-85 score on Dec. 20 and has dropped five
straight and eight of the last nine games in this series. Atlanta has won
three straight after losing its last 15 at Utah, which leads the all-time
series at 48-44 with a 31-14 record at home.
The Jazz are 16-4 against the Hawks at Energy Solutions Arena.
PHOENIX SUNS (36-26) AT LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (44-20), 10:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Only three games separate the Los Angeles Clippers from
the top spot in the Western Conference and they'll try to move closer Monday
versus the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center.
The Clippers are fourth in the conference standings and have ripped off a
season-high seven straight wins, scoring 100 or more points in each of those.
They are first in the NBA in scoring with 107.8 points and opened a three-game
homestand with Saturday's 109-108 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Blake Griffin provided the go-ahead layup in the final minute to help the
Clippers survive a scare from the Hawks, who had a chance at the end but Jeff
Teague made just 1-of-2 from the foul line. Teague missed the first attempt
with 1.2 seconds left and sank the second after trying to miss.
"We got a win and that's all that matters," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "I
didn't like our execution late in the game. I don't like turnovers period. A
lot of them were unforced. I'm happy with the win, but you could see early we
didn't have it."
Griffin scored 27 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists, and has
scored 20 or more points in the last 22 games, averaging 27.4 ppg in that
time. Griffin needs 11 rebounds for 3,000 in his career and will become the
third player all-time to reach 6,000 points, 3,000 boards and 1,000 assists
before the end of his fourth season while shooting 50 percent or better.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Charles Barkley are the other players.
Chris Paul had 19 points and handed out 10 assists in the win over Atlanta.
Matt Barnes scored 17 points and is averaging 11.1 ppg in his last 22 games --
all starts. DeAndre Jordan ended with 13 points and 12 rebounds for Los
Angeles, which is 26-5 at home and will close the stay Wednesday versus Golden
A Clippers win over Phoenix would match the third-longest winning streak in
franchise history. On the injury front, top reserve Jamal Crawford (calf) is
expected to miss the game and is averaging 18.7 ppg.
L.A. is 26-11 against the West this season and 16-3 at home against conference
Meanwhile, the Suns are even with Memphis for the eighth spot in the West and
sit three games off the sixth seed. They had won three of four games until
dropping a 113-107 decision at Golden State on Sunday, as Gerald Green and
Goran Dragic scored 25 and 24 points, respectively.
Channing Frye had 16 points for the Suns, who were outplayed in the third
quarter by a 38-17 score and fell to 14-14 on the road.
"We just have to be tougher," said Green, who is averaging 29.0 ppg in his
last four games. "We have to grind it out. Every game isn't going to be an
easy game for us. Every game isn't going to be smooth sailing. We just have to
figure out to withstand leads and hold them."
The Suns are near the top in scoring this season with 105.5 ppg, but have
allowed opponents to reach the century mark in scoring over the past eight
games. Phoenix is giving up 102.9 ppg and that means trouble against a
Clippers team that thrives off running up the score and playing fast.
After Phoenix visits the Clippers, it will welcome Cleveland to the desert on
Wednesday. The Suns and Clippers have split two meetings this season and will
meet again April 2 in Arizona.
03/10 11:22:17 ET