Tag: anthony

The Rockets take a 1-0 lead in the series as they hand the Lakers a 112-97 loss

The Rockets take a 1-0 lead in the series as they hand the Lakers a 112-97 loss

Friday, September 4, 2020

Tonight marks the first game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets in their best-of-seven playoff series.  The last time the Lakers and the Rockets met up in the playoffs was back in 2009 when the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers defeated the Yao Ming-led Rockets in the Semifinals, 4-3.  During this regular season, the Lakers beat the Rockets only once in the three games they played against each other.

INACTIVES:

Houston Rockets:

-DeMarre Carroll (coach’s decision)
-Tyson Chandler (coach’s decision)
-Luc Mbah a Moute (coach’s decision)
-Chris Clemons
-Bruno Caboclo

Los Angeles Lakers:

-J.R. Smith (coach’s decision)
-Talen Horton-Tucker
-Devontae Cacok
-Quinn Cook
-Kostas Antetokounmpo

GAMETIME:

The Houston Rockets would have control of things in the first half as they shot 51% from the field while the Los Angeles Lakers shot 48%.  James Harden got extremely hot with 25 points while knocking down two three-pointers in the process.  Russell Westbrook helped out with 11 points to go along with three rebounds, three assists, and one steal.  Eric Gordon had seven points on just 28% shooting while P.J. Tucker and Robert Covington both had two three-pointers each.  Danuel House played 15 minutes off of the bench but was kept scoreless.

On the other end of the floor, LeBron James chalked up 13 points which held a three-pointer.  He also had five rebounds and five assists while Anthony Davis chalked up ten points to go along with four rebounds and two blocks.  Two-time NBA champion Danny Green had just seven points while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and JaVale McGee combined for seven points.  Kyle Kuzma played the most minutes off of the bench but only had three points while the Rockets went into halftime with a 63-55 lead.

The Rockets would close things out in the second half as they went on a 49-42 run, shooting 45%.  During that run, Gordon recorded 16 points while knocking down two three-pointers in the process.  Westbrook had 13 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists.  Harden contributed with 11 points while Covington and Tucker were both held scoreless.  Jeff Green played the most minutes off of the bench as he had five points.

As for the California ball club, Davis added 15 more points to his scoring total while recording ten rebounds, one assist, three steals, and one block.  James had just seven points but was able to record three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.  Rajon Rondo played 15 minutes off of the bench but only had a three-pointer as the Rockets run away with a 112-97 win, taking a 1-0 lead in the series.  James Harden finished the game with 36 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block.  Anthony Davis finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds, one assist, 3 steals, and 3 blocks.

So…what’s next?

The Los Angeles Lakers will look to even the series up a 1-1 as they take on the Houston Rockets on Sunday at 8:30 p.m.

T.J. Warren seals the deal as the Pacers defeat the Lakers, 116-111

T.J. Warren seals the deal as the Pacers defeat the Lakers, 116-111

Saturday, August 8, 2020

 

The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to recover from a 113-97 loss they took in the hands of the Houston Rockets on Thursday.  They will hope to avoid a third straight loss as they battle the Indiana Pacers tonight.  As for the Pacers, they will try to avoid a second consecutive loss, coming off of a 114-99 loss handed to them by the Phoenix Suns.

Tonight’s matchup will mark the second and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  The last time they saw each other was on December 17 when the Pacers crept away with a 105-102 win.  During that game, Domantas Sabonis scored 26 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists while LeBron James had 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Indiana Pacers have played each other a grand total of 97 times as the Lakers won 64 games while the Pacers were limited to 33 victories.

INACTIVES:

Los Angeles Lakers:

-Markieff Morris (coach’s decision; 9.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.4 APG, 43.9 FG%, 37.4 3P%)
-Rajon Rondo (thumb; 7.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 5.0 APG, 41.8 FG%, 32.8 3P%)
-J.R. Smith (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.2 APG, 16.7 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Dion Waiters (coach’s decision; 10.0 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.5 APG, 36.8 FG%, 28.2 3P%)
-Devontae Cacok
-Danny Green (hip; 8.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 41.7 FG%, 36.7 3P%)
-Kostas Antetokounmpo (0.0 PPG, 0.3 RPG, 0.3 APG)

Indiana Pacers:

-Jeremy Lamb (knee; 12.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 45.1 FG%, 33.5 3P%)
-Domantas Sabonis (foot; 18.5 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 5.0 APG, 54.0 FG%, 25.4 3P%)
-Alize Johnson (coach’s decision; 1.3 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.1 APG, 46.7 FG%)
-T.J. Leaf (coach’s decision; 2.9 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.3 APG, 42.9 FG%, 31.3 3P%)
-Edmond Sumner (coach’s decision; 4.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 41.7 FG%, 26.7 3P%)
-Brian Bowen (0.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.0 APG, 22.2 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Naz Mitrou-Long (3.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 35.3 FG%, 16.7 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The contest would be held close in the first half as the Los Angeles Lakers shot 47% from the field while the Indiana Pacers shot 51%.  Three-time NBA champion LeBron James got hot for 17 points while shooting 80%.  He was also able to knock down a three-pointer while grabbing three rebounds and dishing out two assists.  Anthony Davis chalked up six points while shooting just 29%.  He did have six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks while both Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a three-pointer each.  Kyle Kuzma played 13 minutes off the bench but only had three points.

On the other end of the floor, T.J. Warren recorded 18 points which included two three-pointers in the first period.  Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo combined for 21 points while Aaron Holiday helped out with four points.  Texas-native Myler Turner would be held to just a free-throw.  Justin Holiday played the most minutes off the bench but only had a three-pointer while the Lakers went into halftime with a 59-54 advantage.

The Indiana Pacers would come back to close things out in the second half as they went on a 62 to 52 run, shooting 54% from the field.  During that run, Warren stayed hot as he dropped 21 more points on 73% shooting.  He was able to knock down 3 three-pointers in the process while Brogdon had 13 points.  Victor Oladipo chalked up 12 points which included two three-pointers.  T.J. McConnell played the most minutes off the bench but was held scoreless.

As for the California ball club, James added 14 more points to his scoring total while Anthony Davis was held to two points.  Quinn Cook played 13 minutes off the bench as he had eight points but it was the Pacers who escaped with a 116-111 win, thanks to two clutch shots by T.J. Warren.  Warren finished the game with 39 points, along with 5 rebounds, and one assist while LeBron James had 31 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Los Angeles Lakers will battle Nikola Jokic (20.2 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 7.0 APG, 52.6 FG%, 30.9 3P%) and the Denver Nuggets (45-24) on Monday at 9:00 p.m.  This will mark the fourth and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  The last time they saw each other was on February 12 when the Nuggets fell to the Lakers, 120-116.  Anthony Davis finished that game with 33 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks while Jamal Murray had 32 points, 3 rebounds, and 10 assists.

The Indiana Pacers will meet up with Jimmy Butler (20.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 6.1 APG, 45.6 FG%, 24.8 3P%) and the Miami Heat (43-26) on Monday at 8:00 p.m.  It will be the third of four times that these teams will fight each other this season.  January 8 was the last time they played each other as the Heat ran away with a 122-108 victory.  During that game, Tyler Herro scored 19 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and gave out 2 assists while Domantas Sabonis had 27 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists.

The Portland Trail Blazers hold off the Phoenix Suns, 111-110

The Portland Trail Blazers hold off the Phoenix Suns, 111-110

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

 

The Phoenix Suns will look to avoid a third straight loss tonight as they battle the Portland Trail Blazers at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.  The Suns are coming off a 121-119 overtime thriller against the San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City in which they lost.  With a 6-9 record at home, the Suns will try to win tonight before heading on the road for a two-game road trip.

The Blazers, on the other hand, are trying to recover from a 114-99 loss they took in the hands of Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.  Tonight’s matchup will mark the second of a two-game road trip for the Blazers before they return to the Moda Center for a four-game homestand.  This will be the first time that these teams will see each other this season before playing against each other three more times.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Suns and the Blazers have battled each other a grand total of 257 times in the past as the Suns won 135 games while the Portland team was kept to 122 victories.

INACTIVES:

Portland Trail Blazers:

-Zach Collins (shoulder; 9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 47.4 FG%, 42.9 3P%)
-Rodney Hood (Achilles; 11.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.5 APG, 50.6 FG%, 49.3 3P%)
-Nassir Little (back; 4.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 0.7 APG, 40.8 FG%, 16.7 3P%)
-Jusuf Nurkic (leg)
-Jaylen Hoard (1.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.4 APG, 50.0 FG%)
-Moses Brown (2.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 42.9 FG%)

Phoenix Suns:

-Devin Booker (forearm; 25.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 6.4 APG, 50.7 FG%, 40.6 3P%)
-Cheick Diallo (coach’s decision; 5.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.5 APG, 69.5 FG%, 100.0 3P%)
-Ty Jerome (coach’s decision; 2.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 2.2 APG, 25.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
-Tyler Johnson (illness; 6.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 37.9 FG%, 31.0 3P%)
-Jalen Lecque
-Deandre Ayton (suspension; 18.0 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 64.3 FG%)
-Jared Harper (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The Phoenix Suns will have slight control of the game in the first half as they shot fifty-eight percent from the field, keeping the visiting team to fifty percent.  Both Kelly Oubre and Dario Saric scored 13 points each as they both had a three-pointer, as well.  Oubre was able to record one assist and a block while Saric had three defensive rebounds, one assist, and a steal.

Former Hornets’ center Frank Kaminsky contributed with 12 points which held a three-pointer in the second quarter.  He also had one defensive rebound and four assists while Ricky Rubio and Mikal Bridges combined for just nine points.  Cameron Johnson played the most minutes off the bench but only had five points.

On the other end of the court, C.J. McCollum got hot for 18 points while hitting a three-pointer in the process.  Both Carmelo Anthony and Damian Lillard had ten points in the 16 minutes they played.  Anthony was able to drill two three-pointers in the opening quarter to go along with four rebounds, one steal, and two blocks.

Hassan Whiteside was kept to just six points but managed to record four defensive rebounds and one block.  North Carolina-native Kent Bazemore had eight points that held two three-pointers.  He also had two defensive rebounds, two steals, and a block.  Anthony Tolliver played 10 minutes off the bench but only had a three-pointer as the Suns went into halftime with a 67-59 advantage.

The Oregon ball club would make a comeback in the second half as they went on a 52-43 run, completing forty-five percent of their shots attempted.  During that run, Lillard chalked up 17 points while hitting two three-pointers in the process.  Anthony helped out with 13 points as he had two treys of his own.

McCollum saw to it that he earned 12 points while grabbing five rebounds, giving out two assists, committing a steal and blocking a shot.  Whiteside and Bazemore combined for seven points while Whiteside had 10 rebounds.  Anfernee Simons played eight minutes off the bench but was held scoreless.

As for the Suns, Oubre continued to impress as he had 11 more points which held two three-pointers.  Rubio and Kaminsky both had five points each while Bridges and Saric had four each.  Cameron Johnson played the most minutes off the bench as he earned himself eight points.

With only 32 seconds left in the game, the Suns would have a 110-108 lead as a result of a four-point play by Kelly Oubre.  After two timeouts, Lillard would take the ball and make a driving layup in which he was fouled by Aron Baynes.  Lillard ended up making the free-throw to give the Blazers a one-point lead.

With 0.6 seconds remaining, Rubio would pull up and attempt a 25-foot three-pointer to take the win but ended up missing as the Portland Trail Blazers hold on to come away with a 111-110 victory.  C.J. McCollum finished the game with 30 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, one steal, and one block while Kelly Oubre had 24 points, 2 assists, 3 steals, and a block.

So…what’s next?

The Portland Trail Blazers will host D’Angelo Russell (21.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 6.2 APG, 42.5 FG%, 34.3 3P%) and the Golden State Warriors (5-23) on Wednesday at 10:00 p.m.  This will mark the second of four times that these two ball clubs will play each other this season.  The last time they met up was on November 4 when the Warriors escaped with a 127-118 victory.  Eric Paschall finished that game with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and one block while Damian Lillard had 39 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and one block.

The Phoenix Suns will head to California to take on Kawhi Leonard (25.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 5.1 APG, 45.0 FG%, 35.7 3P%) and the Los Angeles Clippers (20-8) on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m.  This will be the second of four times that these two teams will see each other this season.  October 26 was the last time they played each other as the Clippers fell to the Suns, 130-122.  During that game, Devin Booker scored 30 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and dished off 8 assists while Montrezl Harrell had 28 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, one steal, and a block.

The Lakers get by the Nuggets with a 105 to 96 victory

The Lakers get by the Nuggets with a 105 to 96 victory

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

 

The Los Angeles Lakers ten-game win streak came to an end on Sunday as they fell to Luka Doncic-led Dallas Mavericks, 114-100.  That game marked the first of many difficult games for the Lakers this December as they will play only four times at the Staples Center this month.  The Lakers will hope to grab a win tonight, though, as they battle the Denver Nuggets in Colorado.

The Nuggets, on the other hand, just recently came off a streak of their own.  On Saturday, they lost to the Sacramento Kings in a 100-97 overtime loss, ending their six-game win streak.  Tonight’s matchup between the Nuggets and Lakers will mark the first of four times that these two teams will play each other this season.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Lakers and the Nuggets have battled each other a grand total of 203 times in the past as the Nuggets won 77 games while the Lakers went on to grab 126 victories.

INACTIVES:

Los Angeles Lakers:

-Avery Bradley (leg; 9.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, 48.8 FG%, 28.6 3P%)
-DeMarcus Cousins (knee)
-Quinn Cook (coach’s decision; 5.5 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.6 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%)
-Jared Dudley (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, 40.0 FG%, 57.1 3P%)
-Talen Horton-Tucker (G-League)
-Zach Norvell (G-League)
-Kostas Antetokounmpo (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG)

Denver Nuggets:

-Bol Bol (foot)
-Torrey Craig (coach’s decision; 2.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 34.1 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
-Michael Porter (coach’s decision; 3.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.4 APG, 44.1 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
-Jarred Vanderbilt (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.3 APG)
-Vlatko Cancar (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-PJ Dozier (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The Los Angeles Lakers would have a slight advantage in the first half as they shot forty-nine percent from the field while the Denver team shot forty-four percent.  LeBron James scored 13 points which included a three-pointer in the first period.  He also had three rebounds and three assists while Anthony Davis earned himself 10 points and seven rebounds.

Former Wizards’ center JaVale McGee contributed with four points while collecting four rebounds and blocking one shot.  Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope combined for just four points.  Rajon Rondo played the most minutes off the bench as he scored nine points, hitting two three-pointers in the process.

On the other end of the court, Jamal Murray chalked up 11 points on fifty-percent shooting.  He also had four rebounds, two assists, and a steal while Paul Millsap had nine points.  Gary Harris chalked up four points while Nikola Jokic had three points, one rebound, five assists, and two steals.  Jerami Grant played nine minutes off the bench but only had five points as the Lakers went into the locker room with a 60-49 lead.

The Lakers would continue to impress in the second half as they shot forty-two percent from the field, keeping the Nuggets at thirty-seven percent shooting.  Davis had 15 more points to go along with three rebounds and a block.  He also had a three-pointer while James earned 12 points, three rebounds, and six assists.

As for the home team, Millsap scored 12 more points while Murray and Jokic combined for 21 points.  Gary Harris had five points but it was not enough as the Lakers came away with a 105-96 victory.  LeBron James finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists while Jamal Murray had 22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Los Angeles Lakers will head to Utah to take on Donovan Mitchell (24.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 43.5 FG%, 36.9 3P%) and the Utah Jazz (12-9) on Wednesday.  This will mark the second of four meetings between these two teams this season.  The last time they played each other was on October 25 when the Lakers beat the Jazz, 95-86.  LeBron James finished that game with 32 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, and one steal while Donovan Mitchell had 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and one block.

The Denver Nuggets will travel to the Big Apple to battle Marcus Morris (18.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, 42.4 FG%, 52.4 3P%) and the New York Knicks (4-17) on Thursday.  This will mark the first of two times that they will see each other this season.

The Nuggets slid by the Wizards, 117-104

The Nuggets slid by the Wizards, 117-104

The Denver Nuggets are currently on their longest winning streak of this season, looking to grab a sixth straight victory tonight as they host the Washington Wizards.  The Nuggets are coming fresh off of a 116-104 win against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

The Wizards, on the other hand, are coming off a 113-106 loss against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, looking to avoid a second straight loss.  Tonight’s battle will mark the first of two matchups between these two ball clubs this season.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Nuggets and the Wizards have played each other a grand total of 90 times in the past as the Nuggets won 52 games, limiting the D.C. team to 38 victories.

INACTIVES:

Washington Wizards:

-Ian Mahinmi (Achilles)
-John Wall (Achilles)
-Admiral Schofield (G-League; 3.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.2 APG, 70.0 FG%, 57.1 3P%)
-Justin Robinson (G-League; 1.3 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.5 APG, 40.0 FG%, 100.0 3P%)
-Garrison Matthews (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Denver Nuggets:

-Bol Bol (foot)
-Torrey Craig (coach’s decision; 2.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 34.1 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
-Michael Porter (coach’s decision; 3.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.4 APG, 44.1 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
-Jarred Vanderbilt (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.3 APG)
-Vlatko Cancar (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-PJ Dozier

GAMETIME:

The Denver Nuggets would have control of the game in the first half as they shot fifty-seven percent from the field, keeping the visitors to thirty-eight percent.  Will Barton scored 11 points while knocking down a three-pointer in the second quarter.  Jamal Murray helped out with ten points as he missed only three of his eight shots attempted.

Center Nikola Jokic recorded six points while grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out four assists.  Indiana-native Gary Harris contributed with four points while Paul Millsap had three points.  Former Philadelphia 76ers’ Jerami Grant played the most minutes off the bench as he got hot for sixteen points.

On the other end of the court, Thomas Bryant put up eight points while recording two rebounds, one assist, one steal, and a block.  Troy Brown chalked up six points on fifty-percent shooting.  Bradley Beal dropped four points while pulling down three rebounds and giving out three assists.  Moritz Wagner played the most minutes off the bench as he had eight points while the Colorado team went into halftime with a huge 64-47 lead.

The Washington Wizards would attempt a comeback in the second half as they went on a 57-53 run, shooting forty-five percent from the field.  During that run, Jordan McRae scored 17 points off the bench which included 3 three-pointers in the last quarter.  Davis Bertans helped out with 11 points while Beal earned 10 more points.

As for the Nuggets, Mason Plumlee scored 11 points off the bench while recording five rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block.  Harris was able to get seven points while Murray had six.  Jokic was held to just two points but it was still the Nuggets who were able to get by with a 117-104 victory.  Jerami Grant finished the game with 20 points, 4 rebounds, one assist, and 2 steals while Jordan McRae had 21 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and one steal.

So..what’s next?

The Washington Wizards will head to Arizona to battle Devin Booker (24.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 6.2 APG, 51.8 FG%, 42.9 3P%) and the Phoenix Suns (8-8) on Wednesday at 9:00 p.m.  This will mark the first of two times that these teams will play each other this season.

The Denver Nuggets will go to California to play Buddy Hield (20.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.3 APG, 42.5 FG%, 39.6 3P%) and the Sacramento Kings (7-9) on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.  This will be the second of four meetings between these two teams this season.  The last time they played each other was on October 28 when the Kings fell to the Nuggets, 101-94.  Jamal Murray finished that game with 18 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and one steal while Richaun Holmes had 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

The Milwaukee Bucks hold off the Portland Trail Blazers, 137-129

The Milwaukee Bucks hold off the Portland Trail Blazers, 137-129

Tuesday night marked Carmelo Anthony’s first game as a Portland Trail Blazer.  He was absent from the league for a little over a year after the Houston Rockets released him.  His debut wasn’t very impressive as he shot only twenty-eight percent from the field, scoring just 10 points against the New Orleans Pelicans.  The Blazers ended up losing that game, 115-104.

That loss was the second straight for the Portland team but they will look to grab a victory tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks in their fourth of six road games.  The Bucks, on the other hand, are seeking their sixth straight win.  This meeting will mark the first of two times that these teams will see each other this season.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Portland Trail Blazers and the Milwaukee Bucks have battled each other a grand total of 125 times as the Trail Blazers won 52 games while the Bucks went on to grab 73 victories.

INACTIVES:

Portland Trail Blazers:

-Zach Collins (shoulder; 9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 47.4 FG%, 42.9 3P%)
-Damian Lillard (back; 28.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 7.1 APG, 45.2 FG%, 35.7 3P%)
-Jusuf Nurkic (leg)
-Hassan Whiteside (hip; 14.9 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 0.9 APG, 58.7 FG%)
-Moses Brown (coach’s decision; 0.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
-Jaylen Hoard (coach’s decision; 0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)

Milwaukee Bucks:

-Khris Middleton (thigh; 18.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 46.8 FG%, 39.3 3P%)
-D.J. Wilson (coach’s decision; 2.0 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.3 FG%, 18.2 3P%)
-Kyle Korver (coach’s decision; 6.6 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.1 APG, 40.0 FG%, 40.4 3P%)
-Thanasis Antetokounmpo (coach’s decision; 2.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 50.0 FG%)
-Cameron Reynolds (G-League)
-Frank Mason (G-League)
-Dragan Bender

GAMETIME:

The Bucks would have control of the game in the first half as they shot forty-nine percent from the field, keeping the Blazers to forty percent.  Eric Bledsoe chalked up 14 points while knocking down two three-pointers in the process.  Last season’s MVP winner Giannis Antetokounmpo helped out with eleven points, along with nine rebounds, seven assists, and one steal.

Wesley Matthews had nine points which he earned all from beyond the arc while both Brook Lopez and Donte DiVincenzo scored four points each.  Illinois-native Sterling Brown played the most minutes off the bench as he earned himself eight points.

On the other end of the floor, C.J. McCollum dropped fourteen points, hitting two three-pointers in the process.  He also had five rebounds, five assists, and 2 blocks while Carmelo Anthony contributed with ten points, including two three-pointers.  Skal Labissiere played 12 minutes off the bench as he got hot for 14 points but it was the home team who went into the locker room with a huge 72-58 advantage.

The Oregon ball club would attempt a comeback in the second half as they went on a 71-65 run, shooting fifty-seven percent from the field.  During that run, McCollum continued to impress as he got hot for 23 points, only missing seven of his seventeen shots attempted.  Anthony made up for his debut as he scored eight more points, finishing with 18 points in total.

As for the Bucks, Bledsoe scored 16 more points while Antetokounmpo helped out with 13.  Pat Connaughton chalked up seven points off the bench as the Milwaukee team spoiled the Portland Trail Blazers late comeback attempt, 137-129.  Eric Bledsoe finished the contest with 30 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and one steal while C.J. McCollum settled for 37 points, 6 rebounds, a career-high-tying 10 assists, and a career-high tying 3 blocks.

So…what’s next?

The Portland Trail Blazers will head to Ohio to take on Kevin Love (18.7 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, 45.6 FG%, 37.0 3P%) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (4-10) on Saturday at 8:00 p.m.  This will mark the first of two games between these teams this season.

The Milwaukee Bucks will host Andre Drummond (18.6 PPG, 16.8 RPG, 3.1 APG, 54.0 FG%, 00.0 3P%) and the Detroit Pistons (4-10) on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.  This will be the first of four times that they play each other this season.

The Lakers grab their seventh straight win against the Heat, 95-80

The Lakers grab their seventh straight win against the Heat, 95-80

With a 6-1 record, the Los Angeles Lakers are sitting at the top of the Western Conference and they hope to keep that spot as they battle the Miami Heat tonight at the Staples Center.  They are currently on a six-game win streak, looking to grab a seventh straight victory tonight.  The Heat have been very impressive this season, as well.  They are sitting with a 6-2 record, hoping to grab a second consecutive win tonight.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers have battled each other a grand total of 62 times in the past as the Heat defeated the Lakers 27 times while the Lakers won 35 matchups.

INACTIVES:

Miami Heat:

-Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision)
-Derrick Jones (hip; 7.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 60.0 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
-KZ Okpala (Achilles; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-Dion Waiters (illness)
-Daryl Macon (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-Justise Winslow (concussion; 13.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, 38.9 FG%, 25.0 3P%)

Los Angeles Lakers:

-DeMarcus Cousins (knee)
-Jared Dudley (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 0.4 RPG, 0.2 APG, 66.7 FG%, 100.0 3P%)
-Talen Horton-Tucker (coach’s decision)
-Rajon Rondo (calf)
-Zach Norvell (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
-Kostas Antetokounmpo (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG)

GAMETIME:

The beginning of the game would be held close as the Miami Heat shot thirty-seven percent from the field while the Los Angeles Lakers completed forty-three percent of their shots.  Anthony Davis scored 16 points while missing only one of his eight shots attempted.  He recorded six rebounds, as well, along with two assists, two steals, and two blocks.  Former Miami Heat superstar LeBron James was kept to just five points but nailed a three-pointer in the first quarter.

Avery Bradley, who is coming off an injury, chalked up six points on sixty percent shooting.  He also had four rebounds and two assists while Danny Green had a trey at the beginning of the game.  JaVale McGee was kept to just two points but had three rebounds and one block.  Kyle Kuzma played the most minutes off the bench but had just five points.

As for the visiting team, four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler got hot for 11 points but shot only thirty-seven percent from the field.  He also had two rebounds, two assists, and one steal while Kendrick Nunn earned eight points.  Bam Adebayo had five points while Duncan Robinson hit a three-pointer in the second quarter.  Goran Dragic played 15 minutes off the bench as he had 11 points but it was the Lakers who went into halftime with a close 48-46 lead.

The California ball club would take over in the second half as they went on a 47-34 run, shooting forty-six percent from the field, holding the Heat to thirty-two percent shooting.  James got hot for 20 points, burying three shots from beyond the arc in the process.  He also had three rebounds and two assists while Anthony Davis helped out with 10 points on forty-four percent shooting.

McGee contributed with seven points and seven rebounds while Bradley had a three-pointer near the end of the game.  Danny Green had held to just one point, which was earned from the charity stripe.  Virginia-native Troy Daniels played 10 minutes off the bench but was held scoreless.

On the other end of the court, Butler gave 11 points while Adebayo had six points.  Both Duncan Robinson and Meyers Leonard were held scoreless while Nunn had just two points.  Dragic played the most minutes off the bench as he had eight but it was the home team who came away with a 95-80 victory, earning their seventh straight win.  Anthony Davis finished with 26 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks while Jimmy Butler had 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

So…what’s next?

The Miami Heat will host Andre Drummond (21.9 PPG, 18.6 RPG, 3.1 APG, 58.2 FG%, 00.0 3P%) and the Detroit Pistons (4-5) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.  The Los Angeles Lakers will host Pascal Siakam (25.6 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, 50.0 FG%, 38.9 3P%) and the Toronto Raptors (5-2) on Sunday at 9:30 p.m.

Davis’ Laker debut is spoiled as the Clippers hand the Lakers a 112-102 loss

Davis’ Laker debut is spoiled as the Clippers hand the Lakers a 112-102 loss

This offseason was one for the books.  With all the trades and team moves that took place this year, none are more exciting than the new additions to the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers.  This offseason, the Clippers signed defending champion and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and traded a record number of draft picks for Paul George.  This move put the Clippers as favorites to win it all as they have two great defenders and scorers at the head with a bunch of other great defensive players behind them.

As for their rival, the Lakers, they hired Frank Vogel as head coach for the team with Jason Kidd as his assistant.  On the court, the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to pair with three-time champion LeBron James.  In return, the Pelicans received Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round draft picks.  They also added Dwight Howard, Avery Bradley, DeMarcus Cousins, Jared Dudley, and Danny Green.

As the season starts, the Lakers and the Clippers will battle tonight for the upper hand in this season matchup.  This game will mark the first of four meetings between these two ball clubs this season.  Last year, they split the season series at two apiece.  Overall, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers met a total of 220 times with the Lakers winning 148 games and the Clippers grabbing 72.

INACTIVES:

Los Angeles Lakers:

-Kostas Antetokounmpo (coach’s decision)
-Alex Caruso (coach’s decision)
-Zach Norvell (coach’s decision)
-Kyle Kuzma (ankle)
-Talen Horton-Tucker (foot)
-Rajon Rondo (calf)
-DeMarcus Cousins (knee)

Los Angeles Clippers:

-Mfiondu Kabengele (coach’s decision)
-Terance Mann (coach’s decision)
-Johnathan Motley (coach’s decision)
-Jerome Robinson (coach’s decision)
-Amir Coffey (ankle)
-Derrick Walton
-Paul George (rehab)
-Rodney McGruder (ankle)

GAMETIME:

The Los Angeles Clippers would have the upper hand in the majority of the first half as they shot fifty-seven percent from the field, keeping the Los Angeles Lakers at forty-six percent.  Kawhi Leonard got hot for 20 points as he hit eight of his eleven shots attempted.  He had a three-pointer early in the second quarter as he collected three rebounds and gave out three assists.

Former Philadelphia 76ers’ guard Landry Shamet helped out with five points which included a three-pointer in the second period.  Patrick Beverley was held to just two points but was able to record seven rebounds, three assists, and one block.  Three-time Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams contributed with 13 points off of the bench.

On the other end of the court, Anthony Davis chalked up eighteen points on forty-five percent shooting.  He also grabbed four rebounds, threw out two assists, committed one steal, and blocked one shot.  LeBron James helped out with 14 points which held a three-pointer in the second quarter.  He also had four rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

Washington-native Avery Bradley had five points, missing only one of his three shots attempted.  Two-time NBA champion Danny Green had a three-pointer at the beginning of the game while JaVale McGee had just two points.  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was held scoreless as he played the most minutes off the bench while the Clippers went into halftime with a 62 to 54 advantage.

The Clippers would still impress in the second half as they shot forty-six percent from the field while the Lakers shot forty-one percent.  Leonard added 10 more points to his scoring total but only shot twenty-five percent from the field.  Leonard also recorded three more rebounds, two more assists, and two steals while Williams helped out with eight points.  Montrezl Harrell played eighteen minutes off of the bench as he had twelve points.

As for the Lakers, Danny Green got extremely hot for twenty-five points as he missed only one shot out of the ten taken.  He also had six three-pointers and four rebounds.  Anthony Davis and LeBron James disappeared in the second half as they went for a combined eleven points.  Caldwell-Pope was still held scoreless off of the bench as the Los Angeles Clippers spoiled Davis’ Laker debut, 112-102.  Kawhi Leonard finished the game with 30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Danny Green had 28 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Los Angeles Clippers will battle Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. at the new Chase Center.  The Los Angeles Lakers will host Mike Conley and the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center on Friday at 10:30 p.m.

The Suns would make a comeback to defeat the Pelicans in overtime, 133-126

The Suns would make a comeback to defeat the Pelicans in overtime, 133-126

Since both the New Orleans Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns have been eliminated from playoff contention, they have little to nothing left to play for.  This will be the 6th time in the last eight seasons that the Pelicans will miss the postseason, partly due to the distraction caused by rumors that Anthony Davis was going to team up with LeBron James in Los Angeles halfway through the season.

As for the Arizona ball club, this will mark the ninth straight season that the Suns will miss the playoffs.  The last time they made a postseason appearance was back in 2010 when Amar’e Stoudemire was leading the team in points per game.  They ended up losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, 2-4.  As they host the Pelicans tonight, they will hope to avoid a second straight loss.

The Phoenix Suns and the New Orleans Pelicans have battled each other a grand total of 58 times in the past as both teams have a tied matchup record at 29 wins apiece.  This meeting will mark the fourth and final time that these two teams will play each other during this season.  The last time they saw each other was on March 16 when the Suns pulled away with a 138-136 win.  Devin Booker finished that game with 40 points, 5 rebounds, 13 assists, and one block while Julius Randle had 21 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and one steal.

INACTIVES:

New Orleans Pelicans:

-Trevon Bluiett (thumb)
-Anthony Davis (back; 25.9 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 3.9 APG, 51.7 FG%, 33.1 3P%, 79.4 FT%)
-Jrue Holiday (abdominal; 21.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 7.7 APG, 47.2 FG%, 32.5 3P%, 76.8 FT%)
-Frank Jackson (concussion; 8.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.1 APG, 43.4 FG%, 31.4 3P%, 74.0 FT%)
-Darius Miller (thigh; 8.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 39.0 FG%, 36.5 3P%, 78.9 FT%)
-E’Twaun Moore (quad; 11.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 48.1 FG%, 43.2 3P%, 76.3 FT%)
-Stanley Johnson (ankle; 6.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 38.9 FG%, 28.8 3P%, 78.1 FT%)

Phoenix Suns:

-Deandre Ayton (ankle; 16.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 58.5 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 74.6 FT%)
-Devin Booker (ankle; 26.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 6.8 FT%, 46.7 FG%, 32.6 3P%, 86.6 FT%)
-Richaun Holmes (ankle; 8.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 0.9 APG, 60.8 FG%, 73.1 FT%)
-Tyler Johnson (knee; 10.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 41.3 FG%, 34.6 3P%, 74.8 FT%)
-Kelly Oubre (thumb; 15.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 44.5 FG%, 32.0 3P%, 77.5 FT%)
-T.J. Warren (ankle; 18.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 48.6 FG%, 42.8 3P%, 81.5 FT%)
-Jimmer Fredette (coach’s decision; 5.5 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.8 APG, 32.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-George King (0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)

GAMETIME:

The New Orleans Pelicans would have the slight upper hand in the first half as they shot sixty-seven percent from the field, holding the home team at fifty-four percent shooting.  Former Utah Jazz’ guard Ian Clark got hot for 18 points while hitting 3 three-pointers in the first period.  He also had two rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Julius Randle helped out with 12 points on fifty-five percent shooting.  Kenrich Williams saw to it that he got nine points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting.  He also drilled a three-pointer to end the first quarter.  Solomon Hill played 12 minutes off the bench but only had three points.

As for the Phoenix Suns, Ray Spalding earned 12 points as he shot eighty-five percent from the field.  Troy Daniels also had 12 points off the bench, collecting them all from beyond the arc.  California-native Josh Jackson chalked up 10 points, which included two three-pointers.  Jamal Crawford played the most minutes off the Phoenix bench as he lit the floor up with 16 points, hitting two three-pointers in the second quarter.  He also had one rebound, 2 assists, and 2 steals but it was the Louisiana ball club that went into halftime with a 76-65 lead.

The Suns would come out of the locker room with more of a purpose as they went on a 52 to 41 run, completing forty-three percent of their shots, limiting the Pelicans to thirty-four percent.  During that run, Jackson added to his scoring total as he put up 17 more points, knocking down a three-pointer in the fourth quarter.  He also earned 7 rebounds and 2 assists while Crawford scored 10 more points off the bench.

On the other end of the court, Julius Randle earned 17 more points on fifty percent shooting.  Cheick Diallo played the most minutes off the bench as he had six points but it was the Arizona team that would complete the comeback, forcing overtime where they would eventually pull out a 133 to 126 victory behind Josh Jackson’s eight overtime points.  Josh Jackson finished the contest with a season-high 35 points, along with 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals while Julius Randle settled for 31 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 assists.

So…what’s next?

The New Orleans Pelicans will head over West to battle Buddy Hield (21.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 46.0 FG%, 42.9 3P%) and the Sacramento Kings (39-40) on Sunday at 9:00 p.m.  This meeting will mark the fourth and final matchup between these two teams this season.  The last time they battled each other was on March 28 when the Pelicans pulled away with a 121-118 win.  During that game, Julius Randle scored 34 points, pulled down 11 rebounds, and dished off 3 assists while Buddy Hield recorded 27 points, 2 rebounds, and one assist.

The Phoenix Suns will take on James Harden (36.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 7.5 APG, 44.1 FG%, 36.5 3P%) and the Houston Rockets (51-28) on Sunday at 7:00 p.m.  This will be the third and final time that the Suns and Rockets will battle each other during this season.  March 15 was the last time they saw each other as the Suns fell to the Texas team, 102-108.  James Harden finished that contest with 41 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists, 6 steals, and 3 blocks while Devin Booker settled for 29 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists.

The Memphis Grizzlies overpower the New Orleans Pelicans, 107-103

The Memphis Grizzlies overpower the New Orleans Pelicans, 107-103

The Memphis Grizzlies are currently in the midst of recovering from one of their worst seasons ever as they finished last year with a 22-60 record.  Last time they had a record that bad was back in the 2007-2008 season, the year before they drafted Marc Gasol.  The Grizzlies are coming fresh off a 96-86 win that earned over the impressive Los Angeles Clippers, who are also recovering from a disappointing previous season.  The Grizzlies will look to grab a second straight win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

As for the Pelicans, their season isn’t going as they planned as they are sitting at the eleventh spot in the Western Conference with a 13-13 record.  Last year, they made the Playoffs but fell to the Golden State Warriors in the Semifinals, 1-4.  Since then, they have been without DeMarcus Cousins, who averaged twenty-five points a game in the two seasons he spent with them.

The Memphis Grizzlies and the New Orleans Pelicans have battled each other a total of 60 times in the past as the Pelicans defeated the Grizzlies 32 times while the Pelicans captured 28 wins.  This meeting between the two teams tonight will mark the first of four times that these two ball clubs will see each other during this season.  Last season, the regular-season series between these teams were tied at two apiece.

INACTIVES:

Memphis Grizzlies:

-Dillon Brooks (knee; 6.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.9 APG, 40.9 FG%, 36.8 3P%, 77.8 FT%)
-Chandler Parsons (knee; 5.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.7 APG, 41.2 FG%, 30.0 3P%)
-Wayne Selden (coach’s decision; 5.8 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 41.1 FG%, 34.1 3P%, 86.7 FT%)
-D.J. Stephens (coach’s decision)
-Jevon Carter (G-League)
-Ivan Rabb (G-League; 2.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.7 APG, 61.5 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 60.0 FT%)
-Yuta Watanabe (G-League; 1.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)

New Orleans Pelicans:

-Nikola Mirotic (illness; 18.9 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 1.1 APG, 46.5 FG%, 36.4 3P%, 83.8 FT%)
-Elfrid Payton (finger; 9.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 47.1 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 63.6 FT%)
-Ian Clark (coach’s decision; 4.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 37.0 FG%, 31.1 3P%, 90.0 FT%)
-Andrew Harrison (coach’s decision; 3.8 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 31.0 FG%, 20.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Wesley Johnson (coach’s decision; 4.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.8 APG, 42.1 FG%, 43.2 3P%, 83.3 FT%)
-Jahlil Okafor (coach’s decision; 3.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.1 APG, 50.0 FG%, 100.0 FT%)
-Trevon Bluiett (G-League)
-Frank Jackson (G-League; 4.3 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, 36.5 FG%, 29.6 3P%, 71.4 FT%)
-Kenrich Williams (0.8 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 50.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

Both teams made it very clear that this will not be a game that one would run away with as the Grizzlies closed the first quarter out with a 31-30 lead.  The New Orleans Pelicans  ended up shooting 55 percent from the field in the first half while the Memphis Grizzlies completed 49 percent of their shots.  Marc Gasol chalked up 12 points in the first half, earning four of those points from the free-throw line.  This would mark Joakim Noah’s second game in a Grizzlies uniform as he scored four points in his season debut against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Noah looked a little better this time around as he put up nine points on 80 percent shooting.  He also had four defensive rebounds and two assists as he came off the bench.  Mike Conley, who is averaging a career-high 21 points this season, struggled from the field as he made only 2 of his 6 shots, finishing the game with nine points.  Former Philadelphia 76ers guard Shelvin Mack played the most minutes off the bench but was held scoreless, only attempting 3 shots.

As for the Pelicans, Anthony Davis tallied 6 points in the first quarter and 13 points in the second quarter.  He shot 73 percent from the field while pulling down six rebounds, committed one steal, and preventing three shots from going in.  Julius Randle, who averaged 19 points for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, scored 13 points while Jrue Holiday chipped in 12 points.  E’Twaun Moore played 11 eleven minutes off the bench but only had two points to show for it as the home team walked into the locker room with a tight 60-58 lead over the Memphis team.

The Grizzlies would take it upon themselves to close things out as they sparked up a 49 to 43 run, limiting the Louisiana team to just 36 percent shooting.  JaMychal Green scored 13 points off the bench while New York-native Kyle Anderson had 12 points.  Both Green and Anderson had a three-pointer in the third quarter while shooting 71 percent from the field each.  Marc Gasol and Mike Conley would be limited to just three points each but Conley would take his from the charity stripe while Gasol had a trey.

Randle tried his best to keep the Pelicans involved with 13 points, along with 9 rebounds and 2 steals.  But it wouldn’t help that he had two turnovers.  Davis, who has averaged a double-double in all but one of his seasons (his first season), was kept to just six points on 20 percent shooting.  But he did have 5 rebounds, 3 assists, one steal, and one block in the final 17 minutes that he played.  Holiday helped out with 8 points but it was Memphis Grizzlies who pulled away with a 107-103 win.  JaMychal Green finished with a season-high 24 points, along with 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and a season-high three 3-pointers.  Julius Randle had 26 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

So…what’s next?

The Memphis Grizzlies will host LeBron James (28.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 6.6 APG, 52.5 FG%, 36.9 3P%) and the Los Angeles Lakers (15-9) on Saturday at 8:00 p.m.  This game will mark the first of three times that these two teams will fight each other this season.  They tied the regular-season series up two apiece last season.

The New Orleans Pelicans will travel to Michigan to take on Blake Griffin (24.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 5.0 APG, 46.4 FG%, 36.2 3P%) and the Detroit Pistons (13-9) on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.  This will be the first of two times that these squads will see each other this season.  The Pelicans were able to sweep the Pistons last season in their regular-season series, 2-0.