December 12,2019 at 2:00 PM
12/7/2019 2:00 PM
Pelicans and Mavericks Meet for Matinee Battle
The New Orleans Pelicans take on the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on Saturday afternoon. The Pelicans (6-16) will come into Saturday's contest in the midst of an extended skid, as they've lost seven consecutive games. Their most recent stumble came in a shootout against the Phoenix Suns, which toppled them by a 139-132 score in overtime Thursday night. J.J. Redick led the way for New Orleans with 26 points, adding four rebounds, two assists and one steal. Jrue Holiday filled out the stat sheet with 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists, five steals and one block. Brandon Ingram delivered 21 points, six boards and four assists. Lonzo Ball generated a 20-point, 11-assist double-double that also included six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Jaxson Hayes furnished 17 points, five rebounds, one assist and five blocks. The Pelicans will be without Derrick Favors (personal), Zion Williamson (knee) and Darius Miller (Achilles) for Saturday's game. The Mavericks (15-6) continue to perform like one of the most improved teams in the NBA, and they'll come into Saturday's contest having won four consecutive games, and nine of their last 10 overall. Dallas' most recent success came at the expense of the Minnesota Timberwolves, which they toppled by a 121-114 score Wednesday night. Dwight Powell paced the Mavericks with 24 points, adding five rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal. Luka Doncic provided 22 points, seven boards and six assists. Kristaps Porzingis managed 19 points, six rebounds and one block. Jalen Brunson led the bench with 16 points while also pulling down four rebounds and dishing out three assists. The Mavericks will list Powell (arm) as probable for Saturday's contest. Saturday's game is the third of four meetings this season for the Pelicans and Mavericks. Dallas holds a 2-0 series lead, having notched 123-116 and 118-97 wins on Oct. 25 and Dec. 3, respectively.
December 12,2019 at 7:30 PM
12/7/2019 7:30 PM
Pacers Take On Struggling Knicks
The New York Knicks play host to the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday evening. This marks the second game of a back-to-back for the Pacers (14-8), who are coming off a tough loss in Detroit on Friday, where they fell short after leading at the start of the fourth. T.J. Warren led the way with 26 points, while Malcolm Brogdon totalled 21 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Domantas Sabonis added 18 points and 13 rebounds, in the loss. The Pacers are 5-6 on the road, while this marks their fifth and final game of a road trip, where they have gone 2-2, so far. They are shooting 47.3 percent from the field, which fifth best in the league, including shooting 36.7 percent from long range, which is eighth best. Meanwhile, the Knicks (4-18) have dropped eight in a row, including their last five home games. They are 3-9 at home and sit last place in the East. Despite the Knicks' struggles, R.J. Barrett continues to have a solid rookie season, averaging 14.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Marcus Morris Sr. is averaging 18.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, while Julius Randle is averaging 16.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. No other player averages double-digit scoring for the Knicks, but Mitchell Robinson is averaging 8.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. The Knicks are shooting a league-low 42.2 percent from the field. They are also shooting a league-worst 67.3 percent from the free-throw line. The Knicks' fired head coach, David Fizdale, on Friday and have named assistant coach, Mike Miller, as interim coach.
December 12,2019 at 7:30 PM
12/7/2019 7:30 PM
Cavaliers and 76ers Meet in Conference Battle
The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night. The Cavaliers (5-16) come into Saturday's game in a skid that's worthy of their abysmal record, as they've dropped 11 of 12 consecutive games, including five straight. Cleveland's most recent stumble came against the Orlando Magic, which toppled them by a 93-87 score on Friday night. Collin Sexton paced the Cavaliers with 19 points and also posted three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Cedi Osman furnished 14 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals and one block. Kevin Porter, Jr. poured in 12 points and posted four rebounds, while Tristan Thompson pitched in 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. The Cavaliers will likely list Kevin Love (illness) as questionable at best after he missed Friday's game. The 76ers (15-7) check into Saturday's game largely playing stellar basketball, as they boast an 8-2 record over their last 10 contests. However, one of their two losses during that span came their last time on the court, as they dropped a 119-113 decision to the Washington Wizards on Thursday night. Tobias Harris paced the 76ers with 33 points, adding seven rebounds, three assists and one block. Joel Embiid generated a 26-point, 21-rebound double-double that also included one assist and one block. Ben Simmons produced 17 points, 10 assists, five boards and three steals. Al Horford and Raul Neto posted matching 11-point tallies, with Horford adding five boards, one assist, one steal and one block. The 76ers will be without Josh Richardson (hamstring) and Embiid (hip) for Saturday's game. Saturday's game is the third of four meetings between the teams this season. The 76ers own a 2-0 series lead, having notched 98-97 and 114-95 wins on Nov. 12 and 17, respectively.
December 12,2019 at 8:00 PM
12/7/2019 8:00 PM
Rockets Host Suns on Saturday
The Phoenix Suns travel to Texas to play the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on Saturday. The Suns (10-11) got off to an incredible start but have hit regression like a rock since. In fact, Phoenix has lost seven of their last 10 games headed into this matchup and nearly blew an 18-point lead on Thursday night to the New Orleans Pelicans. While they were able to prevail in overtime, it shows just how badly they're struggling right now. The one bit of good news is that they're starting to get healthy, with Ricky Rubio returning in that victory. He and Aron Baynes have been huge catalysts in the hot start and Baynes return from injury appears to be right around the corner too. That's a welcomed site with DeAndre Ayton having his suspension up in about a month and the arrow appears to be pointing up after a difficult month. The Rockets (14-7) come into this matchup winning three of their last four games which snapped a season-worst three-game losing streak. The one thing that all of those losses had in common was that they were all on the road. That's really evident when you see that Houston has an 8-2 record at home this season which is one of the best marks in the NBA. A lot of the credit has to go to James Harden, with the superstar guard leading the league in scoring. He's currently all the way up to 38.7 points and 7.5 assists per game this season, well on his way to some more MVP votes. It remains to be seen if he can win with Giannis Antetokounmpo going crazy again but he definitely deserves some votes after getting sniped twice over the last five years. Houston has ownership over Phoenix, winning their last 11 games against them dating back three seasons.
December 12,2019 at 10:00 PM
12/7/2019 10:00 PM
Jazz Host Grizzlies on Saturday
The Memphis Grizzlies travel to Salt Lake City to play the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Saturday. The Grizzlies (6-15) come into this matchup losing eight of their last nine games and it's hard to imagine things getting any better with Ja Morant injured. The star point guard has been majestic in his rookie season but he's expected to be out for a few weeks because of a back issue. While losing him on the court stinks, it also hurts his development. What's interesting about this team is that they've taken a full 180 in terms of the style of play. After playing slow-paced defensive ball throughout the last decade, this team now ranks 27th in total defense and sixth in pace. That happens with young players though and it definitely benefits athletes like Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr. The Jazz (12-10) had some seriously high hopes coming into the season but recent production is certainly not encouraging. While losing five of their last six games is worrisome, the nature of those defeats is what's truly disturbing. Utah has actually lost each of the last four by 19 points or more and it's truly embarrassing how bad this team is playing on both ends of the floor right now. While all five of those losses did come against elite teams, it's distressing nonetheless. The thing they need to figure out is their offense, with the Jazz currently ranked 24th in points scored and 27th in assists. To put it simply, that's unacceptable from a title contender. These teams have already played twice this season, splitting the two meetings in close matchups. With that said, Memphis won the four-game season series last year, 3-1