***** NBA Previews from The Sports Network *****
Monday, December 9th
(All times Eastern)
DENVER NUGGETS (12-8) AT WASHINGTON WIZARDS (9-10), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Nuggets will end a six-game road trip Monday
night when they visit Washington D.C. to take on the Wizards at the Verizon
The Nuggets have gone 3-2 thus far on the excursion east. They opened
brilliantly with wins in Toronto and Brooklyn, then fell on hard times with
losses in Cleveland and Boston.
Denver got back into the win column Saturday night with a 103-92 victory over
the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nuggets have now won eight of their last 10,
including four of six on the road.
Ty Lawson missed the game with a left hamstring strain and Andre Miller
started in his place. It was the Nuggets other point guard, Nate Robinson, who
carried the load. He finished with 20 points to lead five Denver players in
Randy Foye and Jordan Hamilton both had 13 points as Hamilton went 3-for-3
from beyond the arc. All three came within 67 seconds in the fourth quarter
and helped put the game on ice.
"He found open windows. He's capable of getting hot and stringing together
shots," Nuggets coach said of Hamilton.
J.J. Hickson had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Wilson
Chandler added 10 points.
The Wizards were thwarted in their bid to get over .500 on Friday night, and
really, do you get a better chance than hosting the Milwaukee Bucks?
Washington fell 109-105 in overtime in their own building to fall a game under
"To their credit, they came in here and beat us," said head coach Randy
Wittman in true Washington diplomatic fashion. "They deserved to win."
The Bucks certainly did deserve the victory. They scored the final five points
in regulation, then held the Wizards without a field-goal in overtime. Trevor
Ariza made three free throws and that was it for Washington in the extra
John Wall led the way for the Wiz with 30 points and eight assists against the
Bucks. Ariza added 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Marcin Gortat had 14 and
Nene chipped in 10.
Nene (foot) and Martell Webster (ankle) both left the game with injuries and
are listed as questionable.
The Wizards won both of last season's matchups, although the Nuggets have
taken nine of the last 12. Denver is 7-3 in its last 10 trips to the nation's
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (12-9) AT CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (9-11), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Golden State Warriors will polish off a three-game
road trip Monday night when they visit the Charlotte Bobcats at The Time
Warner Cable Arena.
The Warriors started the sojourn east with an embarrassing 105-83 loss in
Houston Friday, but evened their mark on the trek with a 108-82 drubbing of
the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
The victory on Saturday was Golden State's third in four games, but the
Warriors have struggled a bit over the last few weeks. They are just 4-6 in
their last 10, but Saturday's win was more like what the Warriors expected
"I think we showed who we truly are," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. "We've
been upset with the way we've played. We came in here against a team that we
had not had much success, or any success, at all against and we got a quality
win. I'm really proud of my guys."
The Warriors snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Grizzlies.
"They've had their way with us. It's been a long time coming," Jackson said.
Klay Thompson rebounded from a horrendous performance in Houston that saw him
score five points with 30 against the Grizz. Steph Curry scored 22 points and
handed out 15 assists in 45:21 of action.
David Lee notched a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds and Andrew
Bogut pulled down 12 boards.
The Warriors play five of their next six at Oracle Arena.
The Bobcats ended a two-game slide Friday night with a 105-88 laugher over the
Philadelphia 76ers at home.
Charlotte, which is last in the NBA in scoring, had its way with the Sixers,
who are last in the league in opponents' scoring. The Bobcats went over the
100-point mark for only the second time this season and the first came way
back on Nov. 5 in New York.
"We were playing really well on offense," said Jeff Taylor. "We were getting
easy buckets, dunks, open shots. We definitely felt good on offense all
Charlotte put up 62 points in the first half and was led in scoring by
Taylor's 20. Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker both scored 18 points and
Walker handed out 10 assists.
Al Jefferson had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Ramon
Sessions and Cody Zeller both scored in double figures off the bench.
The Bobcats host the Orlando Magic on Wednesday to complete this short
The Warriors won both of last season's meetings and have taken three of their
last five in Charlotte.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (13-8) AT PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (7-14), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers will continue their long road
trip Monday night with a stop in the Wells Fargo Center to meet the
The Clippers are 1-2 thus far on their seven-game excursion east. They started
with a loss in Atlanta, followed with a victory in Memphis, but fell in
Cleveland on Saturday night.
The Cavaliers topped the Clips, 88-82 as L.A. only managed 33 points in the
second half. The Clippers are fourth in the NBA in scoring.
"I thought there was a lot of pouting in the game, today, personally," said
Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "You can't play that way. You've got to keep
playing. I always call them 'emotional high jacks' and I thought we had a lot
of that going on today. You've got to be able to pull yourself out of it
individually or as a group and we didn't do a good job of that."
Jamal Crawford led the Clippers with 19 points off the bench. Chris Paul
registered a double-double with 13 points and 15 assists and both Clippers big
men, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, also had double-doubles.
The Clippers shot a measly 32.2 percent from the field and just 20 percent
from long range.
They still have to visit Boston, Brooklyn and Washington on this odyssey.
The Sixers have lost two straight, six of seven and 10 of their last 12 after
a setback at home to the Denver Nuggets, 103-92 on Saturday. The last nine
Philadelphia opponents have gone over the 100-point mark as the Sixers are the
league's worst defensive unit.
"I was happy with our defense for the most part," said Sixers coach Brett
Brown. "We made it a point where we wanted to try and be respectable and
improve. I think our guys did that."
The game changed in the fourth when Denver outscored the Sixers, 26-15.
The Sixers were without rookie stud Michael Carter-Williams for the second
straight game. He is suffering from right knee soreness, which was caused by a
skin infection on the front of his right knee. Per the team, Carter-Williams
has been treated at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for the
infection and is listed as day-to-day.
Tony Wroten, who started in place of Carter-Williams, led the Sixers with 20
points. Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes both scored 14 points and Hollis
Thompson added 10. Evan Turner only managed six points on 3-for-12 shooting.
The Clippers won both meetings last season and have taken three in a row from
the Sixers. L.A. has came out on top in three of its last four trips to
ORLANDO MAGIC (6-14) AT MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (9-10), 8 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Orlando Magic will try to get their first victory on
this long road trip Monday night when they visit FedExForum to take on the
The Magic are 0-4 on this current sojourn and they've lost five straight
overall. Orlando will visit Charlotte on Wednesday to mercifully end this
The Magic's losing streak reached five on Sunday evening when the Houston
Rockets buried Orlando, 98-88. The game wasn't as close as the final score
indicated. Houston held a 22-point lead after three quarters.
"We just didn't have the best shooting night," said guard Arron Afflalo. "I
thought the effort to get back in the game was pretty good. I guess if
anything, we understand what it takes for us to at least compete and stay in
games. To me, it's just another loss. It's time to get a victory somehow,
The Magic, who are still without center Nikola Vucevic due to a sprained
ankle, only shot 34.4 percent from the field and 27 percent from long
Glen Davis led Orlando with 18 points, followed by 16 from Afflalo and 15 from
Jameer Nelson. E'Twaun Moore chipped in 12 off the bench and Andrew Nicholson
The Grizzlies have lost three of their last four and five of six at home. The
Grizz are just 4-7 at FedExForum this season, which is shocking considering
they went a franchise-best 32-9 in their own building last season.
In the five recent losses at home, Memphis failed to score 90 points. Yes, the
Grizzlies are without Marc Gasol, who is nursing a knee injury, but they need
to start scoring the basketball.
"NBA seasons are long. Things happen, teams go through stuff," said Memphis
head coach Dave Joerger. "We need to play with more energy, more joy. We have
nothing to lose."
Their most recent setback came Saturday night in Memphis against the Golden
State Warriors. Golden State thumped the Grizz, 108-82. Tony Allen missed
another game with a hip issue and Ed Davis sat with an ankle problem. Quincy
Pondexter left in the second quarter with a foot ailment.
Against the Warriors, Mike Miller led the way with 16 points off the bench.
Jon Leuer and Zach Randolph each scored 15, while Mike Conley managed 12
points. Kosta Koufos registered a double-double with 10 points and 16
The Grizzlies have won four straight against the Magic and Orlando has lost
five in a row and 10 of its last 11 in Memphis.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (17-4) AT UTAH JAZZ (4-18), 9 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Its first versus worst in the Western Conference Monday
night as the Portland Trail Blazers travel to Salt Lake City to take on the
Portland is a game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder in
the Western Conference and trail only the Indiana Pacers for best record in
The Jazz are in the cellar in both the conference and the league.
The Blazers had a four-game winning streak snapped on Saturday when they lost
a last-second heartbreaker to the Dallas Mavericks. The loss also ended an
eight-game home winning streak.
Portland's Damian Lillard buried a 3-pointer to tie it with 1.9 seconds left,
but Dallas' Monta Ellis hit a jumper as the horn expired to give Portland its
first home setback since Nov. 5 against the Houston Rockets.
"I hate to lose a game like that. I'd rather be blown out than to lose at the
buzzer," Lillard said.
Lillard matched his season-high with 32 points on 5-for-9 shooting from beyond
the arc. Nicolas Batum scored 22 points and LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez
both registered double-doubles.
On Friday, in Rose City, the Blazers set a new franchise record with 17 made
3-pointers against the Jazz. Portland won by 32, but was ahead by as many as
"Our 3-point shooters are good 3-point shooters. That's not surprising," said
Portland coach Terry Stotts. "Now you don't expect to shoot that well
obviously, but more importantly, our 3s are in rhythm. They're good shots for
the guys taking them. When those guys are taking open 3s, there is a good
chance they'll go in."
The Blazers return home Thursday to face Houston, then head east for four
The Jazz have lost three straight since back-to-back wins last week. Aside
from the Portland debacle, the Jazz lost to the Pacers and on Saturday, fell
in overtime at home against the Sacramento Kings, 112-102.
Utah shot 1-for-9 from the field in overtime.
"It hurts really bad," said guard Trey Burke. "I felt like we definitely
should have won this game but it was the small areas that killed us down the
stretch. The beauty of this thing is we have another game on Monday."
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 22 points, but Burke had a great all-around
game with 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Alec Burks also had 19 off
the bench. Richard Jefferson and Enes Kanter scored in double figures as
Derrick Favors missed the game with a sore lower back.
Despite the win on Friday, Portland has lost seven of the last nine meetings
between the two. The Blazers have dropped four straight in Salt Lake City.
DALLAS MAVERICKS (13-8) AT SACRAMENTO KINGS (5-13), 10 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Sacramento Kings will look very different soon, but
it won't be Monday night when they welcome the Dallas Mavericks to Sleep Train
According to multiple reports, the Kings have acquired Rudy Gay from the
Toronto Raptors. Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray will be headed to the Kings in
exchange for Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Chuck Hayes and Patrick Patterson.
The deal could be made official on Monday as none of the three soon-to-be
Kings played in Toronto's Sunday night victory in Los Angeles over the Lakers.
Gay will be on the move for the second straight season. Toronto traded for the
27-year old in late January of last season after he spent the first 6 1/2
seasons of his career with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Gay is averaging 19.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this season but is
shooting a career-low 38.8 percent from the floor and turning the ball over at
the highest rate of his career.
Vasquez is the biggest name on the move for Sacramento, but he became
expendable thanks to the great play of Isaiah Thomas. Vasquez was acquired in
the offseason in a sign-and-trade deal with the New Orleans Pelicans that saw
Tyreke Evans head south.
The Kings have been active in trades recently, making a second splash less
than two weeks after shipping forward Luc Mbah a Moute to Minnesota for former
No. 2 pick Derrick Williams in late November.
On the floor, the Kings stopped a six-game slide Saturday night in Utah.
Sacramento outlasted the Jazz, 112-102 in overtime. DeMarcus Cousins and
Thomas were sensational with 28 and 26 points, respectively.
"We got their bigs in foul trouble," said Kings coach Mike Malone. "We wanted
to establish DeMarcus in the post, feed off of him. And in overtime, we went
to him almost exclusively with that one play, and he carried us."
The Mavs are coming off a huge win Saturday night in Portland. Monta Ellis
made a jumper as the horn sounded to give Dallas a 108-106 victory over the
best team in the Western Conference.
"I was born for it. I love that time of the game," Ellis said.
Damian Lillard made a 3-pointer to tie it with 1.9 seconds left, then Ellis
poured in his jumper to give the Mavericks their third consecutive victory,
including the first two on this four-game road trip.
Ellis finished with 22 points, but Dirk Nowitzki led the way with 28. DeJuan
Blair and Jose Calderon both finished with 15 points for a Dallas team that
shot 53 percent from the floor and 50 percent from long range.
The Mavs have owned this matchup for years. They've won 23 of the last 26
meetings, including seven of their last nine in Sacramento.
12/09 09:45:41 ET