***** NBA Previews from The Sports Network *****
Sunday, January 25
(All times Eastern)
MIAMI HEAT (19-24) AT CHICAGO BULLS (29-16), 1 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls have won back-to-back games after
Derrick Rose called out his teammates Monday night. They shoot for three
straight wins Sunday afternoon versus the Miami Heat.
The Bulls lost for the sixth time in eight tries with Monday's 108-94 loss at
Cleveland and Rose said his teammates need to maintain focus and trust each
other on both ends of the floor. They responded by thrashing San Antonio and
squeezing out a win over Dallas Friday night in Big D.
Rose and Jimmy Butler scored 20 points apiece and All-Star Pau Gasol chipped
in 13 points to go along with 16 rebounds. Taj Gibson posted 15 points and
Joakim Noah added six and seven rebounds in his return from injury.
"You played two games, you got to keep putting the intensity in it ... I like
the direction we're moving in," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Rose is averaging 22.6 points in his last eight games. Gasol is posting an
average of 20.5 points and 13.3 rebounds in his past 12 contests.
Chicago will try to improve its 13-10 home record before embarking on a six-
game road trip against Golden State, LA Lakers, Phoenix, Houston, New Orleans
In injury news for the Bulls, forward Mike Dunleavy (ankle) is questionable
Sunday and hasn't played since New Year's Day.
Miami is coming off Friday night's 89-87 victory over the Indiana Pacers in
which Dwyane Wade sealed the win from the foul line. Wade made one of his two
free throws with 6.9 seconds left and the Heat halted a two-game slide to win
for the second time in the past five games.
"The way this season is going, I don't care if we won by 20 or half a point.
We got the win," Wade said.
The Heat led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter (75-55) and received
23 points from Luol Deng. Chris Bosh netted 19 points, Wade ended with 13 and
Chris Andersen grabbed 13 rebounds for the Heat, who shot 48 percent for the
game and had a 54-37 halftime lead.
Miami is 18-2 this season when leading after three quarters, while Bosh is six
points shy if 16,000 in his career. The Heat are 11-11 on the road and will
host Milwaukee and Dallas next.
The Bulls defeated the Heat, 93-75, on Dec. 14, as Dunleavy scored 22 points
and fellow Duke product Deng countered with 17. Wade also had 17 points in
that one for Miami, which will host Chicago on April 9.
Chicago has won three of the last four games in this series.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (22-21) AT CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (24-20), 3:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are clicking
and look to extend their winning streak to six games Sunday versus Kevin
Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Cavaliers will close out a four-game homestand this afternoon and recorded
their fifth win in a row with Friday's 129-90 pummeling of the Charlotte
Hornets at Quicken Loans Arena behind James' 25 points, nine assists, six
rebounds and four steals.
J.R. Smith scored 21 points and sank 7-of-11 3-pointers, Kyrie Irving added 18
points and Timofey Mozgov ended with 14 points and 10 boards for the Cavs, who
shot 51.7 percent from the floor, made 15-of-28 3-pointers and recorded 100 or
more points for the sixth game in a row. James is averaging 29.7 points in
"Offensively, we wanted to share the ball, continue to push our tempo," said
James. "We were able to build a huge lead."
The Cavs outrebounded Charlotte 56-42 and held a 27-9 fastbreak points
advantage. Iman Shumpert scored eight points in his Cavs debut following his
trade from New York earlier in January.
Cleveland is 14-9 at home and will visit Detroit on Tuesday.
Oklahoma City was upended by the white-hot Atlanta Hawks with Friday's 103-93
setback at Philips Arena.
The Hawks recorded a franchise-record 15th straight win, while the Thunder had
a four-game winning streak come to an end. The Thunder received 22 points and
11 assists from Russell Westbrook, while Durant posted 21 points. Serge Ibaka
rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
OKC scored just 17 points in the second quarter and fell to 3-1 on a five-game
"I thought we came out very solid defensively and made them work for every
shot," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "We had a lead and got away from that
in the last two or three minutes of the second quarter."
Oklahoma City has a 10-14 road mark and will return home to host Minnesota on
The Thunder defeated the Cavaliers, 103-94, on Dec. 11 at home behind
Westbrook's 26 points. Durant added 19 and Irving countered with 20 points.
James did not play in that one because of a balky knee.
OKC and Cleveland have split the past four matchups in this series.
DALLAS MAVERICKS (30-14) AT NEW ORLEANS PELICANS (22-21), 6 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Mavericks will try to get back into the win
column when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday night.
The Mavericks had won three in a row until a 102-98 home loss versus the
Chicago Bulls on Friday. Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting
and Chandler Parsons added 19 points in defeat.
Tyson Chandler finished with 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Monta
Ellis netted 17 points for Dallas, which made 45.1 percent from the field and
scored 32 points on 24 Chicago turnovers. The Mavs never led in the game and
were outrebounded, 47-30.
"Just physical disposition. We needed to be tougher. We need to be more hit-
first," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said of the rebounding disparity.
Dallas is still 10-4 in its last 14 games and has a 16-7 road record. After
their trip to the Big Easy, the Mavericks will host Memphis Tuesday.
The Pelicans will stay put at home for the next six games versus Dallas,
Philadelphia, Denver, LA Clippers, Atlanta and Oklahoma City. They are 13-5 in
the Big Easy this season.
New Orleans has won two in row and is coming off Friday's 92-84 triumph over
the Minnesota Timberwolves, as Anthony Davis recorded 21 points and 12
rebounds. Eric Gordon scored 20 points and Tyreke Evans added 17 for the
Pelicans, who shot 50 percent for the game and forced 15 turnovers.
"We did it with our defense," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said.
The Pelicans will try to shut down a Dallas squad that is second in the NBA
with 107.9 points per game.
Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson (ankles) is questionable Sunday.
Dallas has defeated New Orleans twice this season and the Southwest foes will
meet again March 2 in Big D. The Mavericks have won nine in a row in this
series and five straight in the Big Easy.
INDIANA PACERS (15-30) AT ORLANDO MAGIC (15-31), 6 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of struggling teams tangle in central Florida
Sunday night, as the Indiana Pacers pay a visit to the Orlando Magic.
The Pacers are riding a seven-game slide, while the Magic are winless in their
last four games.
Indiana will wrap up a five-game road trip in Orlando and dropped an 89-87
decision to the Miami Heat Friday night. Luis Scola led the Pacers with 14
points off the bench and both George Hill and C.J. Watson scored 13 points for
Indiana, which made 41 percent of its shots and had 18 turnovers.
Frank Vogel's squad rallied from a double-digit deficit, but couldn't finish
off the Heat in its sixth consecutive road setback.
"Lot of heart, lot of fight to battle back in the game down 21. Very proud of
that group that did that," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel.
The Pacers have a 7-19 road ledger and will return home for five straight
games versus Toronto, New York, Sacramento, Detroit and Cleveland. Hill
(groin) is probable SUnday and C.J. Miles (groin) is doubtful.
Orlando has lost 10 of its last 12 games, including Friday's 113-106 defeat at
the hands of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Nikola Vucevic went off for 34 points on 16-of-22 shooting and pulled down 18
rebounds. Victor Oladipo had 15 points and Channing Frye scored 14 for the
Magic, who lost despite making 50.6 percent for the game. The Magic, though,
allowed 31 points in each of the last three quarters.
"We can't really worry about the past ... We got to get a win," Oladipo said.
The Magic have a 5-14 home record and will visit Memphis Monday night.
Indiana defeated Orlando, 98-83, on Nov. 28 at home and was led by Rodney
Stuckey's 24 points. Vucevic had 16 points in that one for the Magic, losers
in 10 of the past 12 matchups between the teams.
The Pacers and Magic will meet again March 10 in Indianapolis.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (29-14) AT PHOENIX SUNS (26-19), 6 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers will pay a visit to the
Pacific-rival Phoenix Suns Sunday at US Airways Center.
The Clippers and Suns are two of the top scoring teams in the NBA. The Suns
are averaging 107.5 ppg and the Clippers are right behind at 107.1 ppg.
Los Angeles has won three in a row, four of five and nine of its last 12
games, including Thursday's 123-84 demolition of the Brooklyn Nets at Staples
Center. All-Star Blake Griffin led the way with 24 points and both J.J. Redick
and reserve Jamal Crawford scored 17.
DeAndre Jordan supplied 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Chris Paul handed out
17 assists to go along with six points for the Clippers, who shot a sizzling
59 percent and led by a 70-37 score at halftime.
"This is what we've been talking about all year, finding that consistency,"
Paul said after handing out a season-high in assists.
The Clippers, who are 27-6 when reaching 100 points and 16-6 against the West,
have a 10-7 record away from home and are scheduled to play nine of the next
10 games away from home.
Meanwhile, the Suns are coming off their first loss on this franchise-record
eight-game homestand and look to bounce back versus the Clips.
Phoenix was 4-0 on the stay until a heart-breaking 113-111 loss to James
Harden and the Houston Rockets Friday night. Harden buried the game-winning
shot at the buzzer and finished with 33 points.
"Well we didn't want to let him (Harden) beat us," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek
said. "We sent Isaiah (Thomas) with five, but he made a good play. Isaiah flew
by him at that point, but we couldn't get it out of his hands. Great players
make great plays."
Eric Bledsoe had 25 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Suns, who
had their seven-game home winning streak broken and fell to 13-8 in the
desert. Thomas and Markieff Morris scored 22 and 21 points, respectively.
Phoenix, which is still 8-3 in the last 11 games, will also host Washington
and Chicago on this lengthy residency.
The Suns are 0-2 against the Clippers this season and will host them April 14.
Los Angeles is unbeaten in the previous five meetings in this series.
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (7-35) AT ATLANTA HAWKS (36-8), 6 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks are soaring at a height the likes of
which the franchise has never seen before.
The Hawks are riding a team-record 15-game winning streak and will put the
impressive mark on the line Sunday versus the Minnesota Timberwolves in the
continuation of a seven-game homestand at Philips Arena.
Atlanta kept the winning streak intact with Friday's 103-93 triumph over the
Oklahoma City Thunder, as Paul Millsap finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds
to lead the hosts. Jeff Teague scored 17 points, Al Horford supplied 14 and 12
rebounds, and DeMarre Carroll netted 13 points.
"It's cool to get your name in the record books, but at the same time we still
have a big task at hand," Carroll said. "That's to make it to the playoffs and
bring an NBA championship here to Atlanta."
Kyle Korver was the only Atlanta starter who didn't reach double figures in
scoring with five points.
The Eastern Conference-leading Hawks have won six in a row at home and are
29-2 over the past 31 games. The last time Atlanta tasted defeat was Dec. 26
versus the Milwaukee Bucks.
Leaders of the Southeast Division, the Hawks are 3-0 on this homestand and
19-3 overall at Philips Arena. They will also welcome Brooklyn, Portland and
Philadelphia to town.
Atlanta has reached the 100-point mark 11 times during the historic run. It
has one of the stingiest defenses in the league, allowing 96.1 ppg, and sits
28 games above .500 for the first time since the end of 1996-97 (56-26).
The chances of Minnesota ending Atlanta's 15-game winning streak are slim. It
is a lowly 7-35 on the season and has lost three in a row, including Friday's
92-84 setback to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Thaddeus Young scored 15 points, Gorgui Dieng added 14 to go along with 15
rebounds, and both Andrew Wiggins and Nikola Pekovic netted 13 points for the
Timberwolves, who made 41.7 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 15
times for 16 New Orleans points. Pekovic returned Wednesday after missing the
previous 31 games with ankle and wrist issues.
T-wolves coach Flip Saunders expressed concern for the young Wiggins.
"I think he's hit the rookie wall a bit," Saunders said. "Somehow we've got to
find a way to go right through it. He's got to find a soft spot in that wall
and we have to bust right through it."
Speaking of busting through, Wolves guard Kevin Martin was downgraded from
questionable to out earlier in the day and experienced more swelling in his
fractured right wrist. Martin will most likely sit again Sunday and has been
out the last 32 contests.
Minnesota is only 4-17 away from home and will also visit Oklahoma City.
The T-wolves and Hawks split two meetings last season and are scheduled to
play again Feb. 9 in the Twin Cities. Atlanta is 15-3 in the past 18 games in
this series and unbeaten in 11 straight versus Minnesota at home.
DETROIT PISTONS (17-27) AT TORONTO RAPTORS (28-15), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors are back home following a three-game
road trip and will host the Detroit Pistons at Air Canada Centre.
The Atlantic Division-leading Raptors went 2-1 on the trip with wins over
Milwaukee and Philadelphia sandwiched around a loss to Memphis.
In Friday's 91-86 victory over the 76ers, All-Star Kyle Lowry scored 17 of his
21 points in the fourth quarter and Patrick Patterson ended with 14 points and
13 rebounds off the bench. The Raptors scored 24 points off 18 Philadelphia
"Thank God for Kyle because we didn't play any kind of basketball whatsoever
tonight," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey.
Lowry is averaging 17.3 points and 6.7 assists in January (11 games).
Toronto has a 16-7 record at home and will visit Indiana next on Tuesday.
The Pistons will try to rebound from Saturday's 101-86 loss at Milwaukee.
Brandon Jennings scored 16 points before leaving late in the third quarter
with a leg injury. Jennings needed to be helped off the court and will miss
Sunday's game in Toronto.
"It doesn't look good. He'll be re-evaluated tomorrow," Pistons coach Stan Van
Gundy said. "He has been our catalyst. It's a major, major loss."
Anthony Tolliver posted 12 points and Greg Monroe pulled down 16 rebounds to
go with eight points for the Pistons, who have dropped two in a row on the
road and have a 10-12 mark as the guest.
Detroit is 12-4 in its last 16 games and will host LeBron James and the
Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday at The Palace.
The Pistons and Raptors have split two meetings this season and will play
again March 24. Detroit ended a four-game slide in this series with a 114-111
victory on Jan. 12 north of the border.
MILWAUKEE BUCKS (22-21) AT SAN ANTONIO SPURS (28-17), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs will resume a six-game homestand
Sunday versus the Milwaukee Bucks at AT&T Center.
The Spurs opened the residency with a 99-85 triumph over the Los Angeles
Lakers on Friday, as Tony Parker scored a team-best 17 points and both Kawhi
Leonard and Manu Ginobili posted 15 points. Leonard grabbed 14 rebounds and
Tim Duncan contributed 14 points and seven boards.
"We feel good that we played at a good pace on a back-to-back," said Spurs
coach Gregg Popovich.
San Antonio outrebounded the Lakers, 52-40, and won for the seventh time in
the last nine tries.
The Spurs are unbeaten in their last four games at home and 16-6 in the Alamo
City this season. They will also host Charlotte, LA Clippers, Orlando and
Miami on this homestand.
Milwaukee will begin a three-game road trip Sunday against San Antonio, Miami
and Orlando, and is 12-11 away from home.
The Bucks went 2-2 on a recent homestand and halted a two-game slide with
Saturday's 101-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons. O.J. Mayo scored 20 points
off the bench, Khris Middleton added 16 and Brandon Knight netted 14 points
for the Bucks, who made 50.6 percent from the field and 11-of-17 3-pointers.
Now the Bucks face the defending NBA champions.
"We'll see where we're at," Milwaukee's Jared Dudley said of playing the
Spurs. "They play the traditional way basketball is played, unselfish, and we
can learn a lot. At the same time, we have to go at them."
San Antonio took both meetings with Milwaukee last season and is riding a
four-game winning streak in this series.
The Spurs lead the all-time series with the Bucks, 43-36.
BOSTON CELTICS (15-26) AT GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (35-6), 8 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Will Klay Thompson have enough in the tank when the
Golden State Warriors host the Boston Celtics Sunday at Oracle Arena?
Coming off his record showing in Friday's 126-101 victory over the Sacramento
Kings, Thompson goes for an encore performance in the continuation of a five-
game homestand. Thompson set an NBA record for points in a quarter with 37 in
the third stanza, burying nine 3-pointers and making all 13 of his shots.
Thompson finished with a career-high 52 points on 16-of-25 shooting, including
an 11-of-15 clip from downtown.
"They just kept wanting to see the show. That's what they kept telling me,"
Thompson said of his teammates.
The sharp-shooting Thompson surpassed the 33-point mark set by George Gervin
in 1978 and matched by Carmelo Anthony in 2008 for the most points in a
Marreese Speights added 19 points off the bench and Stephen Curry finished
with 10 and 11 assists for the Warriors, who extended their franchise-record
home winning streak to 18 games. Golden State recorded a 41-22 scoring
advantage during the historic this quarter and improved to 20-1 at home.
The Warriors, who lead the league with 111.1 points per game, are 3-0 on the
homestand and have won 12 of their last 13 games overall. They will close the
residency Tuesday versus the Chicago Bulls.
Boston has won two in a row following a three-game slide and will continue its
six-game western sojourn Sunday night in a tough arena.
The Celtics edged the Denver Nuggets, 100-99, Friday at the Pepsi Center and
were led by Avery Bradley's go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:24 left in the game.
"He missed one last night that he thought he should have made. He made up for
it tonight," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Bradley posted 18 points, Brandon Bass netted 17 and Jared Sullinger
registered 14 points for the Celtics, who were coming off a last-second win
over the Portland Trail Blazers and shot 49.3 percent. Evan Turner, who hit
the game-winning basket in Portland, scored 10 points against the Nuggets.
The Celtics are 6-13 on the road and still have visits to Utah and Minnesota
remaining on the trek.
Boston and Golden State will meet again March 1 in Beantown. The Warriors took
both matchups from the Celtics last season and are 3-1 in the last four games
in this series. Golden State has won 14 of the last 18 at home versus Boston.
WASHINGTON WIZARDS (29-15) AT DENVER NUGGETS (18-25), 8 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Nuggets look to put an end to their five-game
losing streak when they host the Washington Wizards Sunday at the Pepsi
The Nuggets will close out a three-game homestand and dropped a 100-99
decision to the Boston Celtics Friday night, as Avery Bradley hit the go-ahead
3-pointer with 1:24 left in the game.
Jameer Nelson scored 23 points and Arron Afflalo added 20 in defeat. J.J.
Hickson recorded 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Kenneth Faried supplied 11
points and 14 rebounds for the Nuggets, who shot 41.6 percent for the game and
had a 48-41 rebounding advantage.
Nelson missed on the final shot of the game.
"We're trying to find a way," Faried said. "We're trying to fight and claw,
but we didn't claw enough. We didn't have enough fight in us. We had the last
shot. When Jameer put it up, we thought it was going to go in. We even tried
to get the rebound to put it in, but too little too late."
Denver is 12-11 at home and has lost three in a row as the host. After hosting
the Wizards, the Nuggets will play three in a row on the road against the LA
Clippers, New Orleans and Memphis.
Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (DUI) is listed as probable for Sunday's game. Lawson
was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of drunk driving. According to the
Denver Sheriff Department, Lawson also faces speeding and careless driving
charges. He was released from jail after posting $1,500 bond and has a court
date set for Jan. 27.
The Nuggets released a statement on Friday, saying they were aware of the
"We have been made aware of an incident involving Ty Lawson early this
morning," the statement read. "Per team policy and out of respect for the
legal process, we will have no further comment at this time."
Lawson is Denver's leading scorer, averaging 16.7 points in 41 games this
Washington has lost two in a row and opened a four-game western jaunt with
Saturday's 103-96 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
John Wall poured in 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting and handed out nine
assists, while Paul Pierce and Bradley Beal scored 19 and 16 points,
respectively, for the Wizards.
Nene added 15 points in a losing cause for Washington, which made 48.8 percent
of its shots and fell to 11-9 on the road.
"We just have to learn to be more consistent," Pierce said. "We're a defensive
team, we're a team that moves the ball, we're a team that doesn't turn the
ball over much. When we stick to those things, we usually have a good
The Wizards will also visit the LA Lakers and Phoenix on the trek.
Washington defeated Denver, 119-89, at home on Dec. 5 and has won three of the
last five meetings between the teams. The Nuggets have won six of the last
seven at home in this series.
HOUSTON ROCKETS (30-14) AT LOS ANGELES LAKERS (12-32), 9:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets look to build on a thrilling victory
last time out when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday at Staples Center.
The Rockets recorded a 113-111 win over the Phoenix Suns Friday night and NBA
leading scorer James Harden buried the game-winning jumper as time expired.
Harden (27.3 ppg) scored 33 points, handed out 10 assists and grabbed six
rebounds for the Rockets, who bounced back from a loss to the Golden State
Warriors and won for the seventh time in the last 10 games.
"We wanted to take the last shot," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "We
flattened it out for James and James has been making big shots all year and
he's got the ability to step back and gather, strong and goes up and shoots
it. It was a big shot for us. Up to that point, we had done some very
interesting things to allow them back in the game."
Donatas Motiejunas scored 15 points, while Patrick Beverley, Josh Smith and
Corey Brewer recorded 14 apiece. The Rockets shot 52.4 percent for the game
and are 15-7 away from home.
Houston will host the rival Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday and hopes to have
Dwight Howard against the Lakers. Howard suffered an ankle injury in the win
over the Suns and is listed as questionable.
"I really couldn't put any pressure on it," Howard said. "But we got the win,
so that's the only thing that matters."
The Lakers are mired in a seven-game losing streak and closed out a four-game
road trip with a 99-85 loss at San Antonio on Friday night. Nick Young scored
17 points off the bench to lead Los Angeles.
Wayne Ellington and Jordan Clarkson scored 11 points apiece for the Lakers,
who shot just 39.8 percent. Kobe Bryant did not play because of a torn right
rotator cuff and is expected to be done for the season.
"Yeah, I'm worried," Lakers coach Byron Scott said of Bryant's future. "We all
in the organization are worried about it."
Los Angeles will also host Washington and Chicago on this homestand and is
winless in the past three at home. The Lakers are 6-15 at home.
The Lakers and Rockets have split two meetings this season. Los Angeles ended
a four-game slide in this series with a 98-92 triumph on Nov. 19.
01/25 10:55:35 ET