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Bucks: Malcolm Brogdon (plantar fascia) and Sterling Brown (wrist) are out. Pat Connaughton (ankle) is probable. Donte DiVincenzo (heel) is questionable.
Heat: Dwyane Wade (hip) and Justise Winslow (thigh) are questionable.
Hornets: Cody Zeller (knee) is doubtful.
Knicks: Dennis Smith Jr. (back), Frank Ntilikina (groin), and Noah Vonleh (ankle) are out.
Magic: Terrence Ross (achilles) is questionable.
Nets: Allen Crabbe (knee) is out. Shabazz Napier (hamstring) is day to day.
Rockets: James Harden (cervical strain) is questionable.
Today’s NBA Matchups
Atlanta Hawks (24-46) at Orlando Magic (32-38)
Line: Magic -7.5, O/U: 225
Magic: 106 ppg, average defense, slow pace
Hawks: 113 ppg, bottom ten defense, fastest pace in the NBA
- Magic are .500 in the last ten as they fight for a playoff spot, coming off a 120-91 win over the Cavs.
- Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic and DJ Augustin combined for 60 points, 19 rebounds, 13 assists and 5 steals. Four others scored in double figures.
- The Hawks look like a decent team now, but they lost 129-120 in Boston yesterday.
- Trae Young had 26 in that game, but he coughed it up 6 times
- John Collins added 20 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists in the loss. He’s leading the team with 20 points and 10 rebounds per game this year, up to 25 and 12 in his last ten.
Brooklyn Nets (36-35) at Los Angeles Clippers (40-30)
Line: Clippers -6, O/U: 232
Clippers: 114 ppg, below average defense, fast pace
Nets: 112 ppg, below average defense, below average pace
- The Clippers have won four of their last five, and they haven’t lost to the Nets in four years.
- Danilo Gallinari dropped 27 points and 7 rebounds in a 128-121 win over the Bulls.
- Lou Williams is averaging 27 points in his last five, but shooting just 33% in the last two.
- The Nets had won four in a row before losing two in a row in Oklahoma City and then in Utah yesterday.
- Spencer Dinwiddie has led Brooklyn in scoring each of the last five games, averaging 23 per.
- D’Angelo Russell is shooting just 34% from the floor and 32% from deep in his last five.
- Allen Crabbe is out again tonight, averaging 10 a game this year.
Charlotte Hornets (31-37) at Miami Heat (32-36)
Line: Heat -3, O/U: 209
Heat: 105 ppg, top ten defense, slower than average pace
Hornets: 111 ppg, below average defense, average pace.
- The Heat looked really hot before the Bucks came down to South Beach and smacked them up by 15.
- Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic are both coming off the bench right now, playing around 20 minutes per game.
- Dwyane Wade and Justise Winslow are both questionable tonight, two key pieces of the rotation.
- The Hornets picked up a much-needed win over the Wizards, and if they win tonight they’ll secure the tiebreaker over Miami and slide into the eighth seed.
- Kemba Walker followed up 40 points, 7 assists and 10 boards with 28, 4 and 5 on 11-30 shooting.
- Charlotte won on the night he played worse because of the supporting cast. Five other Hornets scored in double figures
Chicago Bulls (19-51) at Sacramento Kings (33-35)
Line: Kings -7, O/U: 231
Kings: 113 ppg, bottom-third defense, second-fastest pace
Bulls: 104 ppg, bottom ten defense, slower than average pace
- The Kings have lost four of five, all but guaranteeing they’ll miss the playoffs.
- Buddy Hield‘s shooting splits have been down in the last five, but De’Aaron Fox has taken his scoring up a notch.
- Rookie Marvin Bagley III is averaging 15 points and 5 rebounds in two games since returning from a scary knee sprain.
- The Bulls have lost four in a row, just when it looked like they had started to figure some things out.
- Zach LaVine put up 31 7 and 7 in a loss to the Clippers. He’s averaging 28, 5 and 5 in the last ten.
- Lauri Markkanen has hit a tough skid recently, averaging 5 points per game fewer than his season average and shooting just 38% in his last five games.
Los Angeles Lakers (31-38) at New York Knicks (13-56)
Line: Lakers -5, O/U: 221
Knicks: 105 ppg, second-worst defense in the NBA, average pace
Lakers: 112 ppg, top ten defense, top five pace
- The Knicks have lost eight games in a row, most recently 109-83 in San Antonio.
- DeAndre Jordan was an assist away from a triple-double in that game, averaging 11 points and 13 rebounds this season.
- Dennis Smith Jr. missed that game with a sore back, and he’s out again tonight.
- Both of these historic franchises have lost eight of ten, and they’re both about to miss the playoffs for the sixth year in a row.
- LeBron didn’t play in a 111-97 loss to the Pistons, and he’ll probably miss more games as this season gets more and more meaningless.
- JaVale McGee was LA’s best player with 20 points, 13 boards, and 3 blocks.
- Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram are both done for the year. It’s the Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso show now.
Minnesota Timberwolves (32-37) at Houston Rockets (43-26)
Line: -7.5, O/U: 225
Rockets: 113 ppg, bottom five defense, bottom five pace
Timberwolves: 112 ppg, below average defense, faster than average pace
- The Rockets had won nine in a row, lost a close one to the Warriors and bounced back with a 108-102 win over Phoenix.
- James Harden is questionable for this one, averaging 36 a game and coming off 41, 11 assists and 9 rebounds against the Suns.
- Chris Paul will need to shoulder the ball-handling responsibilities if Harden is out, and Clint Capela will be tasked with guarding the league’s leading scorer since the All-Star break.
- Minnesota’s season is essentially over, but don’t tell Karl-Anthony Towns. He’s averaging 34 points and 13 rebounds in since the All-Star break.
- Andrew Wiggins missed three games in a row, came back and had just 14 points on 6-17 shooting.
Toronto Raptors (49-20) at Detroit Pistons (35-33)
Line: Raptors -1.5, O/U: 216
Pistons: 107 ppg, above average defense, average pace
Raptors: 114 ppg, above average defense, average pace
- The Pistons had won 12 of 14, got blown out by Brooklyn and Miami, and bounced back with a 111-97 win over the Lakers.
- Andre Drummond put up 19 points and 23 boards in that one, and he’s averaging 17 and 17 in his last ten.
- Blake Griffin has shot a combined 8-31 from the floor in his last three games, averaging 13 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds.
- Toronto is cooling off a bit, and they could be thin at guard tonight with Kyle Lowry, Danny Green and Fred VanVleet.
- Kawhi Leonard put up 25 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in a 111-98 win over the Lakers.
- Pascal Siakam is averaging 18 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in his last ten.
- Marc Gasol is the starting center as Serge Ibaka remains out after being suspended. Gasol had 15 and 7 as a starter against LA.
Philadelphia 76ers (44-25) at Milwaukee Bucks (52-17)
Line: Bucks -6, O/U: 230
Bucks: 117 ppg, best defense in the NBA, very fast pace
76ers: 116 ppg, above average defense, faster than average pace
- Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 33 points, 16 boards, 9 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals to lead Milwaukee to a 113-98 win in Miami.
- Fellow All-Star Khris Middleton kicked in 21 points, 8 assists and 5 boards.
- Malcolm Brogdon went down with a minor plantar fascia tear, and it’s unclear when or if he’ll be back this year. He’s averaging 16 points and 4.5 boards this season, and his length and versatility on D is valuable.
- Pau Gasol hasn’t played in three of the last four games, and he probably won’t play much. He’s more of a veteran leader in the locker room for the Bucks at this point.
- The Sixers won three straight at home, coming off a 123-114 win over a desperate Kings team.
- Joel Embiid had 21 points, 17 rebounds and 4 blocks in that one, averaging 24, 16 and 3 in three games since returning from a sore knee.
- Jimmy Butler had 22 points, 7 assists, and 6 boards in the win.
- The Sixers’ starting lineup with those two, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and JJ Redick has a net rating of +22.8 points per 100 possessions in 97 total minutes.