Pelicans at Celtics

The red-hot Boston Celtics look to stretch their second-longest winning streak of the season to eight games when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. Boston has held five teams under 100 points during the latest streak, which follows a 16-gamer early in the campaign.

The Celtics, who have won five of their last six meetings with New Orleans, are well-rested after having last played Thursday in London when they rallied for a 114-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Second-year swingman Jaylen Brown tallied 21 points for his ninth 20-point outing of the campaign while raising his average to 14.2 per game. The Pelicans have won three of their past four games with power forward Anthony Davis scoring a season-high 48 points to go with 17 rebounds in Sunday’s 123-118 overtime victory over the New York Knicks. “We just kept fighting,” Davis told reporters of his team’s resolve in rallying from a 19-point, third-quarter deficit. “We just wanted to get stops and get some easy buckets. We never have a mentality of, ‘oh, we’re losing.’ It’s always, ‘we’re not winning right now.'”

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, FS New Orleans, NBCS Boston

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ABOUT THE PELICANS (22-20): Davis and center DeMarcus Cousins are doing yeoman duty as a tandem and occasionally another teammate steps up with his big performance. Cousins, who was a one-man act in Sacramento before being traded to New Orleans near last season’s trading deadline, downplayed the situation after Davis attempted 30 shots (making 17) in the win over New York. “It’s a team game, it’s not about (Davis) having a big game or me having a big game,” Cousins told reporters. “We go in, play our roles and do what we have to do. There’s been nights where E’Twaun Moore has had a big game, (or) Jrue Holiday. It can be anybody’s night. It’s a team effort.”

ABOUT THE CELTICS (34-10): Rookie forward Jayson Tatum had tests performed due to left knee soreness but says he expects to play against New Orleans. “It feels a lot better,” Tatum told reporters on Monday. “I just tweaked it in the game in London, and (during) the long plane ride it got a little stiff. We had a few days off … so (the Celtics) just told me to rest the other day at practice.” Tatum scored 16 points in 24 minutes against the 76ers and has scored in double digits in 11 of the past 13 games.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Davis averaged 30.5 points and 15.5 rebounds as the teams split last season’s two meetings.

2. Cousins recorded a career-best seven steals against the Knicks while Davis and Holiday had four apiece as New Orleans totaled a season-best 17.

3. Boston C Al Horford (knee, calf) is ailing but expected to play against the Pelicans.

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Posted in NBA

Rockets at Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are just beginning to win consistently without former star point guard Chris Paul, just in time to welcome him back. Paul, who is carrying the Houston Rockets in the absence of James Harden, will make his first appearance in Los Angeles since being traded over the summer when the Rockets visit on Monday.

Paul, who expects to be booed by his former home fans, is averaging 28.7 points in three straight wins and is embracing Houston’s offensive philosophy by hoisting a career-high 6.8 3-point attempts on the season and connecting at 38 percent. “Tomorrow is not about me,” Paul, who referred to Los Angeles as “home” told reporters after practice on Sunday. “It’s about us and doing what we came out here to do.” The Clippers are ravaged by injuries and won’t have Paul’s former teammates DeAndre Jordan (ankle) or Austin Rivers (Achilles) available, but Blake Griffin should be on the court trying to lead his team to a fifth consecutive win. Griffin, who missed two games last week recovering from a concussion, was a combined 8-of-22 from the field in two games since his return but totaled 16 rebounds and 15 assists in back-to-back triumphs over the Sacramento Kings.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT

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ABOUT THE ROCKETS (30-11): Harden, who leads the NBA in scoring (32.3 points) and ranks third in assists (9.1), is expected to sit out his seventh straight game on Monday but could return later in the week, possibly in time for a showdown with the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. “It could be Thursday or Saturday, I don’t know,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters of Harden’s potential return. “He’s got to get better. We’ll see. Whenever he’s ready.” The Rockets are replacing part of Harden’s scoring load with veteran shooting guard Gerald Green, who is averaging 19.5 points over the last six games.

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (21-21): Los Angeles’ list of injuries includes the point guard that came over from Houston to replace Paul, Patrick Beverley (knee), but it’s another player acquired in that deal that is carrying the team’s scoring load. Veteran sixth man Lou Williams averaged 14.9 points in 23 games with Houston last season and began 2017-18 as the sixth man for the Clippers before injuries forced him into the starting lineup, and he is thriving while averaging 26.7 points in 11 starts. Williams is putting up an average of 35 points during the four-game winning streak and knocked down at least four 3-pointers in each of those four contests.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Rockets PF Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder) sat out the last 15 games but practiced on Sunday and could return Monday.

2. Clippers PF Montrezl Harrell, who also came over in the Paul trade, is averaging 18.7 points on 25-of-37 shooting over the last three games.

3. Los Angeles earned a 128-118 win at Houston on Dec. 22 behind 32 points from Williams while Paul sat out with an adductor injury.

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Posted in NBA

Warriors at Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ latest meltdown comes just as the team is preparing to host the rival Golden State Warriors on national TV on Monday. The Cavaliers will try to put their internal griping aside and get some stops on the defensive end against the Warriors, who are enjoying a string of 12 straight road wins.

The Cavaliers were blasted by a total of 62 points in losses at Minnesota and Toronto before going into Indiana on Friday and building a 22-point lead in the first quarter only to fall 97-95. “We have enough talent here to get over that hump and make good things happen,” forward Kevin Love told reporters. “But right now it’s just tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel but it is there and, this being my fourth year here, we will get out of it and we will get better.” The Warriors, who beat the Cavaliers 99-92 on Christmas Day, are battling through their own rough stretch of schedule and nearly squandered a 27-point halftime lead at Toronto on Saturday before holding on to earn a 127-125 win on the second night of a back-to-back. “Obviously, we wanted to extend that, keep that lead, but they’re a good team, and it’s hard to win on the road in the NBA,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson told ESPN.com. “It doesn’t matter who you play, and they have a great home crowd. A win is a win, especially on a back-to-back.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT

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ABOUT THE WARRIORS (35-9): Golden State got point guard Stephen Curry (ankle) back from a two-game absence on Saturday and watched him collect 24 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Curry, who sat out the meeting with the Cavaliers on Christmas with an ankle injury, was the only player that might have been well-rested in Toronto, which marked the Warriors’ third game in four nights and seventh in 11 days. Kevin Durant played in each of the last three games but is not showing any fatigue while shooting 64.3 percent from the floor and 58 percent from 3-point range in that span.

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (26-16): Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue cryptically talked to reporters about the need to get rid of “agendas” on the team after a 133-99 loss in Toronto on Thursday but was trying to look at the positives after the loss in Indiana. “It was a great effort,” Lue told reporters. “With (Dwyane Wade) out and (Isaiah Thomas) out. Guys may have been a little tired, but I thought we fought and played with the right purpose, defensively especially. We’ve just got to continue to build off that.” Thomas, who is sitting out back-to-backs after coming off a hip injury, is expected to play on Monday and is hoping for a better performance after going 2-of-15 for four points at Toronto.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Cavaliers SG JR Smith is 4-of-22 from the floor, including 1-of-12 from 3-point range, in the last three games.

2. Warriors SF Omri Casspi (back) sat out the last two games and is day-to-day.

3. Golden State took six of the last seven from Cleveland, including a five-game win in the NBA Finals last spring.

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Posted in NBA

Cavaliers at Raptors

The Cleveland Cavaliers are coming off one of their worst performances just in time to face one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers will try to solve their defensive woes in time to stop DeMar DeRozan and company when they visit the Toronto Raptors on Thursday.

Cleveland dropped six of its last nine games and was embarrassed 127-99 at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, and Isaiah Thomas simplified the team’s issues. “We’ve just got to play harder,” Thomas told ESPN.com. “We’ve got to play harder on both ends, we’ve got to push the pace offensively, we’ve got to pressure up defensively and take teams out of what they want to do. Teams are doing whatever they want to us at that end of the floor. I think if we do that then that will be half the battle. We’ll fix things on offense, but defensively we’ve just got to play harder, be more physical, take away what teams want to do.” The Raptors had a five-game overall winning streak and a 12-game home surge come to an end with a 90-89 loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday. “We always focus on the last few possessions, but the stuff was building up, the lack of ball movement, spacing, cutting, playing with force, we didn’t do it,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey told reporters.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, Sportsnet One (Toronto)

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ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (26-14): Cleveland star LeBron James is playing at his usual MVP form this season but suffered through one of the worst games of his career on Monday, when he scored 10 points — his lowest total since 2007 — and registered a plus-minus of minus-39 — the worst mark of his career. James, who insisted “I don’t give a damn about no damn plus-minus,” was coming off a performance at Orlando on Saturday in which he collected 33 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and six steals. Power forward Kevin Love, who scored 27 points in that win over the Magic, managed just three points on 1-of-7 shooting at Minnesota.

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (28-11): Toronto was playing without point guard Kyle Lowry on Tuesday after he suffered a back injury late in Monday’s win over Brooklyn, and the difference in the offense was noticeable. “I mean, the whole game is completely different without Kyle. It’s everything. Everything,” DeRozan told reporters. “You can kind of tell with our ball movement wasn’t all the way there like it normally be when Kyle’s out there. Like I said, he’s a general on the floor. He sees things when they need to be called.” Lowry, who averaged 20.5 points in four regular-season games against the Cavaliers last season, had x-rays come back negative and is considered day-to-day.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Raptors PF Serge Ibaka was suspended one game after an altercation with Miami’s James Johnson on Tuesday.

2. Cavaliers SG Kyle Korver is 13-of-22 from 3-point range over the last four games.

3. Cleveland swept Toronto in the Eastern Conference semifinals last spring.

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Posted in NBA

Clippers at Warriors

Stephen Curry is ripping through opponents since coming back from an ankle injury but saved his best for the Los Angeles Clippers while dropping 45 points over three quarters in a 121-105 road win on Saturday. Curry will get another chance to torment the Clippers when they visit the Warriors on Wednesday.

Curry followed that 45-point effort with 32 in a 124-114 win over Denver on Monday and is averaging 35.2 points on 57.4 percent shooting, including 53.2 percent from beyond the arc, in five games since returning from an 11-game absence. “He’s been so brilliant since he’s been back, and even on a night when he’s not at his best, he’s still dominating the game in parts,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Monday’s win. “He hit the big shots that created the separation for us.” The Clippers lost star power forward Blake Griffin to a concussion in the loss to the Warriors on Saturday but managed to avoid a three-game slide when C.J. Williams knocked down a 3-pointer with nine seconds left in a 108-107 win over Atlanta on Monday. “I’ve made that shot before,” Williams told reporters. “Just a rhythm dribble to my left, and once we got that offensive rebound, I felt the momentum and the excitement of the moment.”

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, FS Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)

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ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (18-21): DeAndre Jordan is the only starter remaining from the team’s opening day starting unit and continues to put up big numbers with 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting and 18 rebounds in Monday’s win. The veteran center recorded 15 points and 11 boards in only 29 minutes against Golden State on Saturday as the game got out of hand early but is averaging an NBA-best 15.1 rebounds while ranking second in the league in shooting percentage (.661). Veteran shooting guard Lou Williams was brought in to be the sixth man but is starting due to all the injuries and is averaging 31.2 points over the last five games.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (33-8): Golden State managed to thrash the Clippers on Saturday despite being without star forward Kevin Durant, who could return on Wednesday after sitting out the last three games with a right calf strain. Durant, who helped the team go 9-2 while Curry was out and is averaging 25.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.3 blocks, is considered probable and will be evaluated after Wednesday morning’s shootaround. Giving Curry a big hand in the absence of Durant has been forward Draymond Green, who recorded a triple-double in Thursday’s win at Houston and collected 23 points and 10 assists in Monday’s triumph over the Nuggets.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Warriors PF David West played in his 1,000th career game on Monday.

2. Clippers PG Milos Teodosic (plantar fasciitis) is questionable for Wednesday.

3. Golden State ran its winning streak in the series to 12 straight with Saturday’s triumph.

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Posted in NBA

Thunder at Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves haven’t made the NBA playoffs since 2004 so the word “letdown” typically doesn’t apply to the organization. But Minnesota will certainly have a hard act to follow up when it hosts the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday just 48 hours after pounding the Cleveland Cavaliers into submission.

The Timberwolves led by as much as 41 points while steamrolling Cleveland and finishing with a 127-99 victory to move 10 games above .500. “We’re playing good basketball,” Minnesota small forward Andrew Wiggins told reporters. “Everyone’s playing together. We’re giving the fans what they want to see.” Oklahoma City has lost back-to-back contests and four of its last six games and is coming off a lackluster 117-106 home loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. “I think it’s a lack of energy,” Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony said after Tuesday’s setback. “We played in spurts. I think the last two games the energy has just been down. With that, we were one step behind on a lot of plays. We didn’t put a full game together these past two games.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Oklahoma, FSN North (Minnesota)

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ABOUT THE THUNDER (22-19): Star point guard Russell Westbrook had 22 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds against Portland but even he had his struggles. Westbrook was just 7-of-20 shooting and committed six turnovers – marking the third straight game he was saddled with a half-dozen miscues. Forwards Paul George (22 points on 8-of-18 shooting) and Anthony (19 on 8-of-17) also made less than 50 percent of their shots as Oklahoma City just shot 44 percent from the field.

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (26-16):
 Jimmy Butler contributed 21 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and three steals in the demolition of the Cavaliers and has been the element the team has missed in recent seasons. Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau targeted Butler and finally landed him in an offseason deal with the Chicago Bulls and the three-time All-Star is flourishing in Minnesota. “What he’s doing every night, it’s amazing, but it’s also bringing the best out of everyone on the team, and to me that’s the true mark of greatness,” Thibodeau told reporters.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 27.7 points and 13.3 rebounds as the Timberwolves won two of this season’s first three meetings.

2. Oklahoma City SG Andre Roberson (knee) will miss his sixth consecutive contest.

3. Minnesota PG Jeff Teague (knee) will likely miss his eighth straight game.

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Posted in NBA

Bulls versus Nuggets Preview

The Denver Nuggets seem to struggle on the road but are winners of five straight at home and will begin a two-game homestand by hosting the NBA-worst Chicago Bulls on Thursday. The Bulls versus Nuggets will be broadcast at 9pm on WGN and Altitude. Play this game as part of Thursday GoW cross sports contest starting at 8:25pm ET.

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The Nuggets could use a home game against a lowly opponent after getting blown out 106-77 at Utah on Tuesday. The 77 points marked a season-low for the Nuggets, who average 112.1 points at home but just 100.5 on the road. The Bulls average an NBA-worst 94.6 points and were held below 100 for the fifth straight game in a 104-99 home loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. Chicago is making a one-game trip to Denver before coming home to host the Sacramento Kings the next night and is looking for its first road win since a 105-83 triumph at Orlando on November 3 – its only road victory of the season.

ABOUT THE BULLS (3-16)

Chicago’s season began with team turmoil when forward Bobby Portis punched forward Nikola Mirotic in the face, leading to a hospital stay and facial fractures for Mirotic and a suspension for Portis. Mirotic has yet to suit up for a game this season but attended his first game of the campaign on Tuesday. Mirotic, who has reportedly not yet spoken with Portis, began practicing with the team on Monday and is expected to practice with the team’s G League affiliate along with point guard Zach LaVine (knee) while the Bulls are in Denver. Chicago point guard Kris Dunn scored a career-high 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting in Tuesday’s loss.

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (11-9)

Denver lost some veteran leadership when power forward Paul Millsap went down with a wrist injury that required surgery and will leave him out three months, and filling the void is proving to be difficult.  Center Nikola Jokic, 22, is the young face of the franchise but is still growing into a consistent force and followed up a 28-point, 13-rebound, eight-assist effort in a win over Memphis on Friday with seven points in Tuesday’s setback. Nuggets small forward Wilson Chandler (back) sat out Tuesday and is day-to-day.

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Posted in NBA

Bulls versus Lakers Preview

Los Angeles rookie Lonzo Ball has put up a lot of clunkers through his first 17 NBA games but he also has two triple-doubles in the past five games. Ball will look to follow up a strong effort when the Lakers host the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. The Bulls versus Lakers will be broadcast at 10:30 pm on NBATV. Play this game as part of Tuesday GoW cross sports contest starting at 10:30pm ET.

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Ball had 11 points, a career-best 16 rebounds and 11 assists in Sunday’s 127-109 victory over the Denver Nuggets. Chicago has its own talented rookie in forward Lauri Markkanen but his early season heroics haven’t prevented the club from getting off to a porous start. The Bulls are a putrid 1-7 on the road after opening a four-game excursion with a 113-105 loss to the lowly Phoenix Suns on Sunday. The teams split two meetings last season with power forward Julius Randle collecting 20 rebounds (to match a career high) in the Lakers’ victory.

ABOUT THE BULLS (3-11)

Markkanen scored a season-best 26 points and also collected 13 rebounds in the loss to Phoenix and has team-best averages of 15.6 points and eight rebounds. The 7-footer is scoring on the inside and also has knocked down 10 3-pointers over the past three games and is developing as the team’s top scorer much sooner than expected.

ABOUT THE LAKERS (7-10)

Randle had a superb outing with 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the victory over Denver. Walton dissected the 22-year-old’s fine performance and was wondering what the potion is to make that type of showing into a regular thing. Center Brook Lopez is averaging 20 points on 17-of-27 shooting over the past two games.

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Posted in NBA

Celtics versus Mavericks Preview

The teams with the best and worst records in the NBA will meet Monday night when the Boston Celtics put their 15-game winning streak on the line at the Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics’ run is the fifth-longest in franchise history – four shy of matching the record set in 2008-09 – but they’ve had to come from behind in many of their recent victories, including Saturday’s 110-99 triumph in Atlanta. The Lakers versus Suns will be broadcast at 8:30pm on NBCS Boston and FS Southwest. Play this game as part of Monday GoW cross sports contest starting at 8:30pm ET.

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Boston has trailed at halftime in four of its last five contests and in the fifth – Tuesday at Brooklyn – it was tied at the break. The Mavericks have been easy pickings for most teams this season but turned the tables on Milwaukee on Saturday with a shocking 111-79 triumph. Wesley Matthews scored 22 points and led the team’s best 3-point shooting effort of the season (19-for-38) with a 6-for-8 performance.

ABOUT THE CELTICS (15-2)

Kyrie Irving has been a galvanizing force for Boston but quietly had some shooting woes and entered Atlanta at a career-low 42.9 percent from the floor and 31.9 percent from long range. In his third game wearing a mask to protect facial fractures, he reversed that trend in a significant way by going 10-for-12 overall and 5-for-6 from beyond the arc en route to 30 points, just a bit better than Jaylen Brown’s career-high 27.

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (3-14)

Dallas snapped a four-game losing streak that included a 24-point home loss to Minnesota on Friday and seemed to really need a cakewalk like the one that came one night later. Dwight Powell came off the bench to tie a career high with 13 rebounds to help the Mavericks win the battle of the boards 49-38.

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Posted in NBA

Lakers versus Suns Preview

The first meeting between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns produced a high-scoring showcase for many of the teams’ young stars. Lonzo Ball, Devin Booker and others will be on high alert when the teams tangle again in Phoenix on Monday night. The Lakers versus Suns will be broadcast at 9pm on Spectrum SportsNet and FS Arizona. Play this game as part of Monday GoW cross sports contest starting at 8:30pm ET.

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Ball had a personal-best 29 points and fell an assist shy of a triple-double in a 132-130 win in the desert on October 20, helping the Lakers overcome 25 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists from Booker and another 24 from Suns forward T.J. Warren. Ball has had some wild ups and downs since then but he became the youngest player in league history to record a triple-double (19 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds) in Saturday’s 98-90 loss at Milwaukee. While Los Angeles has dropped three in a row, Phoenix was able to snap a five-game skid with a 118-110 victory over Minnesota on Saturday.

ABOUT THE LAKERS (5-8)

Los Angeles has seen its offensive output fall in each of the last four games and is averaging 93.7 points during its three-game slide. Brandon Ingram has been one culprit, averaging nine points – more than five below his season mark – on 5-of-18 shooting in the last two games, while top reserve Jordan Clarkson was held to a season low-tying eight points in Milwaukee. Ball is averaging 7.4 assists and 6.8 rebounds and he shot over 50 percent from the field for the first time in his young career on Saturday.

ABOUT THE SUNS (5-9)

Booker and Warren seem primed and ready for the rematch with the Lakers after both players scored 35 points while combining to shoot 28-for-44 on Saturday. Phoenix interim coach Jay Triano is 5-6 since taking over on the sidelines. Tyson Chandler returned from a two-game absence to record six rebounds and two blocked shots, and the Suns hope to get fellow center Greg Monroe (calf) – acquired from Milwaukee in the Eric Bledsoe trade – into the rotation soon.

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Posted in NBA

Warriors versus Spurs Preview

The Golden State Warriors took a little while at the start of the season but finally found their championship form in a dominating win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.  The Warriors versus Spurs will be broadcast at 8pm on TNT. Play this game as part of Thursday GoW cross sports contest starting at 8pm ET.

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The San Antonio Spurs, who were swept in the Western Conference finals by the Warriors last spring and host the first rematch on Thursday, are not exactly at their best after dropping the last three games. They won their first four games behind power forward LaMarcus Aldridge but the absence of Kawhi Leonard (quad) and Tony Parker (quad) was apparent as the team averaged 91.7 points in three losses. Leonard, who was knocked out of the Western Conference finals in Game 1 when he sprained an ankle after landing on the foot of Golden State center Zaza Pachulia, has yet to play this season. The Warriors had yet to find their highest gear while dropping three of their first seven games but finally put it all together in a 141-113 trouncing at the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (5-3)

Golden State looked to be turning things around by following losses in two of the first three games with a three-game winning streak, but a 26-turnover performance at home in a loss to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday brought them back down to earth. The Warriors, who committed at least 16 turnovers in each of their first seven games, cut that number down to 12 against the Clippers.

ABOUT THE SPURS (4-3)

San Antonio is searching for scorers to take some of the pressure off Aldridge and may have found one in rookie shooting guard Brandon Paul, who came off the bench on Monday and delivered a season-high 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting in 30 minutes. Paul, 26, did not get off the bench in the first two games and totaled 18 points in the next four before getting an extended run against the Celtics. Kyle Anderson is starting in Leonard’s spot at small forward and is averaging 7.9 points on 42.3 percent shooting after going 2-of-8 from the floor against Boston.

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Posted in NBA

MLB World Series Preview

The Los Angeles Dodgers took game number one over the Houston Astroes. Twenty-four hours later and we are back at it again for game two of the World Series. Select your fantasy draft picks from the MLB World Series Cross Sports Game. Finish off your remaining selections with some NBA action. A total of four games to choose from. Check out the Astros versus Dodgers preview along with with the NBA games below and join the action for cash prize!!!   >>>Click here to join the game<<<

Hoston Astros vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Justin Verlander is 4-0 during his stellar postseason run and looks to continue the success when the Houston Astros visit the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday (8:09 p.m. ET on FOX). Verlander will aim to help Houston knot the series after Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner guided the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory in Game 1. Kershaw allowed one run and three hits with 11 strikeouts over seven innings while Turner belted a tiebreaking two-run homer (his fourth of the postseason) in Tuesday’s victory.

Verlander was acquired from Detroit by the Astros to fortify their rotation, and now he’s a symbol of a franchise looking for its first World Series title in the wake of a damaging hurricane that ravaged Houston in August.

PITCHING MATCHUP

Astros RH Justin Verlander (4-0, 1.46 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Rich Hill (0-0, 3.00)

Verlander has a stellar 11-5 postseason record, but none of those victories occurred in the World Series, where he went 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA in three career starts for the Tigers. The 34-year-old’s arrival in Houston changed the complexion of the rotation, providing the team with a second ace alongside Dallas Keuchel as well as raising the stature of the organization.

Hill is 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA in six career postseason starts and is making his World Series debut. The 37-year-old is trying to keep the moment in perspective after his major-league career appeared to be finished in the summer of 2015, when he signed with the independent Long Island Ducks, but 26 of his 50 career regular-season victories have come since that stint.

San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat

The San Antonio Spurs have not yet needed MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, who remains out while dealing with right quadriceps tendinopathy. The Spurs will try to stay undefeated when they kick off a four-game road trip by visiting the Miami Heat, who will be missing one of their stars as well, on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).

San Antonio is relying more on LaMarcus Aldridge with Leonard out, and the veteran power forward is responding by averaging 24.3 points and 9.3 rebounds. Aldridge is also helping out on the defensive end and provided the highlight of Monday’s 101-97 win over the Raptors with a chase-down block of Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry as the Spurs held their third consecutive opponent under 100 points to start the season. Aldridge could have some extra room to work with down low on Wednesday with Heat center Hassan Whiteside expected to miss his third straight game with a bone bruise on his left knee.

Indiana Pacers vs Oklahoma City Thunder

Paul George faces his former organization for the first time since his acrimonious departure when the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET on FSN Indiana & FSN Oklahoma). George was a four-time All-Star in his seven seasons with the Pacers but requested a trade during the summer and now is teammates with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony in Oklahoma City. Indiana acquired guard Victor Oladipo and post player Domantas Sabonis in the deal, and the former is thriving with back-to-back 28-point efforts – including 11-of-16 shooting in Tuesday’s 130-107 rout of Minnesota. The Pacers will be without center Myles Turner (concussion/neck) for the fourth straight game.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks are the lone remaining winless team in the Western Conference and have the misfortune of going up against one of the few teams that remains undefeated when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday in the first of a back-to-back, home-and-home set (8:30 p.m. ET on FS Southeast (Memphis) & FS Southwest (Dallas)). The Mavericks are being outscored by an average of 14.3 points and were crushed 133-103 at home by the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Monday.

Dallas, which travels to Memphis on Thursday for the start of a stretch with six of nine on the road, allowed 40 points in the first quarter and 68 in the second half on Monday. The Grizzlies showed off their defensive might by holding the explosive Houston Rockets to 14 fourth-quarter points in a 98-90 win on Monday and entered play Tuesday second in the NBA in opponent’s field-goal percentage at 39.6.

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Posted in MLB, NBA

MLB World Series Preview

The Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers will duke it out for baseball most valuable prize. It’s time for the World Series and it all starts tonight. Select your fantasy draft picks from the MLB World Series Cross Sports Game. Finish off your remaining selections with some NBA action. A total of three games to choose from. Check out the Astros versus Dodgers preview along with with the NBA games below and join the action for cash prize!!!   >>>Click here to join the game<<<

Houston Astros vs Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988, while the Houston Astros have never been crowned champions in their 56-season history. The teams begin their attempts to end their respective droughts when Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw pitches against Houston’s Dallas Keuchel in Game 1 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium (8:09 p.m. ET on FOX).

The Dodgers are in the World Series for the first time since their memorable 1988 slaying of the Oakland Athletics, a series best known for limping Kirk Gibson’s decisive Game 1 homer. The Astros lost to the Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series and this season’s 101-win squad knocked out the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees to reach the Series. The Dodgers, who won 104 regular-season games, rolled through the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs with standout third baseman Justin Turner excelling by going 12-for-31 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in the eight games.

PITCHING MATCHUP:

Astros LH Dallas Keuchel (2-1, 2.60 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 3.63 ERA)

Keuchel has struck out 25 in 17 1/3 innings over three starts this October and is a solid 4-1 with a 2.59 ERA in six career postseason appearances (five starts). The 29-year-old former Cy Young Award winner scanned the Dodgers’ lineup and had no trouble anointing it as the best he’ll face all season.

Kershaw has served up six homers in three starts this postseason but his career ledger has improved to 6-7 with a 4.40 ERA in 21 appearances (17 starts). The 29-year-old three-time Cy Young winner is 3-2 with a 2.38 ERA in eight career starts against the Astros and has experienced struggles with Astros star second baseman Jose Altuve (6-for-15, four doubles).

New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics finally earned their first win and then got three days off to figure out how to keep their emotions in check and move forward without Gordon Hayward. Kyrie Irving will be a little lighter in the wallet by the time the Celtics try to even their record against the visiting New York Knicks on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET on MSG (New York) & NBCSN Boston).  Irving had an altercation with a fan in the tunnel at halftime in Philadelphia and used a profanity, earning himself a $25,000 fine from the league. The Knicks have a young team and are still looking for their first win after squandering a 21-point lead in a 111-107 loss to the Detroit Pistons in the home opener on Saturday.

Indiana Pacers vs Minnesota Timberwolves

Andrew Wiggins is fresh off a dramatic game-winning shot and the 22-year-old shooting guard seeks to post his fourth consecutive 20-point outing to open the campaign when the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET on FSN Indiana & FSN Minnesota-Plus). Wiggins banked in a last-second shot from more than 30 feet out to give the Timberwolves a 115-113 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. Wiggins, who is averaging 24.7 points, recently signed a five-year, $148 million extension and was prepared to take the decisive shot. Indiana is rebuilding after trading star forward Paul George to Oklahoma City. They are receiving strong play from guard Victor Oladipo (22.3 average), who was acquired in the trade. The Pacers will be without starting center Myles Turner (concussion, neck) for the third straight game.

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Posted in MLB, NBA