Watch Live: Kayo Sports
Saturday, November 2, 2019
MAGIC VS BUCKS
Venue: Amway Center | Start: 10:00am AEDT
The Orlando Magic will try to stay unbeaten at home when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. Orlando is 2-0 on its home court so far with wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks. But they have yet to meet an opponent quite like Milwaukee, which features all-world phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo. The “Greek Freak” is off to another good start this season with averages of 23.8 points, 13.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists in his first four contests. He will pose a difficult challenge for Orlando, whose top players include Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic and Jonathan Isaac. Fournier leads the team in scoring with an average of 17.8 points per game in four starts. Vucevic is posting a double-double on average with 15.8 points and 11.0 rebounds. The Bucks feature another 20-point scorer in Khris Middleton along with the brotherly big man tandem of Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez, who will do their best to shut down Vucevic. This will be the first meeting between the teams since Feb. 9, when the Magic pulled away for a 103-83 victory in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo did not play in that game. Isaac led the Magic with 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting.
NETS VS ROCKETS
Venue: Barclays Center | Start: 10:00am AEDT
James Harden and the Houston Rockets will take a high-octane offense to Brooklyn on Friday to face a Nets team that is in need of a far more favorable matchup than this. All of Harden’s 59 points Wednesday at Washington were needed in a scoreboard-taxing 159-158 victory that better resembled the final tally in an All-Star Game. Russell Westbrook scored 17 points with 12 rebounds. Harden took 32 shots (making 18), while Westbrook took 16 (making seven). One area in need of improvement for the Rockets: The Wizards shot 62.6 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from 3-point range, making 20 long-range shots. The Nets are just 1-3 on the season and lost Wednesday 118-103 to a Pacers team that entered without a victory. Kyrie Irving has led the Nets in scoring in every game this season, scoring 28 against the Pacers. New Nets big man DeAndre Jordan had a season-high 17 rebounds for the Nets on Tuesday. Entering play Thursday, the Nets were third in the NBA with 120.0 points per game, but defensively they were 27th giving up 122.0 points. The Nets were last in the league in 3-point defense, with opponents shooting 43.3 percent.
PACERS VS CAVALIERS
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Start: 10:00am AEDT
After finally earning their first win of the season, the Indiana Pacers will look to make it two in a row when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night, when they’ll likely play without center Myles Turner (ankle). Indiana is coming off a 118-108 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in which four players scored 20-plus points: Domantas Sabonis (29), Jeremy Lamb (25), Malcolm Brogdon (21) and T.J. Warren (20). The Pacers could use another big night from any or all of those players against Cleveland, which has produced several impressive performances already under first-year coach John Beilein. The Cavaliers will go for back-to-back wins after knocking off the Chicago Bulls 117-111 on Wednesday night. Cleveland is led in scoring by Tristan Thompson, who is averaging 20.3 points per game to go along with 11.8 rebounds. The only player at the team who is pulling down more rebounds is Kevin Love, who has averages of 16.8 boards and 16.0 points per game. Indiana is 0-1 at home this season, and Cleveland is 0-2 on the road. The teams met once this season, with the Cavaliers posting a 110-99 win last Saturday night.
CELTICS VS KNICKS
Venue: TD Garden | Start: 10:30am AEDT
One hot team and one with a revenge motivation hook up Friday night when the Boston Celtics host the New York Knicks. The Celtics have won three in a row, with their offensive confidence boosted by the Knicks’ lack of perimeter defense when the clubs met last week in New York. Kemba Walker went deep seven times and his teammates added another eight from beyond the arc in the 118-95 blowout. Knicks coach David Fizdale claimed his guys got “punched” in the embarrassing loss and hopes the sight of blood inspires a better effort in the rematch. The Celtics have won wars over Toronto and Milwaukee in their last two home games, so a letdown is possible. With Dennis Smith Jr. out of action, the Knicks might try R.J. Barrett on Walker. New York’s prized rookie had 26 points in last week’s meeting. It’ll be interesting to observe the reaction of Celtics fans to the return of Marcus Morris, who bolted for a $15 million offer from the Knicks in the off-season. Morris was a significant contributor to Boston’s success the last two seasons.
BULLS VS PISTONS
Venue: United Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT
Derrick Rose will return to his hometown of Chicago when the Detroit Pistons visit the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. Rose earned an MVP with the Bulls but eventually was traded away after a series of injuries sapped him of the explosiveness that made him a star. Now in his first season with the Pistons, Rose is showing flashes of his former self, averaging 20.4 points and 6.2 assists per game while coming off the bench. The Pistons are off to a 2-3 start this season while the Bulls have slogged to a 1-4 beginning. Chicago has lost three consecutive games, including a forgettable 117-111 defeat in its most recent outing against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bulls could use more consistency from their top scorers, Zach LaVine (20.2 points per game) and Lauri Markkanen (17.4). Rookie guard Coby White will play in front of the Bulls home crowd for the second time this season. He is averaging 12.6 points and 2.8 assists in his first five games. Detroit is led by Andre Drummond, who is averaging 21.0 points and 17.4 rebounds a game. Rose is second on the scoring list and Luke Kennard is third with 15.2 points per game.
MAVERICKS VS LAKERS
Venue: American Airlines Center | Start: 12:30pm AEDT
The Lakers will not have to wait long to test their improving offense, heading to Dallas on Friday for a clash between a pair of three-win teams in the Western Conference. The Lakers followed a season-opening defeat to the Clippers and a low-scoring victory over the Jazz with a pair of 120-point victories over the Hornets and Grizzlies. Of note was Anthony Davis’ 40-point, 20-rebound performance against the Grizzlies on Tuesday that came two days after he delivered 29 points and 14 rebounds against the Hornets. The Lakers are hoping that forward Kyle Kuzma will make his season debut against the Mavericks after a stress reaction in his left ankle that happened while he was with Team USA during the offseason. The Mavs’ partnership of Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic is the attention-getting draw, but Dallas delivered a full team effort in a 109-106 victory at Dallas on Tuesday. Nine of 10 Mavericks players who saw action Wednesday scored in double figures, to tie a franchise record, including all five reserves that played. Porzingis and Doncic combined to shoot just 2 of 14 from 3-point range. Forward Dwight Powell (hamstring) made his season debut for the Mavericks on Tuesday, scoring four points in just over 13 minutes of playing time.
KINGS VS JAZZ
Venue: Golden 1 Center | Start: 1:00pm AEDT
The Jazz are meeting expectations and then some at the start of the season with a 4-1 record. The Kings? Not so much at 0-5. New Jazz guard Mike Conley finally had a breakout game with 29 points Tuesday in a 110-96 victory over the Clippers. He shot 11 of 17 from the field and 5 of 8 from 3-point range. The Jazz’s other newcomer, forward Bojan Bogdanovic, already has shown why he was a valued commodity with 26 points per game. Guard Donovan Mitchell is off to a hot start with 24 points per game. On defense, no Jazz opponent has scored 100 points. The Kings already have lost once to the Jazz, falling 113-81 on Saturday at Utah. Buddy Hield scored 23 points in Wednesday’s defeat, far better production than the eight combined points he had in Sacramento’s two previous loses, including three points in 20 minutes against the Jazz. The Kings appeared on their way to their first victory Wednesday with a 14-point lead but were outscored 32-18 in the third quarter and fell 118-111 to the Hornets. Sacramento is off to its worst start since the 1990-91 season.
WARRIORS VS SPURS
Venue: Chase Center | Start: 1:30pm AEDT
Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr are such good friends, the longtime San Antonio Spurs coach will hold out his starting point guard at Golden State on Friday night in fairness because the Warriors will be without Stephen Curry, who has a broken left hand. OK, that’s not the real reason, but it’s the reality when the clubs who have combined to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals in each of the last seven seasons go head-to-head for the first time in the new Chase Center in San Francisco. Chances are, Popovich won’t need directions to the place. The former Warriors assistant under Don Nelson has kept a house in San Francisco, and has made, with his team, more than his fair share of visits to the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Spurs have played 13 times in the last five seasons. Five of those visits came during the 2017 and 2018 playoffs, where the Warriors ended San Antonio’s season en route to championships, taking advantage of Kawhi Leonard injuries on both occasions. The Spurs get the break on the injury front Friday with Curry out, but Murray also has been scheduled for a night off as he completes a comeback from ACL surgery.