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Monday, November 4, 2019
PACERS VS BULLS
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Start: 9:00am AEDT
The Indiana Pacers will go for their third win in a row when they host the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. Indiana has done a good job digging out of an early-season hole that included three losses in six days. The team is coming off a 102-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night that included a team-high 25 points from Malcolm Brogdon, who shot 8 of 16 from the field and 8 of 8 from the free-throw line. The 26-year-old Brogdon is playing well in his first season with the
Pacers as he is averaging 22.6 points, 10.2 assists and 5.8 rebounds through
five starts. Domantas Sabonis also is averaging a double-double for Indiana with 21.8 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Look for the Bulls to focus on defense first and offense second as they prepare for the game. Chicago coach Jim Boylen was much happier with his team’s defensive effort in its most recent game, a 112-106 win over the Detroit Pistons. Zach LaVine led the team in scoring with
26 points while forwards such as Thaddeus Young and Wendell Carter Jr. provided consistent defense on the interior. Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen left Friday’s game with an injury to his side, but he said the problem was not serious and could have returned if needed.
HEAT VS ROCKETS
Venue: American Airlines Arena | Start: 10:00am AEDT
Dion Waiters reportedly will be available when the Miami Heat welcome the Houston Rockets on Sunday evening. The 27-year-old has averaged double figures in scoring in all but one of his seven NBA seasons, but he has been held out of the mix this season because he has not met the team’s conditioning standards. Miami has been just fine without him, winning four of its first five games. The Heat recently swept a home-and-home series with the Atlanta Hawks and now return to American
Airlines Arena, where they are 2-0 so far this season. Rookie guard Kendrick Nunn has provided a spark for Miami by averaging a team-high 22.4 points on 51.8 percent shooting in his first five games. But the Heat will have their hands full with Houston, which is eager to bounce back from a 123-116 loss
against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. Rockets guard James Harden has scored 36, 59 and 40 points in his last three contests. Russell Westbrook is averaging 23.4 points in his first season with Houston. He made 12 of 25 shots in his most recent game but shot only 1 of 6 from beyond the arc, continuing a
season-long struggle from long range.
KNICKS VS KINGS
Venue: Madison Square Garden | Start: 10:00am AEDT
When the Sacramento Kings visit the New York Knicks on Sunday, it will be a battle to avoid being the worst of the worst as the season approaches the two-week mark. Both teams will enter with matching 1-5 records and last in their respective conferences at the start of play Saturday. The Kings, though, will enter off a 102-101 victory over a solid Utah Jazz team as they became the last NBA team to earn a victory. De’Aaron Fox scored a team-high 25 for Sacramento, while new head coach Luke Walton picked up his first victory with the Kings. The Knicks have only defeated the Chicago Bulls, but took the Boston Celtics down to the last second Friday before Jayson Tatum’s jumper with 1.3 seconds remaining left them with a 104-102 defeat. One sign the Knicks are improving is that Friday’s two-point defeat at Boston came after a 23-point rout one week earlier at home to the same Celtics team. Marcus Morris scored a season-best 29 points Friday, 17 more than his previous season high. New York played without point guards Elfrid Payton (hamstring) and Kadeem Allen (knee), while guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed the game because of a death in his family.
SPURS VS LAKERS
Venue: AT&T Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT
Two one-loss teams in the Western Conference have at least one thing in common: They each lost to the Los Angeles Clippers. Yet the Clippers have two losses to other teams, a confirmation of just how rough-and-tumble the west was expected to be this season. The Lakers are rolling now with four consecutive victories after their opening-night setback to their in-town rival. The latest Lakers victory was an impressive 119-110 overtime triumph over the Dallas Mavericks when LeBron James dominated with 39 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists. Anthony Davis had 31 points as the Lakers’ new partnership continues to blossom. At 4-1, Los Angeles is off to its best start since the 2010-11 team opened 8-0. Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (ankle) made his season debut with nine points in 19 minutes. While it is a small sample size, the Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan is shooting a career-best 52.6 percent from the field with 21.6 points per game. San Antonio’s defense has given up 111.2 points per game, in the middle of the pack in the NBA, more than 11 points per game than the Lakers. Sunday’s game tips off a run for the Spurs during which they will play four of their next five games at home.
CAVALIERS VS MAVERICKS
Venue: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse | Start: 11:30am AEDT
Something has to give Sunday night when the Dallas Mavericks put their perfect road mark up against the unblemished home record of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Mavs come off a hard-fought overtime loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. The Cavs, meanwhile, have alternated wins and losses to start the season at 2-3. They’re also coming off a loss, a 102-95 setback at Indiana on Friday night. Luka Doncic, who leads the Mavs in scoring at 26.2 points per game, is coming off a monster 31-point, 15-assist, 12-rebound night against the Lakers and needed stitches in his head after taking a blow late in the game. He’s considered day-to-day but is expected to play. Doncic has recorded team-highs in rebounds and assists in four of the team’s five games. Collin Sexton leads the Cavaliers in scoring at 18.2 though Tristan Thompson has been the team’s high-scorer in three games so far. Kevin Love is grabbing rebounds in droves, leading the team with 16.8 per contest. Love is second on the team in scoring at 17.2 points per game. The game will be the first of two games the teams play all season with both coming in November.
CLIPPERS VS JAZZ
Venue: Staples Center | Start: 1:00pm AEDT
The Los Angeles Clippers and Utah do battle for the second time in four days when the Jazz pay a visit to the Staples Center on Sunday. But this time, leading scorer Kawhi Leonard will be on the court for the Clips, who are 3-0 at home to start the season. Leonard took a load management day off when the Jazz upended the Clippers 110-96 in Utah on Wednesday. The Jazz ran away in the third quarter, outscoring the Clippers 38-20. Leonard is shooting 50.5 percent in five games. He is averaging a team-high 29.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists in almost 30 minutes per outing. The Jazz had their three-game winning streak snapped Friday night at Sacramento, suffering a one-point loss to the previously winless Kings. Guard Donovan Mitchell leads the Jazz in scoring at 24.0 per game. He’s shooting at a 51.9 percent clip. Guard Mike Conley posted a season-high 29 points in the first meeting between the clubs, a highlight in what has been a slow start for the newcomer; the veteran is shooting 33.3 percent from the floor in six games and only 29.7 percent on 3-pointers. The Jazz are allowing just 94.0 points per game to start the season, tops in the NBA.