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Tuesday, November 5, 2019
WIZARDS VS PISTONS
Venue: Capital One Arena | Start: 11:00am AEDT
The Detroit Pistons have been inundated with injuries lately but hope to have a couple key players back when they visit the Washington Wizards on Monday night. Blake Griffin could make his return after missing the first seven games because of soreness in his left knee. Detroit also could welcome back veteran point guard Derrick Rose, who sat out the most recent game because of a sore hamstring. But the Pistons remain without Reggie Jackson (back) and Tim Frazier (shoulder) as they aim for their second consecutive win. The presence of big man Andre Drummond certainly helps short-handed Detroit, as he has scored 20-plus points and pulled down 20-plus rebounds for three games in a row. Washington is healthier but has its own glut of problems. The Wizards have lost three in a row and four out of their last five as they struggle to make stops on the defensive end. In the past three games alone, Washington has given up 131 points to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 159 points to the Houston Rockets and 124 points to the San Antonio Spurs. Bradley Beal has provided a rare bright spot for the Wizards with an average of 27.4 points and 6.4 assists per game.
NETS VS PELICANS
Venue: Barclays Center | Start: 11:30am AEDT
A pair of teams that failed to capitalize on recent victories will meet Monday when the New Orleans Pelicans travel to Brooklyn to face the Nets. The Pelicans looked like they jumpstarted their season with a victory over the Denver Nuggets on Halloween night, but they returned Saturday with a 115-104 defeat against the Oklahoma City Thunder. JJ Redick scored 17 for the Pelicans off the bench and Jahlil Okafor had 15 points and 12 rebounds, but the Pelicans could not stay with an undersized Thunder lineup. Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball injured his ankle in Saturday’s game but returned to action and finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. The Nets handled the Houston Rockets on Friday but returned a day later to drop a 113-109 decision against the Pistons. New Nets big man DeAndre Jordan started and scored 10 points with 10 rebounds, but his counterpart Andre Drummond scored 25 points with 20 rebounds for the Pistons. Now Okafor will get a chance to match wits with Jordan. Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving is coming off a 20-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist performance, his first triple-double since joining the Nets and the third of his career. Irving had one triple-double with the Boston Celtics and one with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
TIMBERWOLVES VS BUCKS
Venue: Target Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Minnesota Timberwolves will try to go 2-0 during Karl-Anthony Towns’ suspension when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night. Towns will wrap up his two-game suspension for his role in an altercation with Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid last week. The Timberwolves played well in their first game without Towns as they cruised to a 131-109 win over the Washington Wizards. But it is impossible to deny that the Bucks are a tougher test, especially given the fact that they are coming off back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Standout forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 26.7 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists through his first six starts, and it will be difficult for anyone on Minnesota’s defense to stop him from doing what he wants. He scored a season-high 36 points in his most recent game against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday. Minus Towns, Minnesota’s top scoring option is Andrew Wiggins, who is averaging 20.4 points per game despite shooting only 42.2 percent from the field so far this season. The Timberwolves are 4-1 for the first time since 2012-13.
GRIZZLIES VS ROCKETS
Venue: FedExForum | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Houston Rockets will try to shake a two-game losing streak when they travel to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday. The Rockets will enter off Sunday’s 129-100 loss to the Miami Heat in a game that was never close. Houston trailed 46-14 after one quarter and was down 59-18 in the second quarter. It was the third largest deficit after one quarter in the shot-clock era. James Harden scored 29 points, while Russel Westbrook added 10. It was Westbrook’s lowest scoring game of the season. Prior to Sunday’s defeat, the Rockets lost at Brooklyn on Friday. The Grizzlies will also enter off two consecutive defeats that came after they picked up their only victory of the season Oct. 27 against the Nets. Memphis dropped a 114-105 decision to the Phoenix Suns on Saturday. One bright spot for the rebuilding Grizzlies has been the play of rookie Ja Morant, who has led the team in scoring in each of the past three games. Morant scored 24 points Saturday and has 18.9 points per game this season. Memphis, which has been plagued with second-half struggles was outscored 37-22 by the Suns in the third quarter. Memphis’ Grayson Allen (ankle) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee) left Saturday’s game and did not return.
SUNS VS 76ERS
Venue: Talking Stick Resort Arena | Start: 1:00pm AEDT
The unbeaten Philadelphia 76ers will have to avoid a letdown Monday night when they continue a Western trip with a matchup against the Phoenix Suns. The 76ers had reason to celebrate Saturday’s fifth straight win, a 129-128 thriller at Portland that turned dramatically on a Furkan Korkmaz 3-pointer with four-tenths of a second remaining. With Western heavyweights Utah and Denver awaiting, a couple of days in sunny Phoenix seems to be just what the 76ers ordered. Only trips to Phoenix don’t appear to be vacations anymore. The Suns already have a home win over the Los Angeles Clippers and, at 4-2, rate as big a surprise any in the early going. Are Phoenix basketball fans excited? The 76ers, still without suspended Joel Embiid, might be the first to find out, as homestands don’t get much more attractive than visits from Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Trae Young, leading into a matchup with the universally popular Boston Celtics. If they’ve been paying attention, the 76ers might be forewarned about the potential danger that lies ahead. After all, even when the Suns didn’t shine nearly as bright last season, they gave the playoff-bound squad fits in a pair of five-point losses.
WARRIORS VS TRAIL BLAZERS
Venue: Chase Center | Start: 2:30pm AEDT
The Golden State Warriors will be looking for their first win at their new arena in San Francisco when they host the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. They’ll also be looking for players. Only nine — none named Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green or D’Angelo Russell — suited up for Saturday’s loss to Charlotte, the club’s second in two days in a rare home back-to-back. Even if Russell (sprained right ankle) returns, Golden State won’t be playing anyone even remotely responsible for last May’s 4-0 sweep of Portland in the Western Conference Finals. The Trail Blazers return Damian Lillard, an Oakland native who gets an opportunity to display his displeasure over the Warriors’ decision to bail on his hometown. The Trail Blazers also arrive with the bad aftertaste of a buzzer-beating Furkan Korkmaz 3-pointer that turned victory into defeat Saturday night against Philadelphia. In a matchup of two teams yet to win at home, advantage: Portland. The Trail Blazers are 3-1 on the road so far, while Warriors fans have nothing but four losses to show for their pricier tickets.