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Wednesday, November 13, 2019
PACERS VS THUNDER
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Start: 11:00am AEDT
The Indiana Pacers will carry a three-game winning streak into their home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night. It already is the second three-game winning streak for Indiana, which would mark a season high if it can win its fourth game in a row. The Pacers are coming off a 109-102 win over the Orlando Magic in which Domantas Sabonis led the way with 21 points and 16 rebounds. The 23-year-old Sabonis, whose father, Arvydas, enjoyed a productive NBA career, is averaging 20 points and 13 rebounds per game in his fourth season out of Gonzaga. He was drafted by the Thunder and will face his former team for the fifth time in his career. In his first four games (one start), he has averaged 14 points and 8.5 rebounds in 24 minutes — a figure that likely will increase Tuesday. The Thunder are coming off a 121-119 loss against the Milwaukee Bucks, but they have won three of their last five. Oklahoma City is led in scoring by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is averaging 21.0 points in 10 starts. Veteran point guard Chris Paul has not reached 20 points in any of his past three games.
76ERS VS CAVALIERS
Venue: Wells Fargo Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT
Don’t look now, but the Cleveland Cavaliers have won back-to-back games as they prepare to visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night. Could they possibly make it three in a row against one of the most talented teams in the Eastern Conference? Philadelphia jumped to a 5-0 start, lost three in a row and then bounced back with a 114-106 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night. Six players scored in double figures but nobody touched 20 points for Philadelphia. Cavaliers first-year coach John Beilein will have to draw up a way to slow down 76ers big man Joel Embiid, who leads the team with 22.3 points and 11.8 boards this season. Cleveland is led by guard Collin Sexton, who is averaging 18.8 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting from the field and 42.2 shooting from beyond the 3-point line. Kevin Love is not far behind with 18.3 points and 13.4 rebounds per game. This will be the teams’ first meeting since March 12 of last season, when Philadelphia held on for a 106-99 victory. Philadelphia is 3-0 at home this season, and Cleveland is 2-3 on the road.
HEAT VS PISTONS
Venue: American Airlines Arena | Start: 11:30am AEDT
The Miami Heat will be well rested and plenty motivated when they take the court at home against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday. The Heat last played Friday at Los Angeles in a 95-80 defeat against the Lakers that gave them two loses on a three-game road trip. They also fell 109-89 to the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 5. Two games with scores in the 80s looked nothing like the Heat team that last played at home on Nov. 3 and scored 46 points in the first quarter against the Houston Rockets. Since missing the first three games of the season, Jimmy Butler has scored 19.3 points per game to lead the Heat. Pistons forward Blake Griffin finally made his season debut Monday after hamstring and knee issues. Griffin scored 19 points with seven rebounds in 24 minutes. The Pistons dropped a 120-114 decision to the Wolves and have lost five of their past seven games. Without Griffin in the lineup, Andre Drummond has helped carry the load and scored 11 points with 12 rebounds Monday. Guard Derrick Rose returned from his own hamstring injury Monday scoring six points in 20 minutes while making his first start of the season. The Pistons are just 1-4 on the road this season while the Heat is 3-0 at home.
BULLS VS KNICKS
Venue: United Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The New York Knicks are reeling with eight losses in 10 games to start the season. It has gotten so bad for the Knicks that team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry made an appearance after the club’s latest blowout loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Neither executive is happy, and the duo wants to see progress when the Knicks visit the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. The Bulls are coming off a 23-point loss against the Houston Rockets, which marked their seventh loss in 10 games this season. Chicago remains without shot-making forward Otto Porter Jr. because of a left foot sprain, but 2018 first-round pick Chandler Hutchison stepped into the starting lineup against Houston and fared well with 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting. The teams already have met once this season, with the Knicks rallying for a 105-98 win at home on Oct. 28. Knicks guard RJ Barrett has been quiet for the past two games, scoring in single digits in back-to-back contests for the first time this year, and will try to heat up on Tuesday.
SUNS VS LAKERS
Venue: Talking Stick Resort Arena | Start: 1:00pm AEDT
Fresh off their second defeat of the season the Los Angeles Lakers get another stern test when they travel to Phoenix to face the much-improved Suns on Tuesday. The Lakers saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end Sunday night with a 113-104 defeat at home to the NBA champion Toronto Raptors. It was the most points the defensive-minded Lakers have given up this season. Anthony Davis had 27 points against Toronto and LeBron James had a triple-double but scored a season-low 13 points in the process. The Suns are 6-3 and nearly one-third of the way to their victory total from all of last season. It is the team’s best nine-game start since they went 8-1 to open the 2009-10 season. Devin Booker has led the way with 25.8 points per game, including 27 in a high-scoring 138-112 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. It was the most points the Suns have scored in regulation time since March of 2010. The Suns made a season-high 19 3-pointers while point guard Ricky Rubio scored a season-best 22 points. The Suns are 1-3 against the Lakers in each of the past two seasons and 4-8 against them combined over the past three seasons.
NUGGETS VS HAWKS
Venue: Pepsi Center | Start: 1:00pm AEDT
The Atlanta Hawks had a day off before Tuesday’s visit to Denver, which supplied but a short window of time to devise a creative gameplan for a Nuggets team that has rediscovered its winning edge. No doubt, the Hawks’ main focus will be on handling Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic on both ends of the court. The teams were on opposite ends of tense overtime affairs on Sunday, with Jokic nailing his second straight game-winner, this one with 2.4 seconds remaining at Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Hawks were blitzed at Portland in their extra five-minute session, but at least they got there when Kevin Huerter, who’d buried a 3-pointer on the team’s previous possession, went for the tie rather than the win and converted a driving hoop with 0.7 seconds left in regulation. Dramatic finish or not, Denver fans figure to get their money’s worth in Trae Young’s only visit of the season. Young arrives having scored 30 and 35 points in his last two games, managing a double-double in each with 12 and 10 assists respectively. The matchup features teams streaking in opposite directions, with the Nuggets having won four straight, whereas the Hawks have dropped three in a row.
KINGS VS TRAIL BLAZERS
Venue: Golden 1 Center | Start: 2:00pm AEDT
Another victory Friday, this one over the Atlanta Hawks, should have given the Sacramento Kings even more reason for optimism heading into a home clash Tuesday against the Portland Trail Blazers. Then came Monday’s news that point guard De’Aaron Fox sprained his ankle in practice and could be out for a month. The Kings have won three of their last four games after an 0-5 start. After some early struggles when he scored in single digits twice in the Kings’ first four games, Buddy Hield is now has 18.1 points per game on the season and 20.8 points in four November games. Bogdan Bogdanovic has at least 20 points in each of the Kings’ last two games and has made 11 3-pointers in those contests. The Trail Blazers will enter after their own victory over the Hawks, a much-needed 124-113 overtime win Sunday. The victory ended Portland’s four-game losing streak and a run of five defeats in six games. The Blazers already have won at Sacramento this season, earning a 122-112 victory on Oct. 25. Portland guard Damian Lillard scored 35 points in the first matchup and has 33.0 points per game on the season. Portland center Hassan Whiteside has scored 14.9 points with 13.1 rebounds over his first nine games in a Blazers uniform.