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Posted Dec 7, 2013 6:36 PM - Updated Dec 7, 2013 10:21 PM
• Tonight's coaches, Dallas' Rick Carlisle and Portland's Terry Stotts, were together on the Mavericks' staff from 2008-12 — Carlisle as head coach, Stotts as his chief assistant. Is tonight any more of an emotional game for either coach? "I have a lot of friends over there, particularly on the coaching and training staff," Stotts said. "We spent four good years together and won a championship — those are pretty close bonds. Rick's the ultimate competitor and a great friend. We enjoy each other's company. You have some emotions before and after, but you don't think about that during a game."
• The Utah Jazz will be without two starters against the Sacramento Kings tonight. Starting center/power forward Derrick Favors is out with a sore lower back and is considered day-to-day. Marvin Williams will miss his third straight game with a sore right heel.
• Nets coach Jason Kidd said he would return Shaun Livingston to the starting lineup at point guard in place of Tyshawn Taylor. In Thursday's 30-point loss to the Knicks, Livingston started the second half with Taylor coming off the bench. Livingston had been starting before Taylor took over in the previous three games. Kidd said that was a planned "break" for Livingston.
• Spurs center Tiago Splitter, who has been battling tightness in his left calf since San Antonio's win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, will start on Saturday night against the Pacers. According to Gregg Popovich, Splitter will play limited minutes. "He's gonna play limited minutes and we'll see how he does," Popovich said.
• Bulls forward Luol Deng will miss Saturday's game against the Pistons with a sore left calf, an injury he claims to have suffered four games ago when the Bulls played the Pistons in Detroit Nov. 27. Including that game, Deng has scored 111 games in the four games, an average of 27.8 points per game . Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau listed Deng as day-to-day. "He has tightness,'' Thibodeau said. "(Trainers) want to work on him and said he will be better in a couple of days." Ninety minutes before game time, Thibodeau refused to state who would start in Deng's place, but 30 minutes later decided forward Taj Gibson would start.
• The Grizzlies will again be without starting guard Tony Allen and backup forward Ed Davis will join him on the sidelines. Allen will miss his second straight game as he recovers from a right hip contusion. Davis sprained his left ankle in Thursday's loss to Phoenix. Both players are listed as day-to-day.
• The Warriors will again be without guard Andre Iguodala, who has a left hamstring straight. He has missed the last seven games. Coach Mark Jackson said guard Toney Douglas will be a game-time decision. he is suffering from a stress reaction, left tibia.
• With a front-court heavy roster, and the balky knees of Dwyane Wade, rumors are swirling that the Heat are trying to trade for a guard to balance the roster. Joel Anthony seems to be the main trade bait, but no specific names have surfaced in terms of who the Heat might get in return. Wade is active tonight.
• Kevin Love will miss tonight's contest due to the death of his grandmother. The Timberwolves released the following statement: "The Timberwolves organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing late last night of Carol Lee Craig, Kevin Love's maternal grandmother. The Timberwolves send our condolences to the Love family in this difficult time." Love is expected back in time for the next game.
• Newest Timberwolf Luc Mbah a Moute, acquired from the Kings for Derek Williams, will get his first start tonight in Love's place. Coach Rick Adelman explained his decision before the game, "It's match-ups for us. They have two tough guys in LeBron and Wade.....with Kevin out we're going to have to defend to stay in the game. So we are going to start him (Mbah a Moute.)
• Michael Beasley (strained hamstring) is out for the Miami Heat tonight.
• Sixers rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams will miss his second straight game because of right knee soreness caused by a skin infection on the front of that knee. Carter-Williams is currently at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for further evaluation. He is listed as day-to-day.
• Tony Wroten is expected to start in Carter-Williams' spot once again. Wroten had 21 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in Friday's 105-88 loss at Charlotte.
• Sixers forward Thaddeus Young (sore glute) is expected to start.
• Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (left hamstring strain) is out and will be replaced by Andre Miller in the starting lineup. "Obviously, we lose a lot of speed without Ty on the court," coach Brian Shaw said. "Andre Miller is a winner."
• Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving went scoreless for the first time in his NBA career Friday at Atlanta, missing all nine of his field goal attempts and three free throws. Over the last three games, the 2013 All-Star is shooting 16-for-50 (.320) from the field. "We were already at the orange threat level in terms of concern about Kyrie, so we couldn't get any higher based on what happened last night," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "I'm worried that he's going to try to go off for 50 points against us."
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