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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Thursday night news services
Posted Dec 12, 2013 9:46 PM

• Assistant coach Kelvin Sampson will run the Rockets tonight in the absence of Kevin McHale, whose mother died Tuesday night. Her memorial service is Friday. He will also miss the Rockets' Friday night game at Golden State, but could return for Sunday's visit to Sacramento.

• Portland rookie C.J. McCollum, who has missed the entire season with a broken left foot, has been cleared for some basketball activity and was shooting with his teammates prior to tonight's game. "He's gradually building up to when he will be able to practice," Stotts said. "There is no timeline for his return. I'm anxious for him, because it's been really tough on him. He's anxious to play."

• Paul Pierce will once again come off the bench for the Nets. Alan Anderson will start in his place. Nets coach Jason Kidd said he was comfortable with the way things played out with Pierce coming off the bench Tuesday against Boston.

• Kidd had no specific update on Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms), though he did say he hoped Kirilenko would play some time in 2013. Kirilenko noted that he was running in a pool and estimated roughly that he was "probably 10 days away."

• The Clippers are playing the sixth game on a seven-game road trip. A night after an emotional return to Boston, Clippers coach Doc Rivers gets to face off against, Kevin Garnett and Pierce, two players he had in Boston. "I haven't coached against them in quite a while," Rivers said. "So that will be different. That will be strange."

• Rivers spoke at a coaching clinic Kidd attended during the summer. "You can't worry about being wrong," Rivers said. "I told him that all the time." Rivers remembered being a rookie coach, calling his old coaching mentors from his playing days. "I was a fortunate player," he said. "I played for great coaches."

• Matt Barnes, J.J. Redick, Reggie Bullock, and Maalik Wayns remain out for the Clippers, while Jason Terry joins Kirilenko on the Nets' inactive list.

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