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Ten Before Tip: News leading up to Saturday's tips

NBA.com news services
Posted Dec 28, 2013 5:42 PM - Updated Dec 28, 2013 9:10 PM

• Miami's health is a major question for tonight's showdown with Portland. LeBron James (groin) and Chris Andersen (back) are out. Dwyane Wade, who sat out Friday's loss at Sacramento to rest his knees, will play. Ray Allen (knee) is a game-time decision. In his pregame meeting with the media, Portland coach Terry Stotts suggested it didn't matter all that much if James isn't available.

• Evan Turner, the 76ers' leading scorer (19.3 points), will miss tonight's game with what the Sixers called right knee soreness. The announcement is significant because Turner is one of the NBA's ironmen. He had played in every game last season and -- until now -- this season. "It's my decision," said coach Brett Brown, who said his judgment owed, more than anything, to the "rhythm of an NBA season." Turner likely will play Sunday at the Los Angeles Lakers, Brown indicated. "It's nothing severe," he said.

• One night after getting center Larry Sanders and forward Ersan Ilyasova back from injuries, the Bucks will be without forward John Henson, who has a lower left leg injury dating back to Dec. 20 after he collided with Cleveland's Anderson Varejao.

• Elton Brand will start at center for the Hawks Saturday, when Atlanta plays its first game since Al Horford tore his right pectoral muscle Thursday against the Cavs, but really the position will be manned by committee while Horford is out indefinitely.

• Luol Deng of the Bulls walked out of the locker room headed for the floor just seconds before Thibodeau came out to meet the media before the game, and Thibodeau said he was uncertain whether Deng would play as he tries to recover from a sore Achilles. Thibodeau did say Joakim Noah would play even though he suffered a bruised hip in the game against Brooklyn Christmas Day. The Bulls are playing their 28th game of the season and have used 13 different lineups this season due to injury. Deng was declared out of the game one hour before game time, with Mike Dunleavy starting in his place. It will mark Dunleavy's 10th start of the season, playing in place of Deng or shooting guard Jimmy Butler.

• The Pelicans will play without a pair of starters in Saturday's matchup with the Rockets, as Eric Gordon (right hip contusion) and Jason Smith (right knee contusion) will miss their second and fourth game in a row, respectively. Coach Monty Williams said he plans to start Jrue Holiday, Anthony Morrow, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis for the second straight time, allowing Tyreke Evans to remain in his effective sixth-man role. "Those [injuries] are just excuses to me," Williams said. "You have to go out there and play. ... But it does throw your progress off. ... I'm thankful that our guys have had injuries that they can bounce back from."

• Good news for the Wizards: starting guard and second-leading scorer Bradley Beal avoided serious injury after having to be carried off the court Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Postgame X-rays and subsequent MRI on Saturday revealed Beal suffered a bruise knee during a collision in the final minutes of Washington's 120-98 loss. "He's fine, everything checked out good today," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of Beal's injury. The second-year guard will start against Detroit.

• Knicks forward Andrea Bargnani will make his first regular season appearance in Toronto as a member of the New York Knicks on Saturday. Bargnani played seven seasons in Toronto and was their first overall pick in 2006.

• Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony did not make the trip to Toronto and will miss his third straight game due to a left ankle injury. Metta World Peace will also be inactive for the Knicks.

• Nets coach Jason Kidd will abandon the lineup that contributed to a 104-93 victory over Milwaukee Friday night in favor of a bigger group to better match up with Indiana's front court, with Kevin Garnett and Mirza Teletovic flanked by Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce. It's the 14th lineup in 30 games for Kidd. "Nothing against the lineup from last night," Kidd said. "Right now, size is what's important. This lineup, we felt, when we played Indiana did pretty well so we're going to start with this lineup and see what happens." Shaun Livingston started instead of Teletovic in what amounted to a four-guard lineup against the Bucks.

• The Nets announced center Brook Lopez will undergo surgery on his broken right foot on Jan. 4. It will be the third procedure in two years for Lopez, who originally sustained the fifth metatarsal fracture in 2011 and had a screw implanted. When that screw bent, he had it replaced this past offseason. Lopez is expected to miss the rest of the season.

• Good news for the Wizards: starting guard and second-leading scorer Bradley Beal avoided serious injury after having to be carried off the court Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Postgame X-rays and subsequent MRI on Saturday revealed Beal suffered a bruise knee during a collision in the final minutes of Washington's 120-98 loss. "He's fine, everything checked out good today," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of Beal's injury. The second-year guard will start against Detroit.

• Cavs center Andrew Bynum was suspended indefinitely by the Cleveland Cavaliers this morning due to conduct detrimental to the team, the Cavs announced in a statement. Bynum did not travel with the team to Boston. Mike Brown spoke to the media before today's contest, but would not elaborate on the reason why Bynum was suspended, just emphasizing he would be out "indefinitely." Brown also said he is moving forward now after the suspension. "I'm worried about the guys in the locker room. In our business, there are a lot of ups and downs during the season. So what you do as a head coach, you keep moving forward," Brown said.

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