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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Wednesday

NBA.com news services
Posted Jan 1, 2014 9:04 PM

• New Orleans guard Eric Gordon is expected to play tonight for the Pelicans. He has missed the last three games due to a right hip contusion, sustained on December 23 at the Sacramento Kings.

• Minnesota forward Kevin Love has scored 25-plus points in 11 consecutive games, the longest such streak in the league this season and the longest in club history. He is currently ranked first in rebounding (13.7 rpg) and second in scoring (26.5 ppg).

• Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman says that his team, which is trying to go over .500 for the first time since Oct. 31, 2009, doesn't view getting there as a huge accomplishment. "Let's continue to do the things we're doing," Wittman said. "Winning five out of six. The record then takes care of itself."

• Swingman Glen Rice, who will miss his sixth game after surgery on his right wrist, had the sutures removed from the wrist on Tuesday, Wittman said. F Al Harrington (right knee) is making good progress after an arthroscopy. His return date is uncertain.

• The Toronto Raptors are in the midst of an impressive stretch, winning three games in a row for the first time this season. On Wednesday, Toronto will have an opportunity to reach the .500 mark through 30 games for the first time since January 6, 2010. The Raptors were six games under .500 following a loss at Phoenix 26 days ago.

• Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel believes that his team features two players with a legitimate shot at winning the NBA's Most Improved Player award in Paul George and Lance Stephenson. "I think [Paul George] would be in second place on our team though, to Lance Stephenson," Vogel said. "When you look at what Lance done this year, I think he's the most improved player in the NBA. But, certainly, Paul going from average to really good last year and this year going from really good to great has certainly got to be recognized as well."

• After coming off the bench for three games, Nuggets shooting guard Randy Foye returned to the starting lineup against the 76ers. Foye went 7-for-11 from the field over his previous two games and added nine assists. He had started the first 27 games of the season before coach Brian Shaw inserted Jordan Hamilton into the starting five.

• As part of his customary pregame routine, Philadelphia coach Brett Brown led an individual workout with Sixers rookie Nerlens Noel, who has yet to make his NBA debut while recovering from a knee injury. "He looked good today," Brown said. Noel, the No. 6 overall pick last June, has not ruled out playing this season, but he remains out indefinitely.

• Anthony Tolliver will continue to hold down the fort at the starting small forward spot. Charlotte lost its previous fill-in starter at that position, Jeff Taylor, to a season-ending torn Achilles on Dec. 20 and the 6-8, 240-pound Tolliver has plugged that hole in the starting lineup ever since, averaging seven points. Tolliver, who has spent most of his six seasons in the NBA coming off the bench as a stretch power forward, went 0-for-3 from 3-point range in his first start against the Jazz, but is 11-for-20 from long range in the four games since.

• Clippers small forward Jared Dudley has gone four straight games without making a 3-pointer, which matches his longest drought since November 2010.

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