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Ten Before Tip: NBA News from Sunday

POSTED: Jan 5, 2014 9:07 PM ET


• Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (left knee contusion) will miss his third straight game Sunday against the Pacers and likely won't play Tuesday against Philadelphia. The 2013 NBA All-Star said he felt "a pop" in his knee on Dec. 31 at Indiana, but a subsequent medical exam revealed no structural damage. "This is something that we'll keep taking day-by-day, but Kyrie hasn't even been on the court since it happened," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "I'll need to see that before we even think about him coming back to play."

• Cavaliers point guard Jarrett Jack (lower back spasms) also will not play after his back tightened up during pregame warmups. Jack had started the last two games in Irving's spot, averaging 8.0 points and 7.0 assists while shooting 6-for-24 (25.0 percent) from the field. Undrafted rookie Matthew Dellavedova — the only other point guard on Cleveland's roster — will make his fourth start of the season. "Delly" is averaging 4.5 points and 1.5 assists in 25 games.

• Pau Gasol has been the focus of reported trade talks between the Lakers and Cavaliers, a deal that would need to go down by Tuesday for it to work, but leading up to Sunday night's tip off between L.A. and the visiting Nuggets, the 7-footer remained the starting center for the Lakers. L.A. is reportedly interested in trading Gasol to the Cavaliers in exchange for former Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who they would likely release. The deal would save the Lakers about $20 million, which could go toward future free agents, but it must be completed before Bynum's $12-million contract becomes fully guaranteed Tuesday. The Lakers are reportedly also asking for an additional player or draft pick, which has held up the deal.

• Nuggets veteran guard Andre Miller had his two-game suspension rescinded by the team but he won't play Sunday as he has been granted an excused absence and will rejoin the club on Monday, the team announced. Miller was suspended after arguing with Denver coach Brian Shaw during Wednesday's loss to the 76ers, a game in which Miller had his streak of 239 consecutive appearances ended.

• Heat guard Dwyane Wade will play against the Raptors despite it being the second night of a back-to-back. Wade has typically avoided these since he experienced a setback when he tried in early December. Wade said at some point he has to be able to play on consecutive nights. Forward Shane Battier will not play because of a sore quadriceps. It will mark the second straight game he has missed. Coach Erik Spoelstra offered no timetable on when Battier will return.

• The Raptors will be without forward Tyler Hansbrough (ankle). Coach Dwane Casey said Hansbrough will be out at least three or four more days.

• Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, continuing to recover from his third knee surgery in the last eight months, spoke to reporters just before Sunday's game vs. the Knicks. Westbrook said he's had no swelling in his right knee and is feeling good. Asked if he has any concerns about maintaining his explosiveness, Westbrook said, "Never a doubt, never a doubt, none at all." Westbrook was on the floor before the game shooting free throws.

• The Thunder haven't lost three straight at home since their first season in OKC when they finished 23-59. The Thunder lost their last two at home (Portland and Brooklyn) after blowing 16-point leads in each game.

• The Warriors will go for their ninth straight win against the Wizards in Washington, which would be their longest since the 1990-1991 season. "We have some very good talent. We get it done on the defensive end," said coach Mark Jackson.

• Wizards coach Randy Wittman is disappointed in his team's last two games. The Wizards have scored fewer than 90 points in six games this season, and in their last two. "We've slipped a little bit from an offensive standpoint," Wittman said. "If you've got an open shot, take it. We've gotten in to holding and dribbling and probing a little too much. That's not our forte."

• Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey will miss his second straight game against the Grizzlies with a sore right shoulder. Chauncey Billups and Will Bynum will be the main options for coach Mo Cheeks off the bench in Stuckey's absence.

• Detroit point guard Brandon Jennings is tied for fourth in the NBA in assists per game (8.3) but Cheeks wants Jennings to cut down on his turnovers (3.4 per game), especially in late-game situations. "He has to be a little more conscious of turnovers," Cheeks said. "That's always been one of my big things of a point guard, turnovers to assists. I'm trying to get Brandon where he's not conservative but just being more conscious of taking care of the ball and making sure this guy gets the ball or that guy gets the ball."