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Posted Jan 10, 2014 6:41 PM - Updated Jan 10, 2014 10:38 PM
• Players in tonight's Heat-Nets game will wear nicknames on the backs of their jerseys. For the Heat, coach Erik "Spo" Spoelstra said that Mario "Rio" Chalmers (right Achilles strain), Dwyane "D.Wade" Wade (rest) and Shane "Battle" Battier (left quad strain) are out.
• The Nets are tied with the Nuggets with a league-high four-game winning streak. During the streak the Nets are holding opponents to 12 points less per game, while forcing 2.6 more turnovers per game.
• The Clippers will welcome back shooting guard J.J. Redick when they host the Lakers tonight at Staples Center and he'll be jetted straight into the starting lineup. Redick has been out since suffering right hand and wrist injuries Nov. 23 against the Kings when he took a hard fall after colliding with DeMarcus Cousins.
•The Lakers will field a considerably different starting lineup than they did in their season-opening win against the Clippers on Oct. 29. Steve Nash (back) and Steve Blake (elbow) are sidelined and Shawne Williams was released earlier in the week. Nick Young comes off the bench now, leaving Pau Gasol as the only returning starter from that game.
• The Suns will be without Eric Gordon (sprained right knee) tonight against the Grizzlies. Gerald Green will start in Gordon's place.
• The Grizzlies will again be without guard Tony Allen. Allen is sidelined with a sprained left wrist.
• While Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been practicing the last couple days for the Bobcats, he will not be available for the game tonight against the Timberwolves. He has missed the last 17 games with a fracture in his left hand.
• With the return of Chase Budinger (on Wednesday vs. Phoenix) and Ronny Turiaf (on Monday vs. Philadelphia), Minnesota has a healthy roster for the first time this season. Budinger has a limit of 18 minutes, however.
• Minnesota coach, Rick Adelman refused to address the postgame comments in which Kevin Love aired some dissatisfaction with the behavior of J. J. Barea and Dante Cunningham, saying only, "The situation was dealt with yesterday."
• Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday suffered a stress fracture in his right tibia and will be out indefinitely. Holiday's injury will thrust second-year guards Brian Roberts and Austin Rivers into the rotation, starting tonight against the Mavericks.
• The Mavericks will be without forward Shawn Marion who suffered a shoulder contusion in Dallas' win over the Lakers on Tuesday.
• Tonight's game is the first of a back-to-back set between the Mavericks and Pelicans, starting tonight in New Orleans and moving to Dallas on Saturday. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said it reminds him of a playoff series in that he can use Friday's game film in conjunction with the scouting report, alleviating some of the preparation necessary on a typical back-to-back stretch.
• The Jazz will be without leading scorer Gordon Hayward against the Cavaliers tonight. Hayward, coming off a career-best 37 points in the Jazz's 112-101 upset win over the Thunder on Tuesday night, has a hip flexor. This is the first game of the season that he's missed. Alec Burks will start in place of Hayward for the Jazz.
• The Cavaliers, meanwhile, will have newly acquired All-Star Luol Deng in the lineup for the first time, plus Jarrett Jack will return after missing two games due to lower back spasms.
• Tonight against the Wizards, the Pacers regain the services of starting shooting guard Lance Stephenson, who missed the loss in Atlanta with a bruised knee. The Pacers will thus return to their usual lineup of George Hill, Stephenson, Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert. That group is 25-6 this season, 61-30 since the start of 2012-13.
• West will be wearing a protective glove to protect a sore right hand. He left the Atlanta game briefly to have the index and middle fingers taped together but is not on the injury report.
• Sixers forward Lavoy Allen is out for tonight's game against the Pistons because of a sore right calf.
• Ronnie Brewer will start at shooting guard for the Rockets tonight against the Hawks, which means he'll be the guy — rather than sore-kneed Chandler Parsons — to chase Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver.
• The most interesting matchup in the Hawks-Rockets game may be at center, where Houston's Dwight Howard returns to his hometown playing well and determined to stay within mere feet of the rim. Atlanta's Pero Antic, on the other hand, will drift far, far away on occasion, and has been shooting the 3-pointer extremely well in starting the past four games in the wake of Al Horford's likely season-ending torn pectoral muscle injury.
• The Bulls signed guard/forward Cartier Martin to a 10-day contract three days after Martin was waived by the Atlanta Hawks. "We're excited to have him." Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said, although he wasn't sure Martin would play tonight against the Bucks.
• Forward Carlos Boozer will return for the Bulls after missing the last two games with a sore right knee.
• Bucks forward John Henson will miss his sixth straight game with a high sprain of the left ankle but will travel after the game tonight to Oklahoma City and could play against the Thunder Saturday night. Center Zaza Pachulia, out since Dec. 4 with a fracture in his right foot, is out of the protective boot and doing some individual drills on the floor, but coach Larry Drew said Pachulia was still at least a couple of weeks from returning.
• The Magic will be without the services of starting center Nikola Vucevic against the Kings tonight in Sacramento. The 23-year-old out of USC will miss his second straight game with a concussion. Without Vucevic, forward Glen Davis will slide over to the center position and match up against DeMarcus Cousins.
• Against the Warriors tonight, Celtics coach Brad Stevens will carry over his lineup from Wednesday's 111-105 loss to the Clippers, meaning Kris Humphries will open at center for just his second start of the season.That means Jared Sullinger will come off the bench.
• Stevens didn't shed much light on a Yahoo Sports report that said point guard Rajon Rondo is targeting the Celtics' Jan. 17 game to make his return from surgery last February to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. "That's news to me," Stevens said.
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