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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Sunday


POSTED: Jan 19, 2014 7:38 PM ET

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• Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant is coming off a career-best 54-point effort against Golden State as the Thunder (30-10) play host to the Kings (14-24) on Sunday night. Kings head coach Mike Malone told reporters he's pretty sure there won't be a repeat performance from KD tonight, "I just told our guys, there's no way he's getting 54 on us tonight. I just hope it's not 56."

• Durant has scored 36 or more in his last three games and at least 30 in his last six. Over that same stretch he's scored 48 points in a game twice, giving him the top three scoring games in the NBA this season. Durant is averaging 39.7 ppg in those last six games.

• Kings center DeMarcus Cousins leads Sacramento in scoring (23.4 ppg), rebounding (11.7 rpg) and steals (1.76 spg). Currently only two other NBA players (Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge) are averaging at least 23 points and 11 rebounds per game.

• The Thunder have won seven straight overall against the Kings, nine in a row in OKC and 13 of the last 14 overall. The Kings have never beaten the Thunder in Oklahoma City.

• Leandro Barbosa is set to return to his backup point guard role for the Suns (22-17) against the Nuggets (20-19) on Sunday after missing two games with a sore shoulder. The Suns have signed him to a second 10-day contract.

• Darrell Arthur is expected to miss his fourth straight game for the Nuggets with a strained hip. "He's our best individual defender," coach Brian Shaw said. "He's our best team defender."

• The Suns are 2-0 vs. the Nuggets this season, including a 103-99 win on Dec. 20 in Denver, a game in which the Nuggets led by 21 points.

• Tony Parker will miss the Spurs' game against the Bucks to rest a right shin contusion. Parker aggravated the injury late in Monday's home win over Utah, but he played 35½ minutes on Wednesday in the Spurs' home loss to Portland. Cory Joseph is expected to get his third start of the season Sunday at point guard, according to coach Gregg Popovich.

• Matt Bonner also will miss the game for the Spurs (31-9) after suffering a broken nose in the first half against Portland. He is being fitted for a mask to protect his face.

• The Bucks (7-32, losers of eight straight) may get former Spurs player Gary Neal back on the court after an illness was given as the reason for him missing Saturday's loss at Houston. Neal has not played since a locker-room disagreement with Larry Sanders two weeks ago. While Neal appears healthy, coach Larry Drew said Caron Butler could miss the game with an illness. Butler played only five minutes at Houston.

• Rajon Rondo, recovering from a torn ACL, makes his second start of the year for the Celtics (14-27) on Sunday against the Magic (10-30) . He played 19:25 in Friday night's loss to the Lakers.

• The Magic have lost 10 straight, their third double-digit losing streak in the last two seasons. "I'm tired of losing," declared forward Tobias Harris after Friday night's loss to Charlotte. "It's a bad losing streak for us."

• The Celtics have lost 10 of 11, but have won 10 straight against the Magic, including two November games this season. "We can't overlook anybody," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "It's as simple as that."

• The Toronto Raptors (20-18) look to win the season series over the Los Angeles Lakers (15-25) for the first time in franchise history at Air Canada Centre on Sunday afternoon. Toronto has won a season-high six straight home games. The last time the Raptors won seven consecutive home games, was Jan. 17-Feb. 10, 2010 when they won eight in a row.

• Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough continues to nurse an ankle injury and will be out of the lineup. Guard John Salmons will be inactive due to back spasms, which forced him to leave Friday's game. Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee) and Steve Nash (nerve foot irritation) are out with injuries for Los Angeles.

• The Lakers have battled on the road this season, recently snapping a seven-game road losing streak against the Celtics with a 107-14 win on Friday. Lakers rookie Ryan Kelly will get his first start of the season as the team looks for the right line-up with a need for a stretch four.

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