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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Sunday

POSTED: Jan 26, 2014 1:08 PM ET
UPDATED: Jan 26, 2014 10:14 PM ET news services


• Warriors center Andrew Bogut (right knee strain) and power forward David Lee (left shoulder sprain) are still dealing with injuries but they'll be in the starting lineup tonight against the Trail Blazers for the second straight game since being hurt Monday against Indiana.

• Blazers guard Damian Lillard, an Oakland native, has torched his hometown team during his young career. In four games against the Warriors, Lillard has averaged 23.5 points and 6.0 assists while shooting 48.1 percent from 3-point range. Lillard is coming off a 5-for-17 shooting night in Portland's 115-104 victory Saturday against the Timberwolves, so a game against Golden State probably comes at a good time.

• The Warriors have gone 14-3 in their past 17 games against Portland at Oracle Arena, but their homecourt advantage has slipped this season. The Warriors are 12-7 at Oracle — the worst home record among the Western Conference's top eight teams — and have lost three straight games. The Blazers beat Golden State 113-101 in the first meeting this season at Oracle on Nov. 23.

• Rudy Gay (strained left Achilles) and DeMarcus Cousins (sprained left ankle) are expected to miss their second straight game for the Kings tonight against Nuggets. The duo are listed as doubtful according to coach Michael Malone, and Derrick Williams and Aaron Gray will start in their place for the second consecutive game. "Right now I don't foresee them being in the lineup," Malone said. "But again, they're receiving treatment trying to get better. Whether they play tonight, which is doubtful or tomorrow (in Utah), obviously we're hoping to have them back sooner rather than later."

• Darrell Arthur (left hip strain) and JaVale McGee (left tibia stress fracture) made the trip to Sacramento with the Nuggets, despite the fact that neither player is healthy enough to suit up for the Nuggets.

• Suns shooting guard Eric Bledsoe (right knee surgery) is traveling with the team, but there remains no timetable for his return to the court. Bledsoe averaged 18.0 points in 24 games before undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on Jan. 10. "Eric will continue to rehab every day, but we want him to sit behind the bench and talk to our guards during games," Hornacek said. "When he sees something that needs to be addressed, he'll be our point guard/coach and discuss it with the guys."

• Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will see their first action as members of the Brooklyn Nets in the TD Garden Sunday night since being dealt away by Boston last June. Emotions will be running high for both players and the Celtics fan base, as the team has video tributes planned for their former stars in the first quarter. "It's going to be a lot of emotions," said Pierce, who played his entire career in green prior to this season. "You play your whole life there, you win a championship there, I mean, being the first time back ... It's going to be special. I don't know how I'll react, what emotions are going to be going through my head."

• Pierce spent much of his time before the game happily visiting with old Celtics teammates and employees in the Boston locker room. The veteran forward and his teammates on the Nets have been in a good mood lately, as they've turned around their season, winning nine of the past 10 games, including victories over Miami, Golden State and Oklahoma City.

• Brandon Bass will make his first start at power forward for the Celtics since January 11th tonight. Brad Stevens told reporters he was making the switch to Bass from Kris Humphries in order to better combat a smaller Nets' starting lineup that features Pierce at the four.

• Rajon Rondo and other former teammates of Pierce and Garnett like Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, and Bass played down before the game the impact that Pierce and Garnett's visit to the Garden would have on the Celtics during the game. "For me, I've already seen them [in Brooklyn], we already talked, [the emotional aspect is] more for them than for us. It's going to be emotional for them, coming back for first time. But, for me, we've already said our hellos and talked. That has already taken place. It's just another game against Brooklyn. I'm pretty much over it now," Green explained.

• All-Star reserves are set to be announced Thursday and one player Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle believes should be suiting up in New Orleans is Dirk Nowitzki, who leads the Mavericks in scoring with 21 points per game. "I've looked at it pretty closely and he'll make it," Carlisle said. "I just have a feeling he will. If he doesn't that's great, he'll have rest. If you look at his stats, the load he's carrying, the production and the minutes. If he was playing the minutes those other guys were playing he would be a 25-point scorer instead of a 20-point scorer."

• New Orleans' Anthony Davis will participate in his 100th NBA game tonight when the Pelicans host the Magic. So far in his career, he has 129 steals and 218 blocks and is averaging 15.8 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. Asked before the game if the next step for Davis is communication, Pelicans coach Monty Williams said yes. "Most guys don't know what to say, so I think once you understand your scheme and what other teams are doing, you know what to say," Williams said. "Certainly we've gotten a lot better at that, speaking of AD. Most young guys don't want to do that because they've never had to."

• The Pelicans (17-25) have been without point guard Jrue Holiday for the past eight games and Williams has gone with Brian Roberts. He has responded, averaging 11.8 points and 4.1 assists in the role. In eight starts, Roberts has shot 11 of 24 from 3-point range.

• With Nikola Vucevic still out due to a concussion, coach Jacque Vaughn has gone with Glen Davis at the center position. The coach likes what he sees. Davis, 6-foot-9 and 289 pounds, has been given the task of covering both power forwards and centers while in the lineup and tonight, will be expected to battle with New Orleans' Davis and 7-2 center Alexis Ajinca. Orlando's Davis is averaging 13.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.06 steals per game. "His ability to sacrifice his game to try to help his teammates has been impressive," Vaughn said.

• Guard Dwyane Wade returns to the rotation after missing the past four games with knee soreness but will not start. Coach Erik Spoelstra said he will start guard Ray Allen.

• Heat center Greg Oden is expected to play despite practicing on a limited basis Saturday.

• The inactives for the Spurs are Kawhi Leonard (finger), Danny Green (finger) and Tiago Splitter (shoulder).

• This is Carmelo Anthony's first game since going for a Knicks-record 62 points in Friday's win over Charlotte. He is now averaging 34 points in his last five games.

• The Lakers have given up more than 100 points in 11 straight games.

• This is the last of a seven-game trip for the Lakers, who list the following players as out: Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation), Steve Blake (torn ulnar collateral ligament), Jordan Farmar (torn left hamstring), Xavier Henry (bone bruise of right knee).