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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Wednesday night

POSTED: Jan 29, 2014 6:25 PM ET
UPDATED: Jan 29, 2014 9:30 PM ET news services


• James Harden (bruised left thumb) will miss his second straight game. Jeremy Lin started in Harden's place Tuesday night against San Antonio and chipped in 18 points and eight assists in a game-high 40 minutes.

• Heat guard Dwyane Wade (knee) returns to the starting lineup after coming off the bench three days ago against the Lakers.

• The Denver Nuggets will be without G Ty Lawson because of a left rotator cuff strain. Lawson was injured late in the Nuggets win at Sacramento on Sunday night. Coach Brian Shaw had not decided on a starter in place of Lawson, but candidates include Nate Robinson and Evan Fournier. Shaw said Lawson's injury isn't serious and he is day to day. "He has made progress," Shaw said. "He says it feels better than what he felt initially but still not good enough to play."

• According to coach Michael Malone, both Isaiah Thomas (stomach ailment) and Rudy Gay (strained left Achilles) are going to play tonight for the Kings. "Isaiah's feeling a lot better," Malone said. "He got some IV (fluids) yesterday and participated in shootaround today. Rudy participated in shootaround today. Both looked good."

• Kings starting center DeMarcus Cousins is still nursing a left ankle sprain and will not play tonight against the Grizzlies.

• Bucks center Larry Sanders is expecting to play after missing Monday's game with the flu, but guard O.J. Mayo remains out and will miss his second straight game and third game in eight days with flu-like symptoms. Forward Ekpe Udoh will miss his third straight game with a sprained left ankle suffered last Friday at Cleveland. The Bucks will start Khris Middleton and Ersan Ilyasova at forward, John Henson at center and Antetokounmpo and Brandon Knight at guard.

• There's no taking Anthony Davis with a grain of salt, however, as the 20-year old has been a beast this season including a monstrous performance of 30 points, seven rebounds, and eight blocks in their win over Cleveland last night. However, the Timberwolves catch a break and won't have to deal with Davis this evening as he will miss tonight's contest after dislocating his finger late in that contest. "He's a bit sore. We are going to hold him out cautious with him. It should only be one game....make sure he's healthy going forward," said Pelicans' coach Monty Williams.

• The inactives for the Thunder are guard Russell Westbrook and forward Andre Roberson. For the Heat, James Jones and Roger Mason Jr.

• Heat guard Toney Douglas, who was acquired in mid-January, is active for the first time this season.

• With this being billed as a matchup between Kevin Durant and LeBron James, both have downplayed it. Durant said, "I don't have a LeBron picture, or I don't have his name in my mind when I'm going in there and working."

• While the Heat are focused on stopping Durant's 11-game stretch of 30-point games, the plan is to limit his teammates. Center Chris Bosh spoke specifically of limiting the open looks for Thunder forward Serge Ibaka. Bosh said, "The thing I don't like about it is that people kind of just leave him open for some reason. I understand that (Durant) is out there. He's getting a lot of open shots and he keeps knocking them down and people still don't' rotate to him."

• Raptors leading scorer DeMar DeRozan will miss his second-straight game with a sprained left foot. "He is day-to-day. We will see how he is doing -- [which is] much better," Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said. "But we just want to make sure we err on the side of caution until he gets back to 100 percent." Casey did go on to say DeRozan plans to travel with the team on their next road trip.

• Orlando's leading rebounding Nikola Vucevic will return to action Wednesday after suffering a concussion on jan. 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers. According to Vaughn, Vucevic will start and see limited minutes.

• Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough will return to the lineup for the first time since suffering an ankle injury on Jan. 1st against the Indiana Pacers.

• Orlando Magic rookie Victor Oladipo was named to the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend. "I think he deserves to be in the game," Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn said. "He has played well for us and it is good that he is representing us as an organization."

• Raptors sophomore center Jonas Valanciunas was also named to the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge."It's gonna be fun," Valanciunas said. "I'm glad they selected me. I am really happy, excited to go there and we'll see [what happens]."