Skip to main content

Main content


Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Friday night

POSTED: Jan 31, 2014 6:24 PM ET
UPDATED: Jan 31, 2014 10:05 PM ET news services


• Despite a sore groin and nagging foot pain, Lakers center Pau Gasol will be in the starting lineup when L.A. hosts the Bobcats tonight at Staples Center. Gasol tore the plantar fascia in his right foot last February, but it's been his left foot that has caused him pain since November, eventually forcing him to undergo an MRI earlier this month after suffering a setback. Gasol's groin injury occurred on the recently completed seven-game road trip and he re-aggravated it in the first half of Tuesday's loss to the visiting Pacers. He did not start the second half while trying to stretch out the injury, but returned to finish with 21 points and 13 rebounds, his fifth consecutive game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

• The Bobcats will be without second-leading scorer Kemba Walker tonight. The third-year point guard practiced Thursday for the first time since suffering a left ankle injury Jan. 17 but suffered a setback and will miss his sixth consecutive game. Ramon Sessions, who spent the second half of the 2011-12 season with the Lakers, will continue to start in Walker's spot. Charlotte has won three out of five in Walker's absence.

• The Jazz organization will honor former coach and NBA Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan with a banner-raising ceremony during halftime of tonight's game against the Golden State Warriors. The team also held a press conference with Coach Sloan before the game. He was joined by former players and fellow Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone.

• Golden State coach Mark Jackson had kind words for Richard Jefferson, who played for the Warriors last year before being traded to Utah during the offseason. "He's a guy who's on the back nine of his career, but he still has plenty left in the tank," Jackson said. "He's in a spot now where he's in the starting lineup and providing really good leadership for a young team."

• Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan, who was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team on Thursday, will start after missing two games with a sprained left foot. DeRozan, who leads the Raptors in scoring at 21.8 points a game, has started all 43 games he's played this season.

• Raptors coach Dwane Casey said he was happy DeRozan was named to the All-Star team but felt guard Kyle Lowry should have joined him. "It's disappointing," Casey said. "He's averaging 18 points and eight assists, playing at a very high level, taking us and advancing our rebuilding process and putting us in the playoff picture. I thought we had two guys that deserved to be in there. Evidently the other coaches didn't."

• DeMarcus Cousins (sprained left ankle) is out. The Kings big man has been sidelined since Jan. 24 and is not expected back in the lineup until the team heads back to Sacramento on Monday. "Not having had a chance to get a full practice in, a full shootaround in. You don't want to rush a guy back just to get him in the game," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "We'll be smart with it, give it a couple more days, and maybe he can comeback and play when we go home." Aaron Gray will start in his place.

• The American Airlines Center has been a house of horrors for the Kings over the last decade, as Sacramento has failed to record a win in Dallas since Feb. 27, 2003, a stretch of 18 games. The Kings did, however, take the first meeting between the two clubs earlier in the season, routing the Mavericks in Sacramento, 112-97.

• Kevin Durant has scored 30+ points in 12 straight games and his average of 36.6 in January is the highest of his career.

• Wolves center Nikola Pekovic will miss his second straight game with inflammation in his right ankle, a bursitis condition that will keep him off the floor for at least another week. Ronny Turiaf will start in Pekovic's place, and while he's unlikely to replicate Pekovic's average 18-point night on offense -- Turiaf hasn't scored that many points in a game since Jan. 11, 2011, or 130 games ago -- the nine-year veteran provided eight rebounds against New Orleans on Wednesday, one fewer than Pekovic's average.

• The Grizzlies have won nine of their last 10 games to climb to ninth in the Western Conference, one-half game behind Dallas for the final playoff spot, and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Wolves, who are 10th. Memphis is 2-0 on this three-game road trip that included stops in Portland and Sacramento, and has won five straight on the road. The Grizzlies have won five straight games in Minneapolis as well, but lost their lone meeting with the Wolves, 101-93 in Memphis on Dec. 15.

• Hawks guard Jeff Teague will be a game-time decision against the 76ers on Friday. Teague is planning to go through warmups and test his sprained left ankle. "We'll see how he feels after he warms up," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

• Paul Millsap has been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team, the first selection of his career. Millsap is having a career year, averaging 17.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocked shots.

• The Hawks feature four ex-Sixers: guards Lou Williams and Shelvin Mack and forwards Korver and Elton Brand.

• The Hawks already have several players out including forward-center Al Horford (right pectoral muscle surgery), guard John Jenkins (back) and center Pero Antic (stress fracture, right ankle).

• John Henson is out with a sprained right wrist, joining O.J. Mayo (sick), Zaza Pachulia (fractured right foot), Ekpe Udoh (sprained left ankle) and Carlos Delfino (right foot surgery) on the Bucks' injured list. Pachulia, who has not played since Dec. 4, is close to returning, Drew said.

• With center Nik Vucevic's return to the lineup Wednesday night, the Magic have no injuries.

• The Bucks have lost 15 straight in Orlando, although the last two games were in overtime (April 10, 2013) and after squandering a 19-point lead on Nov. 13. Since that game the Magic are 8-30, the Bucks 6-32.

• With Henson out, the Bucks will move 19-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo out of the starting lineup and start three guards. "We're going with the smaller lineup just to match up with them playing there guards," said Bucks coach Larry Drew. "In this building I think it's important for us to match up with them the best we can."