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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Wednesday night

POSTED: Feb 12, 2014 6:27 PM ET
UPDATED: Feb 12, 2014 9:49 PM ET

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• Miami guard Dwyane Wade is expected to play, according to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. The 10-time-All-Star-to-be missed Miami's 103-97 win in Phoenix on Tuesday due to a migraine headache.

• Clippers guard J.J. Redick will miss his fourth consecutive game (sore hip) when L.A. hosts the Trail Blazers tonight at Staples Center in a matchup of top Western Conference teams, but the starting shooting guard plans to return after the All-Star break.

• Rick Adelman returns to the bench tonight after a one-game absence on personal leave to attend to his wife who has had ongoing health concerns, "My wife had a little step, had a little problem and that was it. I'm not going to get into the reasons what," he said before the game.

• The team injury news didn't get any better for Adelman upon his return as there is still no status update on ailing center Nikola Pekovic -- out with bursitis in his right ankle. A reporter asked if Adelman might go fly-fishing with Pekovic during the upcoming break, to which Adelman clearly indicated, with a smile, that he was not interested. "I'm going to sit here and watch the snow and stay inside. I hope he puts his foot in the water and it helps it a little bit."

• The Nuggets meanwhile don't look too promising at the moment either. They've been outscored by 83 points the past three games, including getting obliterated by the Pacers 119-80 on Monday. Denver has now given up over 100 points in the past eight games. "It (defense) has been a problem we've had for a while. What I want to see is us, individually, get mad when our man scores on us. I don't see that at all," said Brian Shaw before the game.

• Darrell Arthur gets the start tonight in place of Quincy Miller as Shaw wants to shuffle his lineup to see if he can stop the bleeding. "I've been trying anything and everything," he said while adding that Arthur might be figuring things out defensively, thus giving a the Nuggets a fourth defensive option to switch on Love as part of their zone defense schemes.

• The Bucks will be without power forward John Henson, who rolled his right ankle in the fourth quarter of Monday's 102-86 loss to the Boston Celtics but they will get back Ersan Ilyasova, who missed the last two games with a bad back. They'll also be without center Larry Sanders, who suffered a fracture of the orbital bone of his right eye Saturday. Bucks coach Larry Drew had no updates on Sanders' status. The Bucks will also be without forward Ekpe Udoh (ankle), Caron Butler (ankle) and Carlos Delfino (foot) and guard O.J. Mayo (conditioning), meaning they'll only have nine players available. With Sanders, Henson and Udoh down, Miroslav Raduljica is the only big man available off the bench.

• Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo is just 1 for 13 from the field in his last two games. Bucks coach Larry Drew wants to make sure the 19-year-old does not fall into a mental abyss. "He's going through something that a lot of NBA players go through, whether they're young or whether they're veteran guys," Drew said. "They go through stretches where they may not play well, they go through stretches where they may not shoot the ball well. He's experiencing nothing any different any other player would. It's just a matter of him — being as young as he is — understanding that it ain't the end of the world when you have a couple bad games. It's just a time to buckle down and stay with it. The thing I want him to understand is him not shooting the basketball well doesn't predicate whether he's having a good game or a bad game. Because I want him to be able to affect the game in other areas."

• Jeremy Lin will start in place of the injured Patrick Beverley on Wednesday, when the red-hot Rockets look to extend their league-high winning streak to seven games against the Wizards. Houston coach Kevin McHale said Beverley suffered an abdominal strain during Monday's win at Minnesota. After going through a full practice Tuesday, the 6-foot-1 guard started experiencing severe pain that was too much to play through. "He went in to get an MRI done, and I don't think there was anything too bad with it," McHale said. "Pat's one of the toughest guys we got on the team, so it's really got to be bothering him."

• Dwight Howard has been the figurative and literal center of the Rockets' recent success, averaging 24.8 points and 11.5 rebounds during Houston's unbeaten streak. The upward trajectory of Howard's free-throw shooting percentage, however, may be the most notable and encouraging part of this highly productive stretch. A career 57.5-percent foul shooter, the 10th-year veteran has knocked down 73.5 percent (36-for-49) of his attempts from the charity stripe over his last five outings. "We're doing a better job of getting him the ball, and we've got to continue to do that," McHale said. "It's a good offense for us to play inside-out where he gets the ball, collapses the defense, kicks it out and we get good shots. ... When he's aggressive, putting more pressure [for opponents to defend] in the paint, it does collapse a defense and gives us an opportunity to play two ways."

• Wizards reserve Martell Webster (leg) is a game-time decision.

• Rajon Rondo will be back on the floor tonight for the Celtics, after sitting out Monday's win against Milwaukee for rest purposes. After a slow start to the season last month, Rondo has started to regain his All-Star form in the past week, averaging an impressive 14 points, 11 assists, and 7.7 rebounds a contest over his last three games.

• Avery Bradley will miss his second straight game after Boston team doctors confirmed that the guard had sprained his right ankle yet again. It's the second time in the past four weeks Bradley has sprained the ankle, and head coach Brad Stevens is unsure whether Bradley will be out past the All-Star break to let the injury heal. Gerald Wallace will be inserted in the starting lineup in Bradley's place tonight. Brandon Bass will also start despite suffering a scratched cornea turning Monday's win in Milwaukee.

• Cory Joseph will start at point guard tonight for San Antonio for Tony Parker, who was sent home early by Gregg Popovich to rest up before the All-Star break. The Spurs will also be without Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, and Tiago Splitter due to injury, leaving them extremely shorthanded against Boston.

• Stevens took time yesterday to visit his former player Andrew Smith in Indianapolis as he battles non-Hodgkins lymphoma. "I think it's paramount to any of us that we would go and find a way to get out there," Stevens said of visiting one of his former Butler players. "He is a tough cookie man... I have no doubt that he'll kick this thing to the curb," Stevens said.

• Reggie Evans will not be with the Nets for the next two games for family reasons.

• Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said that he expects Kemba Walker to start. According to Clifford, Walker's Achilles stiffened up as a byproduct of an ankle injury and Walker was feeling weak.

• Cavs center Anderson Varejao did not make the trip. He'll miss his second straight game with a sore back. Tyler Zeller will start in the middle against Detroit's top rebounder, Andre Drummond. Forward C.J. Miles is a game-time decision.

• Cavs coach Mike Brown said he'll stick with Jarrett Jack at shooting guard, even though Jack has scored just four points combined in the last three games.

• The No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, forward Anthony Bennett, is coming off his best night of the season. He had 19 points and 10 rebounds against Sacramento as Cleveland won its third straight. "Those are just some of the things he can do," Brown said. "Ten rebounds is big. He moved the ball at the right time and shot the ball well but what goes unnoticed is defensively, he's pretty good. He's physical and does things the right way, especially for a rookie."

• Pistons interim coach John Loyer won his debut against San Antonio on Monday after Mo Cheeks was fired on Sunday. Loyer said it's been a tough week for the coaching staff. "It's traumatic anytime you have a change like this, especially with a guy we all enjoyed being around and the guy who brought me here and the rest of the staff here," he said.

• Loyer said he's had to think more about substitution patterns as a head coach. "You're trying to get the right guys playing together on the floor at the same time, you've got to juggle in foul trouble and juggle in matchups, so there's quite a bit to think about," he said. "You're going to make some good calls and maybe some you regret."

• Reserve center Josh Harrellson (knee) is the only injured Piston.

• The Mavericks will have the services of forward Dirk Nowitzki and guard Devin Harris. Nowitzki left the Mavericks' 119-84 loss in Charlotte Tuesday night in the first half with a sprained ankle but returned to play in the second half. Harris exited that game with ankle and knee issues but was deemed able to play tonight.

• Given the tender ankle and the looming break, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle was asked if he was tempted to give Nowitzki the night off. "The way things went last night he didn't play that many minutes (24) and Dirk's a competitor," Carlisle. "He wants to play against the best teams. That's not really on the table tonight, plus we've got a five-day break. For that reason, I think it probably makes sense to play him and we're trying to win games, too. We've rested him once this year, it's certainly possible that we could rest him again. At this point it's not going to be tonight but we'll see going forward."

• Indiana coach Frank Vogel had a very specific message for his team before the game. "The All-Star break starts tomorrow, not today," he said. "I want to make that clear to all of our guys. We've got work to do tonight. This is a very, very important game."

• Andrew Bynum has yet to practice with the Pacers since signing Feb. 1, and won't until after the All-Star break. Vogel said Bynum will spend the break in Indianapolis doing strength and conditioning work with the team's training staff. That work is expected to continue through the week after the break before the Pacers expect Bynum to practice. Vogel called Bynum's timetable "very open-ended."

• Mike Conley will miss a seventh game with a sprained right ankle. The Grizzlies had won 10 of 11 went Conley went out; they are 3-3 since.

• Tony Allen will also miss another game for Memphis with a sprained left wrist.

• Neither of the starting centers, Marc Gasol nor Nik Vucevic, played Dec. 9 in the Grizzlies' 94-85 victory against the Magic. Memphis had a 52-35 rebound advantage. "They're a lot more confident team right," said Memphis coach David Joerger of the Magic, who are coming off back-to-back wins against Oklahoma City and Indiana. "They're much more certain in their offensive actions. Guys are settled in their roles."

• Rookie Victor Oladipo is settling into the sixth-man role very comfortably and has been a big factor in the Magic's little streak. Coming off the bench in their three straight wins, Oladipo is shooting 60 percent while averaging 19 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and two steals.

• The Magic have have won five straight at home, and Oladipo credits the fans. "The past two games the crowd has been unbelievable," he said. "If they continue to come out like that for every game, who knows what we can do in this building?"

• Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll will not play with a hamstring injury."He tweaked a little something in his hamstring so we are going to make sure he is right and err on the side of caution," Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer said. "He won't be available." Louis Williams will start in his place.

• For the second straight game, Patrick Patterson will start in place of the injured Raptors forward Amir Johnson. Patterson made his first start for Toronto on Monday, scoring a season-high 22 points against the Pelicans.

• This is the Knicks' final game before the All-Star break and Carmelo Anthony has called it a "must win." "It's important in terms of staying in the hunt," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson, whose team is 2 1/2 games out of the eighth seed in the East.

• The Knicks will start Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Iman Shumpert, Anthony and Tyson Chandler.

• J.R. Smith is a game-time decision. If he does play, he will wear a protective facemask because of a small fracture in his left cheekbone. Kenyon Martin (ankle) and Andrea Bargnani (left elbow) are out. Martin is in a boot and Woodson said there's no timetable on his return.

• Woodson didn't rule out the Knicks making a trade-deadline deal. "Between now and the 20th, there will be some deals made," he said. "Now will we do a deal? Don't know."

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