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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Friday night

POSTED: Feb 21, 2014 6:43 PM ET news services


• Forward Amir Johnson will return to the starting lineup for the first time re-injuring his ankle on Feb. 7th against the Los Angeles Clippers. Patrick Patterson will return to the bench.

• The Bobcats will be without their two newest acquisitions tonight against New Orleans and most likely tomorrow as well. Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour both arrived in Charlotte this afternoon and cleared their physicals, but are not yet cleared for action per NBA rules until both Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien also are cleared in Milwaukee and the trade is certified by the league. Charlotte coach Steve Clifford believes that the addition of Neal and Ridnour to the Bobcats lineup will "add an increased level of skill" on the perimeter. Charlotte added the duo in hopes of strengthening their chances at making the NBA Playoffs. The Bobcats currently sit 2.5 games ahead of the Detroit Pistons for the eighth spot and are 1.5 games out of the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

• Clifford said he expects that this weekend the minutes which Sessions had provided will be picked up by Jannero Pargo and Chris Douglas-Roberts. Ridnour and Neal will have a long stretch to work in to the rotation with their new team as the Bobcats don't ahve a game for five-day stretch after Saturday's game against Memphis.

• Charlotte's Ben Gordon, who the team actively shopped as the trade deadline approached this week, is in Time Warner Cable Arena. There were reports that the Bobcats and Gordon were working on a buyout, but no announcement on that has been made and Gordon will be active in tonight's lineup. Charlotte inactives are Jeffery Taylor (ruptured right Achilles tendon) and Brendan Haywood (stress fracture, left foot). New Orleans inactives are Ryan Anderson (herniated disc) and Jason Smith (right knee cartilage).

•.The Hawks, who already have four injured players on their roster, are hoping that starters DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague can play tonight as they try to snap a six-game losing streak. Carroll, a small forward, has a left hamstring strain, while Teague, the point guard, has a left ankle sprain. "They're going to go out and warm up and see how the feel," coach Mike Budenholzer said. If they can't play, Cartier Martin and Shelvin Mack will take their respective spots in the lineup.

• Detroit has one injury -- guard Chauncey Billups is out indefinitely after undergoing knee surgery this week.

• The Magic announced they have "mutually agreed to a contract buyout" of power forward Glen Davis, who started 43 games after returning from surgeries on a broken foot. The Magic brought up the buyout possibility just before Thursday's trade deadline and claimed they acted in Davis' interest. "Clearly we're building in a certain way," said general manager Rob Hennigan, "and I think in the remaining 26 games of the season it's important for our your guys to get as much playing time as possible." The Magic owe Davis about $8.4 million for what remains of this season and all of next season.

• J.R. Smith gets his 12th start for the Knicks, replacing Iman Shumpert at small forward. Shumpert sprained his left knee Wednesday night at New Orleans.

• With Davis off the roster, Jameer Nelson is the only remaining Magic player who was on the roster when Hennigan took over as GM on June 20, 2012.