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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Saturday

POSTED: Mar 1, 2014 7:41 PM ET
UPDATED: Mar 1, 2014 10:29 PM ET news services


• Jamal Crawford won't be in uniform tonight for the Clippers against the visiting Pelicans after recently suffering a strained left calf. Averaging 19 points, 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game, he is expected to be out two to three games with the injury. In his absence, Darren Collison will not only receive some additional minutes, but also be in the starting lineup.

• But newly acquired Danny Granger plans to make his debut for Los Angeles. Granger won't start, coach Doc Rivers said before the opening tip, but he could in the future.

• Anthony Davis has shown little ill effects from a recent injury and is expected to start for the Pelicans. He suffered a sprained shoulder on Wednesday against the Mavericks. Davis bounced back in Friday's 116-104 loss to the Suns and scored 32 points, to go along with nine rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block in 41 minutes of action.

• With Jrue Holiday out for the rest of the season for New Orleans after successful surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right tibia, Brian Roberts is expected to log heavy minutes at point guard moving forward. He is averaging 8.7 points, 3.2 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game.

• LaMarcus Aldridge returns to the Blazers' lineup tonight against the visiting Nuggets after missing the last five games with a groin strain. Coach Terry Stotts said he may use the All-Star power forward fewer minutes than usual as he eases back into action. In his two games against Denver this season, Aldridge has averaged 34.5 points and 11.0 rebounds. "He's pretty much torched us, especially down the stretch of games when they go to him in the post," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said.

• Portland also welcomes back reserve center Meyers Leonard, who has missed the last five games with a sprained ankle. Still missing from the Blazers' frontcourt are reserves Joel Freeland and Thomas Robinson, both out with knee injuries.

• Denver has even bigger injury problems. Missing tonight will be point guards Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson, forward Danilo Gallinari and center JaVale McGee. And Shaw said there will be a game-time decision on point guard Aaron Brooks, who tweaked an ankle in Thursday's 112-89 loss to Brooklyn. Denver will return two players who were out Thursday night — forwards Wilson Chandler (knee) and Darrell Arthur (hip).

• The Nuggets have lost nine of their last 10 games, including Thursday's blowout by a Nets team that was dismantled 124-80 by the Blazers the night before. Portland has won four straight games.

• The Sixers are retiring Allen Iverson's No. 3 jersey during their game against the visiting Wizards in what will likely be an emotional halftime presentation. Iverson's No. 3 will rise to the rafters and those expected to speak are Iverson, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Sixers Managing Owner Josh Harris. Other former players expected to attend include Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Dikembe Mutombo and Theo Ratliff. Throughout the game, the Sixers will show footage of some of Iverson's greatest moments.

• The Sixers signed forward Jarvis Varnado to a 10-day contract. Varnado was named a D-League All-Star for the Iowa Energy and he previously played with the Chicago Bulls this season.

• The Wizards will be without forward Nene (sprained MCL, left knee) and center Kevin Seraphin (sore right knee).

• Heading into this game, the Sixers have lost 12 straight overall and 11 straight at home. Washington has won five in a row and features identical home and road records — 15-14.

• After losing to the Lakers 126-122 Friday night in Los Angeles, the Kings return home to face the Timberwolves tonight at Sleep Train Arena. DeMarcus Cousins is back in the lineup after missing the Lakers game due to league suspension. The Kings are now 0-9 on the season without Cousins.

• The Timberwolves regain the services of Kevin Martin (left thumb fracture) and Nikola Pekovic (bursitis, right ankle). Martin will play without restrictions, while coach Rick Adelman has a specific plan for Pekovic's minutes. "We'll see how they do," Rick Adelman said during pregame. "Kevin sounds like he'll be fine. Pek we'll just have to watch and see how he does."

• Heat guard Dwyane Wade is expected to play tonight against the visiting Magic, but coach Erik Spoelstra said he will remain in the maintenance program the remainder of the season.

• Magic forward Arron Afflalo did not make the trip to Miami because he is under the weather and dealing with a sprained ankle.

• The Heat are attempting the sweep the season series for the second consecutive year. Miami has won eight straight in the series.

• The Cavaliers enter tonight's game at the Grizzlies with wins in their last four games over Western Conference opponents by an average of 12 points, including a 99-79 victory over the Jazz on Friday night. Cleveland has won on the second night of a back-to-back each of the last three times, and is 8-3 over its last 11 games. Over those 11 games, the Cavaliers have held opponents to 94.4 points per game and .421 shooting from the field.

• Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving registered his first career triple-double and the first by a Cleveland player since March 2000 with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists Friday against Utah.

• The Grizzlies are 15-6 since Marc Gasol's return from a 23-game absence due to a left MCL sprain. Since Gasol's return, the Grizzlies have allowed the fewest points in the NBA (90.3 points per game) and rank second in opponent field-goal percentage (.425).

• George Hill will sit out the Pacers' game against the visiting Celtics tonight due to a bruised left shoulder. He suffered the injury during Thursday's win over the Bucks. C.J. Watson will get the start in his place, with Donald Sloan taking over Watson's usual backup minutes.

• The Pacers come into Boston riding a three-game winning streak, including two victories since Evan Turner joined the roster. The shooting guard is averaging 10.5 points in his first two contests with the Pacers.

• The Celtics' Gerald Wallace announced before the game he will undergo season-ending surgery on his left knee and ankle sometime early next week. An MRI discovered that Wallace had been playing through a torn meniscus in his left knee during the past couple weeks. The veteran forward will also have bone spurs removed from his left ankle in the procedure.

• Boston will get some help on the injury front as Jared Sullinger will be available off the bench tonight after missing the past three games due to a concussion. Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, and Vitor Faverani all remain out for Boston, although Olynyk could return to the lineup Wednesday.

• Chris Babb signed a 10-day contract with the Celtics on Friday and will be in uniform tonight to help the Celtics combat the injury bug.

• The Pistons' Brandon Jennings will start tonight's game at the Rockets after missing the second half of Wednesday's loss in San Antonio with a sore right big toe. The 6-foot-1 point guard is mired in a dreadful shooting slump, averaging only 6.3 points on 8-for-34 (23.5 percent) shooting over his last four contests.

• The Rockets will play without starting forward Chandler Parsons, who has been battling a sinus infection and migraines over the last few days. Jordan Hamilton, the Rockets' lone trade-deadline acquisition, will slide into Parsons' spot in the starting five.

• The Rockets are 11-0 at home this season against Eastern Conference clubs, while the Pistons enter Saturday's contest on a six-game road losing streak and a seven-game skid at Toyota Center.

• Nets coach Jason Kidd revealed that Kevin Garnett will sit out tonight's game at the Bucks with a sore back. Garnett has played just 26 minutes over the past two games, but both games were blowouts with the Nets losing by 44 at Portland and winning by 23 at Denver. Garnett will be replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Mason Plumlee.

• Tonight's game marks the end of a six-game road trip for the Nets. It's also their seventh straight road game, with the first game being before the All-Star break.