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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Sunday

POSTED: Mar 2, 2014 5:25 PM ET
UPDATED: Mar 2, 2014 7:22 PM ET news services


• The Spurs' Tony Parker will play tonight against the Mavericks for the first time in six games, finally recovered from an assortment of aches and pains from his wrist to his calf — and maybe his head (fatigue). The Spurs (42-16) went 5-1 in Parker's absence. "They've been doing fine without him, so it's no bargain either way," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's probably their best player, and that's saying a lot."

• There is no plan to limit Parker's play in back-to-back game situations, like the Spurs do with Tim Duncan. "I'll see how he feels, how his body does," coach Gregg Popovich said. "But I don't think that; it's not what I'm thinking right now."

• Jae Crowder remains on the Mavericks (36-24) active roster after his assignment last week to the D-League. But he has not played more than 2 1/2 minutes in a game since Feb. 21.

• Thunder shooting guard and defensive whiz Thabo Sefolosha will miss the next "four to six weeks," according to GM Sam Presti. Sefolosha has a strained left calf. Second year man Perry Jones III will start in his place.

• Against the Bobcats tonight, the Thunder will also start a rookie at center: Steven Adams will continue to fill in for Kendrick Perkins who is out with a strained left groin. The changes mean the Thunder will have four players 6-10 or taller on the floor to begin the game (Jones 6-10, Adams 7-0, Kevin Durant 6-11 and Serge Ibaka 6-10). It also means the Thunder, who have had some defensive problems lately, will have to play without their two best defenders for at least the next month.

• Newly acquired swing man Caron Butler is having travel troubles getting to Oklahoma City in the midst of a sleet and snow storm. He's expected to be at practice tomorrow and perhaps be available Tuesday when the Thunder host Philadelphia.

• The Bobcats have waived Ben Gordon. He tried to get a buyout deal but that didn't work out. Charlotte will fill Gordon's spot with D-League center Justin Hamilton. The Cats are signing the 7-0, 260 pounder to a 10-day contract.

• A host of Hawks are injured and unavailable for tonight's road game against the Suns, including their two best players: Al Horford (18.6 points and 8.4 rebounds) and Paul Millsap (17.6 and 8.3). Reserve big man Pero Antic will dress and is available "in a pinch," coach Mike Budenholzer said.

• The Suns' regulars are available. In addition, star guard Eric Bledsoe has started 5-on-5 play in practice and could return "maybe in the next week or two," coach Jeff Hornacek said.

• The Suns have signed veteran inside player Shavlik Randolph, who has played in 111 career NBA games, for the rest of the season. Randolph is a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward who may play more at center behind Miles Plumlee, Hornacek indicated.

• The Suns (34-24) have lost three of their last four, while the Hawks (26-31) have lost 10 of their last 11.

• The Suns waived center Slava Kravtsov, who appeared in 20 games and averaged 1.0 points and. 0.9 rebounds in 3.0 minutes.

• Jameer Nelson, whose big fourth quarter was decisive in the Magic's 101-90 win at Philadelphia on Wednesday night, is out with a sore calf tonight against the 76ers. Ronnie Price will make his first start of the season at point guard.

• Arron Afflalo will miss a fifth straight game with a sprained right ankle. The Magic's leading scorer is likely to return for Wednesday night's game against Houston. "It gives us two days in between games and we'll take advantage of that, making sure he's confident and 100 percent when he comes back," said coach Jacque Vaughn.

• Both Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross suffered ankle injuries during Toronto's triple-overtime loss to the Washington Wizards on Thursday night. Lowry has recovered and will start today against the Warriors. However, Ross underwent tests before the game and will not dress. Landry Fields will start in his place.

• Warriors forward Jermaine O'Neal did not travel with the team after experiencing issues with his passport.

• Knicks coach Mike Woodson mocked reporters before today's game against the Bulls when they asked about Carmelo Anthony's availability. Anthony banged his shooting hand twice against Golden State, but Woodson said Anthony was ready to play against the Bulls. "You know something I don't know? He got it hit a couple of times but he is ready to go."

• The Knicks are also getting Iman Shumpert back after an extended absence with a sprained left knee, and Woodson said Shumpert would return to the starting lineup this afternoon. "We are going to see how he is early and go from there,'' he said. Shumpert averages 6.9 points per game with 4.5 rebounds.

• Former Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette joined the Bulls on Sunday, getting into town Sunday morning in time to get to the United Center for the game against the New York Knicks. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Fredette could play "if there is a need, like if we have an injury or foul trouble." Thibodeau said he would not "pre-judge'' Fredette's ability to play defense, and is looking forward to his offensive contributions. "He has a skill. We need shooting. The challenge is to get him up to speed as quickly as we can." In 41 games with the Kings this season, Fredette averaged 5.9 points and shot 49.3 percent from 3-point range.

• There is no official push yet, but the Bulls expect power forward Taj Gibson to get some notice for Sixth Man of the Year. Coming off the bench Friday in a win over Dallas, Gibson led the team with 20 points and 15 rebounds, only the third player in the last 35 years to have at least 20 and 15 off the bench for the Bulls (Donyell Marshall and Marcus Fizer were the others). Over his last 10 games, Gibson has averaged 18.4 points and 8.7 rebounds. For the season, he is averaging 13.3 points and 6.8 rebounds. He has also stated eight games for the team this season.