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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Tuesday

POSTED: Mar 18, 2014 9:45 PM ET news services


• Heat center Greg Oden will make his second straight start as coach Erik Spoelstra attempts to get the 7-footer ready for the postseason. "Greg has done everything he can do off the court, but there is no way to simulate what game action is like," Spoelstra said. "This also guarantees Greg some minutes and cleans up a lot of things in our rotation." In two previous starts, the oft-injured Oden averaged 2.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in 13.0 minutes.

• Miami shooting guard Dwayne Wade (rest) was a late scratch as Spoelstra opted to give him the night off. Toney Douglas will start in place of Wade, who is averaging 19.4 points and 4.9 assists in 48 games this season. Power forward Chris Bosh, James, and point guard Mario Chalmers round out the Heat's first five, while power forward Shane Battier will come off the bench for the second game in a row.

• Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters returns to the starting lineup -- filling in for All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving (left biceps strain) -- while Jarrett Jack shifts from shooting guard back to the point. Irving, who will miss at least two weeks, was injured Sunday when he fell to the floor following a hard collision with Clippers center DeAndre Jordan during Cleveland's 102-80 road defeat.

• Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry will start for the Raptors Tuesday in Atlanta. He was kneed in the head Sunday by Phoenix big man P.J. Tucker, and was down for several minutes. He has received clearance to play against the Hawks, however.

• Tuesday will be the third time the Hawks have played Toronto this season (the teams have split, each winning at home), but Atlanta will be throwing a significantly different look at the Raptors as they try to extend their season-long four-game winning streak. With Pero Antic starting at center, the Hawks have become even more prolific shooting the 3-pointer. They've made at least 12 in five straight games, and Antic -- a 6-foot-11, 31-year-old "rookie" from Macedonia -- stretches the floor big time. He's shot 12-for-30 from distance in that range, and he figures to pull Toronto center Jonas Valanciunas out of the paint.

• DeMarcus Cousins will start for the Kings tonight after missing Sunday's matchup in Minnesota with a sore right knee. The Kings are 0-10 on the season when Cousins sits out due to injury or suspension. "I just wanted to give him the night off," coach Michael Malone said. "He could have played, but I didn't see why he should. He'd been busting his butt for us, playing at a high level, giving us all he had and I think his body needed to be given a little bit of rest, but he'll be back in the lineup tonight."

• Former Houston Rockets first round draft pick Royce White signed a second 10-day contract with Sacramento earlier in the day. Despite being taken with the 16th overall selection in the 2012 draft, White has yet to make his NBA debut and that will not change tonight when the Kings take on the Wizards. After a four-game assignment with the Reno Bighorns of the D-League, White has yet to practice with the parent club and according to Malone, he is inactive for tonight. "This is just an opportunity for us to evaluate him as a basketball player," Malone said. "From all the reports that I got from (general manager) Pete D'Alessandro, he did everything that was asked of him. He was a good teammate (and) he did everything that we hoped he would do on the court. The reality is, when you haven't played for as long as he hasn't played, it's going to take a while to get back."

• Portland power forward LaMarcus Aldridge will miss his third straight game with a sore back, but Larry Drew isn't breathing a sigh of relief. "When a player like Aldridge is out, other guys step up," the Milwaukee coach said. The Blazers "can get scoring from a lot of areas. They've been playing a lot of small ball, with three perimeter guys out there. They become faster and quicker, they spread the floor and you have to defend the 3-point line even more."

• Dorell Wright will start again in Aldridge's absence. The 6-9, 205-pound small forward held his own at power forward in Sunday's 113-112 loss to Golden State, scoring 13 points in 5-for-6 shooting, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range. "We've established a way of playing without LaMarcus in the game," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "With Dorell at the 4, we're able to space the court. That opens up things for Damian (Lillard), Nic (Batum) and Mo (Williams) and gets us better looks on the perimeter."

• Milwaukee will start 6-10 Ersan Ilyasova, who has been in and out of the lineup all season with a sore ankle. The Bucks announced Monday they will not play Ilyasova in the second of back-to-back games the rest of the season. Why not just shut him down? "There's no shutdown," Drew said. "We're trying to build a culture. Given what our situation is playing these final 15 games, we're still trying to accomplish something. We want our young guys to continue to play hard and to get better."

• Golden State is once again dealing with injuries. Coach Mark Jackson announced before the game that forward Andre Iguodala -- whose bobblehead is being given away tonight at Oracle Arena -- will miss at least the next three games to help him recover from tendinitis in his right knee. Center Andrew Bogut, who tweaked his surgically repaired left ankle in the Warriors' huge comeback win against Portland on Sunday, will also sit out tonight.