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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Wednesday

POSTED: Mar 26, 2014 6:30 PM ET
UPDATED: Mar 26, 2014 10:55 PM ET news news services


• The Utah Jazz will be without key reserve and second-leading scorer Alec Burks for the third straight game. Burks, who sprained his ankle in practice last Friday, is making progress but not quite game ready. "He's better," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. "He tried a little bit yesterday; tweaked it again. I think he's getting closer to getting back."

• The Memphis Grizzlies get their most important bench player back in Tony Allen tonight. Allen sat out of the Grizzlies' victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday with a stomach illness.

• Isaiah Thomas has a right quad contusion and will miss his first game of the season tonight for the Kings. "He really tried to get back," coach Michael Malone said of Thomas. "He wants to play in the worst way, but it's a really deep thigh bruise that he got in the last game against Milwaukee."

• With Thomas out, rookie second round pick Ray McCallum will take over the starting point guard duties for Sacramento and make his first start of his career. "I'm not expecting him to be Isaiah Thomas," Malone said of the rookie. "I don't want 20 points and seven assists. Ray has to be who he is and what that means is run your team, take care of the ball, guard your position and when you're open step into your shot."

• According to Woodson, Amaré Stoudemire and the rest of his regulars are physically ready to play tonight after last night's loss. Veterans Andrea Bargnani and Kenyon Martin are listed as the team's two inactive players.

• After being a late scratch before Monday's home victory over the 76ers, Tony Parker (sore left Achilles') is expected to be back in the Spurs starting lineup tonight. "It's fine," Parker said.

• The Nuggets (32-39) will be eliminated from the playoffs for the first time in 10 seasons tonight if they lose, or if Memphis wins. The Grizzlies (42-28) play tonight at Utah. San Antonio (54-16) has a 14-game winning streak and need three more to match a team record (1995-96).

• Danny Green (right wrist) and Tiago Splitter (rest) also are expected back for San Antonio after sitting out vs. Philadelphia.

• Matt Bonner will miss his third-straight game for the Spurs with a right calf strain, and today it was announced by the team that Bonner will miss at least two additional weeks after results returned from an MRI.

• Although he participated in Nuggets' shootaround today, Jan Vesely will have to wait until Friday -- maybe -- before he can return to action because of bruised ribs. He missed Denver's loss on Monday at Oklahoma City.

• Wilson Chandler hasn't played for Denver since Friday, and there's no timetable for his return after he received an injection in an attempt to aid the recovery process.

• Ray Allen will not play for Miami in tonight's showdown with Indiana but coach Erik Spoelstra expects Dwyane Wade to return after missing the past two games with a strained left Achilles tendon. Allen has a stomach virus and returned home to recuperate and there is no timeline for his return. As for Wade, Spoelstra said the veteran guard "will go through his normal pregame tests and everything but I anticipate he'll play." Wade was listed in the official starting lineup distributed to both teams and the media about 45 minutes before tipoff.

• With Allen out, Spoelstra didn't specify who would fill his role off the bench "Still working on it and it'll probably be by committee," he said. "We have enough guys that can step up. Everybody's ready to go, we understand the drill. There's no excuses and we have more than enough to get the job done. We have to get to our identity and that's the focus."

• Greg Oden will make his sixth start at center. In his previous five he has averaged 13.4 minutes, 4.0 points and 3.8 rebounds. This will be his first game in his hometown since March 18, 2009, during his first season with Portland. "He's healthy, playing well, obviously a big guy so he brings a different dynamic to their team in terms of rebounding and rolling to the basket," said Pacers center Roy Hibbert. "I'm sure Indiana's going to love to see him play. That's their guy, so I'm happy he's healthy."

• The Atlanta Hawks enter the game tonight in the 8th spot in the East, 2.0 games behind Charlotte and 3.0 games ahead of New York. Both Charlotte and New York are in action tonight (against against Brooklyn and Sacramento). Minnesota is all-but-mathematically-eliminated in the 10th spot in the west, 7.5 games behind Dallas and Memphis. Minnesota's slim playoff hopes took a serious hit in the last two games. On Sunday night, they lost to Phoenix after leading by 22 and then on Monday lost by 17 to Memphis.

• Minnesota center Nikola Pekovic is still out for tonight's game. He has missed the last five games with a sore right ankle. In his absence, rookie Gorgui Dieng has been a pleasant surprise, recording a double-double in four of those games and averaging 12.2 points, on 56.1 percent (23-for-41) shooting, and 13.8 rebounds. Point guard, J. J. Barea, will be able to play tonight, after missing the last game with a sprained left foot.

• Atlanta will be without the services of Kyle Korver, who is not with the team due to back spasms. He has missed the last three games with this ailment. He is averaging 48.6% from the 3-point line -- and, ironically, the exact same percentage from the floor.

• Marcin Gortat, traded to the Wizards by the Suns just prior to the start of the regular season, faces his former team for the second time this season. The center scored 14 points in Washington's 101-95 victory in Phoenix on Jan. 24. Gortat leads the Wizards with 9.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

• The Cavaliers remain depleted with Kyrie Irving (biceps), Anthony Bennett (knee), Carrick Felix (knee), Sergey Karasev (knee) and C.J. Miles (ankle) sidelined. The Pistons are in better shape with only reserves Chauncey Billups (knee) and Josh Harrellson (knee) out of action.

• Charlotte guard Gary Neal will not play tonight due to a left ankle sprain. Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford said Neal could be out for up to three games. "He's going to be out, to me, until he can play," said Clifford. "This is me. He wants to play. We're putting him out there and we're trying to play through him and he's obviously, if you watch the last two games, far less than 100 percent. So, to me, for our team to play well, we need him. So, we're going to let him get strong and right and bring him back when he is ready to play."

• Brooklyn starters are: Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Mason Plumlee, Shaun Livingston, and Deron Williams. Bobcats starters are: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Josh McRoberts, Al Jefferson, Gerald Henderson, and Kemba Walker