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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Tuesday

POSTED: Apr 1, 2014 7:32 PM ET
UPDATED: Apr 1, 2014 9:38 PM ET news services


> The Rockets, winners of 10 of 14, will try and prevent the Nets from winning a franchise record fourteenth straight home game. They will do so without Dwight Howard, the subject of trade rumors involving the Nets in 2011. Howard has missed three of the last five games with an ankle injury and will sit out what would have been his Brooklyn debut. Omer Asik will start in Howard's place. Rockets coach Kevin McHale praised Howard's mobility before his ankle injury.

> Nets coach Jason Kidd became the first coach in Nets history to win two Coach of the Month awards. Kidd credited his player for playing well and adapting to injuries that have hit the team.

> Dallas and Golden State enter play in the heat of the race for the final spots for the Western Conference playoffs. While Dallas is tied with Phoenix and Memphis for the seventh spot, Golden State is just 1.5 games up on the Mavericks for the sixth spot.

> David Lee (strained right hamstring) did travel with the team but will miss his third consecutive game. "We're not going to rush him just because it's that time of year," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "We're going to be smart." If Lee shows an ability to run he could be in the lineup when the Warriors take on San Antonio on Wednesday.

> Andrew Bogut (pelvis/groin contusion) did not travel with the team and will miss at least the next two games. "He's getting better and better but we'll know more when we get back," Jackson said. "Obviously we miss him, but it was more important to get him constant hands-on treatment back home than to be worried about traveling with us when we knew he wasn't going to play."

> With Bogut and Lee out, Jermaine O'Neal and Marreese Speights will draw starting assignments. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle expects the Warriors to go to smaller lineups early and often in tonight's matchup. "You get in to more smaller lineups sooner, those are just very challenging to guard because of the quickness, so it's going to be a scrambling game," he said. "If they're super small it will be more likely there will be less [Samuel] Dalembert, but we'll see. You just don't know for sure."

> Lakers leading scorer and rebounder Pau Gasol and top reserve Xavier Henry will make their returns tonight against the visiting Trail Blazers at Staples Center. Gasol, who's averaging 17.5 points and 9.8 rebounds, missed the last 4 1/2 games with symptoms related to vertigo, but he'll start alongside fellow 7-footer Chris Kaman, who's coming off a season-high 28 points in Sunday's 16-point win against the visiting Suns. Gasol and Kaman will not only give the Lakers two scorers in the post but a pair of big bodies to match up with 6-11 LaMarcus Aldridge and 7-0 Robin Lopez of Portland. Henry has been dealing with a sore right knee caused by a collision with an opponent in last week's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks and sat out the last two games. Henry, who is averaging 10.3 points in his first season with the Lakers, missed all of January and February with a knee injury and missed another game late last month after tearing a ligament in his left wrist.