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3 NBA things to know for Feb. 13

Some key storylines and NBA tidbits to know for the day ahead

1. Fantastic showdown looms

For the majority of the NBA’s players and teams, the All-Star break is underway. However, the Clippers and Celtics have to get some work in tonight (8 ET, TNT) in a pre-All-Star weekend matchup that should delight. Both teams are playing well of late (the Clippers are 6-3 in their last nine games; the Celtics are 7-1 over their last eight) and are among the elite in their respective conferences. The last time the teams met back in late November, LA climbed from a 10-point fourth-quarter hole to win in OT. A loss tonight by the Clippers, however, would be damaging on two fronts: they’d go into the All-Star break on a loss and the Utah Jazz would be just 1/2 game behind them for the No. 3 seed.

2. Lillard out, Booker in at All-Star 2020

Portland star Damian Lillard is, of course, glad he’s an All-Star this year. He’s also focused on getting his Blazers on firmer playoff footing once Portland’s season resumes after the All-Star break. After suffering a groin injury last night vs. Memphis, he declared himself out for All-Star weekend and is slated to have an MRI on his injury. Early Thursday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver selected Phoenix Suns standout Devin Booker as the replacement for Lillard in the All-Star Game and MTN DEW 3-Point Contest.

3. Encore performance for Williamson?

The last time Zion Williamson took the court, he made history, scoring 30 points in just his ninth career game. He’s sure to delight in Friday’s NBA Rising Stars game, but before that, he and his Pelicans host the Thunder (8 ET, League Pass). New Orleans still has designs on making the playoffs and Oklahoma City is trying to keep hold of it’s No. 7 spot as the Grizzlies, Blazers, Spurs and Pelicans all have designs on moving up. This will be OKC’s first game against Williamson as the Thunder won the previous three matchups this season he missed.