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4 NBA things to know for Jan. 16

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

Jeff Case, NBA.com

1. Can Jazz keep it rolling?

Utah can’t seem to do anything wrong these days as it is in the midst of a 10-game win streak, its longest since the 2017-18 season. The Pelicans had one chance to cool off the Jazz back on Jan. 6, but couldn’t quite pull that off. Once again, the Pelicans are the hosts (8 ET, League Pass) and face a Jazz team that ranks fifth in scoring since Jan. 1 and nearly has a top-10 defense since then, too. New Orleans rookie Zion Williamson won’t be back for another week, but maybe the good vibes of that news will energize the Pelicans in this game.

2. Bucks, Celtics ready for showdown

Of the six losses Milwaukee has amassed this season, Boston was able to hand it one of them (back on Oct. 30). Since then, the Bucks are an NBA-best 34-4 and lead the league in scoring, rebounding, Defensive Rating, Net Rating, Rebound Percentage and Effective Field Goal Percentage. (Whew!) The Celtics need look no further than last night vs. Detroit, when Boston allowed the lowly Pistons to look like the Bucks on offense in a 116-103 loss. Keep an eye on the reserves tonight (8 ET, TNT) as Milwaukee’s group has been surging since Dec. 1 (while Boston’s is getting worse).

3. Struggling Warriors host Nuggets

From 2013-14 to 2019-20, the Warriors had at least one streak of nine wins or more in each season. Fast-forward to 2019-20 and they’re in the midst of a nine-game losing streak (and had a seven-game skid earlier, too). The No. 2-seeded Nuggets pay a visit next (10:30 ET, TNT), but they may be a bit thinned tonight in the backcourt. Guard Gary Harris rolled his left ankle against Charlotte on Wednesday and will likely be a game-time decision, while Jamal Murray will miss another game for Denver.

The grades are in!

When the Bucks and Celtics do play later tonight, it will officially mark the 615th game of the 1,230-game season. That means we’ll be at the actual midway point of 2019-20 and, well, it’s time to grade how everyone is doing. We’ve got our report cards for the Eastern Conference and Western Conference teams, so have a look around and check out what your squad is doing right … and what it can improve upon.

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