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5 NBA things to know for Jan. 24

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

Jeff Case, NBA.com

1. Some action from across the pond

For the first time in NBA history, two teams will play a regular season game in Paris, France when the Bucks “visit” the Hornets today (3 ET, NBA TV). As far as the pregame lead-up goes, the Hornets and Bucks are enjoying themselves getting in some soccer, brushing up on their French or just reflecting on their NBA journey. As for on the court, the Bucks will be going for their eighth straight win. If they do so, it would mark the second time this season they have won eight more games in a row.

2. Conference elites clash in Miami

The Heat and Clippers are not only elite teams overall, but the same is also true when it comes to facing top-flight teams from the opposing conference. Miami ranks fourth in the East (11-7, 66.1 win percentage) when facing West teams over .500, while the Clippers are tops in the West (12-4, .750) when playing East teams over .500. Throw in that this is a matchup of two of the Top 5 players in our latest Kia MVP Ladder — the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard and the Heat’s Jimmy Butler — and there’s no way this game cannot be enticing.

3. Time for Zion’s encore

Thank goodness for a League Pass free preview, as we’ll all have no reason to miss Zion Williamson’s second career game tonight. His Pelicans host the Nuggets (8 ET) and he’ll be looking to follow up that historic 22-point debut on Wednesday against the Spurs. After all those thrills, though, Williamson is still searching for career win No. 1 and will be facing a Nuggets squad that has been ransacked by injuries. The recent injury to Mason Plumlee may give Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. a bigger role, which could mean we get a Williamson vs. Porter Jr. rookie showdown at times tonight.

4. Pacers keeping up in East

Save for a blowout loss in Salt Lake City on Monday, Indiana has been sharp in its last seven games. There are the six wins, of course, in that span. But there is also the play from Domantas Sabonis, who is averaging 11.7 rebounds per game during that span. Additionally, T.J. Warren has scored 20 or more points in 10 of his last 17 games and is shooting 54 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from 3-point range in January. Indiana visits struggling Golden State (10:30, NBA TV) and is trying to stay on track as the return of Victor Oladipo nears.

5. On this date: Carmelo’s career night

Back in the 2013-14 season, Carmelo Anthony was in the midst of one of his best overall seasons and the Knicks were in the midst of a 50-win season, too. On Jan. 24, 2014, Anthony posted a super-efficient 62 points (23-for-35 shooting overall, 6-for-11 on 3-pointers) in a win against the Charlotte Bobcats. In doing so, Anthony set a Knicks franchise record, his own career-high and the record for most points scored by any player at Madison Square Garden.

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