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6 NBA things to know for Nov. 20
Jeff Case, NBA.com
Get up to speed on the latest NBA news, plus a quick look at some storylines and tidbits worth noting today:
1. Contenders clash! (Part I): The Rockets’ eight-game win streak has, not surprisingly, been fueled by offense (a category they rank No. 1 in). Houston is taking that high-powered attack into Denver tonight (9 ET, League Pass) to provide the first of four tests for the Nuggets’ defense. The big challenge, of course, will be stopping James Harden. He is averaging 40.2 points per game this month and has made 92.2% of his field goals in November without an assist.
2. Contenders clash! (Part II): Paul George has gotten his 2019-20 off to a bang as his Clippers host the Celtics tonight (10 ET, ESPN). He’ll now get a chance to play alongside Kawhi Leonard, who is set to return Wednesday after missing the last three games with a knee contusion. With both stars suiting up, this is a matchup of two of the best overall offenses and defense in the NBA and is a must-watch game.
3. Bucks quietly in a groove: While the Lakers, Celtics and Rockets have each piled up some impressive win streaks to date, don’t overlook what Milwaukee is doing. The Bucks have won four straight and eight of their last nine as a game vs. the Hawks awaits (7:30 ET, League Pass). Milwaukee has the No. 1-ranked defense this month (97.7 Defensive Rating) and center Brook Lopez is second in total blocks (22) this month, too.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) November 19, 2019
4. The Luka Show rolls on: The last time Luka Doncic took the court, he made some history. He’s generating Kia MVP buzz in some parts and has become perhaps the must-watch player of the season’s early going. The Warriors visit (7:30 ET, ESPN) and have the unenviable task of asking their defense — which is the league’s worst overall and is soft in the middle — to slow a Doncic’s roll. Catch this one if you’re a Luka (or Mavs fan) — and avert your eyes if you’re a Warriors fan.
5. Checking in on Kuzma: LeBron James was busy making triple-double history last night, but one storyline from the Lakers’ win against the Thunder involved forward Kyle Kuzma. He left the court in the second quarter with an eye abrasion and didn’t play the rest of the game. L.A. got some good news today, though, as further tests revealed Kuzma will be OK to play Friday in OKC (8 ET, League Pass).
6. Injuries testing Nets’ mettle: Kyrie Irving will not play against the Hornets tonight (7:30 ET, League Pass), which, combined with Caris LeVert’s absence, leaves the Nets with a suddenly thinning roster. The resilient Hornets have won two of their last three games and are quietly hanging around the lower seeds in the East in this early going. The Nets must tighten up their defensive rebounding and prevent scores off turnovers, two areas that have dogged them in November.