March 3,2019 at 7:00 PM
3/26/2019 7:00 PM
Celtics Battle Cavaliers in Conference Battle
The Boston Celtics take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday evening. The Celtics (43-31) remain in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, but they're headed toward the postseason with anything but momentum. Boston has now dropped four straight contests, with their most recent loss a 115-96 defeat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday evening. Marcus Smart led the Celtics with 14 points, adding four rebounds and one assist. Marcus Morris and Gordon Hayward provided 13 points each while hauling in six and 10 rebounds, respectively. Kyrie Irving contributed a 11-point, 12-assist double-double that also included two rebounds, two steals and one block. Daniel Theis led the second unit with 11 points, seven boards, one assist and one block. The Celtics will list Jayson Tatum (back) and Al Horford (knee) as questionable for Tuesday's contest. Robert Williams (back) will be listed as doubtful. The Cavaliers (19-55) were long ago eliminated from playoff contention, although they continue to play spoiler on occasion down the stretch. Cleveland is a respectable 2-2 over its last four games, but they were manhandled by the Milwaukee Bucks, 127-105, in their most recent contest Sunday. Kevin Love posted a 20-point, 19-rebound double-double that also included three assists and one block. Jordan Clarkson poured in 19 points and added four assists and three rebounds. Collin Sexton turned in 18 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal. Larry Nance, Jr. furnished 13 points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals. Tristan Thompson managed 10 points, six rebounds and one assist. The Cavaliers will remain without Matthew Dellavedova (concussion) and John Henson (wrist) on Tuesday. Tuesday's contest marks the fourth and final meeting between the teams this season. The Celtics own a 3-0 series lead, having notched 128-95, 123-103 and 103-96 victories, respectively, on Nov. 30, Jan. 23 and Feb. 5, respectively.
March 3,2019 at 7:00 PM
3/26/2019 7:00 PM
Spurs and Hornets Face Off in Interconference Tilt
The San Antonio Spurs take on the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on Tuesday evening. The Spurs (43-31) come into Tuesday's contest looking to preserve their Western Conference playoff positioning, as they currently slot into the seventh seed with an identical record as the eighth-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. San Antonio has dropped two of its last three games, however, but their one win during that span came on Sunday by a 115-96 margin against the Boston Celtics. LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for the Spurs with 48 points, 13 rebounds and six assists over 37 minutes. DeMar DeRozan was a distant second to Aldridge, generating 16 points, 11 assists and two blocks. Patty Mills was the only other double-digit Spurs scorer, pouring in 12 points off the bench while also dishing out four assists and recording one rebound. Jakob Poeltl mustered six points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. The starting backcourt of Derrick White and Bryn Forbes posted matching four-point tallies. The Spurs will come into Tuesday's game without any short-term injuries to report. The Hornets (34-39) are doing their best to make a run for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, as they've won three straight games and find themselves just two games back of the Miami Heat for that final playoff spot in the conference. Charlotte's most recent victory was a memorable 115-114 win over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, which they managed on a game-winning, buzzer-beating three-pointer from half court by Jeremy Lamb. Dwayne Bacon led the way for the Hornets with 20 points, adding three rebounds. Miles Bridges furnished 16 points, six boards, one assist, one steal and one block. Kemba Walker generated a 15-point, 13-assist double-double that also included eight rebounds and four steals. Lamb and Willy Hernangomez contributed matching 13-point tallies, with the latter also hauling in 10 boards. Devonte' Graham and Marvin Williams had 10 points apiece, with Williams also dishing out nine assists. The Hornets will continue to be without Cody Zeller (knee) on Tuesday. Nicolas Batum (illness) will be listed as a game-time call, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (concussion) will be listed as probable. Tuesday's game marks the second and final meeting between the teams this season. The Hornets hold a 1-0 series lead, having notched a 108-93 win on Jan. 14.
March 3,2019 at 7:30 PM
3/26/2019 7:30 PM
Heat Host Magic in Florida Showdown
The Miami Heat play host to the Orlando Magic at American Airlines Arena on Tuesday. The Magic (36-38) come into this matchup winning five-straight games, as this is the final push for a playoff berth. In fact, Orlando is now just half a game behind from the team in eighth, who happens to be the Miami Heat. That makes this game as important as ever, with less than 10 games remaining. The recent hot stretch couldn't have come at a better time for Orlando, as a 21-point victory against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday shows just how well they're playing right now. What's really clicking for the Magic right now is their defense, as they currently rank fifth in the NBA in points allowed. As long as that continues, Orlando will remain in contention. The Heat (36-37) are also playing well, as they come into this matchup winning nine of their last 12 games. That run has catapulted them up to the eight-seed in the east, with numerous teams right behind them. Not only are the Magic just half a game behind, the Charlotte Hornets are also just two games behind after a miracle game-winner from Jeremy Lamb on Sunday. Reaching the postseason is all that really matters at this point, as these teams know they have an uphill battle when they get there. Miami plays a similar style to Orlando and they prefer to play a defensive battle. In fact, the Heat rank third in points allowed and 26th in scoring. That means this could be a slow-paced game with a ton of defense on both ends of the floor and it'll definitely be a battle with the winner attaining the final playoff spot for the time being. This is the fourth and final meeting between these teams, with Orlando winning two of three thus far. That gives the Magic seven wins in their last 10 games against the Heat.
March 3,2019 at 7:30 PM
3/26/2019 7:30 PM
Raptors Play Host to Bulls on Tuesday
The Chicago Bulls travel north of the border to play the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on Monday. The Bulls (21-53) come into this matchup winning two of their last three games but that's really their only promising stretch in quite some time. In fact, Chicago now owns the third-worst record in the east and the fourth-worst record in the NBA. That's not necessarily the worst thing for a team like this though, as they need to add another young piece in next year's draft. It's not like this is a terrible team either, as they have just as much talent as any other team. With a core of Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn running the show, this is a team no one wants to face. The offense just hasn't been able to get going for whatever reason though, with Chicago ranking 27th in both scoring and assists. That should improve over time and this is a team to fear next season when their young core has another offseason to develop. The Raptors (51-23) have hit a bit of a second-half wall, as they come into this matchup with a 7-7 record across their last 14 games. While Chicago would die for a run like that, it's simply not good enough for the Raptors. The good news is that Toronto is essentially locked into the two-seed in the east. In fact, they find themselves four games back of the Milwaukee Bucks in first and four games up on the Philadelphia 76ers in third. It's going to be almost impossible to catch either of those with just eight games remaining and it's all about health at this point for the Raptors. That's why they're being extremely cautious with Kyle Lowry (ankle) and Kawhi Leonard, as this club has more aspirations than finishing just second in the conference. This is the third of four meetings between these teams, with Toronto winning each of the first two games. The Raptors have held the Bulls to just 89 points per game in the first two matchups.
March 3,2019 at 8:00 PM
3/26/2019 8:00 PM
Hawks Heating Up, Traveling to New Orleans
The Atlanta Hawks will head to New Orleans on Tuesday to take on the Pelicans at Smoothie King Center. While it may be just two games, the Hawks (26-48) are currently going through their most impressive stretch of the season so far with victories over the Jazz and 76ers by a combined five points. Both games required heroics from electric rookie Trae Young, as the young point guard hit a go-ahead floater with under two minutes left against Utah that put his team up for good, and he hit another floater with just .1 second remaining to defeat the 76ers. Young recorded a combined 55 points and 22 assists across the two games, as he continues to have a sensational last two months. It was the first time this season, unsurprisingly, that Atlanta managed to defeat a team with a winning record twice in a row, and it was just the seventh time this season that the team won consecutive games. As for the Pelicans (31-44), they continue to trend in the complete opposite direction as losers of two in a row and eight of their last nine. And barring a miracle victory over the Mavericks in overtime, they would be on a slump of nine straight losses. Things aren't looking up for New Orleans either, as the team is riddled with injuries and being forced to utilize the younger, more experienced talent for most of the 48 minutes. Jrue Holiday has not suited up in nearly three weeks while he continues to nurse an abdomen injury, while veteran shooting guard E'Twaun Moore has missed the same amount of time with a bruised quad. To make matters worse, starting point guard Elfrid Payton, who recently recorded five straight triple-doubles and has been forced into playing heavy minutes as of late, is questionable for Tuesday with a wrist injury.
March 3,2019 at 8:00 PM
3/26/2019 8:00 PM
MVP Candidates Clash In Milwaukee
The Milwaukee Bucks play host to the Houston Rockets, at Fiserv Forum on Tuesday evening. This marks the third game of a four-game home stand for the Bucks (55-19), where they have gone 2-0 so far, with wins over the Heat and the Cavs. The Bucks are 30-6 at home this season, which is tied for best home record in the league. They score an average of 117.5 points per game, which is the most in the NBA. The Bucks sit first place in the East, with a 4.0-game lead over second place. This contest will be a battle of MVP candidates, as Giannis Antetokounmpo is certainly having a year to challenge the incredible year that James Harden is having for himself. Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks, averaging 27.4 points, 12.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. Also for the Bucks, Brook Lopez has been very good recently, averaging 14.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals over his last 10 games. Lopez is shooting 41 percent from long range during that stretch, making him currently one of the hottest shooters from distance in the league. Meanwhile, the Rockets (47-27) have won eight of their last 10 games, including their last two in a row. They have won seven of their last eight road games, and are 20-17 on the road this season. James Harden leads the charge for the Rockets, averaging 36.4 points, 7.5 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. He logged a 61-point performance in his game before last, and had 57 points in the contest before that. Combined, Harden has scored 146 points over his last three games. Chris Paul has been solid, averaging 15.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game, while Clint Capela is averaging 16.5 points, 12.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. The Rockets sit third place in the West, 3.5 games out of first place, and 3.0 games out of second.
March 3,2019 at 8:00 PM
3/26/2019 8:00 PM
Timberwolves Host Streaking Clippers
The Minnesota Timberwolves play host to the Los Angeles Clippers, at Target Center on Tuesday evening. This marks the first game of a four-game home stand for the Timberwolves (33-40), who are 23-11 at home this season. The Timberwolves are coming off a stretch where they played five of their last six games on the road, and went 1-5 on that stretch. Despite their poor record, Karl-Anthony Towns has been playing great lately, averaging 29.7 points, 13.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 blocks over his last nine games. Jeff Teague (foot) and Derrick Rose (elbow) are both out for the rest of the season, leaving much of the point-guard duties to Tyus Jones. Andrew Wiggins has topped 20 points in his last three games, while averaging 18.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists over his last seven games. Meanwhile, this marks the third game of a four-game road trip for the Clippers (44-30), where they have gone 2-0 so far, with wins in Cleveland and New York. The Clippers have won four straight on the road, and are 21-17 on the road this season. They have won nine of their last 10 games, including their last five in a row, as the Clippers continue to impress. The Clippers' bench depth has been one of their greatest strengths this season, and was on full display in their last contest, as Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell combined for 53 points. Danilo Gallinari also came up large in the contest, with 26 points and eight rebounds. Gallinari is averaging 19.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists, in 30 minutes per game. Williams is averaging 20.3 points, 5.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds, in 26 minutes per game, while Harrell averages 16.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 blocks, in 26 minutes per game.
March 3,2019 at 8:30 PM
3/26/2019 8:30 PM
Kings Look For Season Sweep of Mavericks
The Sacramento Kings will head to Dallas on Tuesday to take on the Kings at American Airlines Center. While the Kings (36-37) were holding out home that they could find a way to sneak into the Western Conference playoffs, it appears it's about time for the team to let go of the dream. The cherry on top was Sunday night, when Sacramento went out and lost to the Lakers, 111-106. That loss put them 6.5 games back behind the Thunder and Spurs, who currently boast the same 43-31 record, and dropped them back below .500 after rattling off two straight wins. Now, with just nine games to go, the Kings can safely have their sites set on next season after a promising 2018-19 campaign. One of those recent wins, however, came against the Mavericks (29-44) on Thursday, as Dallas has had no answers for Sacramento this season. The Mavericks have lost each of the first two meetings with the Kings this season by a combined 23 points, with their most recent loss coming by 16 points in Sacramento. Dallas, however, bounced back in very impressive fashion Saturday night when they clobbered the Steph Curry-less Warriors by 35 points to cap off a three-game road trip. Prior to that game, the Mavericks had lost three in a row and 10 of their last 11. Luka Doncic recorded his sixth triple-double of the season in that game when he went for 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in just 27 minutes.
March 3,2019 at 9:00 PM
3/26/2019 9:00 PM
Pistons Visit Nuggets in Late-Seaon Clash
The Denver Nuggets will host the Detroit Pistons at Pepsi Center on Tuesday. Denver (49-23) is not only poised to end a four-year playoff drought, but is in contention for the top spot in the Western Conference this season. The Nuggets are just half a game back from the Golden State Warriors for the first seed with 10 games remaining. Denver did itself no favors with its blowout loss to Indiana on Sunday, however. It was the worst loss of the season for the Nuggets, who fell 88-124 in Indiana. Nikola Jokic flirted with a triple-double, notching 19 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists, but the team as a whole could not string together any offense. Denver finished shooting just 35.5 percent from the field. The Nuggets will hope to turn it around and catch Golden State with a win on Tuesday. Detroit (37-36), meanwhile, is just 1-3 so far on its current road trip. The Pistons are fresh off a loss to Golden State in which they trailed by as much as 20 heading into the fourth quarter. While the Pistons rank eighth in the league in points allowed per game, finding consistent offense has been an obstacle to success. Detroit ranks 23rd in the league in scoring and has especially struggled inside the arc. The Pistons are 27th league-wide in field goal percentage inside the three-point line. In the first and only meeting between these two teams thus far this season, Detroit earned a 129-103 blowout win. The Nuggets will seek to even the score on Tuesday.
March 3,2019 at 10:30 PM
3/26/2019 10:30 PM
Wizards, Lakers Clash Amidst Struggles
The Los Angeles Lakers will host the Washington Wizards at Staples Center on Tuesday evening. The Lakers (32-41) picked up just their third win since the All-Star Break on Sunday, taking down the Sacramento Kings, 111-106. LeBron James led the charge with his 81st career triple-double, tallying 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. Kyle Kuzma scored another 29 points while knocking down five three-pointers. Still, the win came too late for the Lakers, who have already been eliminated from postseason contention. LA is 3-12 since All-Star Weekend and has fallen to 11th in the Western Conference. Offense has been a primary issue for the Lakers, as the team ranks just 25th league-wide in offensive rating (107.6). Washington (30-44), meanwhile, has hardly fared better. The Wizards have lost four straight and currently sit at 11th in the Eastern Conference. The team has struggled to piece it together defensively, allowing the second-most points per game of any team in the league (116.9). Washington's four straight losses have all come at home, where they are 22-16 on the season. The Wizards will get a change of scenery on Tuesday, as their trip to LA kicks off a three-game West Coast road trip. Playing away from Capital One Arena has been tough for Washington this season, though, as the Wizards are just 8-28 on the road thus far. The Lakers will be dealing with a slough of injuries on Tuesday. Brandon Ingram (shoulder) and Lonzo Ball (ankle) remain out for the season, while Josh Hart (knee) is anticipated to miss Tuesday's contest. LeBron James (knee), Reggie Bullock (foot), and Mike Muscala (ankle) are all game time decisions. The Wizards, meanwhile, will be missing Dwight Howard (back), while Trevor Ariza (groin) is a game-time decision.