NBA Game Previews
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NBA Game Previews for Wed, Dec. 11
Magic at Bobcats, 7 p.m. ET -- STATS reports: Kemba Walker proved in the Charlotte Bobcats' last contest that he's more than capable of succeeding against top-notch competition.
He's done so against the disappointing Orlando Magic, too.
Charlotte seeks a third straight victory while looking to deal visiting Orlando a seventh consecutive defeat Wednesday night.
Walker came out with the upper hand in Monday's duel with Stephen Curry, hitting 10 of 18 from the field and matching his season high with 31 points in the Bobcats' 115-111 victory over Golden State.
He scored 27 points in the second half and the final 15 for Charlotte (10-11), which will be trying to win three straight for the first time this season.
Clippers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. ET -- STATS reports: The building will be familiar, the bench not so much.
Doc Rivers, coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, will be at TD Garden on Wednesday night, this time working from the visitors' bench. It will be his first visit since May 3, the last game of his stay with the Boston Celtics.
"It will be very nice for me," Rivers said. "I put nine years in there, nine wonderful years. So that'll be really cool."
He led the Celtics to their 17th NBA championship in 2007-2008 when they compiled a 66-16 record, and to the seventh game of the 2010 NBA finals. He had a 416-305 regular-season record as coach of the Celtics and took them to the playoffs seven times... The Celtics' makeover has been so thorough that only seven of their 14 players were on the team that Rivers coached last season. And one of the holdovers, point guard Rajon Rondo, hasn't played all season while recovering from ligament surgery on his left knee.
Thunder at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. ET -- STATS reports: The Oklahoma City Thunder couldn't keep up with the Memphis Grizzlies in last season's Western Conference semifinals without the injured Russell Westbrook.
It's the Grizzlies who will be short-handed this time around.
The Thunder try to keep rolling when they visit injury-plagued Memphis for the first time since the playoffs Wednesday night.
While Oklahoma City (16-4) got past Houston in the opening round despite losing Westbrook to a torn meniscus in Game 2, coach Scott Brooks' team lasted just five games in a second-round series against Memphis (10-10)... The Grizzlies dropped back-to-back games by an average of 23.0 points before beating Orlando 94-85 on Monday. Zach Randolph led the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds while Jon Leuer added 16 and 12 off the bench.
Memphis, which continues to play without star center Marc Gasol due to a sprained MCL, was also missing forward Ed Davis (ankle) and guard Tony Allen (hip). Before the game, the Grizzlies announced swingman Quincy Pondexter will be out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his right foot.
Spurs at Bucks, 8 p.m. ET -- STATS reports: While the San Antonio Spurs have mostly had their way against Eastern Conference opponents, the Milwaukee Bucks are still seeking their first win against the West.
The Spurs are hoping to see those trends continue Wednesday night as they go for a seventh win in eight games against the Bucks.
After falling 111-100 to NBA-leading Indiana on Saturday, San Antonio (16-4) opened a two-game trip with Tuesday's 116-103 win at Toronto. The Spurs shot 54.9 percent and recorded a season best-tying 30 assists in improving to 8-1 against the East... The Bucks (5-16), though, have won two of three overall after a 78-74 victory at Chicago on Tuesday. John Henson had a season-high 25 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks as the Bucks held the Bulls to 37.3 percent shooting.
Sixers at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. ET -- STATS reports: The Minnesota Timberwolves are hoping to keep their first home losing streak of the season as brief as possible, and a meeting with the Philadelphia 76ers could help.
The 76ers have dropped eight in a row on the road heading into Wednesday night's matchup and again might have to play without standout rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams.
The Timberwolves (10-11) were blown out 103-82 by Miami on Saturday in their return from a postponed game against San Antonio in Mexico City last Wednesday. They bounced back with a 121-94 rout in Detroit on Tuesday.
Kevin Love contributed 26 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists after missing the game against the Heat because of his grandmother's funeral. He had "RIP Grandma Carol" on his shoes.
Pistons at Pelicans, 8 p.m. ET -- STATS reports: Already without Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans suffered another key loss their last time out.
While Tyreke Evans' absence won't help matters, the rest of the team figures to have fresh legs following four days off.
Evans will miss the first of several games as New Orleans tries to avoid a third consecutive defeat Wednesday night against the visiting Detroit Pistons.
The Pelicans (9-10) have dropped two of three since losing Davis to a broken hand after Friday's 109-95 loss to Oklahoma City. Things aren't about to get any easier for New Orleans, which saw Evans go down with a sprained left ankle in the third quarter... The Pistons are also looking to avoid a third consecutive loss after falling 121-94 to Minnesota on Tuesday. Monroe was limited to 10 points and a season-low two rebounds while Drummond posted eight and eight.
Bulls at Knicks, 8 p.m. ET -- STATS reports: Few teams have been more disappointing than the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls. The rough start could have much more dire consequences for the Knicks, however, with coach Mike Woodson's job possibly hanging in the balance.
New York will try to end a six-game skid against Chicago on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks figured to be an Eastern Conference contender again after a second-place finish in 2012-13, while the Bulls looked poised to improve on last season's fifth seed with Derrick Rose back in the mix.
Reality hasn't quite met up with expectations, with New York (5-15) sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Division and Chicago (8-11) sliding down the standings, again likely without Rose for the season following another knee injury... Perhaps the Knicks can take advantage of a Bulls teams ravaged by injuries. They were without four opening-night starters in Tuesday's 78-74 home loss to Milwaukee, their eighth in 10 games.
Jazz at Kings, 10 p.m. ET -- STATS reports: Rudy Gay liked what he saw from his sky box seat after arriving in Sacramento. Now he'll get a chance to help his new Kings teammates win three in a row for the first time this season.
Acquired in a multiplayer trade, Gay is expected to make his debut Wednesday night when the new-look Kings try to deal the Utah Jazz their fifth straight defeat.
Sacramento (6-13) completed its second deal in two weeks Monday, getting Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy from Toronto in exchange for Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes.
The Kings also traded Luc Mbah a Moute to Minnesota for forward Derrick Williams on Nov. 25 in a swap of forwards.
Mavs at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. ET -- STATS reports: Golden State coach Mark Jackson believes Stephen Curry is playing his best basketball, though that effort might go for naught unless the Warriors can return to form defensively.
Golden State takes on two of the highest-scoring teams in the league to open a home-heavy stretch, the first coming against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Having moved past an early season ankle injury and a concussion that caused him to miss two games last month, Curry is in the midst of a torrid stretch for Golden State (12-10).
Two days after matching a career high with 15 assists in a 108-82 victory at Memphis, Curry finished with a season-high 43 points, five 3-pointers and nine assists in a 115-111 loss at Charlotte on Monday... The Mavericks had a three-game winning streak snapped in Monday's 112-97 loss at Sacramento, which was short-handed because of a multiplayer trade earlier in the day.
Monta Ellis finished with 21 points on 9 of 18 from the field and Dirk Nowitzki added 18 points and seven assists, but Dallas shot 38.9 percent -- including 5 for 27 from beyond the arc.