Our nightly look ahead to the schedule with a couple of notes and story lines so you can plan out your NBA viewing. All Times Eastern.
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8:00 LA Lakers @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Did you know only 2.5 games separate the Timberwolves from the Lakers out West? The only teams better than Minnesota (7-3) over the past 10 games have been Oklahoma City (9-1), Chicago (8-2) and Miami (8-2). The Lakers, meanwhile, are coming off back-to-back losses to Detroit and Washington, so their pride is a little hurt. Expect Kobe Bryant to rise up in this one, but can the upstart Wolves respond and gain even more ground?
Couple of notes:
- The Lakers have beaten Minnesota 17 straight times, 11 in a row at Target Center, since the Wolves’ double-OT win on Mar. 6, 2007
- Minnesota is 18-6 when allowing less than 100 points. They are 3-13 when allowing more than 100 points.
8:30 LA Clippers @ San Antonio Spurs
The Clippers complete our “must watch LA teams” theme tonight… so I hope you’ve got picture-in-picture or something. The Spurs are holding on tight to the second seed, while the Clippers… who have been scuffling lately… are locked in a division battle with their roomates, the Lakers. The Clippers are only a few percentage points ahead, and if they keep dropping the way they have, this could be a preview of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Couple of notes:
- This ends a six game, 10 day road trip for the Clippers
- Tim Duncan is 19 points away from catching Clyde Drexler (22,195) for the 25th place on the NBA’s all-time career-scoring list
Other story lines for tonight
7:00 Utah-Philadelphia: Can the Sixers avoid a letdown after a huge win to hold on to their division lead Wednesday night?
7:00 New Jersey-Charlotte: The Nets go for their 2nd win in six days against Charlotte.
7:30 Portland-Boston: Boston tries to rebound from an embarrassing loss to Philly before leaving for an eight-game road trip.
7:30 Atlanta-Detroit: The Pistons have won seven of their last 10 games at home.
8:00 Cleveland-Oklahoma City: OKC goes for its 15th straight home win.
8:30 New York-Milwaukee: An anxious New York fan base is still waiting for Carmelo Anthony to jel with Jeremy Lin.
9:00 New Orleans-Denver: New Orleans’ only road win against an above .500 team came against the Nuggets. Can they make it two?
10:00 Dallas-Sacramento: Dallas tries to regroup after a tough loss to Phoenix last night. They’ve now lost seven of 10 games.
John’s Picks: Minnesota, San Antonio, Utah, New Jersey, Boston, Detroit, OKC, New York, Denver, Dallas
Last night: 0-2