August 8,2020 at 1:00 PM
8/7/2020 1:00 PM
Jazz, Spurs Lock Horns In Orlando
The Utah Jazz play the San Antonio Spurs on Friday at Orlando. The Jazz (43-25) are coming off a 124-115 win over the Memphis Grizzlies the last time out, and that result snapped a two-game losing streak. It's all about load management for the Jazz now, as they have already ticketed their playoff berth and do not want to risk any potential injury to their key players. The Jazz have a 0.5-game lead in the race for the fourth seed of the Western Conference, however, so they can't take this game for granted. They have the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder breathing down their neck. Utah will be without Royce O'Neale (calf) for Friday's game, but he won't be the lone absentee in this matchup -- Rudy Gobert (rest), Mike Conley (knee), Donovan Mitchell (leg) and Nigel Williams-Goss (ankle) will also miss this contest, while Bojan Bogdanovic (wrist) is out for the remainder of the season. The Spurs (29-38) got off to a strong start in Orlando, winning against the Sacramento Kings and the Memphis Grizzlies, but they enter this matchup on a two-game losing run following defeats against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets, two teams that have already ticketed their spots in the postseason. Judging by that, the Spurs couldn't have wished for a better chance to get back to the win column as Utah will rest several key players in this contest. San Antonio is 2.0 games behind the Grizzlies for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, so the equation is simple -- they must win every remaining games and wait for other results to go their way if they want to have a final shot at extending their streak of 22 straight season reaching the playoffs. San Antonio will be without LaMarcus Aldridge (shoulder) and Trey Lyles (side), and both interior players are out for the remainder of the season. Bryn Forbes has also been ruled out for Friday's contest with a quadriceps injury. This will be the third meeting between both franchises this season, and the Spurs have won the two previous contests.
August 8,2020 at 4:00 PM
8/7/2020 4:00 PM
Thunder and Grizzlies Square Off in Conference Battle
The Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Memphis Grizzlies in an NBA seeding game in Orlando on Friday afternoon. The Thunder (42-25) come into Friday's contest slotted into the Western Conference's No. 5 seed, pending the result of the Rockets' matchup against the Lakers on Thursday night, a team OKC defeated by a 105-86 score their most recent time on the court Wednesday. Against Los Angeles, Chris Paul led the way with 21 points, adding seven rebounds and six assists. Danilo Gallinari produced 19 points, seven rebounds and one steal. Steven Adams totaled 18 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Luguentz Dort supplied 14 points, four boards and one steal, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander managed 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block. The Thunder will continue without Dennis Schroder (personal), Terrance Ferguson (leg) and Mike Muscala (concussion) for Friday's game. The Grizzlies (32-37) have dropped all four of their seeding games thus far, leaving them potentially just a half-game ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference pending the result of Portland's game against Denver on Thursday night. To make matters worse, Memphis is without the services of Jaren Jackson, who has been lost for the duration due to a torn meniscus. The Grizz's latest stumble came against the Utah Jazz, which toppled them by a 124-115 score Wednesday afternoon. Dillon Brooks paced the Grizzlies with 23 points, adding seven rebounds and six assists. Jonas Valanciunas generated a 21-point, 14-rebound double-double that also included three assists. Ja Morant filled out the stat sheet with 20 points, nine assists, six rebounds and two steals. Grayson Allen matched Morant's scoring total off the bench, while Kyle Anderson posted 12 points, four assists, three rebounds, one steal and one block. In addition to Jackson, the Grizzlies will be without Tyus Jones (knee) for Friday's contest. Friday's game marks the third and final meeting between the teams this season. The series is tied 1-1, with the Thunder notching a 126-122 win Dec. 18 and the Grizzlies countering with a 110-97 victory Dec. 26.
August 8,2020 at 5:00 PM
8/7/2020 5:00 PM
Kings, Nets Engage In Battle Of Playoff Hopefuls
The Sacramento Kings play the Brooklyn Nets on Friday at Orlando. The Kings (29-39) snapped their losing streak Thursday, when they defeated the New Orleans Pelicans by a 140-125 score behind strong performances from both De'Aaron Fox (30 points) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (career-high 35 points). However, Sacramento remains on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture, as they are in the last place among all the teams currently competing for the eighth seed. The Kings do not control their destiny anymore, and they have to win every single game while hoping for a miracle to have a slim shot at reaching the 2019-20 NBA Playoffs. Sacramento lists Marvin Bagley as their lone absentee ahead of this contest, since the power forward is dealing with a foot problem that will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the season. The Nets (32-36) are coming off a woeful defensive performance the last time out, losing to the Boston Celtics by an expressive 149-115 -- it was Boston's best scoring performance since 1992. The Nets still sit in seventh place of the Eastern Conference standings and only a miracle would leave them out of the playoffs, but it's not a secret that they must play better on both ends of the court if they want to have a shot against a Kings team that is in dire need of a win in this matchup. As it has been the case since the league restarted, the Nets will be quite shorthanded in this matchup, as Kyrie Irving (shoulder), Spencer Dinwiddie (illness), DeAndre Jordan (illness) and Kevin Durant (Achilles) headline a long list of absentees for the Nets. This will be the second meeting between these two franchises this season, and the Nets escaped with a comfortable 116-97 victory the last time out.
August 8,2020 at 6:30 PM
8/7/2020 6:30 PM
Hobbled Magic, Sixers Face Off
The Orlando Magic play the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday at Orlando The Magic are coming off a, 109-99, loss to the Raptors on Wednesday, where they trailed for most of the contest. Evan Fournier led the way with 15 points, two rebounds and three assists, while Terrence Ross chipped in 15 points, and Nikola Vucevic totaled 12 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. The loss marked the second in a row for Orlando, however, they do not have too much to worry about yet, as they hold a 7.5-game lead over the ninth seed. The Magic have had a stroke of bad luck recently, as Jonathan Isaac (knee) went down, and Aaron Gordon (hamstring) was forced to leave the most recent contest and will remain sidelined through Friday. The Magic do a good job of taking care of the ball, as they limit themselves to 12.1 turnovers per game, which is second fewest in the league. Meanwhile, the 76ers are coming off a, 107-98, win over the Wizards on Wednesday, where they closed the contest on a, 10-5, run to ensure the win. Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 30 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. Tobias Harris followed up with 17 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block, while Josh Richardson chipped in 15 points, three assists and a steal. Unfortunately, Ben Simmons was forced to leave the game after 23 minutes of action, after he suffered a knee injury, and he is expected to miss significant time. The Sixers have won two in a row and look to keep rolling, but will need to make a few adjustments moving forward without Simmons. They have an opportunity to move up a couple of spots in the standings, if they can get the wins to make it possible.
August 8,2020 at 8:00 PM
8/7/2020 8:00 PM
Pelicans Play Wizards on Friday
The New Orleans Pelicans play host to the Washington Wizards in Orlando on Friday. The Wizards (24-44) were expected to be one of the worst teams in this restart and zero wins prove just that. In fact, they have lost each game by at least eight points in their current four-game losing streak. It's really no surprise when you look at the roster, with John Wall, Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans all missing this for these Orlando games. That's about 60 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists out of the lineup which is simply too much to overcome with so much tough competition out there. What it has done is force role players into bigger roles. Players like Thomas Bryant and Troy Brown have been fantastic in this abbreviated Orlando season and it's good to find some pieces to build around those studs who are sitting. The Pelicans (29-39) were one of the most highly anticipated teams coming into this Orlando restart and they just continue to disappoint like they have all season long. They've lost three of their four games thus far and they actually had one of the weakest schedules in this eight-game restart. A roster with Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday and Zion Williamson is way too good to be performing this poorly and it's really hard to understand why they can't figure this thing out. A lot of people are pointing to the youth but the numbers are there for them to be successful. Sitting 27th in total defense certainly doesn't help though and that's something that can develop with time together. With all that said, they're still within four-games of the final playoff spot in the west and could sneak in with this talented group. This is actually the first meeting between these teams but it should be high-scoring one with both clubs ranking at the bottom of the defensive statistics.
August 8,2020 at 9:00 PM
8/7/2020 9:00 PM
Raptors and Celtics Face Off on Friday
The Toronto Raptors play host to the Boston Celtics in Orlando on Friday. The Celtics (45-23) come into this matchup trading off wins and losses across their last six games while losing six of their last 10 games in total. That's a strange stretch from one of the best teams in the league but a 34-point victory in their most recent game is hopefully a sign of things to come. Getting Kemba Walker back to a full workload is definitely a huge boost for this club and this is actually the first time all season that they've had a full roster to work with. That's a dangerous thought with a genius like Brad Stevens running the show and he is plenty capable of painting a masterpiece with this roster as constructed. The Raptors (49-18) have looked like the best team in this restart, going undefeated and winning seven-straight games in total. All of the Orlando wins have come against teams who are in the postseason and that just emphasizes how good this team can be. Much like Boston, this is the first time they've been healthy all year too. Having Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka in a rotation is amazing and it's really no surprise that they're defending champions, despite losing Kawhi Leonard. Many people don't have them as a threat to repeat but this form in the Orlando restart is definitely opening eyes and changing minds. This marks the fourth meeting between these teams, with Boston winning two of their three games.