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NBA Preview: Warriors Host Sixers, Kings and Blazers Fight For Playoff Traction

The NBA will feature a six-game slate tomorrow where some of the West’s best lock horns with struggling teams in the East.

The Rockets aim to bounce back from their loss against the Clippers yesterday while the Jazz and the Nuggets are looking to build momentum coming off from wins.

Meanwhile, the Kings and the Blazers fight to gain some playoff traction while the Warriors host the Sixers marking Steph Curry’s fourth game at the Chase Center this season.

 

Houston Rockets @ Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte will have to learn how to close out games sooner or later.

The James Borrego-coached squad is fresh off some tough losses against the Bucks, Spurs, and Nuggets, with two of those games being decided with less than three points.

“I feel like it’s just growing pains, you live and you learn basically,” said Hornets guard Devonte Graham.

They will get to face a Rockets squad who has had their share of struggles as well. Houston are on a two-game skid after winning six straight.

The Rockets uncharacteristically lost against the Knicks at the Madison Square Garden and, days later, the Clippers pummeled them on their home floor.

Houston grabbed a 125-110 victory against Charlotte in their previous meeting behind James Harden’s 40 points.

He and Russell Westbrook continue to be one of the league’s best backcourt with scoring norms of 34.6 and 27.5 points per game.

 

Utah Jazz @ Detroit Pistons

The Jazz have been beating Eastern Conference teams over this past week, and they will look to cap off their road trip by getting another win in Detroit tomorrow.

Utah’s latest victory came at the expense of Boston as they were led by Mike Conley who had 25 points, including six three-pointers.

Conley appears to have finally hit his stride, especially after having to deal with injuries all throughout the year. His scoring output in Boston was his highest since he tallied 27 in their game against the Warriors last November.

The Jazz are the favourites as they will face the Pistons who have dropped nine of their last 10.

 

Denver Nuggets @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Denver turn their sights at Cleveland as they look to avenge their loss against them earlier this season.

The Cavaliers came to Denver last January 11th to grab a 111-103 win in what was one of the few highlights of former head coach John Beilein’s short tenure with the team. Beilein was eventually replaced by JB Bickerstaff last mid-February.

After an encouraging start under Bickerstaff, Cleveland have lost four straight as they continue to deal with injuries.

Good thing for them, however, is that Tristan Thompson and Andre Drummond have been upgraded to probable as they are close to returning. Those two are much needed in order to guard Nikola Jokic down low.

Jokic continues to lead the team in scoring with 20.7 points per game while his point guard Jamal Murray is not far behind with 18.7.

Jamal Murray helped the Nuggets score their 42nd victory of the season when he hit the game-winning shot against the Hornets yesterday.

 

Atlanta Hawks @ Memphis Grizzlies

Most of the people are excited to see the 2nd NBA matchup between Trae Young and Ja Morant
Ja Morant points to his teammates during the Grizzlies’ match against the Lakers

The Grizzlies handed the Hawks one of their most lopsided losses and they would hope to replicate that at home on Saturday night.

They routed Atlanta, 127-88, as nine players scored in double digits in what was a balanced effort.

Rookie sensation Ja Morant and hot-shooting guard Trae Young exchanged jerseys after the game as the two showed mutual respect to one another.

“He’s a special talent. I’m pretty sure everybody knows what he’s doing. It was one of those next-generation games,” said Morant.

Trae Young’s status is yet to be confirmed as he is considered day-to-day with his illness. He missed their last game against Washington.

 

Philadelphia Sixers @ Golden State Warriors

The Warriors aren’t expected to make the playoffs this season, which is why they turn their focus to try and get Steph Curry back into shape to prepare for next season.

The two-time MVP made his comeback against the Toronto Raptors the other day after missing 58 games due to a hand injury and SBOTOP fans can expect more NBA 2020 highlights from him moving forward.

Curry made his impact right away as he poured in 23 points and seven assists, but they eventually lost to the defending champions.

This time, he and his Warriors will host the injury-hit Sixers who have been a shell of themselves on the road.

Without Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Philadelphia lost against the Cavaliers, Clippers, and Lakers but they won against low-tier teams in the Kings and the Knicks. The Sixers are 10-23 on away games this season.

 

Sacramento Kings @ Portland Trail Blazers

Two desperate teams in Sacramento and Portland will battle it out tomorrow as they both enter a make-or-break stretch for this season.

The said teams are 3 ½ games behind the eighth-seeded Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and the Pelicans and Spurs are another half-game behind.

Sacramento have won six of their last seven before losing to the Sixers yesterday. They have missed the playoffs in each of the past 13 seasons which raises the stakes for this game.

Portland, meanwhile, dropped their last game against Phoenix when Aron Baynes exploded for 37 points and nine three-pointers.

The Kings have lost 12 straight in Portland and their last win there dates back to December 2012.

 

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