Spurs at Pelicans (8pm ET Friday, ESPN)
The San Antonio Spurs’ 109-98 defeat Wednesday of the Denver Nuggets was their sixth win in a row, bringing their record to 9-2. Kawhi Leonard continues to lead the way with 21.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, and the Spurs continue to get it done on the defensive end, holding opponents to a league-best 91.3 points a game.
The 1-11 Pelicans, on the other hand, continue to limp along, having lost their last five in a row, and have surrendered a league-high 109.9 points a game, more than 11 points above last season’s average. Things could be worse for the Pelicans – oh, wait, they are! Anthony Davis remains day-to-day with a sore shoulder, and is not expected to play Friday.
To review: the team that gives up the fewest points is playing the team that gives up the most points, which will be playing without its best defender and leading scorer. Could get ugly.
Bulls vs. Warriors (10:30pm ET Friday, ESPN)
The 8-3 Chicago Bulls ride a four-game winning streak into Oakland tonight after muscling their way past the Suns, with a 103-97 victory that came despite the absence of Derrick Rose, who sprained his ankle earlier in the week, just as he was finding his shooting touch. Rose is expected to be back in action, and it’s a good thing, ‘cuz you don’t wanna face the Warriors a man down, particularly one as talented as Rose.
Have the Warriors not made the Clippers suffer enough? The Warriors last night added a new wrinkle to their dominance of the Clips, allowing LA to pull ahead by 23 early in the second quarter before dropping the hammer, winning 124-117 and bringing their record to 13-0. Steph Curry was again ridiculous, scoring 40, grabbing 11 boards, dropping 4 dimes and making 3 steals. You play like that, and people tend to overlook 7 turnovers.
With the Clips having already bled out, Draymond Green twisted the blade, declaring “Even when they were hitting everything, it still never felt like they were just controlling the game.” Ouch.