This weekend’s NBA action includes a highly anticipated matchup between the Houston Rockets and LA Clippers featuring James Harden and Russell Westbrook against Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. On Sunday, the Rockets host the up-and-coming Dallas Mavericks, but all eyes will be on a Harden and Luka Doncic shootout.
The Philadelphia 76ers are undefeated at home, but they host back-to-back games in Philly this weekend. They take on the San Antonio Spurs, who are in the middle of the worst-losing streak since Gregg Popovich became head coach in 1996. The Sixers and Miami Heat clash on Saturday, with two of the top teams in the East meeting each other.
The Boston Celtics finish up a West Coast road trip with a tough game against the Nuggets in Denver.
Friday, Nov. 22
San Antonio Spurs (5-10) at Philadelphia 76ers (9-5)
Boston Celtics (11-3) at Denver Nuggets (10-3)
Houston Rockets (11-4) at LA Clippers (10-5)
Saturday, Nov. 23
Miami Heat (10-3) vs. Philadelphia Sixers (9-5)
LA Lakers (12-2) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (5-9)
Detroit Pistons (4-10) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (12-3)
Sunday, Nov. 24
Brooklyn Nets (6-8) vs. New York Knicks (4-11)
Dallas Mavericks (9-5) vs. Houston Rockets (11-4)
Sunday’s NBA action includes a couple of rivalry games. The Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks square up in a battle of New York City teams. Two teams in Texas go at in with the Houston Rockets hosting Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.
Friday NBA: Kawhi and George vs. Harden and Westbrook
Boston Celtics (11-3) at Denver Nuggets (10-3)… After starting out 10-1, the Celtics are 2-2 on their five-game West Coast swing. They lost a heartbreaker in overtime to the LA Clippers in their last game, but now face a tough Nuggets team and the thin air of Colorado. The Nugs won seven out of their last eight games. Opposing defenses kept Kemba Walker (22.6 ppg) in check in his last three games (15, 19, and 13 points), and it’s no surprise that the Celtics are 1-2 in games where Walker scores sub-20. The Celtics are a +5 road dog in this fight.
San Antonio Spurs (5-10) at Philadelphia 76ers (9-5)… The Spurs are desperately trying to stop their current seven-game losing streak. The bad news is that they have to play a back-to-back. The good news is that the second game is against the last place Knicks on Saturday. The Sixers are 5-1 in Philly, and they’re 1-0 when Ben Simmons connects on a three-pointer.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 21, 2019
Houston Rockets (11-4) at LA Clippers (10-5)… Harden/Westbrook vs. Kawhi/PG-13. What more can you ask for in the Game of the Week? The Clippers are 9-1 at home this season. Mr. Sixth Man, aka Lou Williams, leads the Clips with 22.6 points and 5.7 assists per game off the bench. Kawhi (25.8 ppg) missed five games due to “load management”. George (28.3 ppg) looked great since returning from shoulder surgery. He dropped 33 points in his first game back, and then unleashed 37 points against the Atlanta Hawks. The Clippers are a 5-point favorite against the high-octane Rockets. Hopefully, both Kawhi and George are in the lineup. At press time, Kawhi is expected to play.
Saturday NBA: Jimmy Butler vs. His Old Squad
Miami Heat (10-3) vs. Philadelphia Sixers (9-5)… The Heat are undefeated at home, but only 4-3 on the road this season. Jimmy Butler (18.7 ppg, 7.0 assists, 2.7 steals) leads a fairly young team that includes rookies Kendrick Nunn (17.3 ppg) and Tyler Herro (14.0 ppg). This will be the second game of a back-to-back for the Sixers, but they’ve yet to lose a game on their home turf.
LA Lakers (12-2) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (5-9)… Rookie Ja Morant and the upstart Grizzlies host the Lakers, who boast the best record in the NBA. Morant leads the Griz with 18.5 ppg and 6.0 assists. In only 14 games, Morant established a positive connection with Jaren Jackson Jr. (14.0 ppg), the Griz’s #1 draft pick from 2018. LeBron James (25.0 ppg, 11.0 assists) and Anthony Davis (25.2 ppg, 9.0 rebounds, 3.1 blocks) are bringing the intensity on both ends of the court. The Lakers have the fourth-best defense in the NBA, allowing 101.8 points per game.
Detroit Pistons (4-10) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (12-3)… The Greek Freak and the Bucks are the best team in the Eastern Conference. Giannis Antetokounmpo (30.1 ppg) is the third-highest scorer this season, and his 32.25 PER is the second-best advanced metric in the NBA. The Freak is coming off his second triple-double of the season, with a monster line of 24 points, 19 rebounds, and 15 assists against the Blazers. He also set a career-high with 15 dimes.
Sunday NBA: NYC Bum Fight, Doncic and Harden Shootout
Brooklyn Nets (6-8) vs. New York Knicks (4-11)… The Knicks are still bitter that the Nets landed a huge coup by swooping up both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. The Knicks posted back-to-back wins for the first time this season, but David Fizdale’s job is in limbo. RJ Barrett is logging significant playing time (33.7 minutes per game) for a rookie. The Knicks’ first rounder from Duke is averaging 15.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. This is the back end of back-to-back games for the Knicks, but they might have a good shot in this one. Irving (28.5 ppg) missed the last three games with a shoulder injury.
Dallas Mavericks (9-5) vs. Houston Rockets (11-4)… Two exciting teams battle deep in the heart of Texas, with the Rockets hosting the Mavericks in a key Southwest division game. James Harden (38.4 ppg) and Russell Westbrook (21.8 ppg) vs. Luka Doncic and the Unicorn (18.2 ppg, 9.1 rebounds) should be a fun two-on-two matchup. The unguardable Harden leads the NBA in scoring once again, with 40-plus points in seven of 15 games with the Rockets this season, while Doncic recently posted back-to-back, 35-point triple-doubles for the Mavericks. Doncic is nearly averaging (29.9 ppg, 10.6 rebounds, 9.4 assists) a triple-double on the season, and hopes to join Westbrook and Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to average a triple-double over an entire season.