The Los Angeles Lakers hit the road for back-to-back games without superstar Anthony Davis, who is still nursing a tail bone bruise after a scary fall the other night. On Sunday, the Denver Nuggets host the LA Clippers for a clash among two of the top teams in the Western Conference.

NBA Weekend Clippers Nuggets Lakers Bucks back-to-back
Denver Nuggets point guard Monte Morris defended by LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard at the Pepsi Center in Denver. (Image: Harry How/Getty)

Trae Young plays two games this weekend. There’s a very good chance the Atlanta Hawks lose both games, but at least you can watch Young potentially unleash a couple monstrous games. The “Ice Trae” is fresh off a 42-point triple-double against James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

Friday, Jan. 10
New Orleans Pelicans at NY Knicks
Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards
LA Lakers at Dallas Mavericks

Saturday, Jan. 11
LA Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder
Philadelphia 76ers at Dallas Mavericks
Milwaukee Bucks at Portland Trail Blazers

Sunday, Jan. 12
Atlanta Hawks at Brooklyn Nets
LA Clippers at Denver Nuggets

Giannis “the Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are on a West Coast swing with back-to-back games against the Sacramento Kings on Friday, and then Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.

Friday NBA: LBJ vs. Luka

New Orleans Pelicans (13-25) at NY Knicks (10-28)… Zion Williamson has been practicing with the Pelicans, but he’s yet to be cleared for regular action. While the Pels and the rest of the sporting world eagerly await Zion’s debut, the Knicks host the Pelicans in nothing short of a classic bum fight.

Atlanta Hawks (8-30) at Washington Wizards (12-25)… Bradley Beal (27.8 ppg) and the Wizards host Trae Young and the Hawks. This should be a fun shootout with Beal/Young combining for 100 points if the refs let them play. The Wiz have the fifth-best offense in the NBA, averaging 114.9 points per game. The Wiz are the third-worst defense, allowing 120.2 points per game, while the Hawks allow 117.4 points per game, making them the fourth-worst D in the NBA.

LA Lakers (30-7) at Dallas Mavericks (23-14)… This game would have been better if two key players weren’t sidelined. Kristaps Porzingis (knee) and Anthony Davis (tail bone) will miss the Game of the Day. This will come down to a LeBron James (25.1points, 7.8 rebounds, 10.8 assists) vs. Luka Doncic (29.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 9.0 assists) throwdown.

Saturday NBA: B2B for Bucks and Lakers

LA Lakers (30-7) at Oklahoma City Thunder (22-16)… The upstart Thunder and their three-guard lineup won 11 out of their last 13 games. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads OKC with 19.8 points per game, followed by Dennis Schroder’s 18.4 ppg, and Chris Paul’s 16.7 ppg. Without AD in this back-to-back for the Lakers, it should be OKC’s to lose.

Philadelphia 76ers (25-14) at Dallas Mavericks (23-14)… The Sixers will have to figure out who will handle the bulk of the scoring with Joel Embiid on the sidelines after recovering from finger surgery. The Mavs will be playing the second game of a back-to-back after they survive LBJ and the Lakers.

Milwaukee Bucks (33-8) at Portland Trail Blazers (16-23)… The Greek Freak and the Bucks boast the best record in the NBA through 41 games. The Bucks are in the middle of a rough West Coast road trip. Their fourth and final road game will be in Rip City. Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony (16.1 ppg) is having a fun time during his swan song in Portland. He recently knocked down a game winner, and proved to the NBA and rest of the world that he still had some gas left in the tank. If the Blazers expect to keep pace with the Bucks, they’ll need a highly-efficient Melo and 40-plus from Damian Lillard.

Sunday Funday: Clips and Nuggets

Atlanta Hawks (8-30) at Brooklyn Nets (16-20)… We always look for an excuse to tell you to watch Trae Young. The Ice Trae makes a last-place team fun to watch. The Nets have a multitude of problems, but Spencer Dinwiddie (22.4 points, 6.2 assists) stepped up big time when Kyrie Irving went down with a shoulder injury.

LA Clippers (26-12) at Denver Nuggets (26-11)… The Nuggets host the Clippers in the Game of the Weekend in a big-time West Coast battle. The Nugs are tough to beat in Denver with a 15-4 home record. They also have the fifth-ranked defense in the NBA, allowing 105.2 points per game. The Clippers are mortals on the road with a 10-8 record.

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