Tonight in the NBA: Can Nets finally beat Lakers?

Tonight in the NBA: Can Nets finally beat Lakers?
February 5, 2013, 2:00 pm
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The 76ers have the night off after a 78-61 victory over the Magic on Monday night (see story).

While they may have won the game, the Sixers (21-26) suffered a huge loss with the injury of leading rebounder Thaddeus Young (7.4 rpg).  Young will miss about three weeks with a grade one left hamstring strain (see story).

Here is a preview of tonight’s notable games in the NBA:

Lakers at Nets, 7:30 p.m.
Winners of three games in a row and five of the last six, the Lakers head to Brooklyn to close out their season series with the Nets.  

When these two teams met on Nov. 20, the Lakers (22-26) held on to win, 95-90, in Mike D’Antoni’s first game as the Lakers' head coach.  

The Nets (28-19) are 2-1 on their current four-game homestand and have won nine of 10 at the Barclays Center, but are looking to avoid a 10th consecutive loss to the Lakers. Brooklyn is coming off a 93-89 win over Chicago, led by 20 points from Brook Lopez.

After being linked to the Nets for much of the offseason, Dwight Howard will miss his only opportunity of the season to play in Brooklyn. The All-Star center is nursing a right shoulder injury. The Lakers will also be without Metta World Peace, who is serving a one-game suspension after hitting Detroit's Brandon Knight in the face during Sunday's win.

Hawks at Pacers, 7 p.m.
The Pacers host the Hawks, seeking an undefeated four-game homestand and their 15th home win in a row.  

Indiana (29-19) has dropped the previous two meetings to the Hawks (26-20) this season, both played in Atlanta.  

After winning three games in a row, the Hawks have dropped two of their last three, including a 93-76 loss on Saturday to Chicago. Atlanta turned the ball over 14 times and forced just seven Chicago turnovers.

The Pacers own one of the league’s stingiest defenses, allowing just 90.1 points per game. They also lead the NBA in rebounding, pulling down 45.6 boards per game.

Warriors at Rockets, 8 p.m.
The Warriors are finally at full strength as they head to Houston for a game that is sure to have a surplus of scoring.

The Rockets (26-23) rank second in the NBA in points per game (105.1) while the Warriors (30-17) rank seventh (101.1).  

Golden State is looking for its fifth win in a row, which would tie its longest winning streak this season. Andrew Bogut, who has missed 38 games this season with an ankle injury, has averaged 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks in his last three since returning.

Houston has won four of five, including its most recent 109-95 win over the Bobcats. Three Rockets (Patrick Patterson, Chandler Parsons, and James Harden) scored more than 20 points, and Omir Asik recorded his 20th double-double on the season with 19 points and 15 rebounds.

A victory tonight would make it nine home wins in a row for the Rockets over the Warriors.

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