Tonight in the NBA: LeBron, Heat look to stay hot

Tonight in the NBA: LeBron, Heat look to stay hot
February 12, 2013, 12:00 pm
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After a 107-90 loss to the Clippers (37-17) last night, the 76ers (22-28) have Tuesday night off (see instant replay).

Nick Young had 29 points and five assists, but no other Sixer scored more than 10. The loss ended the Sixers' eight-game homestand at 5-3 (see story).

With just one Atlantic Division foe in action, here are some other notable matchups in the NBA on Tuesday night:

Nuggets at Raptors, 7 p.m.

The Raptors (19-32) have compiled a 3-2 record since the Rudy Gay trade, including back-to-back wins over Indiana and New Orleans. In his five games as a Raptor, Gay is averaging 23.4 points and 6.4 rebounds.

Backup point guard John Lucas averages just 5.2 points on the season, but has had three 17-plus point outings in his last six games, including 19 on Sunday against the Hornets.  

The Nuggets (33-19) had their nine-game win streak snapped in a 118-114 triple-overtime loss to Boston. Toronto is a perfect opponent for Denver to get back on track. The Nuggets have won 15 of the past 17 meetings with the Raptors, including a 113-110 victory on Dec. 3.

Trail Blazers at Heat, 7:30 p.m.

LeBron James is playing his best basketball of the season for the Heat. He has five consecutive 30-point performances and has shot 60 percent or better in each of the five contests. James is averaging 6.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists in those games as well.

Miami (34-14) has won five games in a row. A sixth consecutive win would also earn them an eighth-straight home victory.

Portland (25-26) enters Tuesday night’s game losers of three straight. The Blazers have allowed at least 105 points in each of the three losses, including 118 points to Houston on Feb. 8. Miami has scored over 100 points in four of its last five games, which does not bode well for Portland.

These two teams met on Jan. 10 when the Blazers squeezed out a 92-90 victory. James was an assist shy of a triple-double, but shot just 6-for-16 for 15 points. Nicolas Batum led Portland with 28 points, seven boards, and five assists.

Suns at Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

The Lakers (24-28) began their recent seven-game road trip with a 92-86 loss in Phoenix (17-35). On Tuesday, they will kick off a four-game homestand against Phoenix after finishing 4-3 on their road swing.

In their last meeting Kobe Bryant had 17 points and nine assists, but he was outdone by Michael Beasley’s 27 point outburst.

The Suns have dropped five of six since beating the Lakers on Jan. 30. Their offense has struggled of late, as they have not scored 100 points since Jan. 23 against Sacramento. Phoenix dropped a season-low 69 points on Sunday at home against Oklahoma City. Markieff Morris was the only Suns player in double-figures, with 12 points.

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