NBA Game Previews
Key notes from NBA game previews, on one page. Also see NBA daily recaps, NBA video highlights and daily stat leaders, as well as daily fantasy basketball notes.
NBA Game Previews for Fri, April 24
Rockets at Mavericks, 7 p.m. ET -- The AP reports: The Dallas Mavericks are back home, but at the rate things are going they might be staying there for the summer.
Chandler Parsons' playoffs are over, Rajon Rondo's volatile turn in Dallas is done and a postseason run that barely got started may soon be finished as well if the Mavericks can't quickly turn things around in Friday night's Game 3 against the Houston Rockets.
Dallas announced Wednesday that Rondo injured his back before the last of several times the point guard was benched in four months under Rick Carlisle - including almost all of the second half of a 111-99 loss to Houston on Tuesday night that gave the Rockets a 2-0 series lead... Unfortunately for Carlisle, no one on the roster looked capable of defending Dwight Howard in Game 2. After foul trouble limited him to just 17 minutes in the opener, Houston's big man had 28 points and 12 rebounds Tuesday in 33 minutes - his most since January 19.
Raptors at Wizards, 8 p.m. ET -- The AP reports: Despite losing seven of eight meetings entering their first-round series with Toronto, the Washington Wizards are in the enviable position of returning home with a 2-0 lead.
If the Raptors are to avoid falling into a seemingly insurmountable hole, they need to start crashing the boards and tame the Wizards' stellar play in the middle quarters when they tip off in Game 3 on Friday night in the nation's capital.
Toronto earned home-court advantage for this opening series, but it quickly became irrelevant against a Washington team that has dominated the glass 106-76 over the first two games while also enjoying a 117-77 scoring advantage in the second and third quarters... While the Raptors need to match the Wizards' aggressive play, they also need to keep John Wall from pushing the ball, which may seem like a Herculean task after the speedy point guard had 26 points and 17 assists - one shy of matching a career high - in Game 2.
Clippers at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. ET -- The AP reports: Given his passion for wine, it's no surprise that Gregg Popovich has such a deep appreciation for the graceful way Tim Duncan is aging.
Duncan will turn 39 shortly after Friday night's Game 3 against the Los Angeles Clippers, but the oldest player in these playoffs still looks capable of carrying the load for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA's lone series that's even after two games.
With Tony Parker ineffective for a second straight contest Wednesday before leaving with a right Achilles injury, Duncan turned in a vintage performance in a 111-107 overtime win. Neutralized for much of the opener by DeAndre Jordan, the two-time MVP had 28 points and 11 rebounds while playing the final eight minutes with five fouls... Blake Griffin continues to be a problem for San Antonio after posting 29 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists Wednesday. Perhaps the Spurs will consider giving Leonard, who has only been the closest defender on three of Griffin's 45 field-goal attempts, some more consistent chances to guard him despite the size mismatch.