NBA Game Previews
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NBA Game Previews for Saturday, Dec. 6
OUR FAVORITE MATCHUP TODAY
Warriors at Bulls, 8 p.m. ET -- The AP reports: Despite maintaining a potent offense led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors are on the verge of making a big mark in the team record book thanks greatly to defense.
They'll need to rely on it Saturday night if their offensive woes at the United Center continue, though the Chicago Bulls have been surprisingly mediocre there defensively.
The Warriors can record the longest winning streak in franchise history by finding a way to leave Chicago with a victory, something they have rarely achieved... While the Warriors are 9-1 on the road as part of their league-best record, the Bulls (12-7) are 2-4 at home whereas the other five division leaders have combined to win more than 80 percent of theirs. Opponents visiting the United Center averaged less than 90 points through coach Tom Thibodeau's first four years before averaging 105.3 this season -- a number slightly inflated by three overtime sessions.
Golden State, 10th in points allowed (99.5) and fourth in defensive field-goal percentage (43.6) last season, has been even better in its first season under Kerr. The Warriors are holding opponents to 94.9 points per game and 40.5 percent from the field during the win streak.
THE REST OF TODAY'S GAMES
Sixers at Pistons, 7:30 p.m. ET -- The AP reports: Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said that he talked to Steve Clifford recently about their teams' 10-game losing streaks.
Now that Clifford's team has snapped its slide, maybe Van Gundy's can do the same – especially with the NBA-worst Philadelphia 76ers coming to town.
The Pistons hope to end their double-digit losing streak Saturday night when they host a 76ers team that is 0-9 against Eastern Conference foes... The 76ers have played four straight games without Tony Wroten, who is out with a knee injury. Wroten leads the team with 17.9 points per game.
Michael Carter-Williams is averaging 19.5 points and 11.5 assists in Wroten's absence. Carter-Williams had 16 points and 14 assists against the Thunder.
Suns at Rockets, 8 p.m. ET -- The AP reports: Injuries aren't slowing down the Houston Rockets, and a meeting with the Phoenix Suns could mean another impressive offensive display.
With Dwight Howard likely out again, the Rockets aim for a seventh win in eight games Saturday night against the visiting Suns.
Houston (15-4) has won six of eight games without Howard, who has a strained right knee. The Rockets are also without guard Patrick Beverley (hamstring) and forward Terrence Jones (leg), but that hasn't mattered much lately.
They've put together a three-game winning streak, averaging 112.0 points -- 13.2 higher than their season average... The Suns have won consecutive games and began a stretch of four games in five days on Friday with a 118-106 win at Dallas.
"I'm not saying it's going to be easy," guard Goran Dragic said. "We have a long bench. Some guys are going to need to step in and do their best."
Dragic certainly is, averaging 28.0 points in three games. He finished with 28 on Friday while sinking 10 of 15 shots and added a season-high 13 assists.
Timberwolves at Spurs, 8:30 p.m. ET -- The AP reports: Despite Tony Parker's absence for much of the second half, the San Antonio Spurs managed to get back in the win column after having a lengthy streak snapped.
With the depleted Minnesota Timberwolves visiting, Saturday night might provide a good opportunity for the Spurs to rest Parker -- and perhaps some other players -- while keeping their successful stretch going.
San Antonio (14-5) bounced back from an overtime loss to Brooklyn on Wednesday with a 107-101 win at Memphis on Friday, its ninth win in 10 games overall.
Tim Duncan recorded his fourth career triple-double (14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) while helping the Spurs snap the Grizzlies' 22-game regular-season home win streak... Minnesota is without starters Kevin Martin, Ricky Rubio and Nikola Petrovic as well as reserve Ronny Turiaf, and veteran point guard Mo Williams was forced to skip Friday's game against Houston because of back spasms.
Magic at Kings, 10 p.m. ET -- The AP reports: Both the Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic ended frustrating losing streaks without their top big men.
The Kings will again be without DeMarcus Cousins and the Magic could again be without Nikola Vucevic in Saturday night's matchup at Sleep Train Arena.
Sacramento (10-9) had dropped 16 straight without Cousins, including 14 in a row over the last two seasons before pulling out a 102-101 overtime win over Indiana on Friday.
Cousins, averaging career bests of 23.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks, will miss his fifth straight game Saturday with a viral infection... Orlando (8-14) ended a six-game slide without Vucevic in Friday's 98-93 win at Utah. The Magic had also dropped 27 of their last 32 games without the big man, who has missed three straight games with a back sprain.
Pelicans at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. ET -- The AP reports: As Blake Griffin's strong effort has helped the Los Angeles Clippers extend a dominant run, Anthony Davis' outstanding play often hasn't been enough for the New Orleans Pelicans lately.
Two of the league's top power forwards meet Saturday night when the Clippers go after a seventh straight victory and the visiting Pelicans try to avoid their fifth loss in six games.
Griffin has scored 25.5 per game on 60.3 percent shooting over a four-game stretch in which Los Angeles has won by an average of 21.8 points. The four-time All-Star finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists despite sitting the entire fourth quarter of a 114-86 rout of Orlando on Wednesday... Davis hasn't been able to shut down Griffin, who has scored at least 20 points in each of the teams' past five matchups, but is certainly having the better season statistically. The budding star ranks at or near the top of the league in scoring (25.2), field-goal percentage (56.8), rebounding (11.5), blocks (3.1) and steals (2.4).