Gallinari, Harris no timetable for returns
Lakers vs. Nuggets, 9 p.m.
Bucks vs. Magic, 7 p.m.
Most of the basketball world was watching the athletic showcase in Chicago featuring four of the top five teams in college basketball and several Lottery picks. Every team had at least one representative in the United Center scouting the talent and one team sent its entire scouting staff to take in the game.
The Magic and Nuggets will be slowly turning their attention to the Draft and the exploits of young players like Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins. For now, they are focused on their own roster and what they have now.
And the waiting for key players to return from injury seems to have no end in sight.
Danilo Gallinari had that seemingly catastrophic knee injury last year that was thought to be a torn ACL but turned out it was not. He was hoping to be back by now.
Gallinari though said he has no timetable for his return and seemed frustrated the process is taking so long. Not frustrated with the team, just frustrated it is taking so long. That is life with an injured knee.
Meanwhile in Orlando, Tobias Harris was a revelation last year when he came over from Milwaukee. Everyone expected improvements in his first fully year with a fully defined role. Unfortunately a sprained ankle in the preseason has kept him on the sideline for the early part of the regular season. Harris said he has no timetable for his return too and it could be a few weeks before he makes his return to the court.
LeBron James big in win
Heat 118, Bucks 95
LeBron James was LeBron James in the Heat's 118-95 rout of the Bucks. James scored 33 points on 13-for-21 shooting. He was simply a devastating scorer and the Bucks had no answer for him in this easy victory. Michael Beasley had 19 points off the bench as James has proven he can take the troubled young star under his wing.
Saunders preaches patience with bench
Cavaliers vs. Timberwolves, 8 p.m.
We know the names in the starting lineup for the up-and-coming Wolves. Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin. The bench? That could be the difference between a Playoff berth for Minnesota and sitting at home in the Lottery again. Minnesota has struggled with bench production this year as the team has relied heavily on its starters both for minutes and for scoring. Flip Saunders is not worried about the issue at the moment. There is still a lot of season left.
Dirk Nowitzki makes history
Mavericks 105, Wizards 95
Dirk Nowitzki passed Jerry West on the all-time scoring list on his way to 19 points on 8-for-19 shooting. The Mavericks took the most important thing of the night: the win. But it should be all about Dirk. Nowitzki, the sweet-shooting 7-footer is truly unique in NBA history. He completely transformed the Mavericks franchise and got his championship ring. He is a surefire Hall of Famer and one of the league's greatest players.
Lou Williams participates in drills
Hawks vs. Knicks, 8 p.m./ESPN
Lou Williams has been out for nearly a year with a torn ACL that derailed his playing with his hometown team. It is never fun to sit out with an injury when you sign a contract. Williams is making his way back as he took part in contact drills yesterday for the Hawks. His return to the court is still a long way away, but this is a good sign moving forward.
Blazers looking for killer instinct
Suns vs. Trail Blazers, 10 p.m.
Portland seemed to be cruising to an easy victory against Detroit on Monday. Then the Pistons made a run and made the Blazers sweat. So heading into tonight's game against the Suns, the Blazers are trying to learn a killer instinct. Portland is 5-2, so they are doing something right. But at the same time the team is still growing and learning to finish.
Ben McLemore could start
Nets vs. Kings, 10 p.m.
The Kings are thinking of mixing up their starting lineup to break out of the funk they have been mired in all season. That change might include starting the impressive Ben McLemore. McLemore has impressed coach Michael Malone and has produced on the floor coming off the bench. It was only a matter of time before he found his way to the starting lineup anyway. This change might be what pushes his rookie season forward.
Stephen Curry leads Warriors avalanche
Warriors 113, Pistons 95
The Warriors raced ahead to a 19-point lead and never looked back, defeating the Pistons easily Tuesday. Stephen Curry scored 25 points and Andre Iguodala added eight points and 11 rebounds. Golden State shot 60 percent from the floor and easily won, taking a 19-point lead in the first quarter. Sorry Detroit.
Terrence Jones delivering for Rockets
Rockets vs. 76ers, 7 p.m.
The Rockets could have been in trouble when Francisco Garcia went down with flu-like symptoms. Instead Terrence Jones has stepped in and filled the void admirably. Jones has a solid game in Houston's double overtime win over Toronto on Monday. He should be expected to deliver again against the upstart Sixers, especially if Garcia still cannot go.
Raptors fans target Rudy Gay
Raptors vs. Grizzlies, 8 p.m.
The Raptors lost to the Rockets in double overtime Monday and needed some miracle plays to get there. Rudy Gay provided at least one of those. But largely, Gay was the target of criticism from Raptors fans after his 13-for-32 performance. Unfortunately, that is just what you get with Gay. A high-volume, inefficient scorer. Things have not changed for this often-forgotten player and borderline star . . . as long as you don't look at anything but points.
Jordan Hill powers Lakers past Pelicans
Lakers 116, Pelicans 95
The Lakers got a big boost from a new starter, the day after receiving bad news about their point guard. Jordan Hill scored a career high 21 points and added 11 rebounds as the Lakers cruised to victory over the Pelicans. Steve Blake did his best Steve Nash impression with 11 assists. Xavier Henry had 15 points and Nick Young scored 17 points off the bench for the Lakers in the win. The offense worked this time.
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