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The Claw vs. The Beard; Celtics vs Warriors in Battle of Best and Worst Records in NBA

The NBA gods can be cruel. Few know that better than the Celtics’ Gordon Hayward. Two years ago he broke his ankle just six minutes into his Celtics career, and only now was regaining his All-Star form, having just recently dropped a career-high 39 in a win over Cleveland. But on Saturday he suffered a broken left hand after crashing into LaMarcus Aldridge and will be out for six weeks following surgery. It’s a shame because the Celtics were looking pretty good, having posted a league-best 8-1 record.

Wednesday, November 13
Los Angeles Clippers (7-3) vs. Houston Rockets (7-3)
7:30pm ET on ESPN
Kawhi Leonard had a busy Tuesday night against his former team, the Raptors, with 12 points (on 2-of-11 shooting), 11 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and a career high nine turnovers en route to a 98-88 victory. James Harden led all scorers with 39 points in the Rockets 122-116 win over the Pelicans on Tuesday, with Clint Capela chipping in with 11 points and 20 boards. The Rockets lead the league with 120.1 ppg.

Golden State Warriors (2-9) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (7-2)
10pm ET on ESPN
The Dubs’ D’Angelo Russell led all scorers Tuesday with 33 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome 20+ from Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert in a 122-108 loss to the Jazz. All the losing is starting to wear on the Warriors, as Draymond Green got bounced for chirping at the refs and coach Steve Kerr got T’ed up for arguing, as well. LeBron James went 13-13-15 Sunday for his fourth triple-double of the season, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Toronto Raptors, who prevailed 113-104.

Thursday, November 14
Dallas Mavericks (6-4) vs. New York Knicks (2-8)
8pm ET on TNT
Luka Doncic went 34-6-9, but the Mavs fell to the Celtics 116-106, thanks in part to some dismal three-point shooting, as they hit just 26.2 percent from downtown. The Knicks have the worst record and point differential in the East, dispelling any doubt that they are the conference’s worst team. At least rookie RJ Barrett is getting plenty of playing time, though his 40 percent shooting leaves something to be desired.

Brooklyn Nets (4-5) vs. Denver Nuggets (7-2)
10:30pm ET on TNT
Kyrie Irving is averaging 30 ppg and has the Nets in seventh place in the East, just imagine what he could do with one of the game’s all-time great scorers — oh, wait, we already know what he’d do. The Nuggets have one of the best records in the league, but their margin of victory is a meager three ppg and Nikola Jokić’s points, rebounds and assists are all down.

Friday, November 15
Utah Jazz (7-3) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (3-7)
8pm ET on ESPN
Rudy Gobert delivered 25-14 and Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell dropped 22 and 23 respectively as the Jazz bested the Warriors 122-108. Jonas Valančiūnas went 18-12 and Jae Crowder drained a 25-footer to put the Grizz up for good in their 113-109 win over the Spurs on Tuesday.

Boston Celtics (8-1) vs. Golden State Warriors (2-9)
10:30pm ET on ESPN
The Celtics overcame Gordon Hayward’s absence and Jayson Tatum’s 1-for-18 shooting to beat the Mavericks 116-106, thanks to Kemba Walker’s 29 points, including three 3’s in a span of 70 seconds midway through the fourth quarter to give Boston the lead. The Celtics have the second-worst rebounding differential in the league, but the best point differential and record. The Warriors were third in the league in three-point shooting last year at 38.5 percent. This year they’re 22nd at 33.4 percent.

Stats through Monday, courtesy Basketball-Reference.com

DateDayTime (ET)AwayHomeTV
9-Dec Mon8:00 PM Orlando Magic Milwaukee Bucks NBATV
10-Dec Tues 8:00 PM Denver Nuggets Philadelphia 76ers TNT
11-Dec Wed 7:00 PM Los Angeles Clippers Toronto Raptors ESPN
11-Dec Wed 9:30 PM New Orleans Pelicans Milwaukee Bucks ESPN
12-Dec Thurs 8:00 PM Philadelphia 76ers Boston Celtics TNT
12-Dec Thurs10:30 PM Portland Trail Blazers Denver Nuggets TNT
13-Dec Fri 7:00 PM Los Angeles Lakers Miami Heat ESPN
13-Dec Fri 9:30 PM Los Angeles Clippers Minnesota Timberwolves ESPN
14-Dec Sat 5:00 PM San Antonio Spurs Phoenix Suns NBATV
14-Dec Sat 7:30 PM Brooklyn Nets Toronto Raptors NBATV
15-Dec Sun 8:00 PM New York Knicks Denver Nuggets NBATV

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