The NBA has a full slate of games scheduled for Friday. This season has been very competitive up to this point, as only one team has more than a one-game lead in their division. Here’s what to expect in a few of the key matchups tonight.
Blazers Look To Regain Division Lead In New York
The Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks meet on Friday night, with Portland hoping to avoid its fifth straight loss. They’re 10-8 on the season and trail the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz by one game in the Northwest Division standings. They lost their third straight on the road to the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-96 on Wednesday night. Damian Lillard will miss his third consecutive game with a calf strain and is set to be evaluated again in two weeks.
After starting the season 3-1, the Knicks haven’t been consistent and are now with a 9-9 record. They’re second in the Atlantic Division, five games behind the Boston Celtics, and are 3-3 in their last six games. They have a chance to win their second straight after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 129-119 on the road on Monday. The home team won both matchups between these teams last season.
The Knicks win to go above .500 for the season.
Kings Look For Road Win In Boston
The Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics meet in an interconference clash from TD Garden. This game features the two top-scoring offenses in the league, with the Kings looking to recover from a 115-106 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday that snapped their seven-game winning streak. They had won their previous game on this road trip against the Memphis Grizzlies 113-109.
Since having their nine-game win streak ended by the Chicago Bulls on the road, the Celtics bounced back with a 125-112 home victory against the Dallas Mavericks. They hold a five-game lead over the Knicks, Raptors and 76ers, who all have a 9-9 record in the Atlantic Division standings. The Celtics are second in scoring offense behind the Kings with 119.7 points per game and lead the league in three-pointers made with 16.4 per contest.
Boston wins and goes to 8-1 at home.
Jazz Face Warriors In Western Conference Battle
The Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors face each other for the first time tonight at Chase Center in San Francisco. Utah is 12-8 and has lost five of the previous seven games since a recent four-game winning streak.
The Jazz have now lost two straight after their 125-116 loss to the Detroit Pistons at home on Wednesday as 12.5-point favorites. Utah will be without Rudy Gay for this matchup with a hand injury, and Mike Conley is doubtful while nursing a sprained knee.
The Warriors are 9-10 overall on the season and just 1-9 on the road. However, they’re happy to be back home, where they won their last game against the Los Angeles Clippers to improve to 8-1 at Chase Center.
Golden State is tied for fourth in the Pacific Division, three games behind the Phoenix Suns in the standings. The Warriors need to improve their defense which went from one of the best in the league in 2021 to ranking 27th, giving up 117.4 points per game this season.
Golden State continues its great play at home with a win tonight.