The NBA schedule will feature some of the top teams in the league in action on Thursday, including a couple of marquee matchups. Here’s a look at a few of the crucial games on tap tonight.
Grizzlies Need Road Win In Cleveland
The Memphis Grizzlies look to break a five-game road losing streak when they travel to face the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. Memphis is 32-19 and second in the Western Conference, trailing the Denver Nuggets by three games.
However, they still hold a 5.5-game cushion over the Dallas Mavericks in the Southwest Division. Since winning a season-high eleven straight games, the Grizzlies have lost six of their last seven games and hope to avoid their sixth straight defeat on the road tonight.
The Cavaliers have also had their struggles recently and haven’t been able to put together two straight wins since beating the Phoenix Suns nearly a month ago. They’re 31-22 on the season and are 6-8 in their last 14 games.
Cleveland is four games behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the Central Division and is fifth in the Eastern Conference. In their last contest on Tuesday night, the Miami Heat handed them a 100-97 loss on their home floor.
Cleveland wins to even the season series against Memphis.
Pelicans Visit Mavericks In Southwest Division Battle
The New Orleans Pelicans look to break a nine-game losing streak when they visit their division rivals, the Dallas Mavericks, on Thursday night. The Pelicans have been free-falling in the standings since Zion Williamson was sidelined with a hamstring injury.
The Pels are 26-26 and now third in the division, trailing first-place Grizzlies by 6.5 games. Since their last five-game winning streak, New Orleans has a 3-14 record, one of the worst in the NBA over that stretch. They lost their fifth straight on the road on Tuesday night to the Denver Nuggets, 122-113.
Dallas has also been struggling since they won seven straight games. They have a 5-9 record in their previous 14 contests but were still able to take over second place in the Southwest Division from the Pelicans, who they lead by a game in the standings.
The Mavs now hold a 27-25 record and have won two of their last three matchups, breaking a two-game home losing streak on Monday night in their 111-105 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Dallas took a 127-117 win the last time they met the Pelicans just over three weeks ago.
Dallas wins another at home against the shorthanded Pelicans.
Clippers Visit Bucks In First Season Meeting
The Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks meet on Thursday in a battle between two top teams in their respective conferences. The Clippers are 29-25 and fourth in the Western Conference, 7.5 games behind the Nuggets in the standings and two games behind the Sacramento Kings for the lead in the Southwest Division.
The Clippers have won six of their last seven games and two out of three on the current road trip. LA came from behind in the second half on Tuesday night to beat the Chicago Bulls on the road, 108-103 in their last contest.
Milwaukee is hot once again, winning five straight games and seven of its last nine. They’re 34-17, 2.5 games behind the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference, and lead the Central Division by four games over the Cavaliers. The Bucks beat the Charlotte Hornets 124-115 on Tuesday night to extend their winning streak at Fiserv Forum to five games.
Milwaukee will win a close contest at home.