Weekend matchups on ABC features Nuggets-Lakers, 76ers-Mavs & Warriors-Celtics – Sportstimes.info
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Weekend matchups on ABC features Nuggets-Lakers, 76ers-Mavs & Warriors-Celtics




Saturday: Nuggets vs. Lakers (8:30 ET, ABC)

Final stop on the road to 40K: The stage is set for another major milestone for LeBron James. The 21-year NBA veteran enters Saturday’s game against the defending champion Nuggets needing nine points to become the first player in NBA history to reach 40,000 career points.

Every bucket that LeBron scores sets a new standard for all players to chase. The only question remaining is how high he will set the bar before he eventually hangs it up? Of course, with the level he’s playing at now, that may not be anytime soon.

Unprecedented longevity: LeBron is one of only six players to reach Season 21 in the NBA. LeBron has already scored more points (1,339) in his 21st season than the five players who preceded him combined (1,230).


He’s on pace to post his 20th consecutive season scoring at least 25 points per game. It is that level of consistent greatness that sets him apart and has allowed him to have a career trajectory unlike any player we’ve ever seen.

The matchup: Milestone aside, this game pits two of the hottest teams in the league against one another. The Lakers (9-3) and Nuggets (8-3) are tied for the third and fifth-best records, respectively, in the month of February. Denver brings a five-game win streak into L.A., where the Lakers have won five straight (four home games and their final “road” game against the Clippers at Crypto.com Arena.

Sunday: 76ers vs. Mavericks (1 ET, ABC)

The turning point: The Mavs enter this game having won eight of their last 11 games and enter the weekend holding the No. 8 spot in the West. This winning stretch began on Feb. 5 when the Mavs hosted the Sixers with Kyrie Irving returning from a six-game absence due to a sprained thumb.

Since Irving’s return, the Mavs have the third-best net rating in the league (+9.9) as they rank fourth in offense (119.9) and eighth in defense (110.0). It also coincides with the moves Dallas made at the trade deadline to add P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford, both who have shown to be solid fits next to Luka Doncic and Irving.


New scoring leader: With two-time reigning scoring champion Joel Embiid sidelined indefinitely (knee), Luka is on pace to win his first NBA scoring title this season. With an average of 34.5 ppg entering the weekend, Doncic has a 3.3 ppg lead over second-ranked Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Finding a new way: Without Embiid, the Sixers are searching for new ways to win in order to hold their playoff position and avoid the SoFi Play-In Tournament. The key will be All-Star Tyrese Maxey, who is averaging 26.9 points since Embiid has been out. Buddy Hield has added 16.6 ppg on 42.3% shooting from 3-point range since arriving from Indy at the trade deadline.

Sunday: Warriors vs. Celtics (3:30 ET, ABC) 

Hot streaks: The Celtics and Warriors enter the weekend red hot. The Celtics have posted the NBA’s longest win streak of the season with 10 straight and became the first team to clinch a postseason berth earlier this week.

The Warriors have won 12 of their last 15 games (since Jan. 30) – a run that began shortly after Draymond Green’s return from his suspension. They are starting to find some balance with Jonathan Kuminga continuing his breakout season, rookie Brandin Podziemski moving into the starting lineup, Klay Thompson thriving in a sixth-man role and finally the return of Chris Paul after missing seven weeks with a broken hand.


2022 Finals rematch: After meeting in the NBA Finals two seasons ago, both teams have championship aspirations in 2024 with Boston leading the East from day one and the Warriors hitting their stride as they attempt to move up the West standings. As of right now, Golden State would need to go through the Play-In Tournament to attempt to reach the playoffs.

Another overtime? The last two times these teams met – Jan. 19, 2024 in Boston and Dec. 19, 2023 in San Francisco – overtime was needed to decide the games, with the home team winning both times. Both teams enter the weekend with 18 clutch wins (games with the score within five points in the final five minutes). Boston is 18-8 in such games, while Golden State is 18-19.

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