A full slate of eight NBA games grace the NBA schedule on Saturday night, with four of the six division leaders in action.
The marquee game on the schedule features the Chicago Bulls traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clips are 6-2, having had the benefit of playing all but one game in the STAPLES Center, while Chicago sits at 5-3, half a game behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the Central Division lead. Luol Deng is averaging a career high 19.1 points per game in Derrick Rose's absence, but the real star is the Bulls' defense, which ranks sixth in the league with 92.4 points allowed. The Clippers average 102.8 points per game. Despite the presence of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford leads the team in scoring at 20.5 points per game.
The other late game features the Miami Heat making a trip to the desert to face the Phoenix Suns. Miami has the best offense in the league, scoring 104.2 points per game. They face a putrid Phoenix defense, who gives up that much per game on average. Miami's Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh get all the attention in this one, but Goran Dragic has been quietly filling in for Steve Nash in Phoenix, scoring 16.1 points per game while dishing out 7.2 assists.
Saturday's NBA schedule:
After winning on Tuesday at Indiana, Toronto has a chance to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
At 0-7, Washington is the only winless team in the league.
Rookie Tyler Zeller returns for Cleveland as they host Dallas.
Two of the NBA's early surprises meet as the 4-3 Bobcats host the Southwest Division leading Grizzlies.
Denver's Ty Lawson was held scoreless for only the second time in his career on Thursday against Miami.
New Orleans Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks, 8:30 p.m. ET, Local TV/League Pass
The first-place Bucks average 19.4 fast break points per game.
Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Clippers, 9:00 p.m. ET, Local TV/League Pass
The Clippers play at the STAPLES Center for the eighth time in nine games this season.
Miami Heat at Phoenix Suns, 9:00 p.m. ET, Local TV/League Pass
The NBA's highest scoring offense collides with the league's worst defense.