Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
The Los Angeles Clippers look to get healthy against the Miami Heat while both the Grizzlies and the Warriors hope to stop recent slides.
Friday night's NBA schedule is highlighted by a matchup of the league's top teams in the Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat. The Clippers have been battling injury of late and have lost seven of 10, but are hoping to get back several key players in time for their matchup with the Heat.
The Clippers hope to get Chris Paul back into the lineup along with Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford and Chauncey Billups. Paul has missed nine straight games with a bruised knee cap. Griffin has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury while Crawford sat out Wednesday's game with a sore shoulder. Billups hasn't played since December 3 and has only appeared in three games this season.
Miami has won three straight games behind LeBron James, who has scored more than 30 points in each win. The Heat have won eight of 10 and have a 1.5 game lead over the New York Knicks in the East standings.
Elsewhere, the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies will try to avoid three-game losing streaks when they meet in a Western Conference battle. Memphis checks in at 30-18 and has a half-game lead over the Warriors in the standings.
The Grizzlies have gone 1-3 since trading away their leading scorer, Rudy Gay, but it is their defense that has been failing lately. Memphis bottomed out in Atlanta on Wednesday where they surrendered 103 points on 51 percent shooting by the Hawks.
The Warriors certainly know where the Grizzlies are coming from in defensive struggles. Golden State allowed Houston to hit a NBA record tying 23 three pointers in a 140-109 loss on Tuesday. The Warriors followed that up the next night by allowing 119 points to the Thunder while losing their third straight.
Here is a look at Friday's full NBA schedule (all times Eastern):
Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies - 8 p.m.
New York Knicks at Minnesota Timberwolves - 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Clippers at Miami Heat - 8 p.m.