This Weekend in Sports: Heat vs. Clippers and Indiana vs. Ohio St.
Interesting NBA games and college basketball clashes highlight the first weekend without football since late August. Here's what to watch this weekend:
Friday, February 8
L.A. Clippers at Miami Heat
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Fla.; 8 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The Miami Heat (32-14) still have the Eastern Conference's best record, as the NBA season heads toward the all-star break. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh will host both Los Angeles teams this weekend. The L.A. Clippers (35-16) remain on top of the Pacific Division despite serious injury issues. The team hopes to have guards Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups back in time for the game against the Heat on Friday.
Saturday, Feb. 9
Mississippi at (21) Missouri
Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo.; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Not even super guard Marshall Henderson could keep Mississippi (18-4, 7-2 SEC) ranked after back-to-back losses to Kentucky and Florida last week. Henderson will lead the Rebels against No. 21 Missouri (16-5, 5-3 SEC). The Tigers lost to Ole Miss, 64-49, on Jan. 12. Jabari Brown has become an emerging star for Missouri, averaging 15.1 points per game in just 12 contests.
(23) Pittsburgh at (17) Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati; 6 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
A key Big East battle finds No. 23 Pittsburgh (19-5, 7-4 Big East) traveling to seventeenth-ranked Cincinnati (18-4, 6-4 Big East). The Bearcats beat the Panthers, 70-61 on Dec. 31. Guard Sean Kilpatrick averages 18.3 points per game to lead the Cincinnati attack. Freshman center Steven Adams has been a solid contributor for Pittsburgh, averaging 6.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
(11) Louisville at (25) Notre Dame
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, South Bend, Ind.; 9 p.m. (ET) on ESPN<
Two of the Big East's best teams meet in South Bend. Eleventh-ranked Louisville (19-4, 7-3 Big East) is led by veteran guards Russ Smith and Peyton Siva. Forward Jack Cooley is a tremendous talent for No. 25 Notre Dame (18-5, 6-4 Big East). He's averaging 14.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.
Sunday, Feb. 10
L.A. Kings at Detroit Red Wings
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit; 12:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
The defending Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings (3-3-2) have stumbled at the start of the lockout-shortened NHL season. They'll look to beat Detroit (4-4-1), another great team that has gotten off to a slow start.
(1) Indiana at (10) Ohio State
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Top-ranked Indiana (20-2, 8-1 Big Ten) travels to No. 10 Ohio St. (17-5, 7-3 Big Ten) in a pivotal Big Ten matchup. The Buckeyes lost to Michigan on Tuesday and hope to stay in the conference's upper echelon by beating the Hoosiers at home. Dynamic guard Victor Oladipo has emerged as a force for Indiana, while Deshaun Thomas continues to pace Ohio State in both points (19.9) and rebounds (6.1) per game.
L.A. Lakers at Miami Heat
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Fla.; 3:30 p.m. (ET) on ABC
After facing the Clippers on Friday, the Miami Heat (32-14) host the L.A. Lakers (23-26) on Sunday. With Pau Gasol out with a foot injury, Dwight Howard and the rest of the Lakers front court must step up their production. LeBron James looks to continue his MVP-level greatness for the Heat.
San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets
Barclays Center, Brooklyn; 8 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
San Antonio (39-11) has been the NBA's hottest team, winning 11 straight games heading into Friday. Guard Tony Parker leads the Spurs, averaging 20.3 points and 7.6 assists. After a slow start, Brooklyn (29-20) has crept up the Eastern Conference standings. Joe Johnson has been a key addition for the Nets, averaging 16.8 points per game.