Spurs vs. Rockets: Live Score and Highlights from 2014 NBA Preseason

The Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs will wrap up their preseason schedules Friday evening when the Southwest Division foes clash at Toyota Center. 

Following a 90-89 victory over the Orlando Magic, Houston will be looking to round out its exhibition slate with a sixth win. 

Thanks to 14 points apiece from Isaiah Canaan and Troy Daniels, the Rockets were able to escape with a narrow victory despite the absences of Dwight Howard and Trevor Ariza

Howard will sit again Friday after suffering a laceration on his forearm that required stitches, according to the Houston Chronicle‘s Jenny Dial Creech

Conversely, the Spurs have compiled a record of 2-4 after falling to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. 

In the loss, five Spurs players scored in double figures, including Tony Parker, who led San Antonio with 17 points and seven assists in 27 minutes. 

Rookie Kyle Anderson put together a nice showing, as well, totaling 10 points, two steals and two rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench. 

You can catch all the action at 8 p.m. ET on NBA TV. 

Keep it locked here on Bleacher Report throughout the night for real-time updates, highlights and analysis of all things Spurs-Rockets. 

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NBA Live 15: Release Date, Top Player Ratings, New Features, Preview and More

NBA Live fans, your wait is almost over. On Tuesday, Oct. 28, NBA Live 15 will be released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and hopes are high that the game has taken huge strides from last year’s release.

If the pre-release flow of information is any indication, it looks as if EA Sports is confident about its upcoming product. There’s been a steady diet of information over the last two months to set the stage for Tuesday’s release.

Player ratings have received an especially glamorous presentation. The top five players at each position were revealed on Twitter, as were the top players at specific skill sets, such as ball-handling, dunking and three-point shooting.

This tweet points out the top five sixth men in the game.

Click here to see all of the player ratings.

With every new sports video game release comes the demand for fresh and improved features. Sometimes, simply optimizing or fixing existing favorites can be sufficient if the improvement is substantial enough. 

Because of NBA Live 14‘s imperfections, this year’s release has room to grow. It could potentially make a statement with its loyal fanbase as well as grab the attention of gamers who don’t currently play the game.

Here’s a brief description of the features, per EASports.com.

  • Enhanced Visuals - New Scanning, lighting and player-specific body types.
  • Improved Gameplay - Real-time physics in the paint, better flow of action in transition, 100 new animations, more responsive controls and improved artificial intelligence.
  • Interactive Tutorial - Cover athlete Damian Lillard guides you through the game’s controls.
  • Live Features - Live seasons allows gamers to re-create or repeat recent history in the NBA. Ultimate Team returns with an auction house, fantasy challenges and new legends.
  • Rising Stars - The single-player mode is a bit more beefed up this year with player types and Jordan Brand incorporation.
  • Daily Updates - NBA Live 15 boasts that it will feature daily updates powered by Synergy Sports’ advanced statistics.
  • Dynasty Mode - Old staple returns with improved schedule generation and trade logic.


Most Intriguing Features

Live Season

EA Sports seems to be shifting its focus to the strength of its servers.

Rightly so, as the game’s biggest competition comes from NBA 2K, and while that series has dominated the virtual hoops scene for over 10 years, the servers are routinely inconsistent. The NBA Live team is smart to try and accentuate its area of advantage.

Live Seasons is a great platform to prove how dependable the game is online.

Most every virtual basketball fan loves the real NBA. Thus, most Live fans will have seen LeBron James go for 30 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists on Tuesday night, and they would be intrigued by the challenge of duplicating this feat on the game shortly after.

Those are the experiences Live Seasons creates, as it did last year. This year’s version promises to bring even more challenges with pertinent detail. Rewind, Hot Spots and Big Moments challenges are all part of the feature. If this is executed correctly, it could continue to grow into the calling card for the series.


Daily Updates

Along the same lines of online functionality is the daily updates system. Synergy Sports is a firm that compiles and distributes data to real sports teams and media groups. EA Sports has partnered with the company to produce what it hopes will be the most accurate and up-to-date statistical data and video game translation of that information around.

As was told to me last year by producer Ryan Ferwerda when this feature was being initially launched for NBA Live 14, there are hopes that the concept evolves into a system that can even update the night’s action hours after the last game is completed.

It’s an exciting feature that could spawn things like routine, hairstyle, sneaker and accessory changes in the game as they appear in real life.

Without having played the game at any level during development, it’s impossible to say how much it has grown since last year. However, it seems apparent that the graphics have taken a leap forward, and that’s the first step.

We’ll all get a good look at the game on launch day, even if you haven’t decided to buy it yet. The free demo will be released on the same day the game is available in stores. 

Xbox One users who subscribe to EA Access will get a six-hour preview of the game beginning on Oct. 25. Let the season begin.


Follow Brian Mazique, aka FranchisePlay, the Sports Video Game Journalist.

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Clippers vs. Suns: Live Score and Highlights from 2014 NBA Preseason

The Suns led the Clippers 61-58 at the half.


Stay tuned to Bleacher Report for live updates and analysis throughout.

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

LeBron James officially reintroduces himself to the state of Tennessee Wednesday night, as the Chosen One leads his Cleveland Cavaliers against the Memphis Grizzlies for the first time in nearly five years, even though he will sit out the team’s final preseason game.

The Grizz are known for their “grit and grind” thanks to strong two-way players like Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, but the revitalized Cavs have proved to be formidable foes already. LeBron and Kyrie Irving have the offense cooking, and the team is 5-1 in the preseason. With Memphis at just 2-4, it will be a tall test tonight. 

The game tips off at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN has the national TV feed. 

Keep it right here for all the action and reactions before, during and after the game.

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Warriors vs. Clippers: Live Score and Highlights from 2014 NBA Preseason

The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors are clashing for the second time this preseason Tuesday evening. 

You can catch all the action on TNT. 

Keep it locked here on Bleacher Report throughout the night for real-time updates, highlights and analysis of all things Clippers-Warriors. 

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Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and the Utah Jazz will get their second preseason meeting with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday in L.A.

The Jazz won the first meeting by a final score of 119-86.


Tipoff: 9:30 p.m. ET

Coverage: TWC SN/Root Sports


Keys to the Game

The Jazz overwhelmed the Lakers with a combination of athleticism and balanced scoring in the first game. Five players reached double figures, and 10 scored at least seven. If they push the pace again, the Lakers defense is likely to look every bit as hapless.

For L.A., this preseason continues to be about how Kobe Bryant looks. He scored 27 in the first meeting against Utah, but it took 23 shots to get there. Age and injuries have clearly taken their toll, so much of this season could be about adjusting for him.

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Dallas Mavericks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

LeBron James, Kevin Love and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers (4-0) continue their preseason tuneup Friday against Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks (1-2).

Both teams have the early part of their rotations more or less set. So, the rest of the preseason will be about fine-tuning and figuring out who can provide depth during the season.


Tipoff7:30 p.m. ET

Coverage: NBATV


Keys to the Game

For both the Mavericks and the Cavaliers, the key to this game is continuing the development of chemistry and continuity among new teammates.

Cleveland is integrating several new faces, including Love and James. Dallas is working on getting Chandler Parsons, Tyson Chandler and plenty of bench players familiar with the system.


For live updates and analysis, stay tuned to Bleacher Report throughout the game.

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Detroit Pistons vs. Washington Wizards Live Blog: Instant Reactions and Analysis

The 2-1 Washington Wizards will host the 2-0 Detroit Pistons in the Verizon Center at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

The Pistons are coming off of a win against the Milwaukee Bucks that featured a 20-point game from second-year player Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. In just their third game under Stan Van Gundy, the Pistons still have a lot to prove and learn.

The Wizards were defeated by the Charlotte Hornets in their last preseason game, a game that saw Bradley Beal break his wrist. The talented guard will miss up to two months, adding to injury concerns that the Wizards already had.

Check back around 12:30 p.m. ET today for the beginning of coverage.

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat: Live Score and Highlights from NBA Preseason

LeBron James will square off against his old pals from South Beach when the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat meet for a preseason clash Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.  

Following a victorious exhibition opener against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the Cavaliers will get a chance to see how their new-look roster performs against premier NBA talent. 

However, Cleveland will be without one key member of its superstar triumvirate. According to Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick, point guard Kyrie Irving will miss Saturday’s contest as he continues to deal with a sprained right ankle. 

As for Miami, head coach Erik Spoelstra’s bunch will continue to work toward implementing an offense that flows primarily through James’ former teammate, Chris Bosh

Two games into the exhibition season, Bosh is averaging 13.5 points in 24 minutes of action per night. Bosh has also been pulling down an average of 7.5 rebounds during that brief span, while Dwyane Wade is coming off of an 11-point performance (5-of-10 shooting) against the Orlando Magic.

You can catch all the action at 5 p.m. ET on ESPNews.

Keep it locked here on Bleacher Report for real-time updates, highlights and analysis of tonight’s preseason festivities from Brazil. 

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UNC Basketball: Will Marcus Paige Live Up to 2014-15 Preseason Hype?

North Carolina’s Marcus Paige is piling up one preseason distinction after another.

It is no surprise. The 6’1″ Marion, Iowa, native is one of the best backcourt players in college basketball.

During the summer, both Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy and ESPN’s Jeff Goodman (Insider subscription required) named Paige as the nation’s top point guard.

This week, CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish placed him on his 2014-15 Preseason All-American First Team.

Last year, as a sophomore, Paige emerged as Carolina’s points, assists, FT percentage, three-point percentage and minutes-played leader.

Even though the Tar Heels’ roster is talented and deep, UNC’s ultimate fortune is tied to Paige’s junior-year achievements.

Can he sustain his sophmore success? Will Paige carry the day under the media buildup?

Three qualities of his game suggest that he will more than live up to the hype.


Positional Flexibility

As a freshman, Paige played entirely at one position: point guard.

Last year, because of the Tar Heels’ early-season roster uncertainties, he was forced out of playing only the point.

Paige slid over to the shooting guard position for most of UNC’s first nine games, averaging 19.2 PPG before Leslie McDonald’s return.

For the remaining 25 contests, he moved back and forth in Roy Williams’ backcourt.

Even with numerous skilled perimeter players at his disposal for the upcoming season, Williams can still utilize Paige where he can do the most damage based on the Heels’ opponents.

His ability to switch positions during games and throughout the season will increase Carolina’s chances of improving on its 24-10 2013-14 mark. 


Skills Versatility

Paige is far from a one-dimensional player.

Though he was recruited strictly as a point guard out of high school, Paige demonstrated his scoring skill, according to his UNC bio, when he averaged over 28 PPG as a senior.

While shouldering a sizable portion of the Heels’ scoring load a year ago, Paige still dished out a team-leading 4.2 APG with a solid 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Even though he is not known nationally as a lockdown defender, Paige is more than able to be a stopper on the other end of the court.

Inside Carolina’s Dijana Kunovac tweeted Williams comments about Paige’s defensive capabilities: 

J.P. Tokoto may take issue with who’s deemed the top Tar Heel defender.

Regardless, whatever Carolina needs, Paige can deliver.

When the Tar Heels need him to score, he can fill it up. When they have mismatches at other positions, Paige can distribute the ball with the best of them.

If they need a steal, he is able to poach the passing lanes or pick someone’s pocket.

Paige is set up for another super season because he can do so many different things well.


Late-Game Tenacity

Paige became widely known last year as one of the most clutch late-game collegiate scorers.

Not only did he hit his share of game-winners last year, Paige was flat-out money in the second half of numerous UNC games.

The News Observer‘s Luke Decock pulled back the curtain on something that is true:

At least once in every North Carolina practice so far, Roy Williams has turned to his team and pointed at junior guard Marcus Paige.

“This is our best player,” Williams said he told the group. “Don’t anybody forget that.”

Paige does not flinch when the clock is running down, and the game is on the line. He is ready to put his team on his back when necessary.

There is no question as to who will have the ball in his hands at the end.


Looking Ahead

Paige has set lofty team goals for this season.

Carolina Blue’s Brooke Pryor conveyed his mindset:

He isn’t shy about his personal goal for this team — Final Four or bust. No more going home after the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.

“Personally, I’ve set a goal of at least making it to the Final Four,” he said. “That’s something I’ve wanted to do since I got here, haven’t had the chance obviously.

With this as his focus, Paige is determined to get the Heels to Indy in April. 

This will be accomplished as he elevates his performance again this year and lives up to the hype.

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