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NBA West Roundup: 2013 All-Star Reserves Announced, Howard Receives Good News, Clippers Lose

On Thursday, the NBA announced its 2013 list of All-Star reserves. They were a number of veterans from the West making the list while there were some surprising absentees.

Also on Thursday, the Los Angeles Clippers (32-12) lost their third straight game, 93-88 vs. the Phoenix Suns (15-28).

It’s been a rough week for Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard but on Thursday, he received some good numbers: he can return to play. On Friday, the Lakers (17-25) will play the Utah Jazz (23-19).

Can they stop a four-game skid?

Other Friday games for the West includes Houston vs. New Orleans, San Antonio vs. Dallas, Golden State vs. Chicago and Oklahoma City (-9, 208.5 o/u) vs. Sacramento.

2013 NBA All-Star Reserves

On Thursday, the NBA announced its 2013 All-Star reserves roster. This comes after last week’s list of starters which included the following West players: Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Durant.

Guards Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden have been selected as reserves from the West with Tim Duncan, Zach Randolph, LaMarcus Aldridge, and David Lee.

For Duncan, this year’s selection represents his 14th career All-Star nod while Randolph, Aldridge, and Lee made it for a second time around.

And for Harden, he’s a newbie.

So who is notably absent from this year’s reserves list? Stephen Curry, Marc Gasol, Jamal Crawford, and Serge Ibaka.

This year’s NBA All-Star Game will be played in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 17.

Howard Cleared to Play

Lakers Center Dwight Howard

On Thursday, Howard had his right shoulder examined by Dr. James Tibone and received clearance to play. This came after the player tweaked his torn labrum in Wednesday’s game vs. Memphis in the second quarter. He left the game and did not return.

The doctor didn’t find additional damage to the shoulder.

Howard said of the incident, “It felt real bad. I didn’t want to try to play through it because I didn’t want to hurt it any worse, so (the Lakers’ training staff) asked me not to play. I still feel it. It’s still aggravated. It’s something that I’m going to have to learn how to cope with. The biggest thing is just getting it stronger so it won’t continue to bother me.”

Howard is expected to start on Friday against Utah.

Clippers Lose Third Straight

For the Suns, they have now won two straight games under new coach Lindsey Hunter. This is the first time for the consecutive wins since the team’s four-game win streak that ended back on Dec. 19.

Suns Goran Dragic scored 24 points (19 in the first half and eight assists in the game) with Marcin Gortat adding 15 points and Luis Scola and Markieff Morris both contributing 14 points each for the team.

So what happened to the Clippers, who have now suffered their second-longest losing streak of the season?

It may be the Chris Paul factor or lack thereof.

Paul has now missed his fifth of seven games from a bruised right kneecap. Without him, the team is 3-2 and he is likely to be out for two additional games.

For the season, Paul has a 19 o/u for total points scored in a game this season.

Clippers Forward Blake Griffin

While falling short for the run, his teammates stepped up with Jamal Crawford leading the team in scoring with 21 points. Eric Bledsoe added 15 points and Blake Griffin contributed 12 points. Early in the game, Griffin reinjured his left ankle but still saw 36 minutes of playing time.

How poor was it for the Clippers? For the game, they shot just under 40 percent and in the fourth quarter, only 33 percent (7-for-21).

With the three losses, the Clippers now sit 1½ games behind the West leaders of Oklahoma City and San Antonio. They are +550 to win it all in June.



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