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Wednesday, March 23, 2011
In the Knick of time?

NBA: The East-leading Bulls are idle tonight, giving the Celtics a chance to pull back into a tie for the top spot with a win over the Grizzlies tonight. Memphis is fighting to stay in the playoff hunt in the West -- in eighth place. They're a game back of the Hornets and two games up on the Rockets. With a win tonight, Boston can clinch its third season sweep of the Grizzlies in its last four seasons. ... The Rockets are on the outside looking in, but they've won four straight and 11 of 14 to put the pressure on Memphis. Tonight they'll face a Warriors team that's dropped five in a row. ... The Knicks try to avoid a seventh loss in eight games when they host the Magic tonight. New York has gone just 7-9 since the addition of Carmelo Anthony, allowing a league-worst 53.1 points after halftime since acquiring the former Nuggets star. The Magic have won three straight heading into the contest and hold a healthy five-game lead over the Hawks for the fourth spot in the East.

NHL: The Canucks kick off a four-game road trip with a visit to Joe Louis Arena tonight. Vancouver can win a sixth straight road game for the first time since 2007, while the Red Wings are hoping to avoid a third straight loss. Both teams are struggling with injuries as the playoffs near. The Wings are likely to be without Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen for a third straight game and Jiri Hudler for a fourth. The Canucks learned on Monday that veteran Manny Malhotra will miss the rest of the year after eye surgery, they'll also be without leading scorer Daniel Sedin tonight, his wife just gave birth to a baby girl Tuesday. ... The Sharks, third in the Western Conference behind the Canucks and the Wings, hope to stretch their win streak to four straight with a win over the Flames tonight. With tiebreakers, Calgary sits out of the playoff picture in 10th in the West, but points-wise they're tied with the eighth- and ninth-place teams. Those two teams, the Ducks and the Stars, meet tonight in Dallas. Anaheim has won three of four against the Stars, who have also lost three of four overall.