Thursday (Dec. 7) night's NBA games included a down-to-the-wire contest between the Lakers and 76ers and a second-half comeback by the Nets over the Thunder. Friday (Dec. 8) night the Cavaliers go for their 14th straight win, while the Warriors continue their east coast road trip.

Marquee NBA Friday night matchups

Cavaliers (18-7) vs. Pacers (14-11)

Kyrie Irving and the Celtics had a 16-game winning streak early in the season, LeBron James surely has his eye on that number. The Cleveland winning streak has reached 13 games, and James has been shooting lights out.

A career 34.4 percent three-point shooter, James has been knocking down shots from deep at a 43 percent clip and making 2.1 per game.

The Pacers outscored the Bulls 29-13 in the final quarter on Wednesday (Dec. 6) to earn a come-from-behind victory. Victor Oladipo scored 27 points in the game and hit the go-ahead three-point shot with 31 seconds left.

The Pacers are currently sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference with an eye on moving up.

Warriors (20-6) vs. Pistons (14-10)

Without Steph Curry and Draymond Green, Kevin Durant stepped up and dropped a triple-double against the Hornets on Wednesday (Dec. 6). The Warriors will continue to win without Curry, but the question is how much more will Durant have to do in the interim?

The Pistons have lost four straight games and have fallen from second in the Eastern Conference standings to fourth. Detroit had been one of the surprise stories this NBA season but has regressed to the other middling teams that will be fighting for playoff spots all year long.

Celtics (22-4) vs. Spurs (17-8)

Two of the best coaching minds in the NBA nearly overshadow the players on the court.

The culture that Gregg Popovich has implemented in San Antonio for roughly twenty years, Brad Stevens is beginning to do in Boston. These teams emphasize defense, ball-movement, and quality shot selection to the envy of basketball purists. Both also have played extremely well despite missing key players. Spurs’ All-Star, Kawhi Leonard, has yet to play this season, while Celtics' forward Gordon Hayward injured his leg on opening night and won’t return this year.

The rest of the NBA matchups

Nuggets (13-11) vs. Magic (11-15)

Denver has been dealing with injuries to Paul Milsap and Nikola Jokic and lost five of their last nine. However, the Nuggets four recent wins have been underwhelming, coming against the Kings, Bulls, Lakers, and Grizzlies. The defense has been a major problem for the Nuggets as they've given up at least 111 points in their previous four outings.

After a nine-game losing streak, the Magic have gone 3-2 over their last five games. With a win in overtime against the Hawks on Wednesday (Dec. 6), Orlando has a chance to win two straight for the first time since Nov. 11.

Raptors (15-7) vs. Grizzlies (7-18)

With the Pistons recent slide, the Raptors own the third spot in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto has won eight-of-ten and four-in-a-row. Kyle Lowry has averaged 21.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 7.6 assists over his previous five games.

Memphis finally escaped from their 12-game losing streak on Monday (Dec. 4), but lost to the Knicks in New York on Wednesday (Dec. 6). Until Mike Conley returns from his injury, it’s going to continue to be rough-going for the Grizzlies.

Mavericks (7-18) vs. Bucks (13-10)

The Mavericks have played well of late. After blowing out the Nuggets and Clippers, Dallas played the Celtics toe-to-toe in Boston on Wednesday (Dec. 6). After starting the season 2-16, the Mavericks have won five of their last nine.

After hovering around .500 for much of the season, the Bucks are on the rise, winning four of their last five.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is not quite on the MVP-level of James Harden and LeBron James but remains on that next tier.

Kings (7-17) vs Pelicans (13-12)

The DeMarcus Cousins revenge game! With Anthony Davis still out, Cousins will get all the shots he wants, especially after dropping 40 points and grabbing 22 rebounds Wednesday (Dec. 6) night. The Kings hung with the Cavaliers in their previous game until LeBron James stopped messing around in the fourth. But this game is all about Cousins and how he performs.

Bulls (3-20) vs. Hornets (9-14)

The Bulls are young and lack talent. Those two ingredients don’t make for many wins, and Chicago is free-falling, losing 10 straight. The Bulls had a 17-point lead on the Pacers Wednesday (Dec. 6), but lost it in the final seconds of the game.

Charlotte needs to scratch and crawl for every win to get back into the playoff race but got rolled over by Golden State on Wednesday (Dec. 6). Kemba Walker is playing at a borderline All-Star level and the Hornets have gotten strong play from Dwight Howard, but the wins haven't come consistently. However, the Bulls are the perfect remedy for a team in need of a victory.