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Monday, December 2, 2019
NETS VS HEAT
Venue: Barclays Center | Start: 7:00am AEDT
Kyrie Irving will miss another game Sunday when the Miami Heat travel to Brooklyn to play the Nets on Sunday afternoon. But the Nets are 6-2 in the eight games Irving has missed, thanks to Spencer Dinwiddie, who has played first fiddle quite nicely in Irving’s stead. Dinwiddie, averaging 20.2 points on the season, has upped that production to 24.5 over the last eight contests for the Nets (10-9), including a 32-point effort Friday in the Nets’ win over Boston. The Heat (13-5) have alternated wins and losses over their past five games but are coming off a 122-105 win over Golden State on Friday in Miami. Goran Dragic led the Heat with 20 points, just the second time this season he’s been the Heat’s leading scorer. Jimmy Butler tops a balanced scoring unit with 18.7 points per game on the season. Seven players average double-digits in scoring, including Dragic’s 15.5 points per game. The Heat are a tough beat; their last two losses have come on the road to Houston and Philadelphia. The Heat are allowing 105.1 points per game, ninth best in the NBA, heading into play Saturday. This is the first meeting this season between the teams. Irving (shoulder) hasn’t played since a Nov. 14 game at Denver.
Win: Miami Heat
Line: Miami Heat -3.5
Total Points: Under 216.5
TIMBERWOLVES VS GRIZZLIES
Venue: Target Center | Start: 7:30am AEDT
The Memphis Grizzlies bring a six-game losing streak into their game in Minnesota on Sunday afternoon, but they do have a win against the Timberwolves on their resume. Ending the losing streak will be difficult without rookie Ja Morant, who is week-to-week for the Grizzlies with back spasms. Memphis dropped 137 points on the Wolves on Nov. 6 in Memphis. Scoring consistency, however, has eluded the Grizzlies, who won’t have Morant’s team-leading 18.6 points per game. The Timberwolves average nearly six points per game more than Memphis, with Karl-Anthony Towns leading the way at 26.3 points per game and Andrew Wiggins right behind at 25.3. The Wolves took care of business on a two-game road trip, dropping Atlanta and San Antonio, the latter coming Wednesday night. Wiggins and Towns went for 26 and 23 in that one. The problem for Minnesota is that they give up as many points as they score. They score 114.1 but give up 114.4, eighth worst in the NBA. The Wolves allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 56.8 percent from the floor in their first meeting, with Dillon Brooks going for 31 points on 9 of 16 shooting. Memphis made 12 of 23 from the 3-point line. The Grizzlies hope to get more scoring from Grayson Allen, who returned Monday from an ankle injury.
Win: Minnesota Timberwolves
Line: Memphis Grizzlies +9.5
Total Points: Under 230.5
KNICKS VS CELTICS
Venue: Madison Square Garden | Start: 7:30am AEDT
The Boston Celtics will look to go 3-0 against the New York Knicks this season when the teams tangle Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. Both teams are coming off a loss Friday, with the Knicks (4-15) mired in a five-game losing skid. They’re tied with Atlanta for the worst record in the Eastern Conference. Making matters worse is that leading scorer Marcus Morris Sr. is questionable with neck spasms. The Celtics (13-5) split their home-and-home series with Brooklyn, dropping Friday’s game in Brooklyn, 112-107. It was the most points allowed by Boston since Nov. 13, a stretch of eight games. The Nets made 17 3-pointers. The Knicks’ latest loss came at home Friday to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics defeated the Knicks 118-95 in the teams’ first meeting on Oct. 26 at the Garden. Then they held on to clip the Knicks by two points on Nov. 1 in Boston. Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum shoulder the scoring load for the Celts, averaging 21.9 and 20.6 points per game, respectively. Tatum scored a team-high 26 points in Friday’s loss on 10 of 19 shooting. Morris’ 18.7 points per game to lead a Knicks team that was second-worst in the league with 101.4 points per game.
Win: Boston Celtics
Line: Boston Celtics -8.5
Total Points: Under 206.5
LAKERS VS MAVERICKS
Venue: Staples Center | Start: 8:00am AEDT
The NBA’s top team will get a test from one of the league’s best players when the Los Angeles Lakers play host to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. The Lakers continue to ride high with a 17-2 record and a 10-game winning streak, with their most recent victory coming Friday when they rolled over the Washington Wizards. Anthony Davis has transformed a Lakers team that missed the playoffs last season, scoring 26.1 points per game with 9.2 rebounds, including a team-leading 26 points and 13 rebounds against the Wizards. LeBron James continues to thrive in a playmaking role with 11 more assists Friday, which is exactly his per-game average on the season. The Mavericks do not figure to be intimidated by the Lakers after taking Los Angeles into overtime at home on Nov. 1 before falling 119-110. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 31 points in that game and has averaged 30.8 per game on the season, third best in the NBA heading into Saturday’s games. Dallas has won six of its last seven games, falling only to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday during that stretch. Like James, Doncic is also showing his play-making skills, with the 6-foot-7 forward averaging 9.6 assists with 9.9 rebounds. Doncic has seven triple-doubles this season while James has five. They both had a triple-double in the Nov. 1 meeting.
Win: Los Angeles Lakers
Line: Dallas Mavericks +6.5
Total Points: Under 222.5
PELICANS VS THUNDER
Venue: Smoothie King Center | Start: 9:00am AEDT
Two days after the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a home victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, the teams will change venues while meeting again Sunday. Dennis Schroder scored a team-high 25 for the Thunder on Friday, the third time in the last five games he has led Oklahoma City in scoring. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads the Thunder with 18.3 points per game but has averaged 14.0 over his last six games and is coming off a season-low 10 against the Pelicans after scoring 11 on Wednesday at Portland. Thunder guard Chris Paul scored just seven on Friday, the fourth time this season he has been held to single digits. The Pelicans have lost four consecutive after it looked like they turned around their season with five victories in their previous seven games. Brandon Ingram scored a team-high 26 points against the Thunder on Friday and has scored a team-best 25.9 per game this season. The Thunder might have rallied for the victory Friday, but the Pelicans overcame a 16-point first-half deficit to take an eight-point lead in the second half. New Orleans guard Kenrich Williams left Friday’s game with a sprained left ankle.
Win: New Orleans Pelicans
Line: Oklahoma City Thunder +2.5
Total Points: Under 228.5
PISTONS VS SPURS
Venue: Little Caesars Arena | Start: 9:00am AEDT
Two teams seeking defensive consistency will meet when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night. Traditionally one of the NBA’s better defensive teams, the Spurs held an opponent under 100 points for the first time this season in a 107-97 home win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. Derrick White, who had missed 21 of his previous 29 3-point attempts, delivered five in seven tries in the win, and vowed afterward that he’d take 20 in his next game. That’s not a terrible idea against the Pistons, who rank among the worst in the NBA in defending the arc, allowing 37.4 percent on 3-pointers. The Pistons haven’t been good defensively pretty much anywhere on the court, holding just two opponents under 100 points all season. Like the Spurs, the Pistons are unbeaten when their opponent scores less than 100. If the game turns into a 3-point duel, the Pistons would appear to have the edge. The Pistons not only have ranked among the league’s best from long range this season (38.8 percent), but they have the experience of having just participated in Friday’s 110-107 loss to Charlotte in which the teams set an NBA-high with 21 made 3-pointers in the first half alone.
Win: Detroit Pistons
Line: Detroit Pistons -4.5
Total Points: Under 216.5
RAPTORS VS JAZZ
Venue: Scotiabank Arena | Start: 10:00am AEDT
The defending champion Toronto Raptors will put a perfect 8-0 home record on the line when they play host to the Utah Jazz on Sunday. The Raptors also will enter on a six-game winning streak overall as they continue to find options to pick up the scoring slack after the departure of Kawhi Leonard. Guard Normal Powell is coming of a career-best 33-point game, with 19 of those points coming in the third quarter of a 90-83 victory road over the Orlando Magic on Friday. Powell is one of six Raptors in double figures in scoring with Pascal Siakam leading the way at 25.1. Guard Kyle Lowry (thumb) and forward Serge Ibaka (ankle) have been out since Nov. 8, with both aimed toward returning for Sunday’s game. The Jazz are 1-2 on their current five-game road trip, rebounding from consecutive defeats to top the Memphis Grizzlies 103-94 on Friday behind 33 points, and 16 in the fourth quarter, from Bojan Bogdanovic. Utah rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit for the victory. Donovan Mitchell scored 20 points Friday after scoring at least 25 points in six of his previous eight games. Forward Ed Davis returned for the Jazz on Friday after missing the previous 12 games because of a left fibula fracture.
Win: Toronto Raptors
Line: Utah Jazz +2.5
Total Points: Over 210.5
MAGIC VS WARRIORS
Venue: Amway Center | Start: 10:00am AEDT
The Orlando Magic will see the Golden State Warriors without Kevin Durant for the second straight season when teams duel Sunday night in Florida. But as opposed to last year, when Durant rested while his mates were beaten 103-96, he’s no longer employed by a club that has sunk to the bottom of the league standings this season. That’s good news for Orlando, which has played five losing teams at home this season and has beaten them all. The Warriors were one of those good teams that beat up on the Magic regularly before last year’s visit, having blown them out on the road by 13 or more points five straight years. Now they’re being welcomed with a red carpet again, only this time not because they’re a powerhouse that might help sell tickets. Golden State has been at its worst in the wake of its four wins this season, one of which the Warriors recorded in their last home game Wednesday against Chicago. They’ve followed their previous three wins with three-, seven- and three-game losing streaks, and will be looking to avoid a two-game skid in Orlando after having been beaten 122-105 at Miami on Friday.
Win: Orlando Magic
Line: Golden State Warriors +9.5
Total Points: Over 206.5
CLIPPERS VS WIZARDS
Venue: Staples Center | Start: 2:30pm AEDT
The Los Angeles Clippers return home Sunday to take on the Washington Wizards after a surprise 107-97 defeat at San Antonio on Friday. The Clippers had a seven-game winning streak before the defeat and have been doing most of their damage at home where they are 11-1 this season. They are the only team in the NBA with double-digit home victories. The Clippers shot just 39.1 percent from the field against the Spurs as Paul George was just 2 of 11 with five points and super-sub Lou Williams was 2 of 10 with seven points. Kawhi Leonard led Los Angeles with 19 points in his return to San Antonio, the second time he has played there as a visitor there after spending his first seven seasons with the Spurs. It was the first time the Clippers lost since George joined Leonard on the court after he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. The Wizards will enter off a 125-103 defeat to the Lakers in the same building where they will face the Clippers on Sunday. Bradley Beal had 19 points to lead the Wizards, who are 1-2 on their current road trip and have lost three of their last four games. Wizards head coach Scott Brooks had his jersey retired Saturday at his alma mater UC Irvine, where he played for two seasons before a 10-year, 680-game NBA career.
Win: Los Angeles Clippers
Line: Los Angeles Clippers -12.5
Total Points: Under 237.5