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Thursday, December 5, 2019

PISTONS VS BUCKS

Venue: Little Caesars Arena | Start: 11:00am AEDT

The Milwaukee Bucks will take their NBA-best 12-game winning streak to Detroit on Wednesday to face the Pistons. The latest Bucks victory was a 132-88 thrashing of the New York Knicks when Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a team-leading 29 points in 22 minutes of play with 15 rebounds. His double-double was sealed in 14 minutes of action. D.J. Wilson scored 19 points off the bench as the Bucks scored at least 130 points for the fourth time in their last eight games. After a 137-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, the Bucks have defeated consecutive opponents by at least 40 points for the first time in franchise history, with it happening for just the fifth time in NBA history. Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez (back) missed his second consecutive game but might return Wednesday. The Pistons will enter after a 127-94 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday. While the Pistons hope to improve on their 104-90 defeat to the Bucks on Nov. 23, they can take some solace in the fact that it was Milwaukee’s second lowest scoring output of their winning streak. But it was also the third lowest point total an opponent put up against the Bucks during the streak. The Pistons enter on a two-game winning streak after losing eight of 10.

Win: Milwaukee Bucks
Line: Detroit Pistons +7.5
Total Points: Under 212.5

HORNETS VS WARRIORS

Venue: Spectrum Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT

The Milwaukee Bucks will take their NBA-best 12-game winning streak to Detroit on Wednesday to face the Pistons. The latest Bucks victory was a 132-88 thrashing of the New York Knicks when Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a team-leading 29 points in 22 minutes of play with 15 rebounds. His double-double was sealed in 14 minutes of action. D.J. Wilson scored 19 points off the bench as the Bucks scored at least 130 points for the fourth time in their last eight games. After a 137-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, the Bucks have defeated consecutive opponents by at least 40 points for the first time in franchise history, with it happening for just the fifth time in NBA history. Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez (back) missed his second consecutive game but might return Wednesday. The Pistons will enter after a 127-94 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday. While the Pistons hope to improve on their 104-90 defeat to the Bucks on Nov. 23, they can take some solace in the fact that it was Milwaukee’s second lowest scoring output of their winning streak. But it was also the third lowest point total an opponent put up against the Bucks during the streak. The Pistons enter on a two-game winning streak after losing eight of 10.

Win: Charlotte Hornets
Line: Golden State Warriors +5.5
Total Points: Under 208.5

MAGIC VS SUNS

Venue: Amway Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT

Evan Fournier has been on a scoring terror of late, leading the Orlando Magic to three wins in their past four games. Fournier and the Magic (9-11) will try to make it three in a row when they host the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. Fournier, averaging 19.2 points per game on the season, has scored at least 30 points in three of his past four, including a 31-point performance Tuesday night in the Magic’s 127-120 win at Washington. He’s averaging 28.0 points per game over those past four games. The Suns (9-10) are coming off a victory of their own, a 109-104 win at Charlotte on Monday night. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 23 points and hit two clutch 3-pointers in the final minute. Devin Booker, the Suns’ leading scorer on the season, also dropped 23. He’s averaging 24.4 for the season. The Suns have cooled after a hot start. Phoenix started 5-2 but has won just four games since Nov. 10. Orlando is the second stop of a four-game road swing for the Suns, including a game at New Orleans on Thursday night. While the Magic are just 29th in scoring at 101.0 points per game, they’re also second best in the league in points allowed (101.9).

Win: Phoenix Suns
Line: Phoenix Suns -1.5
Total Points: Under 215.5

CELTICS VS HEAT

Venue: TD Garden | Start: 11:30am AEDT

The Boston Celtics will continue to search for their early-season spark when they play host to the Miami Heat on Wednesday. The Celtics will enter having gone 4-4 over their last eight games, a run of mediocrity that started after a 10-game winning streak that extended into the middle of last month. A 1-3 West Coast trip started the Celtics on their current sideways trend, with all four defeats over the last 2 1/2 weeks coming on the road. Boston will enter after a 113-104 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday that came about after the Celtics trailed by nine in the second half and six in the fourth quarter. They outscored the Knicks 32-19 over the final 12 minutes as Jayson Tatum scored 30 points. The Heat will enter after an impressive 121-110 overtime victory at Toronto on Tuesday. Jimmy Butler had a triple-double with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, opening overtime with eight points in 55 seconds of clock time. While the Celtics lost at Brooklyn 112-107 on Friday, the Heat won there 109-106 on Sunday. Dion Waiters was in uniform for the first time this season after missing the Heat’s first 18 games because of injury and suspension. He did not get into the game.

Win: Boston Celtics
Line: Miami Heat +6.5
Total Points: Over 213.5

HAWKS VS NETS

Venue: State Farm Arena | Start: 11:30am AEDT

The Brooklyn Nets will again be without star guard Kyrie Irving when they travel to Atlanta for Wednesday night’s game with the Hawks. In fact, Irving (shoulder) won’t travel to Atlanta or Charlotte, site of the Nets’ next game on Friday. But the Nets (10-10) are 6-3 without Irving, due in large part to the scoring provided by Spencer Dinwiddie. The point guard, in addition to being the team leader in assists with 5.9 per game, has led the Nets in scoring in seven of those nine games and is coming off a 29-point effort in the team’s loss to Miami on Sunday. It was a painful loss for the Nets, who were outscored 10-0 over the final 1:36. The Hawks (5-16) just snapped a 10-game losing streak after Monday night’s victory over Golden State. Trae Young led the charge with 24 points on 10-for-19 shooting and rookie De’Andre Hunter scored 18. Hunter, however, is questionable against the Nets with a finger injury. Hunter is the Hawks’ third-leading scorer at 12.2 points per game. Young leads the young club with 28.2 points per game. The Hawks are allowing a third-worst 117.2 points per game. It’s the first of four meetings between the teams this season.

Win: Brooklyn Nets
Line: Atlanta Hawks +1.5
Total Points: Under 215.5

BULLS VS GRIZZLIES

Venue: United Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT

The Memphis Grizzlies have just six victories on the season and one-third of those have come against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Grizzlies will try to chalk up a win against somebody else when they travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Wednesday night. The Bulls have already defeated Memphis once this season 110-102 on Oct. 25 in the second game of the season for both. Zach Lavine scored 37 in that one for Chicago and he hasn’t let up since. The sixth-year point guard leads the Bulls in scoring at 22.4 per game and is coming off a 28-point effort in the Bulls’ 113-106 win over Sacramento on Monday night. Lavine made four free throws in the final 11 seconds to seal the win. It snapped a three-game Chicago losing streak. The Grizzlies have dropped seven of eight, with the lone win their second of the season over the Timberwolves. But the Grizzlies followed that with a loss at home to Indiana 117-104 on the second night of a back-to-back. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored a season-high 31 points to lead Memphis, but without rookie point guard Ja Morant (back spasms), Jonas Valanciunas (illness), Brandon Clarke (hip) and Kyle Anderson (heel), the Grizzlies were outmanned.

Win: Chicago Bulls
Line: Memphis Grizzlies -4.5
Total Points: Under 215.5

THUNDER VS PACERS

Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena | Start: 12:00pm AEDT

The Oklahoma City Thunder probably didn’t need a couple of days off before Wednesday night’s visit from the Indiana Pacers. After all, the Thunder has won two straight games for the first time since early November, but its last game was Sunday’s 107-104 escape at New Orleans on the back end of a home-and-home set. The Thunder’s 111-85 loss Nov. 10 at Indiana matches the team’s lowest scoring total of the season. The Pacers continue to be one of the pleasant stories in the NBA, going 13-7 through 20 games. The team is stocked with key contributors, but balance tends to be the overriding theme. The Pacers put seven players in double-figure scoring for Monday night’s 117-104 road victory against the Memphis Grizzlies. Malcolm Brogdon’s 19 points were tops as he led the team in scoring for just the third time this season. The production includes input from the brother act of Justin Holiday and Aaron Holiday for the Pacers, who rely on perimeter scoring. The Pacers took 38 shots from 3-point range in Monday’s game (making 16). It’s a good thing because Memphis outscored them 54-32 in points in the paint. Indiana has won six of its last seven games.

Win: Indiana Pacers
Line: Indiana Pacers +1.5
Total Points: Under 212.5

MAVERICKS VS TIMBERWOLVES

Venue: American Airlines Center | Start: 12:30pm AEDT

The Dallas Mavericks will head back home after a perfect three-game road trip where they will face the sputtering Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. The Mavericks will enter off a 118-97 victory at New Orleans that came two days after their signature 114-100 road victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Luka Doncic scored another 33 points against the Pelicans, the 16th consecutive time he has led the team in scoring. Doncic added 18 rebounds and five assists and is nearly averaging a triple-double this season with 30.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 9.6 assists. The Mavericks have won eight of their past nine games and return home where they are 7-2 this season but fell 114-99 to the Los Angeles Clippers the last time they were in their own building on Nov. 26. The Timberwolves are just 6-8 following a 4-1 start to the season and still can’t find a consistent winning touch behind the young duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Towns is on a streak of nine consecutive double-doubles this season and has 15 of them on the season. Wiggins scored 18 points in a 115-107 defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday but had scored at least 21 points in the 11 games he played before that one. Towns is scoring 25.9 points on the season with 12.5 rebounds, while Wiggins has scored 24.8 per game.

Win: Dallas Mavericks
Line: Dallas Mavericks -4.5
Total Points: Under 231.5

JAZZ VS LAKERS

Venue: Vivint Smart Home Arena | Start: 1:00pm AEDT

The Los Angeles Lakers are back on track as they head to Utah for a matchup with the Jazz on Wednesday. LeBron James and Anthony Davis each scored 25 points as the Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets 105-96 on Tuesday, one game after their 10-game winning streak ended with a 114-100 home loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. The Lakers had a season-best 56 rebounds as they won a battle between the top two teams in the Western Conference. Denver entered 8-2 at home. The Lakers are now 9-1 on the road but head into a venue where victories are rare for the visitor. The Jazz is 8-1 at home this season and are glad to be back among familiar surroundings after a disappointing 1-4 road trip where all but one game was played against Eastern Conference teams. The latest defeat was a 103-94 setback at Philadelphia when Rudy Gobert had 27 points to lead the Jazz in scoring for just the second time this season. Gobert added 12 rebounds for his ninth double-double in his last 10 games.

Win: Utah Jazz
Line: Utah Jazz +2.5
Total Points: Over 210.5

TRAIL BLAZERS VS KINGS

Venue: Moda Center | Start: 2:00pm AEDT

A couple of teams needing to get on track meet Wednesday night when the Sacramento Kings visit the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland is fresh off Tuesday night’s 117-97 road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Trail Blazers and Kings have split two games this season, with both meetings in Sacramento. Among the problems for the Trail Blazers, who hold last place in the Northwest Division, is that they’ve lost their last three home games. Guard Damian Lillard’s scoring isn’t going to be enough most nights, so he needs a stronger supporting cast to go with his 27.3 points per game. The Kings have lost three of their last four games, including Monday night’s 113-106 home setback to the Chicago Bulls. Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield have picked up a bulk of the scoring for the Kings. Across the past six games, they’ve each been the team’s scoring leader three times. Kings guard De’Aaron Fox is out longer than anticipated with an ankle injury after averaging 18.2 points per game in nine games before the injury. The trip to Portland is the beginning of a four-game road swing for the Kings, and Fox isn’t expected to accompany the team on the trip.

Win: Portland Trail Blazers
Line: Sacramento Kings +3.5
Total Points: Under 218.5