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Friday, December 13, 2019

Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers

Venue: TD Garden | Start: 12:00pm AEDT

The Boston Celtics will be coming off a rare loss when they play host to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night. The Celtics dropped a 122-117 decision Wednesday night at Indiana. Boston will play on back-to-back nights for just the second time this season, then have almost a week off before going to Dallas for a game next Wednesday. Celtics guard Kemba Walker notched 44 points at Indiana, but he took nearly one-third of Boston’s shots from the field going 16-for-28. Boston gave up its second-highest point total of the season and the most points it has allowed in a loss. This will be the only road game during a five-game span for the 76ers, who are coming off three consecutive home victories. Tobias Harris had led the 76ers in scoring in three of the past four games until Joel Embiid’s 22 points in Tuesday night’s 97-92 victory against Denver. The 22 points are right at Embiid’s season scoring average. That’s the fourth game this season that Philadelphia finished with 97 points. Those were enough to win the final two such games after dropping the first two. This is the first meeting between Boston and Philadelphia since the 76ers won 107-93 to open the season at home. For the 76ers, this game is sandwiched around home games against Western Conference teams.

Win: Boston Celtics
Line: Philadelphia 76ers +1.5
Total Points: Under 210.5

San Antonio Spurs vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Venue: AT&T Center | Start: 12:30pm AEDT

After an extended five-day break, the San Antonio Spurs will get back after it on Thursday with a home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Spurs got their lengthy rest after playing 19 games in 36 days. San Antonio endured a seven-game losing streak during the run but has won three of its last four after knocking off the visiting Sacramento Kings 105-104 in overtime Friday. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 19 points with 13 rebounds in the victory as he returned from two games away because of a right thigh injury. DeMar DeRozan has scored 21.4 points per game for San Antonio, while Aldridge is at 18.9. The Cavaliers will limp into the contest on an-game losing streak, while also losing 14 of their last 15. The latest defeat came Wednesday by 116-110 score against the Houston Rockets. Rookie guard Kevin Porter Jr. scored a career-best 24 points off the bench topping his previous high of 18 points on Nov. 18 against the New York Knicks. Porter has scored in double digits just three times since that Nov. 18 game. The Cavaliers are just 2-9 on the road. Cleveland forward Kevin Love, who has been mentioned in recent trade rumors scored 17 points with 11 rebounds Wednesday, his first double-double since Nov. 20.

Win: San Antonio Spurs
Line: Cleveland Cavaliers +10.5
Total Points: Over 215.5

Dallas Mavericks vs Detroit Pistons

Venue: Mexico City Arena | Start: 1:00pm AEDT

After seeing their six-game winning streak come to an end this week, the Dallas Mavericks face another challenge with a game against the Detroit Pistons on Thursday that will be played in Mexico City. It will be the 12th NBA regular-season game played at Mexico City with No. 13 scheduled to take place Saturday between the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs. The Mavericks will enter off a 110-106 defeat to the visiting Sacramento Kings. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Mavericks with 29 points, just the second time in their last 19 games the leading scorer wasn’t Luka Doncic. Hardaway made a career-best nine 3-pointers in 12 attempts, while Doncic scored 27 points. Despite the loss, the Mavericks have won 10 of their last 12 games. The Pistons are starting to put things together with four victories in their last five games, including a 105-103 triumph against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday when veteran Derek Rose hit a turnaround jumper in the lane at the buzzer. He finished with 21 points. Pistons forward Blake Griffin went just 1 of 9 from the field and scored five points, the first time he was held to single digits this season and just the fifth time in the past two seasons.

Win: Dallas Mavericks
Line: Detroit Pistons +5.5
Total Points: Under 220.5

Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers

Venue: Pepsi Center | Start: 2:30pm AEDT

The Denver Nuggets are glad to finally be home, where they will face the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday while trying to emerge from their worst struggles of the season. The Nuggets have lost three consecutive games and five of their last six. Four of those five defeats have come on the road, including three in a row at Boston, Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Things have gone far better at home for Denver where it is 8-3. Denver guard Will Barton scored 26 points Tuesday in a 97-92 loss to the 76ers, in a game where leading scorer Jamal Murray departed in the first quarter. Murray was left clutching his left side after a collision with Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons and did not return to the game but he is expected to play Friday. The Trail Blazers will enter off a much-needed 115-87 victory over the New York Knicks. Portland had three losses in its last four games before trouncing the Knicks. Damian Lillard had 31 points, while Hassan Whiteside collected another double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds. The Trail Blazers were not about to downplay the victory just because it came against the struggling Knicks. “Those kind of games feel good,” Portland head coach Terry Stotts told the media afterward.

Win: Denver Nuggets
Line: Portland Trail Blazers +6.5
Total Points: Under 210.5