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Tuesday, December 17, 2019
PISTONS VS WIZARDS
Venue: Little Caesars Arena | Start: 11:00am AEDT
The Detroit Pistons are coming off a big win but it’s the status of their big man that is a point of concern. The Pistons host the Washington Wizards on Monday night, and they might be without Blake Griffin, who missed the second half of Detroit’s 115-107 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night. Griffin sat with soreness in his left knee after scoring just two points in 15 minutes. It’s the same surgically-repaired knee that forced him to miss the first 10 games of the season. Andre Drummond (eye) also missed the game but the Pistons got 56 points off their bench – including 20 from Derrick Rose – for just their fourth road win of the season. Rose dished out a season-best 12 assists. The Wizards bring a four-game losing skid into the contest, including a 17-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. Bradley Beal scored a game-high 29 points for the Wiz but he shot just 8-for-23 from the floor. Meanwhile, the Wizards allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 57.1 percent from the floor for the game. Washington owns the league’s worst scoring defense at 122.4 points per game. The Wizards defeated the Pistons in their first meeting Nov. 4, 115-99, in D.C. Griffin had yet to play a game at that point.
Win: Detroit Pistons
Line: Washington Wizards -5.5
Total Points: Under 209.5
RAPTORS VS CAVALIERS
Venue: Scotiabank Arena | Start: 11:30am AEDT
Fresh off the end of a home losing skid, the Toronto Raptors hope to find even more home success Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. After three consecutive home losses, their only three home setbacks of the season, the Raptors got back on track Saturday with a 110-102 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Monday’s game vs. Cleveland will end a three-game homestand with a trip to Detroit waiting before two more home games. Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 30 points Saturday, his ninth game of at least 30 this season. Marc Gasol broke out for Toronto with season bests of 17 points and 15 rebounds. Toronto had lost four of five before defeating Brooklyn. Raptors guard Fred VanVleet has missed the last three games with a right knee injury and is day-to-day. The Cavaliers finally broke through with a victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday then came back Saturday with a 125-108 defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Cavaliers have lost nine of their last 10 games and 15 of their last 17. Cleveland forward Kevin Love followed a 30-point, 17-rebounds performance against the Spurs with 12-10 against the Bucks. Love, who has been mentioned in trade rumors, has scored 16.2 points with 10.8 rebounds in 22 games this season.
Win: Toronto Raptors
Line: Cleveland Cavaliers +12.5
Total Points: Over 217.5
THUNDER VS BULLS
Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
It has been a strange past few days for the Chicago Bulls, who kick off a four-game road trip Monday night in Oklahoma City. The Bulls have won two of three, games in which they have scored a season high against Atlanta (136), scored a season low against Charlotte (73), then defeated the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night. The Clippers rested Kawhi Leonard but the Bulls (10-18) will take it. Zach LaVine scored 31 points and converted a three-point play down the stretch to rally the Bulls to the 109-106 win. The Bulls trailed by five with less than 2 minutes to play. The win gave the Bulls a 2-2 homestand. The Thunder (11-14) have lost two consecutive games, including Saturday night’s 110-102 loss at Denver. Dennis Schroder scored a team-high 22 points but Nikola Jokic dropped a 24-18-12 triple-double on the Thunder. The Thunder finished 2-2 on their roadtrip. Schroder is the Thunder’s third-leading scorer at 17.0 points per game, but he has led the team in scoring in each of their past three games, averaging 22.0 during the stretch. Both teams allow an identical 107.3 points per game, good for 10th in the league.
Win: Oklahoma City Thunder
Line: Chicago Bulls +5.5
Total Points: Under 207.5
BUCKS VS MAVERICKS
Venue: Fiserv Forum | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Dallas Mavericks will visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, but the clash of superstars that was to highlight the contest will not happen. A duel between the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the top two MVP contenders in the early going, was nixed by the ankle injury Doncic suffered in Saturday’s game against the Miami Heat. X-rays were negative and Doncic reportedly has an ankle sprain after his drive to the basket two minutes into an eventual 122-118 defeat against the Heat. The best-case scenario is for Doncic to miss just two weeks. Doncic is scoring 29.3 points per game this season with 9.6 rebounds and 8.9 assists. Dallas’ Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a team-leading 28 vs. the Heat. The Bucks will enter on an 18-game winning streak, two short of the franchise’s longest winning run from the 1970-71 NBA championship team. Antetokounmpo is coming off a 29-point performance in a 125-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, but had just four rebounds in 24 minutes as Milwaukee improved to 24-3. Antetokounmpo has scored 31.0 points this season with 12.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists. The Bucks have won the last three games against the Mavericks.
Win: Milwaukee Bucks
Line: Dallas Mavericks +11.5
Total Points: Under 227.5
ROCKETS VS SPURS
Venue: Toyota Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Houston Rockets will have revenge on their minds Monday night when they host the San Antonio Spurs. Tipoff comes less than two weeks since the Spurs got the best of the Rockets in overtime in a controversial game that led the Rockets to file a protest. James Harden’s dunk that wasn’t – waved off by the refs – was the most egregious, an error subsequently admitted by the league. Houston’s protest was also waved off with the result going down as a 135-133 win by the Spurs. The game is also notable in that it was the first of four consecutive overtime games played by the Spurs, a league record that coach Gregg Popovich calls “awful.” Regardless, it’s the best stretch by the Spurs this season; they’ve won three of the four OT contests – three of them at home – including Saturday night’s win over the Phoenix Suns in Mexico City. Patty Mills scored 26 and drilled the game-winner for San Antonio (10-15). The Rockets are coming off a 115-107 loss to the Detroit Pistons at home, a game they played without Russell Westbrook (rest) and Tyson Chandler (illness). Harden led the way with 39 points on 14 of 33 shooting, including just 4-for-13 from the 3-point line.
Win: Houston Rockets
Line: Houston Rockets -10.5
Total Points: Over 231.5
GRIZZLIES VS HEAT
Venue: FedExForum | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Miami Heat got over their first home defeat with a victory at Dallas on Saturday and now travel to Memphis on Monday to face the Grizzlies. In a battle to the end, the Heat lost 113-110 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday to fall to 11-1 at home but defeated the Mavericks 122-118 in overtime a day later in a game when Dallas star Luka Doncic left after two minutes with an ankle injury. Jimmy Butler scored 27 for Miami on Saturday, one of six Heat players in double figures, and has scored at least 20 points in eight consecutive games. Bam Adebayo scored 18 and his put-back dunk with just over a minute to play was the difference. Butler leads the Heat with 21.0 points per game, while Adebayo leads with 10.6 rebounds. With rookie Ja Morant back in action after a back injury, the Grizzlies have won three of their last four, including a 128-111 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday. While Morant scored 18 points against the Wizards, Dillon Brooks led the Grizzlies with 27 as one of the more impressive young guard duos in the NBA led the charge. The Grizzlies are undefeated in seven games when Brooks scores at least 20.
Win: Miami Heat
Line: Memphis Grizzlies +6.5
Total Points: Over 210.5
SUNS VS TRAIL BLAZERS
Venue: Talking Stick Resort Arena | Start: 1:00pm AEDT
The Phoenix Suns can be content in knowing they put on a good show for an international audience Saturday, but now they return home Monday to face the Portland Trail Blazers on a run of three defeats in their last four games. The Suns lost 121-119 in overtime to the San Antonio Spurs in one of two games the NBA played in Mexico City last week, along with the Dallas Mavericks vs. the Detroit Pistons. Spain’s Ricky Rubio put on a show for the Spanish-speaking crowd, scoring a season-best 25 points with 13 assists, the fifth time in his last seven games he has reached at least that many assists. Suns leading scorer Devin Booker (25.0 points per game) did not play Saturday due to a forearm contusion and is listed as day-to-day. The Suns remain two games away from the return of center Deandre Ayton, who was suspended 25 games for violation of the NBA’s anti-drug policy. The Trail Blazers will enter off defeats in three of their last four games, but Carmelo Anthony has made the team interesting to watch. Anthony is coming off a 20-point performance Thursday against his former team, the Denver Nuggets. The Trail Blazers went down to a 114-99 defeat. Anthony has averaged 16.3 points in 12 games this season.
Win: Phoenix Suns
Line: Portland Trail Blazers -1.5
Total Points: Under 216.5