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Friday, January 10, 2020
PISTONS VS CAVALIERS
Venue: Little Caesars Arena | Start: 11:00am AEDT
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons will meet for the second time in three days when the teams tip off Thursday night in Detroit. The back-to-back series started Tuesday night in Cleveland, when the Pistons held on for a 115-113 win behind a team-high 24 points from Derrick Rose and yet another double-double from Andre Drummond, who finished with 23 points and 20 rebounds. It was the 32nd double-double in 35 starts this season for Drummond, who figures to be aggressive again Thursday until, if and when, the Cavaliers prove that they can slow him down. Cleveland is riding a five-game losing streak and now must deal with a distraction involving head coach John Beilein, who reportedly stunned players by suggesting they were no longer playing “like a bunch of thugs” during a recent film session. Beilein reportedly reached out to players individually on Wednesday to apologize, saying he meant to use the word “slugs,” but the story could linger now that it has reached the national media. The Cavaliers are led in scoring by Collin Sexton, who is averaging 18.5 points on 45.1 percent shooting. Drummond and Rose are tied for the Pistons’ scoring lead with 17.5 points per game apiece.
Win: Detroit Pistons
Line: Detroit Pistons -7.5
Total Points: Under 220.5
76ERS VS CELTICS
Venue: Wells Fargo Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT
The Boston Celtics will try to bounce back from a home-court loss against the San Antonio Spurs one night earlier when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night. Boston is coming off a 129-114 loss against the Spurs despite a solid game from Gordon Hayward, who finished with 18 points on 7-for-14 shooting. It was the Celtics’ second loss in a row, which is tied for a season high, and now Boston must play on short rest while trying to prevent the skid from reaching three games. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is coming off a 120-113 win on Monday night over the Oklahoma City Thunder, which snapped a four-game losing streak for the 76ers. Josh Richardson scored 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting to lead Philadelphia. This is the third of four games during the regular season between the Celtics and 76ers. Philadelphia won each of the first two contests, including a 107-93 victory at home Oct. 23 and a 115-109 victory on the road Dec. 12. The 76ers are 17-2 at home this season, while the Celtics are 11-7 on the road. Philadelphia is 2 1/2 games behind the Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings heading into Thursday.
Win: Boston Celtics
Line: Boston Celetics +2.5
Total Points: Under 218.5
TIMBERWOLVES VS TRAIL BLAZERS
Venue: Target Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
Carmelo Anthony, the hero, will lead the Portland Trail Blazers into Minnesota on Thursday for a matchup with the Timberwolves. Anthony hit the go-ahead shot with 4.1 seconds remaining and the Trail Blazers defeated the host Toronto Raptors 101-99 on Tuesday. Portland, which led for all of 18 seconds in the victory, are now 5-3 when Anthony scores 20 or more points. The Trail Blazers have won two of their last three games, but have lost six of their last eight going back to Dec. 23. Damian Lillard leads the Trail Blazers with 26.9 points per game, while CJ McCollum has scored 21.9 and Anthony has 16.5. The Timberwolves will enter off a 119-112 defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday but have won four of their last seven after an 11-game losing streak. Andrew Wiggins has scored 15 points in consecutive games after missing four contests because of the flu. Leading scorer Karl-Anthony Towns (26.5 points) remains out with a sprained left knee, missing the last 11 games. The team continues to say Towns is making progress toward a return from the longest absence of his career. Since Towns has been out, Gorgui Dieng has scored 13.5 points per game with 9.3 rebounds, above his season totals of 7.5 and 5.8 respectively.
Win: Minnesota Timberwolves
Line: Minnesota Timberwolves -1.5
Total Points: Under 225.5
THUNDER VS ROCKETS
Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena | Start: 1:30pm AEDT
The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder will meet for the second time this season on Thursday at Oklahoma City, and this matchup is sure to look far different than the first. When the Rockets earned a 116-112 victory at Houston on Oct. 28, the Thunder were adjusting to a reconstructed roster while losing four of their first five games. Seemingly in sync now with new faces like Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul, Oklahoma City has won six of its past seven games and 10 of its last 12. Over the past 10 games, Gilgeous-Alexander is scoring 24.4 points per contest, above his 19.8 season average. Gallinari and Nerlens Noel are day-to-day with calf and ankle injuries respectively. The Rockets will enter off a 122-115 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. James Harden had his 15th career 40-point triple-double with 41 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela combined for 39 rebounds. Houston is 13-5 since Nov. 27. The team has also won four of its last five games and eight of its last 10. The Rockets have lost their last two games on the second night of back-to-backs. Russell Westbrook had the night off Wednesday for load management.
Win: Houston Rockets
Line: Houston Rockets -4.5
Total Points: Under 225.5