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Saturday, January 11, 2020
WIZARDS VS HAWKS
Venue: Capital One Arena | Start: 11:00am AEDT
The Washington Wizards are back at home for Friday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, with one of the goals trying to resurrect their offense in a match of teams that have combined for only 20 victories this season. The Wizards are coming off a puzzling 123-89 loss at Orlando, where they scored a season-low point total. It marked just the third time this season that Washington failed to score at least 100 points, and two of them have come in back-to-back games combined with the 99-94 victory against Boston on Monday. The Wizards, who have a roster littered with injuries, have lost three of their last five games, with two of those coming against Orlando. This is the first meeting of the season between Washington and Atlanta, so the Wizards will have to contend with Hawks guard Trae Young, who’s fresh off a 42-point outing against Houston. Young has averaged 29.2 points per game. The Hawks have lost their past two games, scoring 115 points in both them, and they’ve dropped three of four overall. Atlanta completed a 1-2 homestand, with the final two of those games against Western Conference teams Denver and Houston. This game at Washington begins a stretch of three road games across four games for the Hawks.
Win: Atlanta Hawks
Line: Atlanta Hawks -1.5
Total Points: Under 239.5
NETS VS HEAT
Venue: Barclays Center | Start: 11:30am AEDT
Lost in some of the antics from Wednesday night’s game, the Miami Heat is in a good stretch. The Heat has won two in a row and three of four, including the 122-108 whipping of Indiana this week when Miami’s Jimmy Butler and Indiana’s T.J. Warren feuded. But the Heat wasn’t distracted and won with Tyler Herro scoring 19 points. It marked only the third time this season that Miami didn’t have at least one player reach the 20-point mark, and the Heat has won two of those games. The game at Brooklyn is the middle stop on Miami’s three-game road trip. Miami won there by 109-106 on Dec. 1, when Goran Dragic notched 24 points (more than 8 points above his season scoring average). The outcome at Indiana gave the Heat just its second victory in its last five road assignments. The Nets, who’ve been off since Tuesday, have lost seven games in a row. The losing streak includes only two results by single-digit margins (7 and 8 points in those). Spencer Dinwiddie is averaging 22.4 points per game for the Nets, who’ve shot only 29.5 percent on 3-pointers in four January games. Brooklyn also has committed 16.5 turnovers per game in the last four outings.
Win: Miami Heat
Line: Brooklyn Nets +4.5
Total Points: Under 218.5
BULLS VS PACERS
Venue: United Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Chicago Bulls will try to snap a five-game losing streak when they host the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. It will not be an easy task for the Bulls, who will be without second-year forward Wendell Carter Jr. for multiple weeks after an MRI reportedly showed a high-ankle sprain on Thursday. Carter provided value at both ends of the court, and his absence could force the Bulls to rely more heavily on rookie center Daniel Gafford, a second-round pick out of Arkansas. The Pacers are looking to bounce back from an emotional loss against the Miami Heat in which T.J. Warren was ejected after a spat with Heat forward Jimmy Butler. Indiana hopes to get back guard Malcolm Brogdon, who has missed the past four games because of a back ailment. Injured star Victor Oladipo remains sidelined because of a quadriceps injury, but he told reporters that he hopes to return before the end of the month. This will be the second meeting between the teams during the regular season. Indiana won the first matchup 108-95 on Nov. 3 on its home court. Warren led the team with 26 points.
Win: Indiana Pacers
Line: Chicago Bulls +2.5
Total Points: Under 214.5
KNICKS VS PELICANS
Venue: Madison Square Garden | Start: 11:15am AEDT
The New Orleans Pelicans will start a three-game road trip when they visit the New York Knicks on Friday night. New Orleans is feeling better after winning six of its last eight games, and the debut of top draft pick Zion Williamson likely will be sooner rather than later. In the meantime, the Pelicans have been buoyed by the one-two punch of Brandon Ingram and Jrue Holiday, who are averaging 25.3 points per game and 19.6 points per game, respectively. Veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick has contributed 15.8 points per game and will look to keep up his success in his latest visit to Madison Square Garden. The Knicks will try to break out of a four-game losing streak, which has come on the heels of a three-game winning streak. New York is returning home after a difficult road trip that ended with a 128-104 loss to the Utah Jazz. The Knicks are led in scoring by forward Marcus Morris, who is averaging 19.1 points per game. Julius Randle also has put up good numbers with averages of 18.5 points and 9.1 rebounds. This is the first of two games this season between the Knicks and Pelicans. They will meet again March 27 in New Orleans.
Win: New Orleans Pelicans
Line: New Orleans Pelicans -4.5
Total Points: Under 227.5
GRIZZLIES VS SPURS
Venue: FedExForum | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
A pair of hot teams will meet when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. San Antonio has posted back-to-back wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics, both of which are tough opponents that are among the best in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Memphis is riding a three-game winning streak after wins over the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves. The Spurs and Grizzlies already have met twice this season, with the road team winning in each case. Memphis grabbed a 113-109 win at San Antonio on Nov. 11, and the Spurs returned the favor by notching a 145-115 blowout victory at Memphis on Dec. 23. In that game, Spurs veteran forward LaMarcus Aldridge dropped 40 points to lead all scorers, and Jaren Jackson scored 22 to lead Memphis. San Antonio holds a one-game lead over Memphis for the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings heading into Friday’s action. Both teams remain below .500 but have a legitimate shot at the postseason if they can put together a decent second half. Memphis is 8-12 at home this season, and the Spurs are 5-11 on the road.
Win: San Antonio Spurs
Line: San Antonio Spurs -1.5
Total Points: Under 213.5
MAVERICKS VS LAKERS
Venue: American Airlines Center | Start: 1:45pm AEDT
The Los Angeles Lakers’ six-game winning streak will be put to the test when they travel to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Friday. The status of forward Anthony Davis is up in the air, listed as questionable with a “gluteus maximus contusion” after taking a hard fall in Tuesday’s 117-87 victory over the New York Knicks. His absence would leave a team-best 27.1 points and 9.4 rebounds out of the lineup. Friday’s game will be the fourth and final regular-season matchup between the teams. The Lakers have a 2-1 advantage in the season series, losing 114-100 at home on Dec. 1 to end a 10-game winning streak, while winning a 108-95 decision on Dec. 29 in the second victory of the current winning run. Davis had a team-best 23 points in the matchup less than two weeks ago while LeBron James had 13 assists to reach 9,000 in his career. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 19 points in the most recent matchup going 5 of 14 from the field. It was just Doncic’s third game back from a sprained ankle and he has not scored less than 27 points in five game since. Dallas’ Kristaps Prozingis has missed the last five games with a sore right knee.
Win: Dallas Mavericks
Line: LA Lakers +2.5
Total Points: Under 223.5
SUNS VS MAGIC
Venue: Talking Stick Resort Arena | Start: 1:00pm AEDT
Aaron Gordon hopes to have a fourth consecutive happy homecoming when the Orlando Magic visit the Phoenix Suns on Friday night. The former University of Arizona standout has made once-yearly returns in all but his rookie season, when he missed two months with a broken left foot, since having been the fourth overall pick of the 2014 draft. The Magic have won the last three times, with Gordon contributing an average of 19.0 points on 22-for-33 (67 percent) shooting. This time around, Orlando will be looking to grow a two-game winning streak as it embarks on a six-game trip. The opener is a rematch of a Dec. 4 game in Orlando that was won 128-114 by the Magic, with Gordon’s 32 points leading the way. Each team’s standout big man — Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic and Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton — missed that game, and neither club offered much defensive resistance, with the Magic outshooting the Suns 58 percent to 49. There’s been no defense for Phoenix’s Devin Booker of late. He will be seeking a seventh straight game with 30 or more points as the Suns, who have lost two in a row, play hosts for the fourth time on a five-game homestand.
Win: Phoenix Suns
Line: Orlando Magic +4.5
Total Points: Over 217.5
JAZZ VS HORNETS
Venue: Vivint Smart Home Arena | Start: 1:00pm AEDT
The Utah Jazz will bring a seven-game winning streak, the longest in the NBA, into Friday’s home matchup with the Charlotte Hornets. The latest victory came Wednesday when Bojan Bogdanovic and Emmanuel Mudiay each scored 20 points in a 128-104 walk-over against the New York Knicks. Since Utah’s run of 12 victories in 13 games began Dec. 11, Donovan Mitchell has delivered six of his 11 games with at least 30 points. Utah’s Rudy Gobert has averaged 14.4 rebounds per game but has topped that number 10 times in the team’s last 13 games. Utah’s three home defeats in 17 home games are the lowest in the Western Conference, providing an additional challenge for a Hornets team that doesn’t need any more obstacles. The Hornets have lost eight of their past 10 games with one of those losses coming against the Jazz on Dec. 21 in a 114-107 decision. Bogdanovic led the Jazz with 26 points in that meeting, while Gobert had 19 rebounds. Terry Rozier had a game-high 29 points for the Hornets in a contest when they led by eight at halftime. Rozier has 18.3 points per game on the season but that mark is up to 23.7 points over his last 10 games.
Win: Utah Jazz
Line: Charlotte Hornets +12.5
Total Points: Under 210.5
KINGS VS BUCKS
Venue: Golden 1 Center | Start: 2:00pm AEDT
One team looking to shoot better encounters another seeking to continue a nice defensive run when the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. The Bucks are coming off a 107-98 win Wednesday at Golden State in which they overcame 9-for-41 shooting on 3-pointers, one game after 15-for-45 accuracy from beyond the arc had contributed to a 126-104 loss at San Antonio. With Giannis Antetokounmpo going just 1-for-12, the Bucks have been outscored by a total of 30 points on 3-pointers in those games and have produced their third- (vs. San Antonio) and seventh- (vs. Golden State) fewest points of the season. The Kings, meanwhile, have built two-game winning streak on the strength of 3-point defense, having limited Golden State to 5-for-26 and Phoenix to 11-for-35 en route to their sixth- (vs. the Warriors) and 12th- (vs. the Suns) best defensive efforts of the season. Sacramento has outscored those two foes by 42 points on threes. De’Aaron Fox led the wins offensively with 21- and 27-point outings. The clubs will be meeting for the first time this season, with the Bucks having won six of seven, while the Kings, in a stretch of playing 10 of 12 at home, have dropped six of their last nine.
Win: Milwaukee Bucks
Line: Milwaukee Bucks -8.5
Total Points: Under 225.5
CLIPPERS VS WARRIORS
Venue: Staples Center | Start: 2:30pm AEDT
As unlikely as it might seem, the Golden State Warriors get an opportunity to exact a measure of revenge on the Los Angeles Clippers when the Pacific Division rivals hook up Friday night at the Staples Center. Even without Paul George, the Clippers opened the new Chase Center in San Francisco with a dominant 141-122 victory over the host team back in October, using a 46-point, third-quarter explosion to blow open a game that already had an 11-point margin at halftime. Kawhi Leonard had 21 points in 21 minutes in the game, and comes into the rematch well rested after having gotten the day off when the Clippers beat the New York Knicks 135-132 on Sunday in their most recent action. The Warriors have played twice since, extending their losing streak to six with defeats at Sacramento on Monday and at home against Milwaukee on Wednesday. Golden State had Stephen Curry available in the first meeting, but his 23 points weren’t enough on a night when the Clippers, beaten in six games by Golden State in the first round of the playoffs last April, had the revenge motivation. The Warriors won all three games at the Staples Center in that series, and are expected to get D’Angelo Russell (sore shoulder) back from a five-game absence as they go for a fourth straight.
Win: LA Clippers
Line: LA Clippers – 14.5
Total Points: Under 218.5