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Monday, January 13, 2020
KNICKS VS HEAT
Venue: Madison Square Garden | Start: 7:30am AEDT
The Miami Heat wrap up their weekend in New York City with a Sunday matinee against the New York Knicks. The Heat would like to erase the bad taste in their mouth after a 117-113 loss Friday night in Brooklyn. The Knicks, in the midst of a five-game losing skid, are just the team to play to do that. The Heat held a 12-point halftime lead over the Nets only to get “what we deserved,” according to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra – a four-point loss. The Heat got outplayed, allowing the Nets to snap a seven-game losing streak. The Heat dropped to 10-10 on the road. The Knicks’ latest loss came Friday night at home against the New Orleans Pelicans, 123-111. The Knicks played with Julius Randle (personal), who is listed as probable to play Sunday. The Heat won the first game of the four-game season series, 129-114, on Dec. 20. The game wasn’t as close as the scored indicated as the Heat rested their starters for the entire fourth quarter. Bam Adebayo led Miami with 20 in that one. Justise Winslow (back) won’t play Sunday and is reportedly set to see a specialist next week.
Win: Miami Heat
Line: Miami Heat -8.5
Total Points: Under 218.5
WIZARDS VS JAZZ
Venue: Capital One Arena | Start: 7:30am AEDT
It’s the battle of the stout benches when the Utah Jazz pay a visit to the Washington Wizards on Sunday afternoon. The Jazz reserves have scored 40 or more in four straight, including averaging 56.5 points over their past two. The Jazz have won eight in a row and 13 of their past 14. Meanwhile, the Wizards have had to lean on their bench out of necessity due to a rash of injuries. The Wizards have won three of their past four games and own wins over powerhouses Miami, Denver and Boston since Dec. 30. Instead of Bradley Beal, Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura, the Wizards have found success on the shoulders of Jordan McRae, Ish Smith and Troy Brown. McRae led the Wiz with 29 points in Friday night’s win over the Atlanta Hawks, a game in which Davis Bertans returned after missing nine games with a right quad strain. Bertans scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 21 minutes. The Jazz routed the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night, 109-92, and were led by Jordan Clarkson’s 20 points – off the bench. Rudy Gobert scored 15, blocked five and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Win: Utah Jazz
Line: Utah Jazz -6.5
Total Points: Under 223.5
RAPTORS VS SPURS
Venue: Scotiabank Arena | Start: 10:00am AEDT
There surely will be far less fanfare than nearly a year ago when the San Antonio Spurs make their annual trip to Toronto to face the Raptors on Sunday night. Last February, the main storyline was DeMar DeRozan’s return to Toronto as a first-year member of the Spurs. The former Toronto fan favorite came up big with 23 points and eight assists, but the big winners of the night were the Raptors’ decision-makers, the ones who made the tough call to trade DeRozan to San Antonio along with Jakob Poeltl for a run at a championship with Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. The Raptors prevailed on nostalgia night, 120-117, with Leonard (25 points) nearly playing DeRozan to a standstill. DeRozan no doubt will feel some of the same love in his second homecoming Sunday, and this time the Raptors won’t have Leonard (Clippers) or Green (Lakers) to counter him as they’ve taken their championship rings and bolted for Los Angeles in free agency. Toronto also likely will have to go again without Pascal Siakam (strained groin) as they seek to end an eight-game sequence of alternating wins and losses. The Spurs have done just that to open a four-game trip, winning at Boston before losing at Memphis.
Win: Toronto Raptors
Line: Toronto Raptors -4.5
Total Points: Under 220.5
GRIZZLIES VS WARRIORS
Venue: FedExForum | Start: 10:00am AEDT
The season series will be on the line when the struggling Golden State Warriors visit the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night in the third and final meeting of the season. The Warriors have lost seven in a row, but they did prevail in their earlier trip to Memphis, a 114-95 win in November. The Grizzlies got even in December with a 110-102 victory at Golden State, a win that featured balanced scoring. That’s been the formula for success for Memphis of late as well, as five guys have averaged in double figures in a four-game winning streak that’s been mostly the product of scoring 140, 121, 119 and 134 points. Meanwhile, the Warriors have been held to 104, 98, 98 and 100 in their last four losses, but are expected to get D’Angelo Russell back from a six-game absence Sunday. Does Russell make a difference? The numbers say yes. He averaged 27.8 points as the Warriors went 4-2 in his last six games before suffering a shoulder injury. They’ve gone 0-6 since. Memphis hasn’t won a season series from Golden State since a 3-0 sweep in 2013.
Win: Memphis Grizzlies
Line: Golden State Warriors +6.5
Total Points: Under 221.5
NETS VS HAWKS
Venue: Barclays Center | Start: 10:00am AEDT
Kyrie Irving is expected to make his return to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday from a right shoulder injury. The Nets host the Atlanta Hawks. Irving, who has been out since mid-November, is listed as probable for the game. And good thing – the Nets are 13-13 without him. The Nets are coming off a win Friday night but they suffered a seven-game losing skid prior to the win over the Miami Heat. Spencer Dinwiddie, who has been a stalwart in Irving’s absence, scored 26 points and had a career-high 14 assists in the win. Dinwiddie has led the team in scoring in every game but one since Dec. 8. The Hawks are a good opponent against whom to ease Irving back in. They enter with the NBA’s worst record (8-31) and the Nets are already 2-0 against them on the season, both wins coming without Irving. The Nets thumped the Hawks by 12 on Dec. 4 and beat them again Dec. 21 in Brooklyn, 122-112. Further, the Hawks might be without their star, Trae Young, who is listed as questionable with hamstring pain. The Hawks, already without Jabari Parker, will also be without Bruno Fernando (personal) and might be without De’Andre Hunter (foot), who is also questionable.
Win: Brooklyn Nets
Line: Brooklyn Nets -6.5
Total Points: Under 231.5
SUNS VS HORNETS
Venue: Talking Stick Resort Arena | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Phoenix Suns look to sweep the two-game season series against Charlotte when the Hornets roll into town for a Sunday night contest. The Suns are a modest 4-3 over their past seven and are coming off a 98-94 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night. Devin Booker hit two 3-pointers in the final minute and the Suns closed the game on an 8-0 run to put the game away. Booker scored 24 points, snapping his run of seven consecutive games with 30-plus points. The Hornets enter on a three-game skid, including Friday night’s 109-92 loss to the Utah Jazz. The Hornets have dropped nine of their past 11. Terry Rozier tallied 23 points against the Jazz, his fifth consecutive 20-point outing. He has connected on 22 of 48 3-pointers during that stretch. Charlotte’s leading scorer Devonte’ Graham, however, has struggled of late and matched his season low with four points on 2 of 9 shooting. Graham averages 18.5 points per game, but he has scored just 15 points combined in his past two games, averaging 21 percent shooting from the floor. The Suns defeated the Hornets in Charlotte on Dec. 2, 109-104. Booker and Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 23 points in the win.
Win: Phoenix Suns
Line: Charlotte Hornets +8.5
Total Points: Under 219.5
NUGGETS VS CLIPPERS
Venue: Pepsi Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Denver Nuggets get an opportunity to dissolve the aftertaste of an ugly loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers when they complete a home back-to-back Sunday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. The standings say it’s a matchup of the Nos. 2 and 3 teams in the Western Conference, but neither has played to its lofty standard in recent outings. The Clippers went 3-1 on a just completed homestand, but it wasn’t an impressive 3-1. They were tied in total score 484-484 by Detroit, Memphis, New York and Golden State — all sub-.500 teams — and had to scramble to pull out narrow wins over the Knicks and Warriors to get out of town with a positive ledger. The Nuggets, meanwhile, have won three of five, but the two losses were to Washington and Cleveland, two of the Eastern Conference’s weakest teams. Both clubs have been missing a key front-line player, with the Clippers’ Paul George (strained hamstring) having sat out two of the last three games, while the Nuggets’ Paul Millsap (bruised knee) couldn’t go in the last two. Neither is expected to play Sunday, when the Western heavyweights will meet for the first of three times this season.
Win: Denver Nuggets
Line: Denver Nuggets -2.5
Total Points: Under 220.5