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Wednesday, January 15, 2020
HAWKS VS SUNS
Venue: State Farm Arena | Start: 11:30am AEDT
The Phoenix Suns will go for their third win in a row when they visit the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. Phoenix has won three straight games only once this season, from Oct. 30-Nov. 4, but lately the club has shown signs of progress. The Suns are coming off a 100-92 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night, which followed a 98-94 win over the Orlando Magic two nights earlier. Kelly Oubre posted a double-double in Phoenix’s most recent contest with a team-high 25 points and 15 rebounds, while Deandre Ayton added 18 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Atlanta will face a tough challenge as it tries to snap a four-game losing streak. The latest setback, a 108-86 loss against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night, wrapped up a winless two-game road trip. The Hawks will try to counter the Suns’ frontcourt attack with talented big men led by John Collins, a 22-year-old out of Wake Forest who is averaging 17.0 points and 9.7 rebounds in his third NBA season. Hawks top scorer Trae Young is averaging a whopping 28.9 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting, but he sat out the most recent game because of a hamstring injury, and his status is uncertain heading into Tuesday.
Win: Phoenix Suns
Line: Phoenix Suns -3.5
Total Points: Under 230.5
NETS VS JAZZ
Venue: Barclays Center | Start: 11:30am AEDT
The Utah Jazz will go for their 10th win in a row when they visit the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. Utah is coming off a 127-116 win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday, which marked the team’s third straight double-digit win. The Jazz have jumped to a 27-12 record on the season and are tied with the Denver Nuggets for the second-best record in the Western Conference, trailing only the Los Angeles Lakers. Top-scoring guard Donovan Mitchell, who is averaging 24.2 points in 38 games this season, could return after sitting out Sunday because of an illness. Teammate Bojan Bogdanovic is second on the club with 21.0 points per contest. All of this is to say that Brooklyn will face a difficult time securing its third straight win, but the Nets have looked sharp with back-to-back victories over the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks. Brooklyn has climbed into the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference standings and boasts an 11-8 mark at home, compared with 7-12 on the road. The Nets look to have point guard Kyrie Irving for the second straight game after an extended absence. He scored 21 points in 19-plus minutes in his first game back Sunday.
Win: Utah Jazz
Line: Utah Jazz -3.5
Total Points: Under 222.5
BUCKS VS KNICKS
Venue: Fiserv Forum | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The New York Knicks hope a new look helps them turn things around when they go for a first win in three tries against the host Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. The Knicks were one game away from firing coach David Fizdale when they were crushed 132-88 at Milwaukee in an earlier visit on Dec. 2. New York also got thumped 123-102 at home in a rematch three weeks later, but have since gotten things turned in a better direction under new coach Mike Miller, with four wins in their last nine games. The key: A balanced attack, which has seen them place all five starters in double figures in each of their last two games. All told, 12 different Knicks have scored in double figures at least once in the team’s last three outings, which include a 124-121 home win over Miami on Sunday. The trip to Milwaukee means another head-to-head with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who recorded a piece of history in the most recent meeting, recording a second career triple-double in 26 or fewer minutes. He’s the only NBA player with two such games since 1984. The Bucks are returning home after having won three in a row on the road, and might be ripe for a look-ahead with Boston coming to town on Thursday. The Celtics beat the Bucks in their only previous meeting.
Win: Milwaukee Bucks
Line: New York Knicks +16.5
Total Points: Under 228.5
GRIZZLIES VS ROCKETS
Venue: FedExForum | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
At the start of the season, the Houston Rockets likely would have been forecast as heavy favorites over a team like the Memphis Grizzlies. But when the teams meet Tuesday night in Memphis, the game might not be so simple to project. Memphis has won five games in a row and will look to make it six in a row overall — and five straight at home. The Grizzlies are coming off a 122-102 rout over the Golden State Warriors in which big man Jonas Valanciunas scored a team-high 31 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in 28-plus minutes. Jaren Jackson added 21 points as part of a formidable frontcourt that Houston must address. The Rockets are used to relying more on their backcourt, at least for offense, with James Harden averaging 37.7 points, 7.5 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game. Fellow guard Russell Westbrook is contributing 24.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists in his first season with the Rockets. This is the second of four regular-season games between the teams. In the first meeting Nov. 4 in Memphis, the Rockets posted a 107-100 win. Harden scored 44 points while shooting 12 of 28 overall and 7 of 16 from beyond the arc.
Win: Houston Rockets
Line: Houston Rockets -5.5
Total Points: Under 238.5
CLIPPERS VS CAVALIERS
Venue: Staples Center | Start: 2:30pm AEDT
The Cleveland Cavaliers hope to have more healthy bodies at their disposal Tuesday night when they complete a Los Angeles back-to-back with matchup against the Clippers. Cleveland got double-figure scoring from all five starters Monday night in a 128-99 loss to the Lakers that was more competitive than the score would indicate. Cleveland actually led the entire first half and was still in front in the fifth minute of the third period before getting outfinished 73-43. The game got completely out of hand in the fourth quarter after Cavaliers coach John Beilein emptied his short-handed bench, one that included Dante Exum (illness) for the first time in four games. The Cavaliers are hoping for more from Exum his second time out, and would love to get Larry Nance Jr. (sore left knee) on the court for the first time since December. The Clippers figure to be without Paul George (strained hamstring) for the fourth time in their last five games. They’ve struggled in their last four outings, losing to Memphis and Denver, while beating New York and Golden State by a total of just 12 points. The Clippers will be playing a team under .500 for the sixth time in their last seven games.
Win: LA Clippers
Line: LA Clippers -15.5
Total Points: Under 224.5
WARRIORS VS MAVERICKS
Venue: Chase Center | Start: 2:30pm AEDT
Luka Doncic will go for a fourth straight triple-double against the Golden State Warriors, his third in as many games this season, when the Dallas Mavericks open a two-day, two-game Northern California swing in San Francisco on Tuesday night. Doncic has averaged 33.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 13.0 assists as the Mavericks have shellacked the five-time defending Western Conference champs 142-94 and 141-121 in their first two head-to-heads this season. No opponent has scored 140 or more points three times in the same season against the Warriors since 1962. The Mavericks have shot 57 and 52 percent in the wins. They likely will have to try from a season-series sweep without Kristaps Porzingis, who has missed the last seven games with a sore knee. He practiced Monday, but complained of an illness that makes him questionable for the games against Golden State and Sacramento. The Warriors have lost eight in a row. They reached the midpoint of the season with a 9-32 record one year after having been 27-14. D’Angelo Russell has scored 30 or more points in three consecutive games, including 34 in Sunday’s 122-102 loss at Memphis. He outscored Doncic 35-31 when the clubs met in San Francisco last month.
Win: Dallas Mavericks
Line: Golden State Warriors +9.5
Total Points: Under 223.5