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NBA Tips – Saturday, February 8, 2020
76ERS VS GRIZZLIES
Venue: Wells Fargo Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT
A Philadelphia 76ers team that desperately needs to get back home and could use more firepower off the bench will play host to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. The 76ers completed a winless road trip with a fourth straight loss, 112-101 at Milwaukee on Thursday night, getting a total of just 23 points from their six-man bench. Now back at home, where they have won eight in a row, the 76ers are set to add Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III for their matchup with Memphis, after completing a trade with Golden State that cost Philadelphia three second-round picks. When last seen on the court for the Warriors at Cleveland on Monday, Burks and Robinson combined for 52 points. The Grizzlies are the hotter team having won six of seven, but that didn’t stop them from making changes at the trade deadline. They added Dion Waiters, Gorgui Dieng and Justise Winslow without losing any of the seven-man core that combined for 108 points in Wednesday’s 121-107 win at Dallas. Rookie stars Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke will be making their first NBA trip to Philadelphia, where the Grizzlies haven’t won since 2016. Morant had a team-high 21 points against the Mavericks on Tuesday.
Win: Philadelphia 76ers
Line: Memphis Grizzlies +5.5
Total Points: Under 222.5
WIZARDS VS MAVERICKS
Venue: Capital One Arena | Start: 11:00am AEDT
The Dallas Mavericks will aim to slow down Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal when the teams meet Friday night at Washington. Beal is coming off a 43-point outing against the Golden State Warriors. He also led the team in scoring in the first matchup with Dallas but managed only 19 points in that game. Dallas has won two of its last three games, but most recently lost Wednesday night to the Memphis Grizzlies. Kristaps Porzingis racked up 32 points in that game for Dallas, although he took an elbow to his nose and while he returned to the game, he is listed as day-to-day. It is the first of games on back-to-back nights for the Mavericks, who go to Charlotte on Saturday night. The Mavericks are 17-7 in road games. Dallas won 108-100 in the first meeting with the Wizards in Dallas, when Luka Doncic poured in 34 points. Doncic is averaging 28.8 points per game, but he has missed four games in a row with a sprained ankle, and the Mavericks are 2-2 in those games. Dallas guard Seth Curry has missed two games with knee soreness and he’s bound to want to play on this trip that includes a hometown visit to Charlotte. The Wizards will try to improve to .500 in home games as they hold an 11-12 mark. This is the fourth game of Washington’s six-game homestand.
Win: Dallas Mavericks
Line: Washington Wizards +3.5
Total Points: Under 234.5
CELTICS VS HAWKS
Venue: TD Garden | Start: 11:30am AEDT
The Boston Celtics will try for their sixth victory in a row when they play a home game Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks. One of those victories came earlier in the week when the Celtics won 123-115 at Atlanta behind Jayson Tatum’s 28 points. The eight-point margin matches the closest game in the Celtics’ current winning streak. Boston also owns a three-point victory against the Hawks from January. Three Celtics are scoring at least 20 points per game: Kemba Walker (22.0), Tatum (21.9) and Jaylen Brown (20.3). The Hawks have added Clint Capela in a trade. Capela averaged 13.9 points in 39 games this season for the Houston Rockets, while his 13.8 rebounds are fourth best in the league. Gone from Atlanta’s roster is guard/forward Evan Turner, who played in 19 games for the Hawks before being dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Atlanta guard Trae Young scores 29.3 points per game, connecting on 37 percent of his 3-point attempts. The Hawks, coming off Wednesday’s seven-point victory at Minnesota, have won two of their last four games, scoring 127 points in both of the victories. Atlanta is aiming for victories in consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 14-17.
Win: Boston Celtics
Line: Atlanta Hawks +9.5
Total Points: Under 232.5
THUNDER VS PISTONS
Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
Already without Blake Griffin for the rest of season because of a knee injury, now there will be no Andre Drummond for the Detroit Pistons after the big man was traded in advance of Friday’s game at Oklahoma City. And that is just the start of the Pistons’ issues. Drummond departs to the Cleveland Cavaliers as the leading rebounder in the NBA with 15.8 per game. With veteran Derrick Rose (hip) and Luke Kennard (knee) out indefinitely, the Pistons will lean heavily Friday on Reggie Jackson (14.1 points per game). Even Markieff Morris, who scores 11.0 points per game, is day-to-day with an illness. While the Pistons have lost six of their last eight games, the Thunder have won eight of their last nine. Unlike the Pistons, the Thunder are in a run of good health and balanced play. Five players are scoring in double figures including three just over 19 points per game: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dennis Schroder and Danilo Gallinari. Rumors circulated that Oklahoma City could deal Gallinari, but a move never happened. Thunder guard Chris Paul is scoring 17.0 points with 6.6 rebounds and is headed to his 10th All-Star Game and first since 2015-16 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Win: Oklahoma City Thunder
Line: Detroit Pistons +12.5
Total Points: Under 214.5
PACERS VS RAPTORS
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
Two days after they met in Canada, the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers will get together again, this time on U.S. soil. The Raptors’ 119-118 nail-biting victory at home over the Pacers extended their winning streak to a franchise-record 12 games. Serge Ibaka hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 30.4 seconds remaining and Toronto held on from there. Kyle Lowry scored 32 points with 10 assists for the Raptors, while Ibaka had 30 points. The Raptors trailed by 114-103 with 3:50 remaining before their rally began. Toronto’s Marc Gasol (hamstring) has missed four games and Norman Powell (finger) has missed two. But Rondae Hollis-Jefferson returned after missing the previous four games with an ankle injury. The Pacers have now lost three consecutive games and four of their last five. Victor Oladipo scored 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting in his fourth game back after missing over a year because of a ruptured tendon in his knee. That injury occurred in a home game Jan. 23, 2019 against the Raptors. Malcolm Brogdon scored 24 points for the Pacers on Wednesday, while Justin Holiday had a season-high 22. Brogdon and Holiday combined to go 10 of 16 from 3-point range. Domantas Sabonis had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the third triple-double of his career.
Win: Indiana Pacers
Line: Toronto Raptors +1.5
Total Points: Under 218.5
SUNS VS ROCKETS
Venue: Talking Stick Resort Arena | Start: 1:00pm AEDT
The Houston Rockets take a four-game winning streak and their new toy to Phoenix on Friday night when they visit the Suns on the second night of a back-to-back. Thanks in part to the addition to the bench of Robert Covington from Minnesota in a four-team trade earlier in the week, the Rockets didn’t exhaust any starter more than 37 minutes in a 121-111 road win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. Covington gave the Rockets 30 minutes in his debut for his new team, contributing 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the impressive win. Houston’s Russell Westbrook, who had 41 points in the win over the Lakers, scheduled to get a night off. That’s not the only good news for the Suns, who have lost four in a row. They also won’t have to deal with Clint Capela, who had a pair of double-doubles in Rockets wins over Phoenix earlier this season. He was part of the trade that landed Covington. The Suns have struggled defensively during their losing streak. They are coming off a 0-3 road trip during which they allowed an at least 116 points in all three losses to Milwaukee, Brooklyn and Detroit. Devin Booker averaged 27.0 points in the two earlier losses to the Rockets.
Win: Houston Rockets
Line: Houston Rockets -2.5
Total Points: Under 234.5
KINGS VS HEAT
Venue: Golden 1 Center | Start: 2:00pm AEDT
While the Miami Heat looks forward to a future pairing of Jimmy Butler and Andre Iguodala, it appears neither will be available when the club makes a stop in the California capital to face the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. Butler suffered a strained right shoulder in Wednesday’s trip opener, a 128-111 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He was scheduled for an MRI on Thursday. Iguodala, meanwhile, was the big name acquired in a six-player trade with Memphis on Thursday, one in which the Heat also picked up Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill. Iguodala is expected to first practice with the Heat before making his debut with the team. The same likely will be the case for Jabari Parker, acquired by the Kings at Thursday’s deadline along with Alex Len from Atlanta. Like Butler, Parker has been bothered by an injured right shoulder. Len is expected to be inserted immediately into Sacramento’s big-man mix. Marvin Bagley III is battling a foot injury and Richaun Holmes finally healthy enough to return from a shoulder injury of his own. The teams battled on near-even terms 18 days ago in Miami, with the Heat needing overtime to escape with a 118-113 win. The Kings won their most recent game, 113-109 over Minnesota on Monday.
Win: Sacramento Kings
Line: Miami Heat +1.5
Total Points: Under 219.5
JAZZ VS TRAIL BLAZERS
Venue: Vivint Smart Home Arena | Start: 2:30pm AEDT
Surging no more, the Utah Jazz will take a five-game losing streak into a home game Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers. One of those defeats came Saturday at Portland, when the Jazz were defeated 98-95. Jazz big man Rudy Gobert finally earned the All-Star Game nod he had been craving but he was destroyed by Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic in a 98-95 home defeat on Wednesday. Jokic had a monster triple-double with 31 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists while playing opposite Gobert, who had 16 points and 14 rebounds. Mike Conley scored 21 points for the Jazz but missed shot up close that would have given Utah the lead with 8.2 seconds remaining. The Blazers have won five of their last six games, including a 125-117 victory at home over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday. Damian Lillard has cooled from a recent torrid stretch, but his 26 points against the Spurs was enough to help lift Portland. Hassan Whiteside added 17 points and a season-high 23 rebounds. The Blazers were only a bit player at the trade deadline, moving an injured Skal Labissiere and cash to the Atlanta Hawks for a future second-round draft pick.
Win: Utah Jazz
Line: Utah Jazz -10.5
Total Points: Under 227.5