NBA Tips – Sunday, Feb 9

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NBA Tips – Sunday, February 9, 2020

MAGIC VS BUCKS

Venue: Amway Center | Start: 9:00am AEDT

The Milwaukee Bucks will go for a four-game season sweep of the Orlando Magic on Saturday afternoon in central Florida. The Bucks will enter on a modest three-game winning streak. The Bucks knocked off the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night 112-101. Giannis Antetokounmpo posted game-highs with 36 points, on 13-of-25 shooting from the floor, and 20 rebounds. Antetokounmpo is the league’s second-leading scorer at 30.2 points per game. The Bucks own the best record in the NBA and have an impressive 20-4 record on the road. The Magic have lost consecutive games and seven of their past eight. They are coming off a tough two-point loss to the New York Knicks on Thursday night. Nikola Vucevic posted a game-high 25 points, but the Magic turned the ball over 21 times, leading to 22 Knicks points. The Bucks are 3-0 against the Magic this season, winning once in November and twice in December. The Bucks have won by a combined 52 points, with their last win coming Dec. 28 in Milwaukee. George Hill (hamstring) is still out for Milwaukee, while Orlando’s D.J. Augustin (knee) isn’t expected back until after the All-Star break.

Win: Milwaukee Bucks
Line: Orlando Magic +9.5
Total Points: Under 220.5

PISTONS VS KNICKS

Venue: Little Caesars Arena | Start: 11:00am AEDT

Break up the New York Knicks. A season-high four-game winning streak is there for the taking when the Knicks travel to face the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. It will be the second game of a back-to-back for the Pistons, who lost at Oklahoma City 108-101 on Friday night. The Knicks defeated the Orlando Magic on Thursday, the same day they traded away Marcus Morris Sr. to the Los Angeles Clippers. Julius Randle scored 22 points as the Knicks matched a season high with their third straight win. The Pistons lost 108-101 to the Thunder in their first game since trading away Andre Drummond. In his final game for Detroit, Drummond scored 31 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in a 116-108 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. Detroit’s Christian Wood went for 27 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in Friday night’s loss to OKC. Saturday’s game is the second of four meetings between the teams this season. The Pistons defeated the Knicks 122-102 on Nov. 6 behind Tony Snell’s historic night. Snell scored 24 points on 9-for-9 shooting, becoming the first player in franchise history to shoot 100 percent from the field with at least six 3-pointers. It was Snell’s highest-scoring game of the season. He hasn’t reached 24 points in his past three games combined.

Win: New York Knicks
Line: Detroit Pistons +1.5
Total Points: Under 211.5

HORNETS VS MAVERICKS

Venue: Spectrum Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT

The Dallas Mavericks are 2-3 in recent games without Luka Doncic, who averages 28.8 points per game and has been out with an ankle injury. He is expected to miss Saturday night’s road game against the Charlotte Hornets. The Mavericks are coming off a 119-118 loss Friday night at Washington for their second straight setback. The good news for Dallas was that guard Seth Curry returned to action and poured in 20 points. He had missed a pair of games with knee soreness, and he figures to be motivated to play in his hometown of Charlotte. The Hornets won 123-120 in overtime against Dallas on Jan. 4, with guard Terry Rozier supplying 29 points. Since that outcome, Charlotte has lost 12 of 13 games and four consecutive. Charlotte lost reserve Cody Martin, who averages 4.5 points per game, to a broken nose and he’s also in the concussion protocol since suffering an injury Tuesday night at Houston. That is the last time the Hornets played a game. Forward Miles Bridges has led the Hornets in scoring in three of the past four games as he has spent more time at the power forward position. This is Charlotte’s only home game during a five-game span.

Win: Dallas Mavericks
Line: Charlotte Hornets +3.5
Total Points: Under 213.5

RAPTORS VS NETS

Venue: Scotiabank Arena | Start: 11:30am AEDT

The Toronto Raptors will return home Saturday to face the Brooklyn Nets carrying with them the NBA’s longest winning streak, which is also at a franchise-best 13 games. Serge Ibaka scored 22 points and Fred VanVleet had 20 in a 115-106 victory Friday night at Indiana. It was not all celebratory for the Raptors, who lost Kyle Lowry in the third quarter with what was labeled by the team as whiplash. The All-Star did not return. OG Anunoby scored 16 points as the Raptors improved to 20-4 when he reaches double digits. Toronto will now play six of its next seven games at home. The Nets will enter on a solid run of their own, winning four of their last five games. Caris LeVert scored 23 points Wednesday in a 129-88 victory over the Golden State Warriors. LeVert was coming off a home victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday when he tied a career high with 29 points. The Nets are leaving a stretch where they played seven consecutive games against teams under .500, going 5-2 in that span. Now they have four consecutive games against teams over .500. The Nets and Raptors also face each other Wednesday at Brooklyn.

Win: Toronto Raptors
Line: Brooklyn Nets +6.5
Total Points: Under 218.5

PACERS VS PELICANS

Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Start: 11:30am AEDT

The Indiana Pacers have lost four games in a row and now must host the young and spirited New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night. Even worse, the Pacers are playing the tail end of a back-to-back. Indiana is coming off a 115-106 loss at home to the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, the second of a home-and-home with the Raptors. The Pacers blew a fourth-quarter lead to lose to the Raptors by one point two nights earlier in Toronto. Serge Ibaka is the stuff of nightmares for the Pacers. Ibaka nailed the game-winning 3-pointer Wednesday and then posted 22 points vs. Indiana on Friday. The Pacers shot just 29.4 percent from the 3-point line Friday night as they continue to struggle since the return of Victor Oladipo, who scored 15 points. The Pelicans are trying to incorporate dynamic rookie Zion Williamson into the mix, but could be without All-Star Brandon Ingram, who came away from Thursday’s 125-119 victory at Chicago with an ankle injury. X-rays on the ankle were negative. The Pelicans have won four of their last six games. They also have seven victories in their last 12 games, hardly the stuff of championship contenders but far better than their 13-game losing streak that extended into mid-December.

Win: Indiana Pacers
Line: Indiana Pacers -5.5
Total Points: +Under 226.5

TIMBERWOLVES VS CLIPPERS

Venue: Target Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT

In a matchup of teams that were aggressive at Thursday’s trade deadline, the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves will meet Saturday. The Clippers’ main addition was Marcus Morris, while the Wolves swapped Andrew Wiggins for what sounded like an appreciative D’Angelo Russell. Minnesota big man Karl-Anthony Towns and Russell are friends and vowed to be a dependable core the team can build around. In the more immediate future, the Wolves do not figure to be worse than the team that was on a 13-game losing streak. The latest of those Minnesota defeats came at home Wednesday 127-120 to the Atlanta Hawks despite 25 points from Wiggins and 21 from Towns. The Clippers enter on a three-game winning streak, while also winning five of their last six, and nine of their last 11. The Clippers hit a franchise-record 24 3-pointers in a 128-111 home victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Landry Shamet, who the Clippers kept out of trade talks, had a season-high 23 points, while the Clippers had a season-high 35 assists. Paul George also had 23 points, while Shamet hit six 3-pointers. After going 3-1 over four consecutive home games, the Clippers are starting a four-game trip that ends at Boston on Thursday.

Win: LA Clippers
Line: Minnesota Timberwolves +10.5
Total Points: Under 232.5

WARRIORS VS LAKERS

Venue: Chase Center | Start: 12:30pm AEDT

The Golden State Warriors are expected to introduce Andrew Wiggins to his new fans when they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. The Warriors acquired their small forward of the future along with two draft picks — one a first-rounder — from Minnesota at the trade deadline Thursday in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans. Golden State made another move earlier in the day, sending Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks to Philadelphia for three picks, leaving them so short-handed, they promoted three players from their G League affiliate (Ky Bowman, Alen Smailagic and Juan Toscano-Anderson) and signed two others to 10-day deals (Zach Norvell Jr. and Jeremy Pargo). The Lakers elected to stand pat at the deadline, then fell 121-111 at home to Houston later Thursday evening. They now return to the road, where they have won eight of their last 10 games. In their first appearance at the new Chase Center in San Francisco they face a Warriors team they thumped 120-94 at home in November. JaVale McGee and Quinn Cook, each of whom won championships with Golden State, burned their former teammates for a total of 28 points in the win. The Warriors have lost seven of their last eight at home.

Win: LA Lakers
Line: Golden State Warriors +13.5
Total Points: Under 223.5

SUNS VS NUGGETS

Venue: Talking Stick Resort Arena | Start: 1:00pm AEDT

The Denver Nuggets expect to get Paul Millsap back in the lineup Saturday night when they go for a season-series sweep over the host Phoenix Suns. Millsap has been out more than a month (16 games) after suffering what was initially called a bruised left knee on Jan. 6. The issue was later labeled a sprained knee, prompting an absence during which the Nuggets went 11-5. Millsap was healthy for all three earlier wins over the Suns, averaging 13.7 points in games that were decided by a total of just 15 points. The Nuggets also expect to have Jordan McRae, Noah Vonleh and Keita Bates-Diop on hand after they were acquired in separate deals with Minnesota and Washington. The Nuggets are well rested, not having played since a 98-95 win at Utah on Wednesday, while Phoenix will be enduring the second night of a back-to-back. The good news for the Suns is that they created some momentum for themselves in a 127-91 shellacking of the Houston Rockets on Friday night, a win that snapped a four-game losing streak. Kelly Oubre Jr. (39) and Devin Booker (33) combined 72 points in the victory. Cameron Johnson (quad) played for Phoenix after missing the past 10 games.

Win: Denver Nuggets
Line: Phoenix Suns +3.5
Total Points: Under 217.5

KINGS VS SPURS

Venue: Golden 1 Center | Start: 2:00pm AEDT

Make that five victories in seven games for the Sacramento Kings, who will play host to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. The Kings won the first game of a back-to-back when they defeated the Miami Heat 105-97 at home on Friday. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 23 points. Buddy Hield continues to thrive in his new bench role, scoring 21. Since moving to the second unit on Jan. 24, Hield has scored 22.0 points per game over seven contests. The Spurs rallied from a nine-point deficit over the final two minutes of regulation and won an overtime contest between the teams 105-104 on Dec. 6 at San Antonio. The Spurs will enter on a three-game losing streak, having also dropped six of their last eight games. Those most recent three consecutive defeats have gotten their eight-game Rodeo Trip off to an ominous start. San Antonio was upended Thursday 125-117 at Portland when Trey Lyles delivered a season-high 23 points with 10 rebounds. Scoring leaders DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 and 20 points respectively. The Spurs have two more road games remaining before the All-Star break and then two more road games once the break ends. Their next home game is Feb. 26 against the Dallas Mavericks.

Win: San Antonio Spurs
Line: Sacramento Kings +2.5
Total Points: Under 223.5