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NBA Tips – Tuesday, February 11, 2020
PISTONS VS HORNETS
Venue: Little Caesars Arena | Start: 11:00am AEDT
Two teams that are enduring struggles meet when the Charlotte Hornets visit the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. The Pistons have lost three of their last four games. In their last four losses overall, the Pistons have scored more than 92 points just once. Reggie Jackson has led Detroit in scoring the past two games with 28 and 20 points. He has led the team with nine assists twice in a three-game span. Charlotte has defeated Detroit thrice this season, all in November. The Hornets registered dramatic victories in back-to-back games, 102-101 and 110-107 on Nov. 27 and Nov. 29, following a 109-106 win Nov. 15. More recently, the Hornets have lost five games in a row and 13 of their last 14 overall. Their last eight losses have come by double-digit margins. Charlotte made 11 of 36 shots from 3-point range in Saturday night’s 116-110 home loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Second-year guard Devonte’ Graham was Charlotte’s leading scorer with 26 points, a notable situation because it was the first time he led the Hornets during a nine-game span after being the team’s most dependable scorer for a stretch earlier this season. That game came after the Hornets announced that they had waived veterans Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams earlier that day. So this signals another step in what has been a season-long emphasis on a youth movement for the Hornets.
Win: Detroit Pistons
Line: Charlotte Hornets
Total Points: Under 205.5
MAGIC VS HAWKS
Venue: Amway Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT
The Orlando Magic try to get back on track with Monday night’s home game against the Atlanta Hawks. The Magic have lost eight of their last nine games, including Saturday’s 111-95 setback at home to the Milwaukee Bucks. In the last eight games, Orlando’s high point total is 103, so the offense needs to get cranked up again. The Magic hold a 22-31 record and that’s notable because they held the same mark a season ago. Orlando’s offense stalled too often in its latest game, with shooting 10 of 40 on 3-pointers not helping the cause. It’s possible that forward James Ennis, who was acquired in a trade last week from the Philadelphia 76ers, could make his Magic debut against Atlanta. The Hawks won in their last visit to Orlando, taking a 101-93 victory Dec. 30. The Hawks won 140-135 in double overtime against the New York Knicks at home Sunday night. It was a huge game for guard Trae Young, who poured in 48 points (aided by 16-for-16 on free throws), and John Collins, who dumped in 32 points and grabbed 16 of Atlanta’s 50 rebounds. Young has scored at least 40 points nine times this season. That was the Hawks’ second victory in their last five games. Before that, Atlanta reached the 100-point mark once in its previous four games, though it had 116 in regulation of Sunday’s game.
Win: Orlando Magic
Line: Orlando Magic -8.5
Total Points: Under 220.5
PACERS VS NETS
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Start: 11:00am AEDT
The Indiana Pacers need to get things turned around and Monday night’s matchup at home against the Brooklyn Nets might be as good a situation as any. Indiana topped the Nets 119-108 on Oct. 30 at Brooklyn and thumped the Nets 115-86 on Nov. 18. The Pacers have lost five games in row for their worst skid of the season (which had been losing their first three games of the season). The Pacers played Saturday night in a 124-117 home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans without guard Victor Oladipo, who was given the night off to rest after playing five games since making his season debut Jan. 29. He had been out since last season with a quad injury. The Nets have lost their last three road games, putting their record at 8-16 in road games. Guard Kyrie Irving has been out with a knee injury for the past three games. The original time frame for his possible return indicated Irving might be ready this week, though waiting until after the All-Star break to bring him back might be the way the Nets go. The Nets had won four of their last five games until Saturday’s 119-118 loss at Toronto.
Win: Indiana Pacers
Line: Indiana Pacers -6.5
Total Points: Under 217.5
RAPTORS VS TIMBERWOLVES
Venue: Scotiabank Arena | Start: 11:30am AEDT
A team that just ended a 13-game losing streak now faces a team on a 14-game winning streak as the Minnesota Timberwolves travel to meet the Toronto Raptors on Monday. With a 119-118 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, the Raptors were able to extend their franchise-best winning run. Fred VanVleet scored 29 points, while Pascal Siakam and Terence Davis had 20 points each. Siakam broke a tie on a free throw with 22 seconds remaining. The Raptors won without Kyle Lowry (whiplash), Marc Gasol (hamstring) and Norman Powell (finger). Toronto is 39-14 after 53 games, a franchise best. Toronto won 122-112 at Minnesota on Jan. 18 for the third victory of the current winning streak. The Wolves are coming off an impressive 142-115 home victory Saturday over the Los Angeles Clippers, with a roster that had eight new players from recent trades. Three were making their Minnesota debut, including Malik Beasley who had his first career double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while making seven 3-pointers. As a team, the Wolves made a franchise-record 26 3-pointers and had a season-high 39 assists. D’Angelo Russell, acquired from the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, did not play Saturday but could make his Wolves debut Monday.
Win: Toronto Raptors
Line: Minnesota Timberwolves +9.5
Total Points: Under 230.5
BUCKS VS KINGS
Venue: Fiserv Forum | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Milwaukee Bucks will take a four-game winning streak and victories in 13 of their last 14 contests into a home matchup Monday against the Sacramento Kings. Giannis Antetokounmpo had just 18 points in a victory Saturday against the Orlando Magic, but nearly had a triple-double with 18 rebounds and nine assists. He fell short in his bid to become the first player in NBA history with at least 30 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in six consecutive games. Brook Lopez had 23 points Saturday, while George Hill (hamstring) missed his fifth consecutive game. The Bucks also will bring in a seven-game winning streak against the Kings. The Kings are on a solid run of their own with six victories in their past eight games. That stretch includes three consecutive home victories, the most recent Saturday in a 122-102 decision against the San Antonio Spurs. Buddy Hield came off the bench to score 31 points against the Spurs, going 9 of 10 from 3-point range. In eight games since he was moved into a reserve role, Hield is scoring 23.1 points per game. He also became the fastest player to 800 3-pointers, doing it in 296 games, nine faster than Stephen Curry.
Win: Milwaukee Bucks
Line: Milwaukee Bucks – 10.5
Total Points: Under 228.5
MAVERICKS VS JAZZ
Venue: American Airlines Center | Start: 12:30pm AEDT
Luka Doncic is expected to miss a seventh consecutive game when the Dallas Mavericks play host to the Utah Jazz on Monday. The Mavericks are doing what they can without their superstar, going 3-3 since Doncic sprained his ankle. Monday was supposed to be his target date for a return with that now moved to Wednesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings, which is Dallas’ last before the All-Star break. It would give Doncic one game on the court before he plays in next weekend’s All-Star Game. Dallas is coming off a 116-100 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday when Seth Curry scored 26 points and Willie Cauley-Stein grabbed 10 rebounds. The Jazz are trying to distance themselves from a five-game losing streak that ended with a 117-114 victory Friday over the Portland Trail Blazers. Utah made it two consecutive victories with a 114-113 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday that came on Bojan Bogdanovic’s deep 3-pointer against a double-team as the buzzer sounded. It was just the second field goal of the game for Bogdanovic, who finished with eight points. Jordan Clarkson scored 30 points off the bench for the Jazz, while All-Star Donovan Mitchell had 24. The Mavericks are just 14-13 in home games.
Win: Utah Jazz
Line: Utah Jazz -1.5
Total Points: Under 218.5
NUGGETS VS SPURS
Venue: Pepsi Center | Start: 1:00pm AEDT
Two teams very much looking forward to Wednesday go head-to-head Monday night when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Denver Nuggets. Wednesday means a return home for the Spurs, who by that point will have played six straight on the road on their annual Rodeo Trip, including a cruel back-to-back at Denver and Oklahoma City (their second of the trip) before earning the flight home. The Spurs have gone 0-4 to start the journey, with their defense failing to show up on their last three stops, when they’ve allowed 129 to the Los Angeles Lakers, 125 to Portland and 122 to Sacramento. The Spurs catch the Nuggets, who have won three straight to ascend to No. 2 in the West, potentially looking ahead to Wednesday’s showdown with the conference-leading Lakers. The Nuggets are getting healthier by the day, having gotten Paul Millsap (12 points, 11 rebounds) back from a 16-game absence for Saturday’s win at Phoenix, after recently having gotten Jamal Murray (back-to-back 30-point games) back from a 10-game injury stint. The Spurs and Nuggets have yet to see each other this season, and will do so two more times before the end of March.
Win: Denver Nuggets
Line: San Antonio Spurs +7.5
Total Points: Under 215.5
LAKERS VS SUNS
Venue: Staples Center | Start: 2:30pm AEDT
The Los Angeles Lakers hope their impressive play on the road leads to better play at home when they host the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. The Lakers are coming off a 125-120 victory at Golden State on Saturday, their league-leading 22nd road win in 27 dates. That’s five more wins than they have at home, where they were last seen losing 121-111 to Houston. As usual, Anthony Davis (27 points, 10 rebounds) and LeBron James (22 points, 11 assists) led the way against the Warriors, just as they have in two earlier wins over the Suns. Davis had double-doubles in each of those games, while James was even better, following up a double-double in a road win in November with a 31-point, 13-rebound, 12-assist triple-double in the rematch in LA on New Year’s Day. If comparative scores can be considered, the Suns would have at least a puncher’s chance against the Lakers, having crushed the aforementioned Rockets, 127-91, at home on Friday. That was followed by a 117-108 home loss to Denver in which Deandre Ayton went for 28 points and 19 rebounds. Ayton missed the first loss to the Lakers this season, then was just getting back from two injuries when he contributed 16 points and 14 rebounds off the bench in the previous LA meeting. The Suns haven’t beaten the Lakers on the road since November of 2017.
Win: LA Lakers
Line: Phoenix Suns +12.5
Total Points: Under 228.5
WARRIORS VS HEAT
Venue: Chase Center | Start: 2:30pm AEDT
Andre Iguodala makes his return to San Francisco when the Miami Heat visit the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. Iguodala made his debut with the Heat on Sunday night since being acquired before the trade deadline last week. Iguodala spent six seasons with the Warriors, winning three titles. Iguodala and Jae Crowder played 23 and 35 minutes in Miami’s 115-108 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night. Crowder (18 points) did his best to fill the scoring gap left by the loss of Jimmy Butler, who sat out again with a shoulder strain. The loss was Miami’s third in a row, a season high, making it 0-3 so far on its West Coast road trip. The Heat poured in 20 3-pointers but the Trail Blazers made 19 3-pointers, shooting 45.2 percent from long range. The Heat have allowed 62 3-pointers over their past three games. Damian Lillard scored 33 points, including 6-for-15 3-pointers. Now the Heat take on the Warriors, losers of two straight themselves. The Warriors are coming off a 125-120 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. This marks the second and final game between the teams this season. The Heat beat Golden State by 17 on Nov. 29.
Win: Miami Heat
Line: Miami Heat -5.5
Total Points: Under 218.5