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NBA Tips – Friday, February 14, 2020
CELTICS VS CLIPPERS
Venue: TD Garden | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics needed overtime to decide their first meeting, which the Clippers eventually won 107-104 on their home court. Another hard-fought matchup could be in store Thursday night as the series shifts to Boston for the second and final matchup of the regular season. Paul George led Los Angeles with 25 points on 8-for-18 shooting in the initial game against Boston on Nov. 20, and Kawhi Leonard supplied 17 points on 7-for-20 shooting. Both players figure to fill a prominent role on Thursday, and they will have extra support from veteran forward Marcus Morris Sr., who is new to the Clippers-Celtics series after arriving from the New York Knicks before the trade deadline. Morris is averaging 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in his first two games with Los Angeles. Boston is hoping to avoid back-to-back losses after winning the previous seven games in a row. Standout forward Jayson Tatum leads the Celtics with 22.1 points per game, and veteran point guard Kemba Walker is second on the scoring list with 21.8 points per game. Both might have to contribute a little extra if forward Jaylen Brown is unable to start. Brown sustained a calf contusion near the end of Boston’s loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night, coach Brad Stevens told reporters.
Win: Boston Celtics
Line: LA Clippers +1.5
Total Points: Under 227.5
PELICANS VS THUNDER
Venue: Smoothie King Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The New Orleans Pelicans will try to match their season high with a fourth win in a row when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night. New Orleans is coming off a fast-paced 138-117 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, which followed victories against the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls late last week. The Pelicans thrived in their last game despite the absence of top scorer Brandon Ingram, who sat out because of an ankle injury. Ingram is questionable to play against the Thunder, which means that the Pelicans again might have to figure out a way to fill his void on offense, where he is averaging 24.9 points per game on 47.3 percent shooting. Top rookie Zion Williamson certainly took charge against Portland, scoring 31 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Williamson is averaging 21.0 points and 7.7 rebounds in his first nine NBA starts. As New Orleans looks to increase its winning streak, Oklahoma City will try to snap a two-game skid. The Thunder are coming off back-to-back losses against the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs to end a four-game homestand at 2-2. Chris Paul hopes to stay hot after scoring 31 points on 12-for-18 shooting, including 5 of 9 from beyond the arc, in his most recent performance.
Win: New Orleans Pelicans
Line: Oklahoma City Thunder +2.5
Total Points: Under 231.5