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NBA Tips – Tuesday, March 3, 2020
CAVALIERS VS JAZZ
Venue: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse | Start: 11:00am AEDT
A home losing streak behind them, the Utah Jazz will now hit the road for a game Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Jazz lost four consecutive games in their own building before upending the Washington Wizards 129-119 on Friday. Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points, including 10 in a span of less than 1 minute, 30 seconds in the fourth quarter. Bojan Bogdanovic had 21 points and Jordan Clarkson had 20. The Jazz went just 2-4 on their long homestand after entering the stretch with a 19-5 home record on the season. Now Clarkson faces the Cavaliers, who traded him to the Jazz two days before Christmas. The guard has played exactly 29 games with each team this season. He scored 14.6 points with 2.4 rebounds at Cleveland and has 16.2 points with 3.1 rebounds at Utah. The Cavaliers have lost two consecutive games but are a much-improved 4-4 since the addition of Andre Drummond in a trade with the Detroit Pistons. When Drummond arrived, the Cavaliers were on a six-game losing streak. The big man has averaged 15.2 points with 10.8 rebounds for his new team. It will be the first of two meetings in a month between the teams. They also play at Utah on April 1.
Win: Utah Jazz
Line: Cleveland Cavaliers +8.5
Total Points: Under 219.5
MAGIC VS TRAIL BLAZERS
Venue: Amway Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT
After just missing out on matching a season-best four-game winning streak, the Orlando Magic will try to start another winning run when they play host to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday. The Magic’s three-game streak ended with a 114-113 defeat at San Antonio on Saturday when Evan Fournier’s late off-balance layup attempt was off the mark. The Magic rallied after trailing by as many as 16 points. Fournier finished with 23 points while Terrence Ross had 21. After his triple-double on Friday, the Magic’s Aaron Gordon did not reach double digits in any category against the Spurs. Orlando is still 5-2 going back to Feb. 10 as it clings to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Blazers will enter on a three-game losing streak and defeats in six of their last seven contests. CJ McCollum had 35 points in Portland’s 129-117 defeat at Atlanta on Saturday. Hassan Whiteside had 21 points and 13 rebounds. All-Star guard Damian Lillard (groin) will not be with the team in Orlando and will miss his sixth consecutive game. There is a possibility he returns to action at Phoenix on Friday. The teams met Dec. 20 at Portland with the Blazers earning a 118-103 victory.
Win: Orlando Magic
Line: Portland Trail Blazers +7.5
Total Points: Under 222.5
KNICKS VS ROCKETS
Venue: Madison Square Garden | Start: 11:00am AEDT
About the only thing that prevented the Houston Rockets from winning more in February was the All-Star break. The Rockets spring into March with a six-game winning streak entering their contest in New York City against the Knicks on Monday night. The Rockets went 9-2 in February, including a 123-112 win over the Knicks in Houston on Feb. 24. The Knicks are coming off a victory but had lost six in a row before that. The Rockets are coming off a hard-fought overtime victory in Boston on Saturday night. Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 41 points with an efficient 16-for-27 shooting night. James Harden (21 points) sealed the game with two free throws with 25 seconds left in OT. The Rockets entered Sunday’s action just a game behind the Los Angeles Clippers for third place in the Western Conference. The Knicks defeated the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night in New York, 125-115. Mitchell Robinson scored a career-high 23 points off the bench and Julius Randle added 22 points. The Knicks outrebounded the Bulls by 23 and outscored the Bulls by 36 points in the paint. Harden dropped 37 on the Knicks in the Rockets’ win last week.
Win: Houston Rockets
Line: New York Knicks +9.5
Total Points: Under 229.5
HAWKS VS GRIZZLIES
Venue: State Farm Arena | Start: 11:30am AEDT
A five-game losing streak was a poor way of starting the second half of the season for the Memphis Grizzlies, who are trying to maintain their slight lead for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West. But after a 105-88 home win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night, the Grizzlies set their sights on the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night in ATL. The Grizzlies were two games over .500 when they went into the All-Star break only to lay an egg on a four-game road trip and a loss at home afterward. But Ja Morant’s 27 points led the Grizz to the impressive win over L.A. to give themselves a two-game cushion for 8th place. The Grizzlies outrebounded the Lakers, led by Jonas Valanciunas’ 20 boards. The Grizz harassed the Lakers into 25.0 percent shooting from the 3-point line. Now they embark on another trip, starting a 3-gamer in Atlanta. The Hawks have won consecutive games and are coming off a 12-point win Saturday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. Trae Young scored 25 and had 15 assists. John Collins is averaging 25.8 points per game over his last 10 for Atlanta, four points better than his season average. The Hawks and Grizzlies will play twice in six days.
Win: Atlanta Hawks
Line: Atlanta Hawks -2.5
Total Points: Over 239.5
HEAT VS BUCKS
Venue: American Airlines Arena | Start: 11:30am AEDT
Two beasts of the East tip it off Monday night when the Milwaukee Bucks travel to Miami to take on the Heat. The Bucks put their NBA-best road record (25-5) up against the league’s third-best home record (25-4) of Miami. Plus, the Bucks have something to play for – revenge. The Heat went into Milwaukee and beat the Bucks in their home opener Oct. 26. The Bucks come in riding a six-game winning streak and a 10-1 record for February. However, the Bucks struggled Sunday afternoon in a 93-85 win over the Charlotte Hornets. It was the first time all season the Bucks were held under 100 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo made 17 field goals en route to 41 points while the rest of the team combined to make 18 field goals. The Bucks shot just 22.6 percent from the 3-point line. The Bucks played with Khris Middleton (neck) for the second consecutive game. The Heat have won consecutive games, including Saturday night’s three-point home win over the Brooklyn Nets. The Heat have struggled closing out games and Saturday was no different, though this time they held on despite blowing a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead. The Heat are 2-1 on their five-game homestand.
Win: Milwaukee Bucks
Line: Milwaukee Bucks -4.5
Total Points: Under 227.5
BULLS VS MAVERICKS
Venue: United Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Dallas Mavericks will look to finish off a winning road trip when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Monday. The Mavericks will be playing the second game of a back-to-back after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 111-91, on Sunday afternoon. Kristaps Porzingis tied a season high with 38 points at Minnesota and added 13 rebounds with five blocked shots. He also matched a career high with six 3-pointers. Luka Doncic, who turned 21 on Friday, did not play in Sunday’s game because of a sprained left thumb, the 13th game he has missed this season. Jalen Brunson (shoulder), Willie Cauley-Stein (personal) also missed the game. The Mavericks are 2-1 on their four-game road trip and have won five of their last seven. While the Mavericks are not yet decided if Doncic will return to the court Monday, they could also be without Porzingis because of load management. The Bulls will enter on a two-game losing streak while also losing 10 of their last 11. They dropped a 118-110 decision at Dallas on Jan. 6 when Lauri Markkanen scored 26 points. Markkanen is not expected to play Monday but Wendell Carter Jr. is back from his own ankle injury. Chicago will enter off a 125-115 defeat to the New York Knicks.
Win: Dallas Mavericks
Line: Chicago Bulls +3.5
Total Points: Under 225.5
SPURS VS PACERS
Venue: AT&T Center | Start: 12:30pm AEDT
Still looking refreshed after the All-Star break, the Indiana Pacers will take a three-game winning streak into a road game against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday. After some stumbles while integrating Victor Oladipo into the mix after a year away because of a tendon injury in his knee, the Pacers have also won five of six games following a six-game losing streak that started on Feb. 1. Oladipo’s return came on Jan. 29, with him seeing time in 10 of 13 games since while scoring 12.0 points per contest. The highest scoring game of his comeback came in Saturday’s 113-104 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers when he scored 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and 2-of-5 from 3-point range. The Spurs are feeling much better about their circumstances with three victories in their past five games but remain in 10th place in the Western Conference and in danger of ending their 22-year playoff streak. The Spurs built a 16-point lead against the Orlando Magic on Saturday for a 114-113 victory against the Orlando Magic. Trey Lyles scored 20 points, while Rudy Gay had 19. The teams will meet one more time in April, in the second to last game of the regular season for each.
Win: Indiana Pacers
Line: Indiana Pacers -3.5
Total Points: Under 220.5