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NBA Tips – Friday, March 6, 2020
HORNETS VS NUGGETS
Venue: Spectrum Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT
The Denver Nuggets have had a couple of unpredictable results in recent games and they’d like to get back to their strong play, particularly against teams that have been struggling. That next chance comes Thursday night on the road against the Charlotte Hornets. It was a strange two-game home set for Denver, which thumped the Toronto Raptors 133-118 for a notable victory and then two days later suffered a 116-100 loss to the Golden State Warriors. The Nuggets gave up 18 3-point baskets to Golden State, while Denver was 3-for-20 from long range. The Hornets blew an early 17-point lead and fell 104-103 to the visiting San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night. Charlotte is 0-2 so far on a four-game homestand. Cody Martin was in the Hornets’ starting lineup Tuesday for just second career start, in part because leading scorer Devonte’ Graham missed the game with an ankle injury suffered two days earlier. Denver won a home matchup with Charlotte in mid-January by 100-86 as Michael Porter Jr. popped in 19 points for one of the five times this season he has led the Nuggets in scoring. For the Nuggets, this marks the beginning of five of the next six games on the road.
Win: Denver Nuggets
Line: Charlotte Hornets +9.5
Total Points: Under 207.5
ROCKETS VS CLIPPERS
Venue: Toyota Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets will introduce new looks to one another in a playoff-type atmosphere when the Western Conference contenders go head-to-head for the final time in the regular season on Thursday night. The teams have met three times this season, but not since December, well before the Clippers beefed up their depth with the addition of Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson, and the Rockets have gotten significantly smaller by swapping Robert Covington for Clint Capela. Los Angeles will take the court with a 2½-game edge in the Western standings, but the Rockets hold a 2-1 advantage in the season series, with a chance to clinch the tie-breaker Thursday. Both teams have all hands on deck, and it’s resulted in the Clippers having won five in a row, while the Rockets had won six straight before losing 125-123 at New York on Monday. In a matchup of good defense vs. good offense, the Clippers have held four of their last five opponents to 103 points or fewer, whereas the Rockets have scored at least 111 points in eight straight. The game caps a two-game trip for Los Angeles, which won 109-94 at Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
Win: Houston Rockets
Line: LA Clippers +1.5
Total Points: Over237.5
KINGS VS 76ERS
Venue: Golden 1 Center | Start: 2:00pm AEDT
The Sacramento Kings try to keep their playoff push going by facing another team from the Eastern Conference on Thursday night when the Philadelphia 76ers visit. The Kings have won three games in a row, including the past two against foes from the Eastern Conference. Sacramento is 6-1 since the All-Star break. The Kings are coming off a 133-126 home victory against the Washington Wizards, winning despite the ejection of coach Luke Walton. The game included a season-high 76 first-half points for the Kings. It was a big night for De’Aaron Fox, who racked up 31 points. He’s averaging 20.4 points per game in the 42 games in which he has played. The 76ers have lost their last nine road games, including a 120-107 setback Tuesday night to the Los Angeles Lakers. Philadelphia is 9-23 overall on the road and they’re halfway through a four-game road stretch. Against the Lakers, Glenn Robinson III matched his season-high total with 25 points for the 76ers. Philadelphia is banged up with Joel Embiid missing the past three games with a shoulder injury, Ben Simmons out for five games with a back ailment and Josh Richardson entering the concussion protocol on Sunday. The 76ers won 97-91 on Nov. 27 at home against Sacramento behind Embiid’s 33 points.
Win: Sacramento Kings
Line: Philadelphia +5.5
Total Points: Under 222.5
WARRIORS VS RAPTORS
Venue: Chase Center | Start: 2:30pm AEDT
The long-awaited but not highly anticipated NBA Finals rematch takes place Thursday night when the Toronto Raptors visit the Golden State Warriors. The Raptors got 26 points apiece from Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry, and 22 each from Kawhi Leonard and Fred VanVleet, when they ended the Warriors’ bid for three-peat with a 114-110 victory in Game 6 of the best-of-seven last June. That game was held in Oakland. The Warriors have since moved to San Francisco, where they have lost nine in a row and don’t even vaguely resemble the five-time defending Western Conference champs. They are expected to regain part of their old look when Stephen Curry returns from almost a 4 1/2-month absence that was required to rehab a broken left hand. Siakam and Lowry have led the Raptors right back into contention this season after the Raptors lost Leonard in free agency. They’ve also been without VanVleet (sore shoulder) and Serge Ibaka (sore knee) in recent outings, which has contributed to three losses in their last four games. The Warriors, who no longer employ Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins from last year’s edition, and who have gone all year without injured Klay Thompson, have won two of their last three, including a 116-100 shocker at Denver on Tuesday. The teams will meet again on March 16 in Toronto.
Win: Toronto Raptors
Line: Toronto Raptors -10.5
Total Points: Under 226.5