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Tuesday’s Tip Sheet
By Kevin Rogers

Wizards at Cavaliers (-9 ½, 202 ½) – 7:05 PM EST

It’s been a tough stretch for Washington (6-8 SU, 6-8 ATS), who has dropped four straight games, which includes two late meltdowns in losses to Charlotte and Toronto. The Wizards were outscored by the Hornets, 27-6 in the fourth quarter of a 14-point defeat last Wednesday, while getting beat at the buzzer by the Raptors on Saturday, 84-82. Washington managed a cover as 3 ½-point underdogs against Toronto, but Randy Wittman’s team has cashed just once during this four-game skid, while posting a 1-4 SU/ATS record in the past five games away from the Verizon Center.

The Cavaliers (13-4 SU, 7-10 ATS) continue to own the best record in the Eastern Conference through the first month of the season after edging the Nets on Saturday, 90-88. LeBron James scored the game-winning basket with one second left, but the Cavs failed to cover as 8 ½-point favorites, snapping a three-game ATS win streak at Quicken Loans Arena. Following six consecutive ‘overs,’ David Blatt’s club has cashed the ‘under’ in the last two contests, while four of the past five meetings in Cleveland have finished ‘under’ the total.

Lakers (-1 ½, 197 ½) at 76ers – 7:05 PM EST

Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, and Julius Erving aren’t walking through the doors at the Wells Fargo Center when these two teams hook up. However, another (soon-to-be) Hall of Famer pays his final visit to his hometown as Kobe Bryant announced this will be the last season of his dynamic career. This season hasn’t been one to remember for Bryant and the Lakers (2-14 SU, 5-11 ATS), who begin an eight-game road trip, while trying to snap a six-game losing streak. Los Angeles fell short at home against Indiana on Sunday, 107-103 as 9 ½-point underdogs, the only ATS win during this cold stretch.

What is there left to say about the sad state of the 76ers? Philadelphia (0-18 SU, 8-10 ATS) is trying to avoid the dubious distinction of owning the worst start to a season in NBA history with one more loss, but the Sixers have been pointspread gold of late by covering five straight times. Brent Brown’s squad wrapped up a six-game road trip at 5-1 ATS, capped off by a 92-84 defeat at Memphis as 13 ½-point underdogs, the fifth straight loss by the Sixers when leading in the fourth quarter. Not that Philadelphia needs any more negativity to endure, but the Sixers have lost three straight home meetings with the Lakers since 2012.

Suns (-3 ½, 206) at Nets – 7:35 PM EST

Phoenix (8-9 SU, 9-8 ATS) continues its six-game road swing out east after getting past Toronto on Sunday as three-point ‘dogs, 107-102. The Suns ended a four-game slide with the win, as their bench provided a spark with 51 points, led by 20 points from Mirza Teletovic on 6-of-7 shooting from three-point range. Jeff Hornacek’s team has yet to win consecutive games on the road this season, but owns a 6-3 ATS record in its last nine opportunities as a favorite. The Suns swept the two-game series from the Nets last season, while rallying from a 15-point fourth quarter deficit in a 108-100 overtime triumph at the Barclays Center in March.

Following an 0-7 start to the season, the Nets (4-13 SU, 10-7 ATS) have improved their play the last 10 games, while covering nine times in this stretch. Brooklyn’s latest cover came on Sunday night in an 87-83 comeback victory over Detroit as five-point underdogs, the third straight win as a home ‘dog. The Nets have struggled against the Western Conference, putting together a 1-6 SU record, but a 5-2 ATS mark, including covers against the Thunder and Warriors as double-digit ‘dogs. Brooklyn is riding a 3-1 ‘under’ run at home since cashing the ‘over’ in the first two games at the Barclays Center.

Grizzlies at Pelicans (-1, 201 ½) – 8:05 PM EST

Since a four-game losing streak in early November, Memphis (10-8 SU, 8-10 ATS) has rebounded nicely with victories in seven of its past nine contests. The Grizzlies failed to cash for the second time this season as double-digit favorites, rallying past the 76ers on Sunday, 92-84. Memphis has won two of its last three away from FedEx Forum, while allowing 94 points or less in four of its previous five road contests. The Grizzlies split four meetings with the Pelicans last season, as Memphis lost both matchups in the Big Easy, scoring 95 points or less each time.

The Pelicans (4-13 SU, 6-11 ATS) began the season with a disappointing 1-11 record, but ran off three straight victories, including a home-and-home sweep of the Suns. New Orleans has fallen backwards since that hot streak, losing consecutive road games to the Jazz and Clippers, falling by double-digits each time. Anthony Davis continues to lead the Pelicans in scoring after putting up 36 points in Saturday’s 101-87 setback at Utah, as New Orleans returns home seeking its third consecutive victory at Smoothie King Center.

Magic at Wolves (-1 ½, 201 ½) – 8:05 PM EST

There isn’t one team in the NBA that possesses a bigger home/road dichotomy than Minnesota. The Wolves (8-9 SU, 10-7 ATS) own a perfect 9-0 ATS record away from the Target Center, but have covered just once in eight opportunities at home. The lone ATS home win for Minnesota came against Atlanta last Wednesday in a 99-95 victory as three-point ‘dogs, as the Wolves are seeking their first cover in the favorite role (0-2 ATS). Point guard Ricky Rubio is expected back in the lineup after missing the last two games with an ankle injury, as the Wolves split a pair of games against the Kings and Clippers on the road.

These teams met up two weeks ago in central Florida, as Orlando (9-8 SU, 11-6 ATS) outlasted Minnesota, 104-101, but the Wolves cashed as five-point ‘dogs. The Magic is fresh off a sweep of a three-game homestand, capped off by a 110-91 blowout of the Celtics as two-point underdogs on Sunday, the seventh home win in the last eight attempts. However, the road hasn’t been as kind to Scott Skiles’ club, dropping four of the past five away from Orlando, while failing to cover in three straight on the highway.

Mavericks at Blazers (-1 ½, 203) – 10:05 PM EST

Both these teams are playing with no rest after taking the court in California last night. Dallas (10-8 SU, 11-7 ATS) was outscored by 23 points in the final three quarters in Monday’s 112-98 setback at Sacramento as two-point underdogs, its third loss in the past four games. Since sweeping a three-game road swing in mid-November, Rick Carlisle’s team has dropped four straight contests away from the American Airlines Center. The Mavs didn’t perform well at the Moda Center last season, losing both meetings by double-digits, while being held to 87 points or less each time.

The Blazers (7-11 SU, 9-9 ATS) return home after a quick trip to Los Angeles, falling to the Clippers, 102-87 as seven-point underdogs. Point guard Damian Lillard played only 17 minutes after suffering an abdominal injury, as his status is up in air tonight (he hasn’t missed a game this season). Portland has cashed the ‘under’ in four of the past five games, while holding opponents to 96 points or less four times in this span.