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NBA • Monday Service Plays • 3/28/16

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    Preview: Brooklyn At Miami

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, March 28, 2016
    Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida

    The Miami Heat look to continue taking advantage of a four-game stretch against sub-.500 teams in their quest for third place in the Eastern Conference as they host the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. The Heat knocked off Orlando 108-97 on Friday for their third win in four contests and start a Western trip against the struggling Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento later in the week.

    Center Hassan Whiteside has been a force with four straight and 10 double-doubles in the last 11 games for Miami, which stands in fifth place — one game behind Atlanta for third in the East. Whiteside will get a challenge inside against Brooklyn’s leading scorer Brook Lopez (20.8), who is averaging 24.7 points over the last three games – two of them victories. The Nets won’t be an easy out for the Heat after surprising East-leading Cleveland and playoff-candidate Indiana in their last two encounters while averaging 112 points – more than 13 above their average. Miami has won eight of the last nine meetings, but Brooklyn won the last battle in Miami 111-105 on Dec. 28.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, YES (Brooklyn), FSN Sun (Miami)

    ABOUT THE NETS (21-51): Brooklyn held Cleveland to 43.8 percent shooting and connected on 54.5 from the field against Indiana in the 120-110 triumph on Saturday, outrebounding the two teams by 18 combined. Lopez is the main threat, but Bojan Bogdanovic has averaged 23.2 points over the past six contests and fellow guard Sean Kilpatrick (13.2 points overall) is 24-for-42 from the field his last four outings. Forward Thaddeus Young (15 points, team-high 9.1 rebounds) is averaging just 8.7 points the last three as the Nets begin a four-game trip.

    ABOUT THE HEAT (42-30): Leading scorer Chris Bosh (19.1) is on the road to recovery from blood clots and could return to a team that can make a run in the postseason with Whiteside (13.9 points, team-best 11.8 rebounds) raising his game to a new level. Veteran Dwyane Wade (19 points) has already played four games more than last season and is teaming well with Goran Dragic (13.8 points, team-high 5.9 assists) in the backcourt. Rookie Justise Winslow, who turned 20 on Saturday, is averaging 12 points in two games against the Nets.


    1. Heat G Joe Johnson, who was bought out by the Nets in February, is 15 points behind Eddie Johnson (19,202) for 48th on the NBA’s all-time list.

    2. Brooklyn signed C Henry Sims (4.8 points, 3.5 rebounds) to a second 10-day contract on Sunday.

    3. Miami F Luol Deng is averaging six points – half of his average – and has made just 6-of-23 from the field the last three games.

    PREDICTION: Heat 110, Nets 96


    Preview: Oklahoma City At Toronto

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, March 28, 2016
    Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

    The Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder have both already clinched playoff spots and are both relatively secure in their spots in their respective conferences but that doesn’t mean that either team has started slowing down. Both teams will try to continue a sprint to the finish when the Raptors host the Thunder on Monday.

    Toronto sits in second place in the Eastern Conference, six games clear of third-place Atlanta and 2 1/2 behind the Cleveland Cavaliers with 10 games left in the regular season. The Raptors tied the franchise record – set last season – with their 49th win on Saturday, crushing the New Orleans Pelicans 115-91 to bounce back from a pair of tough losses. Oklahoma City sits comfortably in the No. 3 slot in the West and ran its winning streak to seven straight with a 111-92 destruction of the second-place San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. The Thunder are averaging 117 points during the winning streak and got a combined 60 points from stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on Saturday.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Oklahoma, Sportsnet One (Toronto)

    ABOUT THE THUNDER (51-22): Oklahoma City did not face a full-strength San Antonio team on Saturday but made the most of its time against the Spurs’ backups and avoided a letdown by leaning on Durant, who went for 31 points on 13-of-20 shooting. “There’s a balance for him because he’s so unselfish,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan told reporters of Durant. “He’s such an efficient player. He’s as good as anybody in the world from that 15- to 18-foot range, whether he’s facing up or with his back to the basket. He’s just an incredible scorer from there.” Durant’s efficiency has been on display of late as he is shooting 58.1 percent from the field in the last five games.

    ABOUT THE RAPTORS (49-23): Toronto may have squandered its best chances to hang with the Cavaliers in the fight for the No. 1 spot with losses in Boston and Houston to begin the road trip but started looking like a contender again in Saturday’s drubbing of the Pelicans. The Raptors shot 53.4 percent from the field in the win while All-Star DeMar DeRozan led the way with a 9-of-11 effort. DeRozan managed to keep his cool in the contest after drawing a pair of technical fouls and getting ejected with three minutes remaining in the 112-109 loss to the Rockets on Friday.


    1. Thunder C Enes Kanter recorded a double-double off the bench in six of the last nine games.

    2. Raptors F Patrick Patterson is averaging 13.5 points on 10-of-14 shooting in two games since returning from an ankle injury.

    3. Toronto earned a 103-98 win at Oklahoma City on Nov. 4 behind 28 points from DeRozan.

    PREDICTION: Thunder 110, Raptors 108


    Preview: Atlanta At Chicago

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, March 28, 2016
    Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois

    The Chicago Bulls are not playing like a team that wants to stay in the playoff race. The Bulls will try to turn the momentum and remain within shouting distance of the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference when they host the surging Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

    Chicago dropped back to .500 with their third straight loss on Saturday and sits two games behind the eighth-place Detroit Pistons in the East. Each of the last three losses have come against teams out of the playoff race, including an embarrassing 111-89 setback at Orlando on Saturday. “I think it’s just a team that’s a little bit lost in terms of going out there every night knowing what it takes to win,” Bulls swingman Mike Dunleavy bluntly told reporters. “We give off the impression of beaten down, but I don’t think anybody’s given in right now. I just don’t think we’re good enough.” The Hawks have certainly looked good enough of late and tried to do the Bulls a favor with a 112-95 win over the Pistons on Saturday.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), CSN Chicago

    ABOUT THE HAWKS (44-30): Atlanta sits a half-game ahead of the fourth-place Boston Celtics and just 1 1/2 games clear of the sixth-place Charlotte Hornets in a tight bunch that also includes the Miami Heat. The Hawks have won three straight and 13 of the last 16 while showing off a renewed focus on the defensive end and held the Detroit Pistons to 38.6 percent from the field in Saturday’s triumph. Atlanta is in the process of rediscovering the offense that served it well in last season’s run to the top of the East and buried 13 3-pointers on Saturday, with seven different players connecting on at least one.

    ABOUT THE BULLS (36-36): Chicago is searching for answers for its lack of performance and is coming up empty. “It’s not just one little thing here or there,” Dunleavy told reporters. “It’s not on the defensive end or the offensive, it’s both. It’s just a lot of stuff. To say it’s like one thing we’re not doing right and that would solve everything, that’s just not the case.” The Bulls will play their next four games and seven of the next eight against teams competing for playoff spots in their respective conferences, including contests against Indiana and Detroit directly above them in the East.


    1. Hawks F Paul Millsap left Saturday’s game with a head laceration that required stitches and is day-to-day.

    2. Bulls F Taj Gibson is doing everything he can to help his team and is averaging 13.5 points on 64.2 percent shooting in the last six games.

    3. Atlanta took each of the previews three meetings this season by an average of 17.7 points.

    PREDICTION: Hawks 108, Bulls 89


    Preview: San Antonio At Memphis

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, March 28, 2016
    Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

    The San Antonio Spurs have given up on chasing down the Golden State Warriors and are more intent on being fresh for the postseason as they visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday. San Antonio didn’t even bring its top five players to Oklahoma City on Saturday and ended up suffering a 111-92 road loss.

    All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps) is expected to miss his third consecutive game but center Tim Duncan, All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili should be fit for action after being rested against the Thunder. The Spurs have won eight of their last 10 games and veteran power forward David West didn’t want excuses to be part of the equation when discussing the defeat in Oklahoma City. “I mean, we are professional, so we are going to give the effort,” West told reporters. “When you are down a few guys like we are in a game like this against a high-caliber opponent, you almost have to be mistake free to give yourself a chance.” Memphis understands being shorthanded and it lost 110-104 to the Spurs on Friday when it was missing point guard Mike Conley (Achilles) and power forward Zach Randolph (ankle), and the club won’t see standout center Marc Gasol (foot) again this season.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (San Antonio), FSN Southeast (Memphis)

    ABOUT THE SPURS (61-12): It’s unclear when Leonard will return to the lineup and there is no urgency to push the situation with San Antonio already assured of finishing at least second in the Western Conference. Second-year pro Kyle Anderson has started the past two games and is getting much-needed minutes, and coach Gregg Popovich is evaluating him closely to determine how much he can be counted on in the postseason. Backup center Boban Marjanovic also is getting a chance to play himself into a playoff role and had 13 points while starting in place of Duncan against Oklahoma City after recently scoring a career-best 19 off the bench against Miami.

    ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (41-32): Swingman Lance Stephenson has become a leading offensive option due to all the injuries and he is averaging 19.4 points over his last eight games. Stephenson, who had 17 points against the Spurs on Friday, isn’t always the easiest player to deal with and coach Dave Joerger is trying to give Stephenson “freedom within some parameters” to get the most out of him. “This city enjoys the way he plays,” Joerger told reporters. “He plays with a lot of heart and a lot of passion. Where would we be without him? That’s probably not a very happy place.”


    1. The Spurs are 3-0 against the Grizzlies this season and have won the past four meetings.

    2. Recently signed PG Jordan Farmar is averaging 10.3 points in three games since joining Memphis.

    3. Aldridge has 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting and collected 12 rebounds in Friday’s win over Memphis.

    PREDICTION: Spurs 102, Grizzlies 96


    Preview: Phoenix At Minnesota

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, March 28, 2016
    Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Phoenix Suns are both eliminated from playoff contention, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing left for which to play. Both teams will continue developing their young talent and pushing toward a strong finish when the Timberwolves host the Suns on Monday.

    Minnesota is one of the more exciting teams in the NBA with its collection of young talent and is playing better as the season winds down with four wins in the last eight games. The Timberwolves could not avoid a letdown on Saturday, when they suffered a 93-84 loss to the Utah Jazz at home the day after outlasting the Washington Wizards 132-129 in double overtime on the road. The Suns have picked up their level of play as well and gave the Boston Celtics all they could handle in a 102-99 setback at home on Saturday. Phoenix earned a 107-104 win over Minnesota at home on March 14, when Mirza Teletovic buried a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona-Plus (Phoenix), FSN North (Minnesota)

    ABOUT THE SUNS (20-53): Phoenix cut a 21-point deficit to one late in the fourth quarter on Friday before falling and got another strong performance from rookie guard Devin Booker. The Kentucky product scored 21 points in the loss and has gone over 20 points in four of the last five contests. Booker’s big scoring numbers of late have come with a healthy Brandon Knight next to him in the backcourt, and Knight returned from a one-game absence due to illness to deliver 19 points on Saturday.

    ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (24-49): Booker will almost certainly lose out on the Rookie of the Year award to former Kentucky teammate and current Minnesota star Karl-Anthony Towns. The 7-footer turned in his eighth straight double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday but could not carry his teammates after the marathon on Friday. “Our guys played hard,” interim coach Sam Mitchell told reporters. “Our guys were trying to win, but it was one of those nights. The mind was willing, but the bodies just couldn’t follow.”


    1. Teletovic is 3-of-16 from 3-point range in the last two contests.

    2. Timberwolves PG Ricky Rubio scored 23 points on Saturday – his most since pouring in 28 in the season opener.

    3. Minnesota shot 56.5 percent from the floor in a 117-87 home win over Phoenix on Jan. 17.

    PREDICTION: Timberwolves 121, Suns 112


    Preview: New York At New Orleans

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, March 28, 2016
    Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Two teams playing out the string after failing to meet preseason expectations meet when the New Orleans Pelicans host the New York Knicks on Monday. The Pelicans have been decimated by injuries from training camp throughout the season while the Knicks’ roster flaws have been repeatedly exposed en route to another losing campaign.

    New Orleans has dropped three in a row while playing with a roster that continues to drop bodies. Expected preseason contributors Eric Gordon (finger), Anthony Davis (shoulder, knee), Quincy Pondexter (knee) and Tyreke Evans (knee) have already been ruled out for the rest of the season while Ryan Anderson (groin) missed the last four games and was joined by Jrue Holiday (toe) on the bench in the last two alongside Norris Cole (back). New York took a turn at spoiler with back-to-back wins over the Chicago Bulls last week but could not make it three in a row with a 107-93 loss to the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. The Knicks are still leaning heavily on Carmelo Anthony and rookie Kristaps Porzingis despite their record, and the two continue to deliver.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FSN New Orleans

    ABOUT THE KNICKS (30-44): New York players, coaches and front office personnel talk a lot about the future, and a host of free agents and solid draft picks to compliment foundation pieces Anthony and Porzingis remains the bottom line. Anthony, who told reporters on Saturday that he won’t be talking about his no-trade clause anymore, certainly looks like a player trying to win in New York and scored 28 points in 39 minutes on Saturday. Porzingis stayed on the court 41 minutes in the setback and is averaging 36.2 minutes over the last five contests as he breaks through the rookie wall.

    ABOUT THE PELICANS (26-46): New Orleans is trying to find enough bodies to take the floor every night and gave shooting guard Jordan Hamilton his season debut on Saturday. The 25-year-old signed with the Pelicans on Friday and scored 11 points in 24 minutes off the bench in a 115-91 loss to the Toronto Raptors. “One thing I like is he don’t want guys passing up shots,” Hamilton told reporters of coach Alvin Gentry. “That’s a confidence boost for anybody, when the coach tells you to shoot the ball. Just hearing that makes me happy.”


    1. Knicks reserve F Derrick Williams scored in double figures in each of the last four games.

    2. Pelicans F Alonzo Gee is averaging 17.5 points on 15-of-25 shooting while receiving expanded minutes in the last two games.

    3. Anthony led the way with 29 points and 13 rebounds when New York claimed a 95-87 home victory over New Orleans on Nov. 15.

    PREDICTION: Pelicans 103, Knicks 98


    Preview: Dallas At Denver

    When: 9:00 PM ET, Monday, March 28, 2016
    Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

    The Dallas Mavericks keep sliding in the wrong direction and aim to get back on the winning track when they visit the Denver Nuggets on Monday. Slumping Dallas has lost 10 of its last 12 games and sits in ninth place in the Western Conference — a half-game behind the eighth-place Houston Rockets and one full game in back of the seventh-place Utah Jazz.

    The Mavericks were thumped 133-111 by the Sacramento Kings on Sunday and the 133 points are the most the club has allowed all season. “We’ve got to decide if we want to go home after the last (regular-season) game or not,” shooting guard Wesley Matthews told reporters. “Do we want to keep playing for something or not? Do we want to lay everything out on the line every single night nine more times and let the chips fall?” The Nuggets are 7-5 in their last 12 games after dropping a 105-90 decision to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. Denver is playing five of its next seven games at home as it seeks to continue its strong finish.

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), Altitude 2 (Denver)

    ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (35-38): Point guard Deron Williams will miss his third straight contest because of an abdominal strain. Williams aggravated the injury during Wednesday’s loss to Portland and was sent back to Dallas for further evaluation when the soreness persisted. “It’s definitely frustrating right now,” Williams told reporters. “We need every game we can get. It’s no time to be sitting out. If I didn’t feel like I’d be hurting myself and my team by being out there, I’d definitely want to be out there.”

    ABOUT THE NUGGETS (31-43): Second-year guard Gary Harris scored 11 points against the Clippers to stretch his run of double-digit scoring performances to 17 straight. Harris is averaging 15.5 points during the span and has reached 20 points just once while being consistently good. “Just figuring out times when I need to be aggressive and times when I can hunt for my shot,” Harris told reporters. “I think we’re doing a good job of just looking for teammates to get me in spots where I can score.”


    1. The Mavericks have lost in five of their last six visits to Denver.

    2. Dallas PF Dirk Nowitzki had just 14 points against the Kings after scoring 20 or more points in each of his last nine games.

    3. Denver PF Kenneth Faried (back) has missed the past six contests.

    PREDICTION: Nuggets 113, Mavericks 109


    Preview: L.A. Lakers At Utah

    When: 9:00 PM ET, Monday, March 28, 2016
    Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

    The Utah Jazz were six games below .500 just 2 1/2 weeks ago and are now in position to even up their record when they host the lowly Los Angeles Lakers on Monday. Utah has won seven of its last nine games and sits in seventh place in the Western Conference while battling the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks for the final two playoff spots.

    Utah is a half-game ahead of the Rockets and one full game ahead of the Mavericks as it opens a three-game homestand after completing a five-game road trip with a winning record. “It was a long five games and 3-2 is definitely not bad against some of the competition we’ve played,” small forward Gordon Hayward told reporters. “Now we’ve got a big game on Monday.” The Lakers have dropped seven of their past eight games after suffering a 101-88 home loss to the Washington Wizards on Sunday. Los Angeles is closing in on its second straight 60-loss campaign and needs to go 7-2 down the stretch to avoid matching the franchise record for losses (61) set last season.

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, TWC SportsNet (Los Angeles), ROOT (Utah)

    ABOUT THE LAKERS (15-58): Retiring Kobe Bryant scored 17 points in 23 minutes against the Wizards and is expected to play in his final visit to Salt Lake City despite his troublesome shoulder remaining an issue. Bryant said after the loss to Washington that he wants to play in each of the final nine games “unless something drastic happens, God forbid.” Rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell didn’t appear hampered by a sprained ankle suffered Friday as he scored 22 points in the loss to Washington.

    ABOUT THE JAZZ (36-37): The defense has been fantastic during the last nine games — Utah is allowing an average of 89.7 during the stretch — and five of the last seven opponents have been limited to 87 or fewer points. The Jazz set the tone for Saturday’s 93-84 victory over Minnesota by allowing just 10 first-quarter points and Utah’s offense finally came alive with 33 fourth-quarter points. “The early part of the game we weren’t scoring, but we were defending,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters. “And that’s just what we’ve tried to say: ‘Let’s just guard, let’s guard, let’s guard, and eventually find a way to score.’ Not only did we score, we got a little hot there.”


    1. The Jazz have won the past three meetings and 10 of the last 14.

    2. Los Angeles SGs Jordan Clarkson (two points) and Lou Williams (11) each were 1-of-7 from the field in the loss to Washington.

    3. Utah rookie F Trey Lyles has scored 14 or more points in three of the past four games.

    PREDICTION: Jazz 111, Lakers 103


    Preview: Sacramento At Portland

    When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, March 28, 2016
    Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon

    The Portland Trail Blazers have the opportunity to move closer to landing a playoff berth when they host the Sacramento Kings on Monday. Sixth-place Portland is 2 1/2 games ahead of the ninth-place Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference with eight games to play — and six of those contests are at home.

    The Trail Blazers are 23-12 at the Moda Center and have tough home games against Eastern Conference foes Boston and Miami looming. Portland also plays Sacramento on the road April 5 and the Kings could provide stiff competition based on the way they have looked in recent games. Sacramento routed Phoenix and Dallas by a combined 44 points in its last two games and rolled up 133 points in Sunday’s 22-point win over the Mavericks. “Guys have just cleared their mind,” Sacramento All-Star DeMarcus Cousins said after the victory. “We’ve decided it is what it is, and we’re just playing basketball and having fun. We’re playing the game we love.”

    TV: 10 p.m. ET, CSN California (Sacramento), CSN Northwest (Portland)

    ABOUT THE KINGS (29-44): First-round draft pick Willie Cauley-Stein suddenly is emerging on offense and is averaging 23.5 points on 19-of-30 shooting in the two victories. The 7-footer scored a career-high 26 points against Phoenix and added 21 against Dallas after previously not reaching 20 all season long. “We’re seeing what Willie can do. It’s the end of the season and he’s playing with a lot of confidence,” point guard Rajon Rondo told reporters. “There’s not too many restraints on him as there were when he first came in as a rookie. So now he’s a little more relaxed and able to do things that we haven’t seen him do all year.”

    ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (38-36): Portland suffered a 25-point loss at Philadelphia earlier this season and needed a tiebreaking three-point play from C.J. McCollum with 7.6 seconds left to land Saturday’s 108-105 home victory over the 76ers. McCollum scored 25 points for his fourth 20-point outing in six games and is averaging 22.3 points during the stretch. Star point guard Damian Lillard has struggled in the past two games, going 10-of-36 from the field while averaging 17 points.


    1. The Trail Blazers have won five straight home games and 11 of their last 13 against Kings.

    2. Cousins (knee) might be held out Monday after averaging 24.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in the past two games.

    3. Portland SF Al-Farouq Aminu matched his career best of 20 points in the win over the 76ers.

    PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 115, Kings 107


    Preview: Boston At L.A. Clippers

    When: 10:30 PM ET, Monday, March 28, 2016
    Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

    The Boston Celtics will try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they continue a lengthy road trip at the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. The Celtics opened the five-game trek with a 102-99 win – their fourth in a row – at Phoenix on Friday, utilizing 28 points from Isaiah Thomas to slide into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of Miami and a half-game behind Atlanta.

    Two of Boston’s final three regular-season games are against those two squads. The Clippers will be attempting to complete a perfect three-game homestand after picking up wins over Portland and Denver. DeAndre Jordan led six players in double figures with 16 points and also recorded 16 rebounds and six blocked shots in Sunday’s 105-90 triumph over the Nuggets, which clinched the fifth straight playoff berth for Los Angeles. The first meeting between these teams in Boston resulted in a thrilling 139-135 overtime win for the Celtics, who were led by Thomas (36 points, 11 assists).

    TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV, CSN New England (Boston), PRIME TICKET (Los Angeles)

    ABOUT THE CELTICS (43-30): Boston has won consecutive road games for the first time since early February and has been benefiting from some solid play by Evan Turner during its four-game run. Inserted into the starting lineup for the past five games as the team presses on without injured forward Jae Crowder, Turner is averaging 15.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists while shooting 51.6 percent. Crowder, who has a high ankle sprain, has already been ruled out for this one but is making progress and is considered day-to-day beyond that.

    ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (45-27): Forward Blake Griffin (hand, quad) was activated prior to Sunday’s game but has three more games of a four-game suspension to serve before he can see any action. Two players who might see a reduction in playing time when Griffin returns are Jeff Green and Wesley Johnson, both of whom had 13 points against the Nuggets. Paul Pierce, who has hinted at retirement following the season, could be facing the Celtics – for whom he starred for 15 seasons – for the final time.


    1. Thomas has scored at least 20 points in all 12 games this month.

    2. Clippers PG Chris Paul has at least one steal in 41 consecutive contests.

    3. Los Angeles has won the last three meetings at home.

    PREDICTION: Clippers 106, Celtics 100


    Hot teams
    — Miami won three of its last four games (1-3 last 4HF).
    — Oklahoma City won its last seven games (4-1 last 5AF). Toronto won five of its last seven games (3-0HU).
    — Hawks won eight of their last nine games (5-3 last 8AF).
    — Spurs won eight of their last ten games (3-6 last 9AF).
    — Denver won three of its last five games (5-2 last 7HF).
    — Jazz won seven of their last nine games (3-4 last 7HF).
    — Portland won three of its last five games (5-3 last 8HF). Kings won last two games, by 22 points each (0-3-1 last 4AU).
    — Celtics won their last four games (2-8 last 10AU). Clippers won three of last four home games (3-6 last 9HF).

    Cold teams
    — Nets lost their last five road games (2-4 last 6AU).
    — Suns lost three of their last four games (4-3 last 7AU). Minnesota lost three of last four home games (4-2 last 6HF).
    — Bulls lost their last three games, to NY (2), Orlando (4-4HU).
    — Memphis lost six of its last eight games (5-1 last 6HU).
    — Knicks lost four of their last six games (4-2 last 6A). New Orleans lost eight of its last ten games (1-3 last 4H).
    — Mavericks lost eight of their last ten games (4-1 last 5AU).
    — Lakers lost seven of their last eight games (4-2 last 6AU).

    Series records
    — Nets lost eight of last nine games with Miami.
    — Thunder won five of last eight games with Toronto.
    — Suns won six of last eight games with Minnesota.
    — Hawks won five of last six games with Chicago.
    — Spurs won their last four games with Memphis.
    — Pelicans lost five of last seven games with New York.
    — Mavericks won four of last five games with Denver.
    — Lakers lost four of last five games with Utah.
    — Kings lost their last four games with Portland.
    — Clippers won four of last five games with Boston.

    — Last four Brooklyn-Miami games went over the total.
    — Eight of last nine Thunder-Raptor games stayed under.
    — Five of last six Phoenix-Minnesota games stayed under.
    — Four of last five Chicago games stayed under the total.
    — Five of last seven Memphis games went over total.
    — Seven of last eight New York games stayed under; eight of Pelicans’ last ten games went over.
    — Six of last eight Dallas-Denver games went over the total.
    — Seven of last eight Utah games stayed under the total.
    — Seven of last nine Sacramento-Portland games stayed under.
    — Six of last eight Boston games stayed under the total.

    — Dallas is 3-6 in last nine games if they played night before; Denver is 6-3 in last nine if they played night before.
    — Lakers are 8-6 vs spread if they played the night before.
    — Kings lost five of last six games if they played night before.


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play On – Home underdogs (CHICAGO) revenging a road loss vs opponent, off an upset loss by 15 points or more as a favorite
    46-18 since 1997. ( 71.9% | 26.2 units )

    Play On – Any team vs the money line (MIAMI) off a win by 10 points or more over a division rival, playing with 2 days rest
    51-23 over the last 5 seasons. ( 68.9% | 27.5 units )
    7-4 this year. ( 63.6% | 3.0 units )

    Play Under – Any team vs. the 1rst half line a good team (+3 to +7 PPG differential) against an average team (+/- 3 PPG differential), after 3 straight wins by 10 points or more
    116-63 since 1997. ( 64.8% | 46.7 units )
    6-0 this year. ( 100.0% | 6.0 units )


    Monday’s Tip Sheet
    By Kevin Rogers

    Thunder at Raptors – 7:35 PM EST

    Following a shaky February, Oklahoma City (51-22 SU, 32-40-1 ATS) has turned it on this month by winning seven straight games. The Thunder swept their three-game homestand against the Rockets, Jazz, and Spurs, while blowing out a short-handed San Antonio squad on Saturday, 111-92 as 12 ½-point favorites. Billy Donovan’s team has scored at least 111 points in each of the seven wins during this hot streak, while covering five times in this span.

    The Raptors (49-23 SU, 39-33 ATS) avoided their third three-game losing streak of the season in Saturday’s 115-91 blowout at New Orleans to cash as 11-point favorites. Toronto owns a 17-2 SU and 11-8 ATS in the last 19 games at the Air Canada Center, while putting together a perfect 4-0 ATS record in the role of a home underdog this season. These teams last met in November as the Raptors pulled out a 103-98 victory as eight-point road underdogs, the fifth straight cover by Toronto in the series.

    Hawks at Bulls – 8:05 PM EST

    Things have spiraled out of control in the Windy City as the Bulls (36-36 SU, 29-43 ATS) sit two games behind the Pistons for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Chicago dropped its third straight contest on Saturday as the Bulls were drilled at Orlando, 111-89 as seven-point favorites. Fred Hoiberg’s club has failed to cover in four consecutive games, while the Bulls have allowed at least 100 points in 25 of the last 27 games.

    The Hawks (44-30 SU, 40-33-1 ATS) go for the four-game series sweep of the Bulls with the first three victories coming by double-digits. Atlanta captured the last meeting at Philips Arena on February 26 with a 103-88 triumph as 7 ½-point favorites, as both Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose sat out due to injuries. Mike Budenholzer’s team has caught fire of late by winning eight of the last nine games, capped off by a 112-95 victory at Detroit on Saturday. The Hawks have topped the 100-point mark in eight consecutive games, while putting together an incredible 7-2 SU and 8-1 ATS record in the last nine road contests.

    Spurs at Grizzlies – 8:05 PM EST

    Time is running out on San Antonio (61-12 SU, 42-31 ATS) to potentially grab home-court advantage in the Western Conference playoffs, sitting five games behind Golden State with nine games remaining. The Spurs took their foot off the pedal in Saturday’s 111-92 setback at Oklahoma City, sitting out LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, and Tim Duncan. Aldridge is expected to return to the lineup on Monday, but Leonard is listed as questionable, while Parker and Duncan are both expected to rest once again.

    Memphis (41-32 SU, 39-33-1 ATS) begins a three-game homestand after dropping six of its last eight contests. The Grizzlies fell short at San Antonio on Saturday, 110-104, but managed to cover as 13-point underdogs, while shooting 53% from the floor. Memphis has lost all three meetings with San Antonio this season, while dropping eight of the past 10 matchups since 2013. Dave Joerger’s team have cashed in seven of the last 10 games in the underdog role, including recent outright home ‘dog victories over the Clippers, Pelicans, and Jazz.

    Kings at Blazers – 10:05 PM EST

    Sacramento (29-44 SU, 32-40-1 ATS) won consecutive games for only the second time since the All-Star break after pulling off back-to-back home victories over Phoenix and Dallas. The Kings dropped the Mavericks from start to finish in Sunday’s 133-111 drubbing of Dallas, while improving to 4-1 ATS in the last five games overall. Leading scorer DeMarcus Cousins will likely sit out tonight to rest an ailing foot, as Sacramento has compiled a 2-9 SU and 4-7 ATS record without their center this season. The Kings haven’t fared well without rest, putting together a 3-14 SU and 9-8 ATS record, but have covered each of the last two times in this situation on the road.

    The Blazers (38-36 SU, 41-33 ATS) have yet to win back-to-back games in March, going 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS off a victory this month. Portland outlasted Philadelphia on Saturday, 108-105, but failed to cash as 15-point home favorites in spite of taking a 12-point lead into the fourth quarter. Terry Stotts’ club has finished ‘under’ the total in three straight games at the Moda Center, but owns an 0-3 ATS record in its last three opportunities as a favorite. Portland has won each of the first two matchups with Sacramento this season, including a 112-97 victory as five-point home favorites in late January.

    Celtics at Clippers – 10:35 PM EST

    Boston (43-30 SU, 39-33-1 ATS) continues a five-game West Coast swing after holding off Phoenix on Saturday, 102-99 as 8 ½-point favorites to extend its winning streak to four games. The Celtics have stepped up their defense of late by allowing 99 points or less in each of their past three victories, while going on a 6-2 run to the ‘under’ the last eight contests. Brad Stevens’ team has struggled recently in the underdog role by losing five straight times when receiving points, while failing to cover in all five of those defeats since the All-Star break.

    Los Angeles (45-27 SU, 33-36-3 ATS) hits the court following a 105-90 triumph over Denver on Sunday afternoon to pick up only its second cover in the last 11 games. The Clippers have won eight of their past 11 times in the home favorite role, but have covered only four times in this span dating back to mid-January. L.A. looks for revenge after losing at TD Garden on February 10 in a 139-134 overtime epic as 1 ½-point underdogs, snapping a four-game winning streak against Boston dating back to 2013.

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