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NBA • Sunday Service Plays • 12/27/15

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    Preview: L.A. Lakers At Memphis

    When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 27, 2015

    Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

    Kobe Bryant thrilled the crowd in his final Christmas Day game, but the Los Angeles Lakers still came up short. The Lakers will try to clip their latest slide at two contests when they open up a three-game road trip by visiting the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

    Bryant, who scored 12 points in 26 minutes against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, will close out the trip by making his final visit to Boston and plays for the final time in the city that traded him away on draft night Monday in Charlotte. The future Hall of Famer spent the fourth quarter on the bench on Christmas as the reserves turned a 28-point deficit into a close finish before dropping a 94-84 decision that served as Los Angeles’ 10th loss in the last 12 games. The Grizzlies are looking to bust out of their own two-game slump after failing to reach 100 points for the fifth time in six games on Saturday. Memphis is among the lowest scoring teams in the league despite a change to a smaller starting lineup and went 1-2 on its just-completed road trip – with the lone win coming over lowly Philadelphia.

    TV: 6 p.m. ET, TWC SportsNet (Los Angeles), FSN Southeast (Memphis)

    ABOUT THE LAKERS (5-25):
    Los Angeles coach Byron Scott has fielded many questions about his starting lineup choices and finally seemed to find a unit that worked well together when a group of mostly reserves tightened things on Friday. “I thought our spacing was much better,” Scott told reporters. “(Marcelo Huertas) was able to make some plays. Our defense was much better, and then once we got our defense going we were able to get up and down the floor a little bit more.” Rookie D’Angelo Russell is still coming off the bench and went for 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting Friday.

    Memphis coach Dave Joerger continues to bring power forward Zach Randolph off the bench but is increasing his minutes. Randolph had his most productive game since joining the reserves with 18 points and 12 rebounds in 33 minutes at Charlotte on Saturday and has scored in double figures in three straight games. The Michigan State product was on the floor for the entire fourth quarter on Saturday and scored seven of his team’s 18 points in the frame.


    1. Lakers F Nick Young is 3-of-21 from 3-point range in his last four games.

    2. Grizzlies F Matt Barnes totaled nine points on 4-of-15 shooting in the last two games.

    3. Memphis has taken six straight in the series by an average of 6.3 points.

    PREDICTION: Grizzlies 99, Lakers 88


    Preview: Denver At Oklahoma City

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 27, 2015

    Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    The Oklahoma City Thunder look to rebound from a rough home loss on Christmas Day when they host the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night. The Thunder shot 38.5 percent from the field overall and were outscored by 16 points in the third quarter during a 105-96 setback against Chicago on Friday — only the second loss in their last 11 games.

    Kevin Durant is averaging 30.1 points in 28 career games against the Nuggets, who have dropped five of their last six games against Oklahoma City. Denver hopes to turn things around after allowing 13-of-25 shooting from 3-point range and getting outrebounded 50-35 in a 24-point loss to the Thunder on Nov. 1. The Nuggets dropped a 101-86 decision at San Antonio on Saturday for their fourth loss in the last five contests. Denver was without leading scorer Danilo Gallinari (17.3) for the third straight game and the 6-10 forward is expected to miss Sunday’s contest.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), FSN Oklahoma (Oklahoma City)

    ABOUT THE NUGGETS (12-18):
    Forward Will Barton continues to emerge as a main scoring threat, recording double figures in points for 15 straight games and averaging 22.5 during the past four. Center Nikola Jokic scored 22 points Saturday — one off his season high — and is averaging 15.8 to go along with 3.5 assists in the last four contests. With rookie Emmanuel Mudiay (ankle) likely out another week, Jameer Nelson and Randy Foye combined for 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting while sharing the point guard duties Saturday.

    ABOUT THE THUNDER (20-10):
    Oklahoma City lacked energy at key points in the loss Friday and coach Billy Donovan told reporters, “For whatever reason, we appeared a step behind them.” Those types of games have been few and far between for the league’s second-highest scoring team (107.4) as Durant and Russell Westbrook combine for more than 52 per contest. Serge Ibaka (13.4 points, 7.1 rebounds) must rebound from a 3-for-12 shooting performance, and reserve Dion Waiters is 2-for-14 in the last two.


    1. Oklahoma City C Enes Kanter has nine double-doubles this season — including two straight and four in his last six contests.

    2. Denver G Gary Harris, who shot 45.5 percent from 3-point range in November, is 3-for-22 from behind the arc the last six games.

    3. The Thunder is a plus-7.8 in rebounding margin, tops in the league entering Saturday’s games.

    PREDICTION: Thunder 110, Nuggets 95


    Preview: New York At Boston

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 27, 2015

    Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

    Following another successful stint on the road, the Boston Celtics look forward to taking on some lesser opponents at home, beginning with a matchup against the sliding New York Knicks on Sunday. The Celtics picked up a 99-93 victory at Detroit on Saturday to cap a 2-0 road trip and match their longest winning streak of the season with their third triumph in a row.

    They now get to host the Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers (5-25) and the Brooklyn Nets (8-22) in succession before hitting the road again to visit the Nets. Boston should have loads of success during the span if it can continue to showcase the balanced attack that worked in Charlotte on Wednesday and again at Detroit. Avery Bradley led six players in double figures with 18 points as the Celtics picked up their ninth road win Saturday – the second-highest total in the Eastern Conference – and improved to 16-6 away from home dating to last season. The Knicks have lost three in a row after suffering a 117-98 setback at Atlanta on Saturday.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBA TV, MSG (New York), CSN New England (Boston)

    ABOUT THE KNICKS (14-17):
    New York is working its way through an extremely difficult portion of the schedule, going 1-3 thus far in a stretch that sees the squad play 11 straight games against teams currently above .500. The Hawks, who are featured three times in those 11 contests, shot 53.4 percent against the Knicks on Saturday and had a 9-23 advantage in the turnover department. Carmelo Anthony returned from a one-game layoff due to a sprained ankle to score 18 points and grab 12 rebounds Saturday.

    ABOUT THE CELTICS (17-13):
    Amir Johnson’s return from an absence due to plantar fasciitis provided a big boost for Boston on Saturday. The veteran big man provided 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting while hauling in eight boards as the Celtics avenged a loss in Detroit just 10 days earlier. Aside from Bradley (3-of-10), Boston shot 1-of-13 from 3-point range against the Pistons and it is 11-of-52 over the last two games.


    1. Celtics PG Isaiah Thomas is scoring 14.3 points per contest during the winning streak after averaging 26.3 over the previous three games – all losses.

    2. Anthony is averaging 25.2 points in 28 career games against Boston.

    3. The Celtics won the final three games of the 2014-15 season series.

    PREDICTION: Celtics 107, Knicks 98


    Preview: Portland At Sacramento

    When: 9:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 27, 2015

    Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California

    The Sacramento Kings are winners of five of their last seven games and seem to have found a formula that starts with Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins. The pair of stars will try to keep the Kings on the path toward a .500 record when they host the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

    Sacramento won three straight at home before splitting a four-game road trip and is hoping the momentum generated from a 108-106 victory Wednesday can carry over the Christmas break. Cousins went for 25 points and 16 rebounds in the win over Indiana while Rondo narrowly missed a triple-double with 13 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds to mark the third time in the last seven contests that both stars recorded at least a double-double in the same contest. The Kings will be going up against a Trail Blazers squad that busted out of a slump in emphatic fashion with a 105-76 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Portland had dropped its previous five games by an average of 13.2 points and cruised despite star guard Damian Lillard (plantar fasciitis) missing his third straight game.

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, CSN Northwest (Portland), CSN California (Sacramento)

    Portland took advantage of a Cleveland team playing the second night of a back-to-back on the road by leaning on Allen Crabbe, who poured in a career-high 26 while starting in place of Lillard. Crabbe went 8-of-15 and is averaging 19 points in the three games Lillard has watched from the bench. The Trail Blazers led 34-12 after the first quarter and carried a 29-point edge into the break before cruising through the second half and did not need to push anyone past 34 minutes in the first night of the back-to-back.

    ABOUT THE KINGS (12-17):
    Rondo and Cousins got plenty of help Wednesday from guard Darren Collison, who scored 24 points in 35 minutes off the bench. “It feels great,” Collison said. “When you have it rolling, you have it rolling. Your teammates feed off of you, and they continue to look for you, and (Wednesday) was my night.” Collison is back on the bench with Omri Casspi joining a bigger starting five but is averaging 13.6 points in 29 minutes.


    1. Sacramento coach George Karl needs one more win to tie Phil Jackson (1,155) for fifth place on the all-time list.

    2. Kings F Rudy Gay is 1-of-13 from 3-point range in the last three games.

    3. Portland took two of three meetings last season, including a 110-99 victory at Sacramento on March 1.

    PREDICTION: Kings 109, Trail Blazers 101



    Hot teams
    — Celtics won their last three games (6-5HF).
    — Oklahoma City won eight of last ten games (4-8 last 12 HF).
    — Sacramento won five of last seven games (4-3HF).

    Cold teams
    — Memphis lost four of last six games (1-4 last five HF). Lakers lost eight of their last ten games (4-10 last 14 AU).
    — Knicks lost their last three games (9-5AU).
    — Denver lost four of its last five games (8-6AU).
    — Portland lost five of last six games, but beat Cleveland by 29 last night (1-4 last five AU).

    Series records
    — Lakers lost last six games with Memphis, but LA is 6-0-1 against spread in last seven series games.
    — Knicks lost their last three games with Boston.
    — Thunder won five of last six games with Denver.
    — Trailblazers won six of last eight games with Philly.

    — Four of last five Laker games stayed under total.
    — Six of last seven New York games went over total.
    — Eight of last nine Thunder games stayed under.
    — Under is 5-2 in last seven Portlsnd-Sacramento games.


    — Memphis is 7-2 vs spread if it played night before.
    — Knicks are 4-2 vs spread if they played night before. Boston is 3-2 if they played night before, 0-2 at home.
    — Nuggets are 4-3 vs spread if they played night before.
    — Portland is 2-6 vs spread if it played night before.


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Against – Home teams (MEMPHIS) poor team – outscored by their opponents by 3+ points/game against opponent after allowing 55 points or more in the first half in 2 straight games
    66-31 over the last 5 seasons. ( 68.0% | 31.9 units )
    4-4 this year. ( 50.0% | -0.4 units )

    Play Against – Home teams vs. the money line (MEMPHIS) poor team – outscored by their opponents by 3+ points/game against opponent after allowing 55 points or more in the first half in 2 straight games
    61-36 over the last 5 seasons. ( 62.9% | 27.3 units )
    1-7 this year. ( 12.5% | -8.1 units )

    Play Against – Road underdogs vs. the 1rst half line (PORTLAND) after 3 or more consecutive losses, on Sunday games
    52-22 over the last 5 seasons. ( 70.3% | 27.8 units )
    5-3 this year. ( 62.5% | 1.7 units )



    *10 NBA Sunday *Personal Favorite* 12-7 L19
    Memphis Grizzzlies


    Bob Akmens BASPORTS

    508 @ 9:05 PM SACRAMENTO -7.5 vs Portland


    Sports Picks Weekly

    4* L.A. Lakers at Memphis Grizzles – UNDER -196


    Paul Leiner

    100* NBA Lakers +11.5



    Today ‘OVER’ the total on all 4 NBA games.

    8-5 NBA yesterday.


    Jack Jones

    15* Knicks / Celtics
    Under 201.5



    1* Oklahoma City Thunder -15.5


    SB Professor Original NBA Picks 12/27

    No plays

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