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NBA • Sunday Service Plays • 2/21/16

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    Preview: New Orleans At Detroit

    When: 3:30 PM ET, Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan

    The Detroit Pistons made moves to shake up the roster this week but are still putting together the pieces. The Pistons are still waiting for Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton to make their respective team debuts and will try to end a four-game slide when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.

    Detroit was one of the most active teams prior to the trade deadline and got a strong debut from Tobias Harris, who scored 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting off the bench against the Washington Wizards on Friday. The rest of Harris’ new teammates weren’t quite as sharp, and the Pistons fell behind by as many as 24 points before suffering a 98-86 setback. The Pelicans hung onto Ryan Anderson at the break and were rewarded with 26 points off the bench from the veteran forward in a 121-114 win over Philadelphia on Friday. New Orleans still believes it has a shot at a playoff spot in the Western Conference with a strong finish and has won three of its last four games.

    TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans, FSN Detroit

    ABOUT THE PELICANS (21-33): New Orleans is six games behind the eighth-place Houston Rockets in the West but is treating the final 28 games like a college season and trying to rack up as many wins as possible. “At this point for us we want to win,” Anderson told reporters. “We want wins and we want to build at a winning stretch of games, and a winning culture. We think of this as a new season and a new start so this is a good way to start this second half of the season.” The Pelicans’ outlook would be a whole lot clearer if point guard Jrue Holiday stayed healthy for those 28 games and continued to put up 24 points and 12 assists, like he did on Friday.

    ABOUT THE PISTONS (27-28): Detroit is on the outside looking in as well, 1 1/2 games behind Chicago and Charlotte in the East. Harris should give the team even more of a boost once he gets up to speed and is already impressing coach Stan Van Gundy. “I thought he played really well,” Van Gundy told reporters of Harris. “I mean that’s a tough situation for a guy coming in on a trade and having one full practice like that. He’s an extremely intelligent basketball player. He actually won two positions in one day. He played both the three and the four. He was very effective offensively and I thought he did a really, really nice job.”


    1. Motiejunas (back) is day-to-day and has not appeared in an NBA game since Dec. 31.

    2. Pelicans G Bryce Dejean-Jones (wrist) left Friday’s game and is day-to-day.

    3. New Orleans has taken seven straight in the series, including a 115-99 home win on Jan. 21.

    PREDICTION: Pelicans 113, Pistons 108


    Preview: Cleveland At Oklahoma City

    When: 3:30 PM ET, Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    The Oklahoma City Thunder are a distant third place in the Western Conference but still own one more win than the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant will try to keep LeBron James and company from notching their 40th victory when the Thunder host the Cavaliers on Sunday.

    Cleveland bridged the All-Star break with four consecutive wins and came out of the vacation with a 106-95 home win over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. The Cavaliers hope to debut their latest acquisition on Sunday, with forward Channing Frye expected to begin stretching the floor after being acquired from the Orlando Magic prior to Thursday’s trade deadline. Oklahoma City stumbled out of the break with a 101-98 home loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday after squandering a seven-point lead in the final minutes. “The defensive lapses toward the end of the game, we can’t have those,” Westbrook told reporters. “Second half of the season, man, it’s getting close to playoff time. We’ve got to put more pressure on ourselves to be better.”

    TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

    ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (39-14): Cleveland is the overwhelming favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference and made minor adjustments to the roster instead of swinging for a big deal in front of the deadline. Frye, who is shooting 39.7 percent from 3-point range this season, gives the team another offensive weapon on the perimeter for when defenses collapse around LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. “Channing Frye is someone we know well,” Cavaliers general manager David Griffin told reporters. “His length, floor spacing ability and locker room presence will impact us positively. He is a great fit with our group, both on the court and off.”

    ABOUT THE THUNDER (40-15): Oklahoma City did some tinkering as well with the addition of veteran shooting guard Randy Foye, but team defense remains the biggest concern. “Just a little bit more focus in the fourth,” Durant told reporters after Friday’s loss. “We’ll be fine. I think for the whole game we played a really good defensive game outside of those last few minutes.” The Thunder limit opponents to 43.8 percent shooting on the season, which is good enough for sixth in the league entering the weekend but puts them behind West leaders Golden State and San Antonio.


    1. Westbrook handed out a career-high 18 assists on Friday.

    2. Cavaliers G Iman Shumpert (sprained left shoulder) is day-to-day.

    3. Cleveland has taken the last two meetings but suffered a 103-94 loss in its lone trip to Oklahoma City last season.

    PREDICTION: Thunder 106, Cavaliers 101


    Preview: Boston At Denver

    When: 5:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

    A handful of physical issues – as well as their most lopsided loss in nearly three months – has slowed the Boston Celtics’ surge. They will look to get back to their winning ways when they visit Denver on Sunday in the second of three straight road games.

    In Friday’s 111-93 setback at Utah – the Celtics’ biggest loss since Nov. 29 – guards Avery Bradley (knee) and Marcus Smart (thumb) were hurt. That came after the team announced that reserve center Kelly Olynyk would miss a few weeks with a shoulder injury and little-used big man David Lee had his contract bought out, potentially leaving Boston shorthanded as it tries to recover from just its third loss in the last 13 games. The Nuggets emerged from the All-Star break with a 116-110 loss at Sacramento on Friday. They have won three of their last four home games – all against Eastern Conference teams.

    TV: 5 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), Altitude (Denver)

    ABOUT THE CELTICS (32-24): Bradley told reporters he was unsure if would be able to play in Denver, while Smart was confident he would not miss any time. If either or both of them are absent, it would further hinder a team that talks a big game on the defensive end but has had issues recently making stops. Opponents are averaging 116 points in regulation over the last four games (2-2) and coach Brad Stevens was not pleased with the defensive effort against the Jazz, telling reporters, “We reached and grabbed instead of holding our ground.”

    ABOUT THE NUGGETS (22-33): The loss in Sacramento marked Denver’s first game since trading Randy Foye to Oklahoma City in exchange for D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak and two picks. Augustin was not seeing much playing time with the Thunder but looked like he was ready to respond to an increase in minutes for the Nuggets, recording eight points, six assists and three steals in 19 minutes. Center Joffrey Lauvergne broke out for a career-high 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting.


    1. Bradley tied a season high with 27 points in a 111-103 win over Denver at home on Jan. 27.

    2. Nuggets F Danilo Gallinari is averaging 23.7 points over his last six games.

    3. Opponents shoot 32.7 percent from 3-point range against Boston, compared to 37.5 against Denver.

    PREDICTION: Celtics 103, Nuggets 101


    Preview: San Antonio At Phoenix

    When: 5:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona

    The San Antonio Spurs go after their eighth win in nine games when they visit the struggling Phoenix Suns on Sunday afternoon. The Spurs rebounded from their only loss of the month with a 119-113 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday but could be without leading scorer Kawhi Leonard (calf) for the third straight contest.

    Leonard, who is averaging 20.2 points and shooting 48.2 percent from 3-point range, is considered day-to-day after an MRI on the calf reportedly revealed, “nothing of concern.” San Antonio is 18-9 overall on the road and 3-1 on its current season-long eight-game trip, including a 19-point loss against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. The Spurs have beaten the Suns six straight times, including three this season by an average of 25 points, and will try to hand Phoenix its 11th consecutive defeat overall. The injury-plagued Suns received 18 points and 12 rebounds from forward Kris Humphries in his debut on Friday during a 116-100 loss to Houston, after he was acquired from Washington as part of the deal that sent Markieff Morris away.

    TV: 5 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (San Antonio), FSN Arizona (Phoenix)

    ABOUT THE SPURS (46-9): Coach Gregg Popovich told reporters “it’s probably wise to be conservative” with Leonard’s injury and Kyle Anderson took his spot in the lineup, averaging 11 points in the last two games. LaMarcus Aldridge is scheduled to play his 700th career game on Sunday and averages 16.9 points while grabbing a team-high 8.3 rebounds. Point guard Tony Parker comes in off one of his best games of the season on Friday, when he recorded 25 points and six assists against the Lakers.

    ABOUT THE SUNS (14-41): Phoenix looks to avoid finishing a seven-game homestand without a victory and has lost by an average of 10.3 points in the first six. Mirza Teletovic stepped up with a season-high 25 points against Houston last time out and is averaging 17.2 in the last five while Archie Goodwin is scoring 17.3 and dishing out 5.8 assists on the homestand. Forward Tyson Chandler (shoulder), who left the game Friday, is questionable for Sunday’s contest and center Alex Len (ankle) may miss his second straight outing.


    1. San Antonio F Tim Duncan is three blocks from becoming the fifth player in NBA history to reach 3,000 in his career.

    2. Phoenix F Jon Leuer started in place of Morris and scored 16 points while grabbing six rebounds on Friday.

    3. The Spurs lead the league in scoring defense (92.4) and Phoenix stands 29th out of 30 teams (106.9).

    PREDICTION: Spurs 106, Suns 90


    Preview: Charlotte At Brooklyn

    When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

    The Charlotte Hornets aim to win their fifth straight game for the first time since last March when they visit the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. The Hornets have won the first two games of a season-high six-game road trip — wrapped around the All-Star break — to record their third four-game winning streak of the season.

    Kemba Walker scored 25 points and Cody Zeller chipped in a season-high 23 in Friday’s 98-95 triumph in Milwaukee — Charlotte’s fifth win in its last seven road contests. “It was a gritty win for us, especially coming off the All-Star break,” Zeller told reporters after his team rallied from eight points down in the fourth quarter. “We needed this one to get going.” The Nets emerged from the break to knock off New York by a 109-98 margin on Friday at home. Brook Lopez scored 33 points as Brooklyn was victorious in its first game since introducing Sean Marks as its new general manager.

    TV: 6 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Charlotte), YES (Brooklyn)

    ABOUT THE HORNETS (28-26): The win in Milwaukee was even more impressive given the fact that Charlotte was playing its first game since losing guard Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (shoulder) for the season and new acquisition Courtney Lee – essentially Kidd-Gilchrist’s replacement – did not see any action. Lee, who was unable to gain much practice time with his new team following Tuesday’s trade from Memphis, is expected to be in the lineup Sunday. He will provide another quality perimeter threat for a team that entered Saturday’s action third in the NBA with 10.4 made 3-pointers per game.

    ABOUT THE NETS (15-40): Among the first items on Marks’ list was a buyout of Andrea Bargnani’s contract, according to reports that surfaced Saturday afternoon. The veteran 7-footer suffered through injuries and showcased disappointing play ever since averaging 21.4 points for Toronto in 2010-11, and was not living up to the two-year deal he had signed with the Nets in July. His inability to provide much has been one reason for Brooklyn’s season-long struggles from beyond the arc, but guards Donald Sloan and Bojan Bogdanovic combined to make 6-of-7 from 3-point range in the win over the Knicks.


    1. Walker is averaging 24.6 points over a five-game hot stretch.

    2. Bogdanovic is 18-of-30 from 3-point range in February.

    3. Charlotte defeated Brooklyn 116-111 on Nov. 18 after losing two of three to the Nets last season.

    PREDICTION: Hornets 98, Nets 95


    Preview: Indiana At Orlando

    When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

    Both teams come in off inspiring victories as the Indiana Pacers visit the Orlando Magic on Sunday in a battle of Eastern Conference playoff hopefuls. Orlando won for the third time in four games after rallying to beat Dallas in overtime Friday while the Pacers were coming from behind to beat red-hot Oklahoma City the same night.

    “Hopefully, this is a springboard victory,” Indiana coach Frank Vogel told reporters after his team also improved to 3-1 in its last four. “This is what we talked about before the game, an opportunity to get the best win of the year and to have a momentum-building victory to start the final 29 games.” Paul George is averaging 25.2 points his last five outings for the Pacers, who attempt to extend their winning streak against the Magic to seven games. Orlando trailed by nine entering the fourth quarter before holding Dallas to 23 points over the final 17 minutes to win 110-104 last time out. Newcomers Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova combined for 34 points in their debuts for the Magic, who are 4 1/2 games behind sixth-place Indiana in the East and 3 ½ out of a playoff spot.

    TV: 6 p.m. ET, FSN Indiana, FSN Florida (Orlando)

    ABOUT THE PACERS (29-25): Monta Ellis led the way with 27 points against Oklahoma City, which led Indiana by seven with just under four minutes to play. Ellis is second on the team in scoring (14.1) and hands out a team-high 4.8 assists while George (23.3 points, 7.1 rebounds) has done it all, especially during his recent surge when he boasts 17 makes from 3-point range in five games. Rookie Myles Turner has gotten his average up to 10.1 points for the season after scoring 13.6 per contests the last five.

    ABOUT THE MAGIC (24-29): Ilyasova scored 16 points before fouling out and Jennings ran the show in overtime, finishing with 18 points and four assists (two in OT). “He did a great job for us,” Orlando guard Victor Oladipo told reporters of Jennings. “He came in and made big shots and made big plays for us down the stretch, and we’re going to need him to continue to do that for us.” Oladipo finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds against Dallas and is scoring 14.4 per contest overall – second on the team behind Nikola Vucevic (17.1).


    1. Vucevic has scored at least 20 points in four consecutive contests and boasts three straight double-doubles.

    2. Indiana SF C.J. Miles, who is averaging 11.9 points, missed the last game with a stomach virus and is questionable for Orlando.

    3. Magic F Aaron Gordon is averaging 12 rebounds over the past four games and had six steals against Dallas.

    PREDICTION: Magic 102, Pacers 96


    Preview: Memphis At Toronto

    When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

    The Toronto Raptors look to avoid their first three-game losing streak in three months when they return home to take on Memphis on Sunday. The Raptors will be playing their first home game since Jan. 30, ending the longest stretch away from home in franchise history.

    A six-game road trip that wrapped around the All-Star break began with three wins in four games, but losses to Minnesota and Chicago have handed the squad a rare losing streak. “If we think we’re going to go anywhere playing like that, we’re kidding ourselves,” Raptors coach Dwayne Casey told reporters after Friday’s 116-106 loss to the Bulls, who shot 51.6 percent. The Grizzlies came out of the break with a 109-104 victory over the Timberwolves, and they’ve taken 11 of their last 14 games overall. Mike Conley had 25 points and seven assists as Memphis won its first game since trading away key reserve Jeff Green and shooting guard Courtney Lee.

    TV: 6 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Memphis), TSN (Toronto)

    ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (32-22): Chris Andersen and P.J. Hairston – acquired before Thursday’s trade deadline – made minimal impacts against Minnesota while fellow newcomer Lance Stephenson was inactive. Conley, who has scored at least 20 points in three straight games, looks as if he is ready to shoulder the load for a team that also lost center Marc Gasol to a broken foot prior to the break, and veteran Vince Carter has stepped up his game of late. The 39-year-old has recorded four of his seven double-digit games this season since Jan. 30 and his 73-foot buzzer-beater to end the third quarter Friday night was the highlight of a season-high 15-point performance.

    ABOUT THE RAPTORS (35-18): Center Jonas Valanciunas scored a season-high 25 points and had a team-high 12 rebounds in Friday’s loss while Kyle Lowry had another solid performance with 27 points and eight assists. The other three starters combined to shoot 8-of-28 from the floor (21 of the shots by DeMar DeRozan). The Raptors have given up 233 points in the last two games, the most they’ve allowed in consecutive contests since Jan. 3-4.


    1. Grizzlies PF Zach Randolph had 19 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks to lead his team to a 92-86 win in the previous meeting on Jan. 21, 2015.

    2. Memphis has won three straight road games.

    3. DeRozan is one victory away from tying Morris Peterson and Chris Bosh (232 apiece) for the most by a player in franchise history.

    PREDICTION: Raptors 99, Grizzlies 94


    Preview: Philadelphia At Dallas

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

    The Dallas Mavericks are losers of five of their last six games and came out of the All-Star break with a disappointing performance on Friday in an overtime loss to the Orlando Magic. The Mavericks will try to set things straight when they host the scrappy Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

    Dallas squandered a chance to win in regulation on Friday when Dirk Nowitzki missed an open jumper in the final second and endured an ugly scene when forward Chandler Parsons and center Zaza Pachulia were caught by cameras yelling at each other on the sidelines. “Nothing at all. Nothing,” Pachulia told reporters as both players downplayed the incident after the game. “It’s not the thing you guys are thinking. Trust me, we were talking. We’re trying to help this team. We’re trying to win, bottom line.” The 76ers own the worst record in the NBA but never stop battling and threw a scare into the New Orleans Pelicans down the stretch on Friday despite falling behind by 22 points. Philadelphia put seven scorers in double figures in the 121-114 setback – it’s third straight loss.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, FSN Southwest (Dallas)

    ABOUT THE 76ERS (8-46): Each of Philadelphia’s last three losses have come by seven or fewer points, and the young team continues to make strides. Nerlens Noel, 21, sat out the final game before the All-Star break to rest a sore knee but looked plenty healthy while collecting 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, nine rebounds and four assists in Friday’s loss. Point guard Ish Smith is a relative old man at 27 and has stabilized the offense since joining the team after Christmas, averaging 15.1 points and 7.8 assists in 22 starts.

    ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (29-27): Dallas set a franchise record with 19 3-pointers on Friday, but starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews was just 1-of-7 from beyond the arc. The 29-year-old, who signed a $70 million contract as a free agent over the summer despite trying to recover from an Achilles injury, is posting career lows of 38.1 percent shooting and 34.4 percent from beyond the arc. “I’m not going to hang my head,” Matthews told of his slump. “I’m not going to stop talking, leading, hustling, taking the best offensive player on the defensive end. I’m not going to shy away from shots. I’m not going to shy away from going to the paint.”


    1. 76ers G Nik Stauskas is 7-of-11 from 3-point range over the last two games.

    2. Parsons went 6-of-7 from beyond the arc last time out and is shooting 27-of-42 from the floor over the last three games.

    3. Dallas has taken six straight in the series, including a 92-86 victory in Philadelphia on Nov. 16.

    PREDICTION: Mavericks 102, 76ers 98


    Preview: L.A. Lakers At Chicago

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois

    The Chicago Bulls are a tough team to figure out right now, though they look a lot more effective when Doug McDermott plays well. McDermott and the Bulls will try to put together back-to-back solid performances when Kobe Bryant makes his final visit to Chicago with the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

    Bryant suffered a dislocated finger in Friday’s 119-113 loss to the San Antonio but continued to play after it was popped back into place by a trainer, and x-rays after the game revealed no fracture. “Yeah, as far as I know, yeah,” Bryant told reporters when asked if he would play on Sunday. “(It) will be interesting to see how this responds (Saturday), but it’s not fractured or anything.” Bryant could have to put in some time guarding McDermott, whose own two-game stretch since the All-Star break provided a microcosm of Chicago’s season. The second-year swingman managed three points on 1-of-6 shooting in a loss at Cleveland on Thursday but exploded for a career-high 30 points on 13-of-17 shooting in Friday’s win over Toronto.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, TWC SportsNet (Los Angeles), WGN (Chicago)

    ABOUT THE LAKERS (11-45): Bryant is trying to make an appearance in every road game in his final season as a gesture to the fans and is especially fond of the Bulls, who are one of the few teams he would have waived his no-trade clause to join when Los Angeles was going through a rough patch nearly 10 years ago. The future Hall-of-Famer has been giving vintage performances of late and did not disappoint with 25 points in 29 minutes on Friday. Bryant is averaging 24.9 points in his last seven games while logging 30.9 minutes.

    ABOUT THE BULLS (28-26): McDermott’s big night snapped a five-game slide for sinking Chicago, which finds itself in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. “He’s such a good player, such a good shooter,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, who gave McDermott a pep talk prior to the game, told reporters. “I know his teammates trust him. I told him, every time he shoots the ball, I think it’s going in, and to go out there and play his game and play with confidence.” Chicago is counting on McDermott to fill the void while Jimmy Butler (knee) and Nikola Mirotic (appendix) heal.


    1. Lakers F Julius Randle posted a double-double in six of the last eight games.

    2. Bulls G Derrick Rose is averaging 27 points on 23-of-39 shooting in the last two games.

    3. McDermott scored 15 points in a 114-91 win at Los Angeles on Jan. 28.

    PREDICTION: Bulls 109, Lakers 99


    Preview: Utah At Portland

    When: 9:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon

    Red-hot Damian Lillard and the surging Portland Trail Blazers look to avoid a letdown after an epic performance when they host the Utah Jazz on Sunday. Lillard posted a career-high 51 points to go along with seven assists, six steals and no turnovers in Friday’s shocking 137-105 rout of the Golden State Warriors, who dropped to 48-5.

    It was the fourth straight victory and the ninth in 10 games for Portland, which climbed over the .500 mark (28-27) for the first time since Nov. 8. “A month ago, our goal was, ‘Let’s see if we can sneak into the playoffs,’” Trail Blazers forward Ed Davis told reporters. “Our mindset now is, ‘Let’s get a fifth, sixth seed, or however it goes, maybe win a series.’ We’re raising the bar for ourselves, and it’s starting to show.” Utah is in the middle of the same battle for the final few playoff spots in the Western Conference after winning eight of its last 10, including an impressive 111-93 triumph over Boston on Friday. The trio of Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood lead the offense for the Jazz, who have not made the postseason since 2011-12.

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, ROOT (Utah), CSN Northwest (Portland)

    ABOUT THE JAZZ (27-27): Utah rebounded from a rough performance in a 103-89 loss to Washington on Thursday to roll past Boston, led by a strong effort from the 6-10 Favors (23 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three blocks). Favors is averaging 21 points the last three contests while Hayward (team-best 19.9 overall) registered at least 20 in four of five and Hood has scored 20.2 points over the last six. Center Rudy Gobert (10.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.4 blocks overall) has recorded a double-double in five consecutive outings.

    ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (28-27): Lillard is averaging 27.1 points and 8.6 assists during the 9-1 run by Portland, but Friday’s performance was special. “I felt in rhythm,” Lillard,who averages 24.9 points overall, told reporters. “The ball felt good in my hands. Once I saw the ball go in so much early in the game, that’s what helped me get going later in the game.” Backcourt partner C.J. McCollum (20.7) has also been productive while Maurice Harkless (13.8 points, last four games) and Gerald Henderson (13.1, last seven) are contributing.


    1. The Trail Blazers have won two of the three meetings this season, including a 99-85 triumph at home on Jan. 13.

    2. Utah PG Shelvin Mack could make his debut for the team after being acquired from Atlanta on Thursday.

    3. Portland F Noah Vonleh got the start and scored nine points Friday after returning to the lineup from an ankle injury.

    PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 106, Jazz 100


    Hot teams
    — Oklahoma City won seven of its last nine games (8-2 last 10HF). Cavaliers won their last four games (4-1AU).
    — Pistons lost their last four games (12-3 last 15 HF). New Orleans won three of last four games (5-3 last 8AU).
    — Spurs won seven of last eight games (2-5 last 7AF).
    — Celtics won seven of their last ten games. Denver is 4-3 in last seven games.
    — Indiana, Orlando won three of their last four games.
    — Memphis won seven of its last nine games (0-4 last 4AU).
    — Hornets won six of rheir last seven games (3-5AF).
    — Jazz won eight of its last ten games (2-8 last 10AU). Portland is 9-1 in its last ten games (8-2 last 10HF).

    Cold teams
    — Phoenix lost its last ten games (3-7 vs spread).
    — Raptors lost last two games, allowing 116-117 points (6-2 last 8 HF), after winning seven of eight before that.
    — Brooklyn lost seven of its last ten games (4-2 last 6HU).
    — Dallas lost five of its last six games (7-3 last 10HF). 76ers lost seven of their last eight games (6-3 last 9AU).
    — Chicago lost five of its last six games (4-3AF). Lakers lost last four games but covered last six (5-2 last 7HU).

    Series records
    — Cavaliers won four of last six games with Oklahoma City.
    — Pelicans won their last seven games with Detroit.
    — Spurs won last six games with Phoenix (4-1-1 vs spread).
    — Celtics won four of last five games with Denver.
    — Pacers won nine of last ten games with Orlando.
    — Raptors won three of last four games with Memphis.
    — Nets are 6-4 in last ten games with Charlotte.
    — Dallas won last six games with Philly (2-4 vs spread).
    — Lakers won four of last five games with Chicago.
    — Trailblazers won seven of last ten games with Utah.

    — Under is 7-3 in last ten Cleveland-Oklahoma City games.
    — Last three Detroit games stayed under; three of last four Pelican tilts went over the total.
    — Six of last seven San Antonio-Phoenix games stayed under.
    — Last four Boston games went over the total.
    — Under is 7-2-1 in last ten Indiana-Orlando games.
    — Over is 5-1-1 in last seven Toronto games.
    — Five of last six Charlotte-Brooklyn games went over.
    — Last four Dallas games went over the total.
    — Three of last four Laker games went over; three of last four Chicago games stayed under.
    — Six of last eight Utah-Portland games went over the total.

    — None


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Over – Home teams where the total is greater than or equal to 200 off a home loss, extremely well rested team – playing 3 or less games in 10 days
    57-25 since 1997. ( 69.5% | 29.5 units )
    3-0 this year. ( 100.0% | 3.0 units )

    Play On – Any team vs the money line (OKLAHOMA CITY) off a close home loss by 3 points or less, extremely well rested team – playing 5 or less games in 14 days
    100-64 since 1997. ( 61.0% | 43.7 units )
    2-3 this year. ( 40.0% | -0.3 units )

    Play Over – Road teams where the first half total is greater than 105 good rebounding team – outrebounding opponents by 3+ per game, second half of the season
    46-18 over the last 5 seasons. ( 71.9% | 26.2 units )
    3-1 this year. ( 75.0% | 1.9 units )


    Think twice before fading LeBron when facing Durant

    LeBron James and Kevin Durant have been the face of the NBA for the better part of a decade and as they prepare to square off for the 21st time in their careers, the argument of who’s the better player continues.

    What isn’t an argument, is who has been the better bet whenever the two superstars go head to head.

    It’s the “King” and it’s not close.

    James is 16-4 straight up and 14-6 against the spread all time when he faces off against Durant and he has been an even more dominant bet in recent matchups with Durant, going 9-1 SU/ATS in their last 10 meetings, including the last three in a row.

    LeBron has had the luxury of having the better team in the majority of the meetings, as he has been favored in 14 of the 20 matchups. But facing that chalk hasn’t been a problem for James, having gone 10-4 ATS as a favorite.

    However, that won’t be the case Sunday, as the Cavaliers are currently listed as 3.5-point road pups. When James has been a pup versus Durant, he is 4-2 ATS and is 3-0 ATS the last three times he’s been the dog.

    If Cleveland can pull off a straight up win Sunday, James will improve to 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS as a member of the Cavs. (He was 9-4 SU/ATS as a member of the Heat).

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