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NBA • Tuesday Service Plays • 2/23/16

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    Tuesday’s Tip Sheet
    By Kevin Rogers

    Magic at 76ers – 7:05 PM EST

    Orlando (24-30 SU, 30-23-1 ATS) wrapped up a three-game homestand at 1-2 SU and 2-1 ATS after dropping a 105-102 decision to Indiana on Sunday. In spite of the that loss, the Magic have put together a 7-2 ATS record the last nine games, including three straight road covers at San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Atlanta. Scott Skiles’ club has split a pair of matchups with the 76ers this season with the road team winning each time, including Orlando picking up a 105-97 victory at Philadelphia in November.

    Through 55 games, the 76ers (8-47 SU, 26-28-1 ATS) are two wins shy of the double-digit mark. Philadelphia has lost eight of its past nine games, including road setbacks to start the second half at New Orleans and Dallas. The 76ers have been impressive at home since January by posting an 8-2 ATS record in the last 10 games at the Wells Fargo Center, but have lost five straight games in the role of a home underdog. Philadelphia has scored at least 100 points in three consecutive contests, but also allowed at least 114 points in each defeat, resulting in three straight ‘overs.’

    Pelicans at Wizards – 7:05 PM EST

    Even though reaching the playoffs may not be in the cards this season, New Orleans (22-33 SU, 23-32 ATS) is coming back to life after a four-game skid by winning four of its past five contests. Anthony Davis lit up the Pistons in Sunday’s 111-106 victory as five-point underdogs by scoring a career-high 59 points and pulling down 20 rebounds. However, the Pelicans have lost four of their last six games away from Smoothie King Center with three of those defeats coming at Oklahoma City, Cleveland, and San Antonio.

    The Wizards (25-29 SU, 28-26 ATS) have been off for two days since playing three games in three nights. Washington won the first two contests in that set at home against Utah and Detroit, but showed signs of fatigue in Saturday’s 114-94 setback at Miami. Randy Wittman’s squad has split its last six games at the Verizon Center, while allowing 94 points or less in each of the past three home victories. The Wizards are looking to avenge a 107-105 loss at New Orleans as 3 ½-point underdogs in December, snapping a seven-game winning streak against the Pelicans that dated back to 2012.

    Rockets at Jazz – 9:05 PM EST

    Following a seven-game winning streak, Utah (27-28 SU, 28-27 ATS) has fallen back to Earth by dropping three of its past four contests. The Jazz squandered a 13-point second half lead in Sunday’s 115-111 setback at Portland, as the Blazers squeezed out a cover as three-point favorites. Quin Snyder’s team has allowed at least 100 points in five straight games, while cashing the ‘over’ four times in this span. Utah begins a three-game homestand as the Jazz play with double-revenge against the Rockets, while losing six of the past seven matchups with Houston since 2014.

    The Rockets (28-28 SU, 24-32 ATS) snapped a three-game losing streak by cruising past the Suns, 116-100 on Friday as 7 ½-point favorites. Houston continues its road trip as it looks to stay in the top eight of the Western Conference playoff race, while trying to improve on a 2-4 record in its past six away games (both wins against Phoenix). Nine of the last 10 road contests for the Rockets have eclipsed the ‘over,’ while Houston is seeing its lowest away total since sailing ‘over’ 196 ½ in a 107-91 win at Memphis on January 12.

    Kings at Nuggets – 9:05 PM EST

    Sacramento (23-31 SU, 24-30 ATS) begins a killer homestand on Wednesday when the Kings host the Spurs, followed by the Clippers and Thunder invading Sleep Train Arena over the next week. However, George Karl’s team hits the road on Tuesday to face the Nuggets for the second time in four days after Sacramento outlasted Denver at home on Friday, 116-110. The Kings have allowed at least 100 points in 11 straight games, resulting in a 9-2 mark to the ‘over’ in this stretch.

    The momentum built at the end of the first half for the Nuggets (22-34 SU, 30-34-2) hasn’t carried over to the second half yet as Denver has lost to Sacramento and Boston. In Sunday’s home setback to the Celtics, the Nuggets fell behind by 18 points after the first quarter and never recovered as Denver fell to 3-4 in the past seven games at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets split a pair of home matchups with the Kings last season, as Mike Malone’s club has lost four of their last five home games against Western Conference opponents.

    Nets at Blazers – 10:05 PM EST

    It will be a nice getaway for Brooklyn (15-41 SU, 27-28-1 ATS), who embarks on a nine-game road trip with the first seven games taking place against Western Conference foes. The Nets have alternated wins and losses in each of the past seven contests, coming off a 104-96 home defeat to Charlotte on Sunday as seven-point underdogs. Brooklyn has dropped six consecutive games away from the Barclays Center, while going 1-4 ATS as a road underdog of eight points or more in this stretch.

    The Blazers (29-27 SU, 32-24 ATS) have turned the corner in a major way since January by winning 14 of their last 17 games, including posting a 10-2 mark at the Moda Center in this stretch. Portland rallied past Utah on Sunday night, 115-111 to pick up their fifth straight win and cover as Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 61 points in the victory. The Blazers go for the season sweep of the Nets after beating Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, 116-104 last month, while Portland has won four of the past five meetings.


    Preview: Orlando At Philadelphia

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
    Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Consistency eludes the Orlando Magic, who can’t seem to string together the wins they need to get back into the race in the Eastern Conference. The Magic will try to push past another frustrating loss when they visit the NBA-worst Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.

    Orlando battled back from a 21-point deficit to earn a win over the Dallas Mavericks in its first game after the All-Star break on Friday but could not muster the same effort in a 105-102 home loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. “It just kind of comes down to little things,” Magic center Nikola Vucevic told reporters, “and with us it’s like history keeps repeating itself with us not doing the little things at the end to finish games off.” The 76ers have fewer short-term goals and continue to be focused on future development. “I often say this in our meetings, ‘If I’m not thinking about the future, who is?’” Philadelphia general manager Stan Hinkie told reporters. “Whose job is that to think about what happens in 12 months or 36 months or, god forbid, 60 months? If it’s not me, tell me who that person is around here to do it.”

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), CSN Philadelphia

    ABOUT THE MAGIC (24-30): Orlando coach Scott Skiles has been honest in his assessment of his team since taking over the job before the season and was not happy about Sunday’s performance. “We just didn’t play a really professional game beginning to end,” Skiles told reporters. “We had a chance to win, but that was almost like a miracle. But the missed layups, the missed free throws, a ton of busted defensive coverages, the turnovers and throwing silly lobs on the break – not a professional performance. We had a chance to win, as I said miraculously, but we couldn’t take advantage of it.” The Magic allowed Dallas to make a franchise-record 19 3-pointers on Friday and let Indiana shoot 50 percent from the field on Sunday.

    ABOUT THE 76ERS (8-47): Rookie center Jahlil Okafor found himself in trade rumors last week but Philadelphia ended up keeping him around at the end, and he showed why that was a good decision on Sunday. The Duke product went for a season-high 31 points on 12-of-19 shooting and added eight rebounds in the 129-103 loss at Dallas. Okafor could have used more help from forward Nerlens Noel, who scored 24 points at New Orleans on Friday but was limited to 19 minutes by foul trouble on Sunday and finished with four points and five boards.


    1. Magic F Aaron Gordon has recorded double figures in rebounds in five straight games.

    2. 76ers G Nik Stauskas (sore shin) was on a minutes restriction Sunday and ended up with eight points in 20 minutes.

    3. Philadelphia picked up a 96-87 win at Orlando on Jan. 20 behind 20 points from Okafor.

    PREDICTION: Magic 102, 76ers 99


    Preview: New Orleans At Washington

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
    Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

    Anthony Davis has taken the momentum from a strong All-Star game and turned it into a pair of sterling performances, including the best game in the NBA this season. Davis will try to follow up a 59-point, 20-rebound performance when the New Orleans Pelicans visit the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.

    Davis, who went 12-of-13 from the floor as the Western Conference cruised to a win in the All-Star Game on Feb. 14, scored 34 points in a win over Philadelphia in the Pelicans’ first game back and put up an NBA season-high 59 on 24-of-34 shooting against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. “I wasn’t keeping track, but the bench definitely was telling me during timeouts,” Davis told reporters. “They said, ‘You might as well get 60’ and things like that. I just tried not to worry about it. I was just worried about winning the game.” The Wizards, like New Orleans, are trying to make a run at a playoff spot in their respective conference as the season enters the stretch drive but ran out of gas while playing three nights in a row and suffered a 114-94 loss at Miami on Saturday. The schedule crunch was the result of a makeup game against Utah that was squeezed into Thursday, and Washington knocked off the Jazz and the Detroit Pistons on back-to-back nights before going down in Miami.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN New Orleans, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)

    ABOUT THE PELICANS (22-33): Davis, 22, is the youngest player ever to post at least 59 points in a game and joined Shaquille O’Neal and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in the last 50 years to collect at least 55 points and 20 rebounds in a game. “After a while, you feel like any shot you put up is going in,” Davis told reporters after the 111-106 win. “I guess it felt like that tonight.” Davis’ big night, which included franchise records for field goals made and attempted, helped give New Orleans its fourth win in five games as it attempts an unlikely run at a playoff spot in the West.

    ABOUT THE WIZARDS (25-29): Washington will need to tighten some things up defensively in preparation for Davis after letting a different opposing big man, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, go off for 25 points and 23 rebounds in Saturday’s loss. “The reality is it was the third game of three in a row,” Wizards guard Garrett Temple told the Washington Post. “We saw what we’re capable of. Now we’re going back home to get some rest. I don’t see it being a problem for us to get back to the team that we were the last two games.” All-Star point guard John Wall looked like the schedule was catching up to him as he struggled to 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting and four assists in the setback.


    1. Wizards F Markieff Morris is 4-of-15 from the field in two games since being acquired from the Phoenix Suns.

    2. Pelicans PG Jrue Holiday is averaging 22 points and 10.5 assists off the bench in the last two games.

    3. Davis put up 18 points and 11 rebounds in a 107-105 home win over Washington on Dec. 11.

    PREDICTION: Pelicans 102, Wizards 101


    Preview: Sacramento At Denver

    When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
    Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

    DeMarcus Cousins terrorized Denver with a huge game last Friday and looks for another stellar effort when the Sacramento Kings visit the Nuggets on Tuesday. Cousins had 37 points, 20 rebounds and four blocked shots as Sacramento overcame 22 turnovers while recording a 116-110 home victory.

    Cousins, fresh off his second All-Star appearance, ranks fourth in the NBA in both scoring (27.0) and rebounding (11.3) and Denver knows it needs to slow him down in the rematch. “He dominated us and we couldn’t stop him,” Nuggets small forward Danilo Gallinari told reporters. “I guess we are going to have to do something different the next time we see them. We have to do something.” Denver suffered a 121-101 home drubbing against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, falling behind by 18 points after one quarter while losing for the third time in four games. “All I know is we all, individually, just got to look at ourselves in the mirror and just figure it out,” rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay told reporters.

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, CSN California (Sacramento), Altitude (Denver)

    ABOUT THE KINGS (23-31): The stellar performance against Denver marked the ninth time Cousins has posted at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in the same game, surpassing the Sacramento era record he shared with Chris Webber. Point guard Rajon Rondo torched Mudiay for 24 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and five steals in Friday’s matchup to fall one assist shy of his sixth triple-double of the campaign. Small forward Rudy Gay scored 24 points in that encounter and he is averaging 21.l points and shooting 53.8 percent from the field during victories and 16 points and 42.7 percent in defeats.

    ABOUT THE NUGGETS (22-34): Denver coach Michael Malone was seething after Sunday’s loss to Boston due to his squad’s lack of defense and effort. “Our defense is still somewhere in the Caribbean,” Malone told reporters. “It was a lot more than just a lack of energy. It was a lack of fight, a lack of togetherness. … I thought we were a very selfish team, two things that I hate to see from any team, so hopefully we can find a way to straighten that out in the very near future.” One player who produced offensively was center Nikola Jokic, who had 23 points and 13 rebounds after scoring just seven total points over the previous three contests.


    1. Kings SF Omri Casspi and SG Marco Bellinelli both missed Friday’s game due to having teeth pulled during the All-Star break.

    2. Sacramento SG Ben McLemore had just two points on 1-of-7 shooting in 24 minutes against the Nuggets.

    3. Denver PF Kenneth Faried (illness) was limited to 13 minutes on Sunday but isn’t expected to miss Tuesday’s game.

    PREDICTION: Kings 113, Nuggets 109


    Preview: Houston At Utah

    When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
    Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

    The Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz are part of a three-team race for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference and the two squads square off in a crucial contest on Tuesday in Salt Lake City. Houston holds a half-game lead over the Jazz for the final playoff spot and has already won the first two games of this season’s four meetings.

    Another victory would give the Rockets the tiebreaker edge over Utah and place the Jazz in a tough position when it comes to the three-team tussle. Utah lost to Portland 115-111 on Sunday, and that allowed the Trail Blazers to win the series 3-1 and hold the tiebreaker over the Jazz. Houston has been underachieving most of the season and the players have been talking about forging a strong final third of the season. The Rockets began that task by beating the lowly Phoenix Suns 116-100 on Friday for only their third victory in nine games.

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, ROOT (Houston, Utah)

    ABOUT THE ROCKETS (28-28): One win over Phoenix doesn’t mean Houston is about to blast off but the defensive effort was encouraging as the Rockets forced 21 turnovers, held the Suns to 36.6 percent shooting and scored 37 fast-break points. “I thought our defense was great, despite us missing shots early in the game,” center Dwight Howard told reporters. “We still played defense. Our communication was key throughout the game, and that’s something we need to continue.” All-Star guard James Harden is averaging 32.8 points over the last four games and he has twice reached 30 against the Jazz this season, averaging 31.5 points in the two victories.

    ABOUT THE JAZZ (27-28): Utah acquired backup guard Shelvin Mack from that Atlanta Hawks at Thursday’s trading deadline and he impressed in his club debut with 16 points and six assists against the Trail Blazers. The Jazz are hoping for better production than what Trey Burke and Raul Neto have been providing and Mack arrives with a comfortable feel as Snyder formerly was an assistant in Atlanta and small forward Gordon Hayward was a college teammate of his at Butler for two seasons. “What we’re looking for more than anything is consistency from that position,” Snyder told reporters. “We traded for him to help us and he is different than the other guys. He is going to play and how much or how little is going to depend on a lot of other things, including him, including other players, including who we’re playing against.”


    1. The Rockets have won 10 of the past 12 meetings.

    2. Utah PF Derrick Favors has topped 20 points in three of the past four games and is averaging 21.3 points during the stretch.

    3. Houston SF Trevor Ariza scored 25 points against Phoenix after tallying in single digits in five of the previous eight games.

    PREDICTION: Jazz 105, Rockets 102


    Preview: Brooklyn At Portland

    When: 10:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
    Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon

    The Brooklyn Nets are just 4-19 on the road as they begin a season-long nine-game excursion against the red-hot Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. The Barclays Center is unavailable due to a circus and the Atlantic 10 basketball tournament, and Brooklyn doesn’t play in its home building again until March 13.

    The lowly Nets don’t get an easy start to the trip by visiting Portland, which has won 14 of its past 17 games. “We definitely are going to have to stick together being on the road so long and just take it a game at a time,” Brooklyn center Brook Lopez said. The Trail Blazers have won five consecutive games to move into seventh place in the Western Conference, a stunning rise for a team that was nine games under .500 before the impressive streak. “We’re a playoff team,” star guard Damian Lillard told reporters after scoring 30 points in Sunday’s 115-111 home win over the Utah Jazz. “We’ve got to put our hard hats on and to go work.”

    TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBATV, YES (Brooklyn), KGW (Portland)

    ABOUT THE NETS (15-41): Lopez isn’t known for piling up assists but he handed out six while compiling 16 points and 10 rebounds in Sunday’s 104-96 loss to the Charlotte Hornets. Brooklyn badly wanted a victory before leaving on its long road swing and twice recovered from double-digit deficits but was unable to get over the hump. “It was a tough loss,” small forward Joe Johnson told reporters. “I thought we had some stretches where we played great basketball but we also had stretches where we didn’t play so great. A lot of turnovers – we gave them a lot of easy fast-break points. It’s hard to win like that.”

    ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (29-27): Lillard is averaging 36.3 points over the last four games and is the first Portland player since Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler (1991) to score 30 or more points in four consecutive games. The backcourt pairing of Lillard (25 points per game) and C.J. McCollum (20.9) has ignited the Trail Blazers’ rise and both players reached 30 points in the win over the Jazz. “There’s no give and take,” McCollum told reporters after his 31-point effort. “You gauge the game, you read the game. If somebody has a hot hand, you give them the ball. It’s simple math. You read the game, you look at it and you see who’s hot and who has mismatches.”


    1. The Nets are 6-34 all-time when playing in Portland.

    2. Lopez, who scored 25 points in a 116-104 home loss to the Trail Blazers on Jan. 15, has reached 20 points in seven of the last 10 contests.

    3. Portland backup SF Maurice Harkless has scored in double digits in five consecutive games and is averaging 14.4 points during the span.

    PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 112, Nets 96


    Hot teams
    — Washington won its last three home games (3-5 last 8HF). New Orleans won four of its last five games (6-3 last 9AU).
    — Kings won last two games after losing seven of previous eight (0-4 last 4AU).
    — Portland won nine of its last ten games (9-2 last 11HF).

    Cold teams
    — Orlando lost three of last four road games (4-0AF). 76ers are 1-8 in their last nine games (7-2 last 9HU).
    — Rockets lost three of their last four games (3-7 last 10AU). Jazz lost three of last four games.
    — Denver lost three of its last four games (1-5HF).
    — Brooklyn lost seven of its last ten games (2-5 last 7AU).

    Series records
    — 76ers lost five of last seven games with Orlando.
    — Wizards won seven of last eight games with New Orleans.
    — Rockets won six of last seven games with Utah.
    — Kings won four of their last six games with Denver.
    — Trailblazers won four of last five games with Brooklyn.

    — Five of last seven Philly-Orlando games stayed under.
    — Four of last five New Orleans games went over total.
    — Eight of last ten Houston games went over the total.
    — Last five Sacramento-Denver games went over total.
    — Six of last eight Brooklyn games went over the total.

    — None


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play On – Road favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points (ORLANDO) revenging a loss vs opponent against opponent after a road game where both teams score 100 or more points
    58-26 since 1997. ( 69.0% | 29.4 units )
    0-1 this year. ( 0.0% | -1.1 units )

    Play On – Home teams vs. the money line (UTAH) after going over the total by 42 or more points total in their last five games, with a winning percentage of between 40-49% on the season
    101-49 over the last 5 seasons. ( 67.3% | 42.8 units )
    19-14 this year. ( 57.6% | -0.2 units )

    Play Under – Home teams where the first half total is 100.5 to 105.5 average 3PT shooting team (33-36.5%) against an average 3PT defense (33-36.5%), hot shooting team – 2 straight games making >=50% of their shots
    60-27 since 1997. ( 69.0% | 30.3 units )
    3-2 this year. ( 60.0% | 0.8 units )


    Basketball Crusher

    New Orleans Pelicans +4.5 over Washington Wizards
    (System Record: 53-3, lost last game)
    Overall Record: 53-60-3



    100* Over 202 – Jazz / Rockets


    NBA Basketball Betting Trends – Tues – Feb, 23

    Orlando at Philadelphia, 7:05 ET
    Orlando: 12-1 ATS after playing a game as a home underdog
    Philadelphia: 2-12 ATS at home after 3 games where both teams scored 100 or more

    New Orleans at Washington, 7:05 ET
    New Orleans: 34-19 ATS after failing to cover 2 of their last 3 against the spread
    Washington: 28-45 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points

    Houston at Utah, 9:05 ET
    Houston: 5-18 ATS when the total is 200 to 209.5
    Utah: 34-18 ATS after allowing 105 points or more

    Sacramento at Denver, 9:05 ET
    Sacramento: 4-15 ATS after 3 games where both teams scored 100 or more
    Denver: 14-5 ATS after a non-conference game

    Brooklyn at Portland, 10:05 ET
    Brooklyn: 3-15 ATS after playing 3 consecutive home games
    Portland: 10-2 ATS after allowing 110 points or more



    ORLANDO (-6) over Philadelphia
    7:05 p.m. ET
    After another NBA winner last night on Minnesota (+5) over Boston outright, FREE PICKS are now on a 9-2 run!

    While it’s not like us to lay points on the road in the NBA, especially with a subpar team like Orlando, the situation warrants it tonight. Not only are the Magic 3-0 ATS this year and 5-0 ATS the last three years when listed as a road favorite of three or more, but they have also absolutely dominated this series, winning 20 of the last 26 straight up and going 25-9 ATS on this floor in the last 34 meetings. Orlando is also 6-2 ATS in its last eight games, and will be fully focused since it actually lost the last meeting between these two teams. Lay the road chalk!

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