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NBA • Wednesday Service Plays • 3/9/16

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    Preview: New Orleans At Charlotte

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    Where: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina

    The Charlotte Hornets are taking advantage of a home-heavy portion of the schedule to move up the standings in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets will try to record their fifth consecutive win overall and sixth in a row at home when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.

    Charlotte plays 10 of its first 12 games this month at home and has yet to lose in March after holding off the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-103 on Monday behind Kemba Walker’s 34 points. Walker is on a tear during the four-game winning streak – averaging 30.8 points on 54.1 percent shooting – and has pushed the Hornets into the No. 6 spot in the East, just three games behind the third-place Boston Celtics. Walker will get a test from the Pelicans’ new starting backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Norris Cole, which combined for 43 points, 16 assists and seven steals in a 115-112 win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday. Holiday and Cole have each spent time coming off the bench this season but found themselves pushed into duty together on the top unit when Eric Gordon went down with a broken finger over the weekend.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans, FSN Southeast (Charlotte)

    ABOUT THE PELICANS (24-38): New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry repeatedly suggested over the weekend that the Pelicans were no longer a part of the playoff race in the West while dropping four in a row, but the team doesn’t appear to have quit. The Pelicans rallied back from a 17-point deficit on Monday to down the Kings and will have an impact on the postseason race in both conferences with nine of their next 10 games against teams fighting for positions. “Obviously, we got 20 games left and we’ll just keep plugging away and try to do the best we can and try to answer some questions as far as rotations and things like that,” Gentry told reporters. “Is Jrue (Holiday) a good fit in the starting lineup? We’ll just take a look at all of that.”

    ABOUT THE HORNETS (34-28): Charlotte is 22-9 at home and faces the Pelicans in the third of a seven-game homestand. The Hornets are trying to build some momentum and push forward in the East with the long stretch at home before closing out the regular season with nine of their final 12 games on the road. Charlotte is also benefiting from center Al Jefferson working his way back into a bigger role off the bench, and the veteran delivered 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting in Monday’s triumph.


    1. Pelicans F Ryan Anderson is 5-of-19 from 3-point range in the last four games.

    2. Hornets F Marvin Williams is averaging 13.5 points over the last six games.

    3. Holiday had 13 points and 10 assists off the bench in a 109-107 win over Charlotte in New Orleans on Jan. 15.

    PREDICTION: Hornets 111, Pelicans 106


    Preview: Houston At Philadelphia

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    The Houston Rockets are struggling to hang onto the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference and can’t afford to overlook any opponent, even the team with the worst record in the NBA. The Rockets will try to get back to .500 and maintain a gap over the ninth-place Utah Jazz when they visit the NBA-worst Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

    Houston is still struggling to find consistency on both ends of the court but is coming off one of its most impressive wins – a 113-107 triumph at Toronto on Sunday. The Rockets snapped the Raptors’ 12-game home winning streak despite some seemingly indifferent defense by stars Dwight Howard and James Harden. “We’re gonna fight,” Houston interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff assured reporters. “It doesn’t matter who it is or the situation is, we’re not gonna give in.” The 76ers don’t lack fight but are having some trouble getting healthy bodies on the floor with young frontcourt stars Nerlens Noel (knee) and Jahlil Okafor (shin) ailing.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, ROOT (Houston), CSN Philadelphia

    ABOUT THE ROCKETS (31-32): Houston has lost 10 of its last 16 games and began the five-game road trip with a 108-100 setback at Chicago before recovering to knock off the Raptors. The Rockets need to avoid looking past the 76ers with a tough back-to-back at Boston and Charlotte closing the trip over the weekend and the Jazz breathing down their necks in the West. Harden has provided some lowlights on the defensive end of late but continues to make up for it on the other side of the floor and is averaging 38.3 points in the last three contests.

    ABOUT THE 76ERS (8-55): Philadelphia’s latest losing streak hit 12 straight with a 103-98 setback at Miami on Sunday, when a six-point, fourth-quarter lead was not quite enough. The 76ers are building for the future around Noel and Okafor and hope to have the two of them back on Wednesday, with Okafor the most likely to take the floor. “It’s just a significant bruise at this stage,” Brown told reporters on Sunday of Okafor’s shin contusion. “It’s not something that we’re overly concerned with. … I don’t expect him to be out very long.”


    1. Rockets G Corey Brewer is 7-of-13 from 3-point range after going 1-of-11 from beyond the arc in the previous six contests.

    2. 76ers G Nik Stauskas (illness) and G Kendall Marshall (illness) also sat out Sunday and are day-to-day.

    3. Houston needed 50 points, nine rebounds and eight assists from Harden to squeeze past Philadelphia at home 116-114 on Nov. 27.

    PREDICTION: Rockets 115, 76ers 108


    Preview: Memphis At Boston

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

    Despite being severely shorthanded, the Memphis Grizzlies opened a challenging two-game road trip with a win over the top team in the Eastern Conference. They will try to make it two in a row against the East’s elites when they visit the Boston Celtics – who have won 13 straight at home – on Wednesday.

    A day after the Celtics fell by 17 points at Cleveland, the Grizzlies – while missing four starters – stormed in and knocked off the Cavaliers to pick up their 19th win in 25 games and solidify their hold on the fifth seed in the West. “This is big time for us,” Vince Carter – who hit four free throws in the closing moments – told reporters. “We had a lot of guys out.” The Celtics, who enter this one clinging to third in the East by a half-game over Miami, were mostly healthy in their 120-103 loss, giving up more points in regulation than they have in all but three other games this season. Isaiah Thomas stayed hot with 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting but his fellow starters were 18-of-44 from the floor as Boston saw its five-game winning streak come to an end.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN, CSN New England (Boston)

    ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (38-25): Tony Allen returned from a knee injury to score a season-high 26 points in the surprising win over Cleveland, as Memphis survived without starters Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Chris Andersen and Matt Barnes. Conley (foot) is unlikely to play Wednesday while Randolph (knee) is questionable, which could leave plenty on the plates of Mario Chalmers and JaMychal Green. Chalmers scored 17 points while starting in place of Conley while Green stepped in for Randolph and recorded his second career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

    ABOUT THE CELTICS (38-26): Thomas is averaging 29.7 points on 58 percent shooting over a three-game span and has put forth a phenomenal run of mistake-free basketball with zero turnovers in 100 minutes during that stretch. The Grizzlies are well aware of the All-Star’s scoring prowess, as Thomas produced 35 points in the first meeting this season (a 101-98 win for Memphis). Center Kelly Olynyk, the team’s top 3-point shooter (41.3 percent), has resumed practice as he works his way back from a shoulder injury but there is still no timetable for his return.


    1. Randolph scored 25 points and grabbed 13 boards to lead the Grizzlies in the first encounter Jan. 10 in Memphis.

    2. Celtics C Jared Sullinger has at least 10 rebounds in nine of his last 11 games.

    3. Memphis F P.J. Hairston is 6-of-27 from the floor and 1-of-12 from 3-point range in March.

    PREDICTION: Celtics 103, Grizzlies 97


    Preview: Miami At Milwaukee

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    The Miami Heat are not only hanging on in the Eastern Conference without Chris Bosh but are moving up the standings. The Heat will try to keep the pressure on the Boston Celtics for the No. 3 spot in the East when they visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

    Miami has picked some low-hanging fruit on its five-game winning streak – grabbing a pair of wins over the NBA-worst Philadelphia 76ers and one each over the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns in the stretch – and will get much bigger tests from the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors after finishing up with the Bucks on the three-game road trip. The relatively easy slate of late has allowed the Heat to work Joe Johnson into the lineup seamlessly, and the veteran guard is averaging 14 points on 60.4 percent shooting in the last five contests. Johnson and Miami guard Dwyane Wade will have to put in some extra work on the wings defensively on Wednesday against Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has been handling point guard duties of late. The multi-talented Antetokounmpo recorded his first three career triple-doubles in the last eight games since moving to a point-forward role.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Sun (Miami), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

    ABOUT THE HEAT (37-26): Miami is a half-game behind Boston for the No. 3 spot in the East and will play 11 of its final 19 games on the road. “With the way it is in the Eastern Conference, we’re right there in the thick of things.” Wade told reporters. “For this team, it’s all about understanding how good we are and how good we can be. We’ve gotta keep learning. There’s some teams ahead of us, for sure, but we’ve gotta continue getting better as we get down to this last 20 games or so and we’ll be alright.” Wade is averaging 23 points during the five-game winning streak while backcourt mate Goran Dragic is chipping in 18.6.

    ABOUT THE BUCKS (26-38): Antetokounmpo should get even more of a chance to shine at the point with Michael Carter-Williams done for the season. Carter-Williams, who will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip on Thursday, spent most of the season as the starter at point guard before moving to the bench. “We’re going to miss Mike, understanding what he’s done for us all season,” coach Jason Kidd told reporters before Monday 100-90 loss at Chicago. “Been asked to come off the bench, we’ve had him start, averaging over 11 points, rebounding the ball for us, assists, and then defensively, he’s always taken the assignment of one of the best perimeter guys.”


    1. Antetokounmpo is averaging 21 points, 9.6 rebounds, 9.2 assists and 2.8 steals in the last five games.

    2. Heat C Hassan Whiteside has grabbed double-digits in rebounds in nine straight contests.

    3. Miami snapped a five-game losing streak in the series with a 107-103 win in Milwaukee on Jan. 29.

    PREDICTION: Heat 103, Bucks 99


    Preview: Detroit At Dallas

    When: 8:30 PM ET, Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

    The Dallas Mavericks are fading in the wrong direction and attempt to end a three-game losing streak when they host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. Dallas has slipped into a tie for sixth place with Portland in the Western Conference and was dominated in the second half of Monday’s 109-90 home loss against the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Veteran power forward Dirk Nowitzki isn’t happy with what he’s seeing as his squad has allowed ninth-place Utah to creep within three games. “We’ve got a brutal stretch coming up,” Nowitzki told reporters. “We’ve laid some eggs against some teams we needed to beat, and now the schedule is picking up tremendously. Now at this point, we’ve got to worry about making the playoffs.” Detroit is trending upward with five victories in seven games and stands a half-game behind the eighth-place Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons played superbly in a 123-103 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday and hope to build on the win when they open a four-game road trip in Dallas.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN Southwest (Dallas)

    ABOUT THE PISTONS (32-31): The crucial road trip includes visits to Charlotte, Philadelphia and Washington but point guard Reggie Jackson only wants to discuss Dallas. “We can’t look past anybody, any opponent,” Jackson told reporters. “We got the Mavs, we got a tough game there, they’re fighting for playoff positioning. Every game means something to everybody at this point.” Jackson had 30 points and nine assists against the Trail Blazers for his second 30-point outing in the past eight games.

    ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (33-31): Dallas held a two-point halftime lead over the Clippers before allowing 58 second-half points, and the three-game skid matches its worst losing streak of the season. Nowitzki had 22 points in 28 minutes but he was the only starting player who was productive – the other four combined for 22 points on 5-of-27 shooting. “We’ve got to be a (better) defensive team,” shooting guard Wesley Matthews told reporters. “How many easy points do we give up? Because our points aren’t coming easy.”


    1. The Mavericks have won 13 of the past 16 meetings.

    2. Detroit All-Star C Andre Drummond has at least 12 rebounds in each of the last 17 games and is averaging 15 boards during the stretch.

    3. Matthews is 5-of-28 shooting over the past three games.

    PREDICTION: Mavericks 108, Pistons 104


    Preview: New York At Phoenix

    When: 9:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona

    The Phoenix Suns have recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since mid-November and aim for a third straight victory when they host the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Phoenix defeated Orlando and Memphis in its past two games for its first consecutive wins since posting three straight victories Nov. 12-16.

    The Suns have won three of their last five games after suffering through a dismal 2-28 stretch and rookie guard Devin Booker sees the mini-streak as a sign that the team’s effort remains high. “We’re showing we’re not giving up,” Booker told reporters. “We’re not in the playoffs. A lot of people think this is the time for us to fold and get ready for the summer, but it’s not. We’re doing it for next year already.” New York has lost 17 of its last 21 games and opened a six-game road trip Tuesday with a 110-94 loss at Denver. The Knicks have lost 10 of their last 11 away games.

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FSN Arizona (Phoenix)

    ABOUT THE KNICKS (26-39): Forward Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points in the loss to Denver and is on a roll with five straight 20-point outings and a 26.4 average during the stretch. Rookie power forward Kristaps Porzingis isn’t operating so well after having six points on 3-of-11 shooting versus the Nuggets after missing the previous game with a bruised lower leg. “It didn’t affect how I played at all,” Porzingis told reporters. “I wasn’t thinking about it or anything during the game.”

    ABOUT THE SUNS (17-46): With Phoenix far on the outside of the playoff race, the franchise can take opportunities to study players and see if they might be a fit for next season’s squad, and that was part of the reasoning with why the club signed 6-foot-8 power forward Alan Williams to a 10-day contract Tuesday. Williams went unclaimed in June’s NBA draft after a stellar college career at UC Santa Barbara and opened eyes with his summer league play — averages of 20.5 points and 11.8 rebounds for Houston — and a stint in China in which he averaged 20.8 points and 15 rebounds. “I’m just hoping I can make the most out of those 10 days,” Williams told reporters. “I hear they go by pretty quickly. I’m just going to soak it all in and make as much of it as I can and really enjoy, being from Phoenix, being able to put on that Phoenix Suns jersey.”


    1. The Suns have won nine of their past 11 home games against the Knicks.

    2. New York F Lance Thomas (left knee) was injured in warmups before the Denver game and an MRI exam revealed there was no structural damage.

    3. Phoenix signed F Chase Budinger, who recently was released by the Indiana Pacers.

    PREDICTION: Knicks 111, Suns 104


    Preview: L.A. Clippers At Oklahoma City

    When: 9:30 PM ET, Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    The Oklahoma City Thunder certainly haven’t forgotten that they blew a 22-point lead to the Los Angeles Clippers last week in Los Angeles. The Thunder get another chance at the Clippers in a home game on Wednesday just seven days after seeing the large advantage turn into a 103-98 road loss to Los Angeles.

    The Clippers closed the game with a 26-5 run while finishing off the improbable rally against the Thunder and arrive in Oklahoma City with four victories in the past five games. Los Angeles has won 14 of its last 17 away games and dominated the second half on Monday while producing a 109-90 road win over the Dallas Mavericks. Oklahoma City has struggled of late with six losses in nine games and guard Dion Waiters is among the Thunder players who haven’t forgotten what happened last week against the Clippers. “We always come out with a great sense of urgency,” Waiters told reporters. “When we get a big lead, we have to learn how to step on their neck and get it over with.”

    TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), FSN Oklahoma

    ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (41-21): Center DeAndre Jordan had 23 points and 20 rebounds in the victory over Dallas to mark the fifth time in his career that he has had at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in the same contest. Jordan has collected 10 or more rebounds in 19 consecutive games and also had a big game against the Thunder last week when he had 20 points and 18 rebounds. Point guard Chris Paul scored 27 points against the Mavericks and is averaging 25.8 points and 11.2 assists over the last five games.

    ABOUT THE THUNDER (43-20): Point guard Russell Westbrook had 15 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in Sunday’s 104-96 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks to record his 10th triple-double of the season. Oklahoma City has won all 10 of those contests and has compiled a 25-4 mark in Westbrook’s 29 career triple-doubles. Small forward Kevin Durant has his own roll of superb outings to admire with five 30-point outings while registering six consecutive double-doubles – he’s averaging 31.7 points and 11.5 rebounds during the stretch.


    1. Westbrook is averaging 28.5 points as the Thunder have split two games with the Clippers this season.

    2. Oklahoma City backup C Enes Kanter had 18 points and 12 rebounds against the Bucks after averaging seven points and 5.5 rebounds over the previous two games.

    3. Los Angeles F Jeff Green was scoreless in 21 minutes against Dallas – the second time in three games that he hasn’t scored.

    PREDICTION: Thunder 118, Clippers 117


    Preview: Cleveland At Sacramento

    When: 10:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California

    Cleveland Cavaliers stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving spent a few days sending cryptic tweets and could not get on the same page long enough to take down a depleted Memphis squad in a loss on Monday. James and Irving will try to help the Cavaliers avoid back-to-back setbacks when they begin a four-game West Coast trip at the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

    James made a point of letting his fans know how hard he worked even on off days on social media and sounded dejected after losing 106-103 to a Grizzlies team that was missing four starters. “I can sit up here and say that we’re a team that’s ready to start the playoffs tomorrow, but we’re not,” James told reporters. “We’re still learning. We still have things that happen on the court that just, that shouldn’t happen.” The Kings are drifting away from a playoff spot in the West and have lost six of their last seven games. Not even a 40-point, 16-rebound performance from DeMarcus Cousins on Monday could lift Sacramento to a win on Monday at New Orleans, completing a 1-3 road trip.

    TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cleveland) CSN California (Sacramento)

    ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (44-18): Cleveland committed 25 turnovers in Monday’s loss – seven from Irving – which led to 30 points. “We just could have done a better job of respecting the game,” Cavaliers forward Kevin Love told reporters. “A team like that, they were going to come out and swing for the fences, and they did. That was a real bad loss for us. … Turnovers were terrible. That was what I mean, respecting the game.” Love is one of the biggest problems for the team of late and is shooting 27.5 percent from the field in his last four games.

    ABOUT THE KINGS (25-37): Sacramento held a 17-point lead over the Pelicans early in the second half on Monday before falling apart and had its own problems hanging onto the ball and playing defense. “It’s been killing us all year,” Cousins told reporters of the 24-turnover performance. “And it’s going to continue to be a problem until we fix it.” The Kings are 28 in the league with an average of 16.1 turnovers and is 5 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Houston Rockets in the West.


    1. Kings G Darren Collison had a string of six straight games shooting 50 percent or better come to an end with a 2-of-10 effort on Monday.

    2. Cavaliers F Tristan Thompson scored at least 10 points in four straight games.

    3. Cleveland picked up a 120-100 win at home over Sacramento on Feb. 8 behind 32 points and 12 assists from Irving.

    PREDICTION: Cavaliers 112, Kings 100


    Preview: Utah At Golden State

    When: 10:30 PM ET, Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California

    The Golden State Warriors just set the record for consecutive home victories and now can focus on the all-time single-season win mark with just 20 games remaining. The Warriors need to go 17-3 to surpass the record 72 victories by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls and look for their 46th consecutive home win when they host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.

    Golden State’s home win on Monday against Orlando surpassed the record of 44 straight home wins set by the Bulls from March 30, 1995 to April 4, 1996, and point guard Stephen Curry admits the team is taking aim at the 72-win record. “Right now, with 20 games left, we obviously know what’s at stake,” Curry told ESPN SportsCenter. “We’ve just got to stay in the moment and enjoy it. This is a fun time and we’re chasing history so we’ve got to be confident in who we are.” The Warriors have won eight of their past nine games and will entertain a scuffling Utah squad that has dropped six of its last seven games and nine of its last 12. The Jazz suffered a 91-84 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday and are two games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

    TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ROOT (Utah), CSN Bay Area (Golden State)

    ABOUT THE JAZZ (29-34): Utah is just 10-21 on the road and, combined with its recent slump, would appear to have very little chance at ending Golden State’s home streak. “It’s a chance for us to make history,” small forward Gordon Hayward told reporters after the loss to Atlanta. “I think you’ve got to look at it like that. They’re obviously really, really good, No. 1, and then they’re really, really good at home, too. You’ve got to look at it as a challenge and go into it, and we’ve got nothing to lose so it should be fun.” Hayward scored 22 points in the loss to the Hawks for his 10th 20-point effort in the last 14 games.

    ABOUT THE WARRIORS (56-6): Golden State has been sloppy during the past two games by committing 44 turnovers — 20 in Sunday’s stunning loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and then matching its season worst with 24 miscues against the Orlando Magic. “That’s kind of our weakness,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “If we don’t get that cleaned up then we are in big trouble. That’s a major goal for us going forward.” Curry poured in 41 points against the Magic for his 12th 40-point outing of the campaign, the most by a Warriors’ player since Hall of Famer Rick Barry did it 15 times during the 1974-75 season.


    1. The Warriors are 2-0 against the Jazz this season and have won nine of the past 10 meetings.

    2. Utah C Rudy Gobert collected 15 rebounds against the Hawks — his average during the past six games.

    3. Golden State F Andre Iguodala (hamstring) has missed three of the past four games and is questionable for Wednesday’s game.

    PREDICTION: Warriors 122, Jazz 105


    Hot teams
    — Miami won its last five games (9-4AF).
    — Charlotte won eight of its last ten games (5-3 last 8HF).
    — Memphis won six of its last eight games (4-0 last 4AU). Boston won five of its last six games (8-4 last 12HF).
    — Detroit won five of its last seven games (1-4 last 5AU).
    — Clippers won four of last five games (3-1 last 4AU).
    — Cleveland won three of its last four games (4-9-1 last 14AF).
    — Suns won three of their last five games (4-4HU with Watson).
    — Warriors won eight of their last nine games (1-4 last 5HF).

    Cold teams
    — Milwaukee lost five of its last seven games (2-4 last 6HU).
    — Pelicans lost four of their last five games (5-3 last 8AU).
    — 76ers lost their last ten games (2-7 vs spread in last nine). Houston lost three of its last five games (5-8AF).
    — Dallas lost last three games, by 3-2-19 points (5-3 last 8HF).
    — Thunder lost six of their last nine games (8-2 last 10HF).
    — Sacramento lost six of its last seven games (3-7 last 10HU).
    — New York lost six of its last eight games (1-4AF).
    — Utah lost six of its last seven games (4-9 last 13AU).

    Series records
    — Bucks won five of their last six games with Miami.
    — Pelicans won six of last eight games with Charlotte.
    — 76ers lost their last four games with Houston.
    — Grizzlies won six of last seven games with Boston.
    — Mavericks won six of last seven games with Detroit.
    — Clippers lost three of last four visits to Oklahoma.
    — Cavaliers lost their last three visits to Sacramento.
    — Knicks lost three of last four games with Phoenix.
    — Warriors won nine of last ten games with Utah.

    — Six of last eight Miami-Milwaukee games stayed under.
    — Six of last seven New Orleans-Charlotte games went over.
    — Four of last five Philly games went over the total.
    — Four of last five Boston games stayed under the total.
    — Eight of last ten Detroit games went over the total.
    — Six of last eight Clipper-Thunder games stayed under.
    — Three of last four Sacramento games stayed under total.
    — Under is 7-1 in last 8 New York games if it played night before.
    — Four of last five Utah-Golden State games went over the total.

    — Knicks covered three of last four if they played night before.
    — Utah is 8-5 vs spread if it played night before.


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Against – All teams where the line is +3 to -3 (PHOENIX) off an upset win as a road underdog, a bad team (25% to 40%) playing a team with a losing record
    29-8 over the last 5 seasons. ( 78.4% | 20.2 units )
    2-1 this year. ( 66.7% | 0.9 units )

    Play On – Home favorites vs. the money line (DALLAS) after 1 or more consecutive losses, in March games
    206-61 over the last 5 seasons. ( 77.2% | 75.2 units )
    10-2 this year. ( 83.3% | 7.4 units )

    Play On – Home teams where the 1rst half line is +1.5 to -1.5 (DALLAS) after allowing 100 points or more 4 straight games against opponent after a win by 10 points or more
    67-31 since 1997. ( 68.4% | 32.9 units )
    7-2 this year. ( 77.8% | 4.8 units )


    NBA Odds: Wednesday, March 9 2016 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
    by Alan Matthews

    The amazing Golden State Warriors shrugged off that shocking loss at the Lakers with a win over the Magic on Monday night to set an NBA record with their 45th straight home win, breaking a tie with the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls. It’s very easy to see the Warriors going 41-0 at home this season. Can’t see them losing there Wednesday night against Utah, which is 10-21 away from home. The best chances would seem to be March 23 against the Clippers, April 1 against the Celtics and April 7 against the Spurs. Also, the Warriors have not lost back-to-back games this season and improved to 6-0 this season following a loss. No team in NBA history has made it through an entire season without losing consecutive games.

    Pelicans at Hornets (-7.5, 208)

    New Orleans has again lost injury-plagued guard Eric Gordon, probably for the season to a fractured right ring finger. Gordon recently missed 16 games after undergoing surgery to repair a fracture to the same finger. Gordon likely has played his final game in a New Orleans uniform as he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and some team will overpay him despite how brittle the guy is. This starts a five-game road trip for the Pelicans. Charlotte won a fourth straight Monday, 108-103 over Minnesota. Kemba Walker had 34 points. New Orleans won the first meeting with Charlotte 109-107 on Jan. 15. Nic Batum’s tying 24-footer at the buzzer fell short. Ryan Anderson led the Pelicans with 32 points. They have lost their past four trips to Charlotte, however.

    Key trends: The Pelicans are 2-6 against the spread in their past eight after a win. The home team is 5-1-1 ATS in the past seven meetings. The “over/under” is 6-1 in the past seven meetings.

    Early lean: Hornets and over.

    Rockets at 76ers (TBA)

    Houston won in Toronto 113-107 on Sunday behind 40 points and 14 assists from James Harden. Dwight Howard had 21 points and 11 rebounds. It was Houston’s first win at Toronto since the 2006-07 season. Philly dropped a 12th straight Sunday, 103-98 in Miami. Philadelphia was again without Jahlil Okafor (bruised shin), Nerlens Noel (bruised knee) and Nik Stauskas (illness). Houston beat visiting Philly 116-114 on Nov. 21 behind 50 points from Harden. The Rockets have won four straight in the series overall.

    Key trends: Houston is 1-5 ATS in the past six meetings. The over is 5-2 in the past seven.

    Early lean: TBA for all those Sixers. I could actually see inconsistent Houston nearly losing this game off the big win in Toronto.

    Grizzlies at Celtics (TBA)

    First of an ESPN doubleheader and should have live betting at sportsbooks. Memphis pulled a huge surprise in Cleveland on Monday, 106-103 despite playing without Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Chris Andersen, Matt Barnes. Conley and Andersen also will miss this game, but Randolph and Barnes were simply rested in the second of a back-to-back. Boston’s five-game winning streak ended in a 120-103 loss at Cleveland on Saturday. The Celtics led by as many as 18 points. Memphis beat Boston 101-98 on Jan. 10. Randolph led the Grizzlies with 25 points and 13 rebounds off of the bench. Isaiah Thomas had 35 for Boston. The Celtics won the home meeting with the Grizz last season. It’s possible Boston gets back injured center Kelly Olynyk for this one.

    Key trends: Memphis is 9-1 ATS in its past 10 vs. the East. The over is 14-4 in the past eight meetings.

    Early lean: No Conley for sure, so Boston should win comfortably.

    Heat at Bucks (+3, 203.5)

    Miami has won five straight and completed a home-and-home sweep of Philadelphia on Sunday. Hassan Whiteside had 14 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks. The Heat climbed a season-high 11 games over .500 and matched last season’s win total with 19 games remaining. Milwaukee lost a second straight Monday, 100-90 in Chicago. Jerryd Bayless scored 20 points for Milwaukee, which has dropped five of seven. Michael Carter-Williams missed a fifth straight game and will have season-ending hip surgery on Thursday. This is the final meeting between these teams. They’ve split the first two, each winning on the road.

    Key trends: The Heat are 5-2 ATS in their past seven in Milwaukee. The under is 6-1-1 in the past eight there.

    Early lean: Heat and under.

    Pistons at Mavericks (-2.5, 206)

    Detroit ended a two-game slide with a 123-103 home win over Portland on Sunday. Reggie Jackson had 30 points. This starts a four-game road trip. Dallas lost a third straight Monday, 109-90 at home to the Clippers. Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points to lead the Mavericks, who missed 17 consecutive 3-pointers. The Mavs haven’t lost four in a row this season. First meeting of season. Detroit snapped a six-game road losing streak to the Mavs with its 108-95 win on Jan. 7 of last year.

    Key trends: The favorite is 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings. The over is 4-1 in the past five.

    Early lean: Mavericks and over.

    Knicks at Suns (+3, 209)

    New York was in Denver on Tuesday. Kristaps Porzingis planned to play in that one after missing the team’s previous game with a leg injury. Phoenix actually won a second in a row Sunday, 109-100 in Memphis. Did the Suns players not get the tanking memo? The Knicks beat the Suns 102-84 at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 29. Carmelo Anthony had 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. The Suns swept the Knicks in 2014-15 and had won three straight in the series before the first meeting this season.

    Key trends: The favorite is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The under is 6-0 in the previous six.

    Early lean: Suns and over.

    Clippers at Thunder (-4.5, 217)

    Second ESPN game. Los Angeles won 109-90 in Dallas on Monday. DeAndre Jordan had 23 points and 20 rebounds amidst all the boos in Big D, the city he spurned at the last minute this summer. The Clips were down two at the half but outscored the Mavs 33-16 in the third. Oklahoma City ended a two-game slide with a 104-96 win in Milwaukee on Sunday. Kevin Durant had 32 points and 12 boards and Russell Westbrook his 10th triple-double of the season. OKC is 10-0 in those games. These teams have split two meetings in Los Angeles. The Clippers won there last Wednesday 103-98, rallying from a 22-point deficit.

    Key trends: The underdog is 8-1 ATS in the past nine meetings. The under is 6-2 in the past eight.

    Early lean: Thunder and under.

    Cavaliers at Kings (TBA)

    Cleveland clearly overlooked short-handed Memphis on Monday as the Cavs were shocked at home 106-103 to end their three-game winning streak. LeBron James had 28 points and passed Hall of Famer John Havlicek into 13th place on the NBA’s career scoring list. After the game, James had some choice words for his teammates. Sacramento lost 115-112 in New Orleans on Monday, blowing a 17-point second-half lead. DeMarcus Cousins had 40 points and 16 rebounds. Cleveland beat Sacramento 120-100 on Feb. 8. James had his first triple-double of the season with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The Kings have won three straight at home in the series.

    Key trends: The home team is 5-0-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The over is 12-5 in the Kings’ past 17 overall.

    Early lean: TBA for a few banged-up Kings. I expect Cavs to win easily after being called out by LeBron.

    Jazz at Warriors (-13, 210)

    Utah hosted Atlanta on Tuesday. Golden State beat the Magic 119-113 on Monday to set that home mark. Steph Curry had 41 points and became the first NBA player to make 300 3-pointers in a season. He and Klay Thompson were a combined 12-for-24 from long range after going 1-for-18 combined in Sunday’s stunning loss to the Lakers. The Warriors overcame 24 turnovers vs. Orlando, tied for their most this season. Andre Iguodala sat out for a second straight game. Golden State is 2-0 vs. Utah this season and has won five straight at home in the series.

    Key trends: The home team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 4-1 in Utah’s past five in the second of a back-to-back.

    Early lean: Jazz and under.

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