The regular season in the NBA wraps up on Thursday, but there are still several unresolved issues. Most of the playoff positions are spoken for, while seeding is undetermined in some spots. The biggest game for postseason implications comes in Salt Lake City as the Jazz tries to sneak closer to a playoff berth against the Suns. We'll start in Atlanta with the Clippers still looking to take home the Pacific Division title against the Hawks.
Clippers at Hawks - 7:05 PM EST
In a rare instance, Vinny Del Negro's team travels cross-country for its final two games of this shortened season. The Clippers have made plenty of strides with the acquisitions of Chris Paul and Caron Butler, as L.A. owns a 40-24 mark with an opportunity to win the division title for the first time in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Hawks know they will face the Celtics in the opening round of the playoffs, but the team with home-court advantage is undetermined.
The Clippers beat the Hawks in their last meeting at Staples Center, 96-82 as seven-point favorites on March 14. That loss was the final stop on Atlanta's six-game road swing in which the Hawks finished 2-4 SU and 4-2 ATS, while the Clippers shot 54% from the floor in the win. Los Angeles is running through opponents at a rapid pace by compiling a 14-3 SU and 11-6 ATS record the last 17 games to vault into the top four in the West. The Hawks are 11-1 to the 'over' the previous 12 contests, including seven straight at Philips Arena.
Kings at Thunder - 8:05 PM EST
Oklahoma City suffered a major blow to receiving the top seed in the Western Conference after squandering an 18-point lead in a double-overtime defeat to the Lakers on Sunday. The Thunder returns home following a 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS road swing, as OKC battles Sacramento for the third time in 12 days. The Kings snapped out of a 10-game ATS slump in Sunday's blowout of the hapless Bobcats.
Sacramento may be without center DeMarcus Cousins, who picked up his 13th technical foul of the season at Charlotte, resulting in a one-game suspension (Cousins is appealing). The Thunder has won five straight games as a double-digit favorite, while going 3-2 ATS in this span since late March. Two of those covers came against Sacramento, including a 103-92 victory at Power Balance Pavilion last Friday as 10-point 'chalk.' James Harden is listed as 'doubtful' for the Thunder after suffering a vicious elbow by Lakers' forward Metta World Peace in Sunday's loss.
Heat at Celtics - 8:05 PM EST
Both teams are going through maintenance and injury issues at the moment, as these two rivals will likely not face each other in the postseason (unless it's the Eastern Conference Finals). Dwyane Wade is 'doubtful' with a finger injury, while Chris Bosh has sat out the last four games to heal up before the postseason. Also, LeBron James is expected to rest with the Heat pretty much set in the second seed inside the East. The Celtics will be without sharpshooter Ray Allen, as Boston has been off since Friday's setback at Atlanta.
Boston is one of the hottest teams down the stretch with 14 wins in its last 20 games, even though just seven of those contests came at TD Garden (6-1). The Heat is playing with double-revenge following a 115-107 home defeat as 7 ½-point favorites on two weeks ago as Boston shot a sizzling 61% from the field. Miami is riding a 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS run, while cashing the 'under' in 10 of the last 12 games.
Suns at Jazz - 10:35 PM EST
The most important game on the card could be the final stand for Phoenix, who needs a win over Utah to stay alive for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The Jazz can clinch a playoff berth with a victory, while looking to extend their current winning streak to four. However, Utah will have to do something it has not been able to do this season, which is beat Phoenix.
The Suns are 2-0 SU/ATS against the Jazz in two meetings, including a 107-105 squeaker at Energy Solutions Arena as six-point 'dogs earlier this month. Phoenix has alternated wins and losses in each of the last eight games, while coming off a 118-107 home loss to Denver on Saturday afternoon. Channing Frye left that contest with a shoulder injury, as his status is 'questionable' for Tuesday. Utah has scored at least 112 points in each of the last three victories, as two of those games went to overtime.
Hornets at Warriors - 10:35 PM EST
Golden State rallied from a 21-point deficit in Sunday's triumph at Minnesota, putting a halt to an eight-game losing streak. The Warriors return to Oracle Arena to battle the Hornets, who have covered eight of their last nine games, including an ATS victory in Sunday's loss to the Clippers as 9 ½-point 'dogs.
New Orleans hasn't succeeded in the favorite role this season by putting together a 2-8 ATS record, but both those victories came in the last two weeks over Sacramento and Charlotte. Golden State has dominated on the road with a 14-3 ATS record since early March, but the home ledger isn't as remarkable recently. The Warriors own a 1-5 ATS record the last six games in Oakland, including three straight losses in the underdog role. The road team has taken each of the first two meetings this season, as the Hornets blew out the Warriors, 102-87 in late March at Oracle Arena.
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