December 3, 2012
By Kevin Rogers
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The Tuesday NBA card showcases several Western Conference teams that are looking to make moves heading into the quarter-season mark. The Lakers hit the road for their first substantial trip of the season starting in Houston, while the Grizzlies return home following Saturday's overtime setback at San Antonio. We'll start in Brooklyn with the Thunder attempting to stay on fire at Barclays Center.
Thunder at Nets - 7:35 PM EST
The defending Western Conference champions are rolling right now with wins in eight of the last nine games, while covering eight times. Oklahoma City's offense can't be stopped by eclipsing the 100-point mark in nine consecutive contests, as the 'over' has been cashed six times. The Thunder wraps up a two-game road trip against a Nets' club that is returning to Brooklyn after a successful 2-1 SU/ATS mark on the highway.
The Nets beat the Celtics and Magic by double-digits, but came up lame in the finale at Miami, 102-89. Brooklyn backers felt pretty good as eight-point underdogs with a 14-point advantage in the first half. However, the Heat limited the Nets to just 30 points in the second half to grab the home cover. Brook Lopez missed his second straight game with a lingering foot injury, as the Brooklyn center is likely 'out' again on Tuesday.
Oklahoma City owns the second best ATS record in the league (12-5-1) behind Memphis, while leading Denver by five games in the Northwest Division. The Thunder faces a Nets' squad that has compiled a 7-1 SU and 5-1-2 ATS at Barclays Center, as OKC is 5-2 SU and 4-2-1 ATS on the highway. Scott Brooks' team has won six consecutive meetings with the Nets, including each of the last three at New Jersey.
Suns at Grizzlies - 8:05 PM EST
Memphis picked up another ATS win on Saturday, but blew a 15-point lead in an overtime setback at San Antonio as six-point underdogs. The Grizzlies return to FedEx Forum seeking their ninth home victory in 10 tries, while holding all nine opponents to less than 100 points ('under' is 6-3). Phoenix concludes a six-game trip, as the Suns have won just once in their first five on this voyage.
The most recent defeat for Alvin Gentry's club came in a Sunday matinee at New York, 106-99, but the Suns cashed as 11 ½-point underdogs. The loss dropped Phoenix to 2-8 away from the Valley, while the Suns have put together one of the worst ATS records by covering just six of 18 times. Phoenix did have success against Memphis last season, taking two of three meetings, both as a home 'dog.
The Grizzlies have won and covered in both games following a loss, while hitting the 'under' in six of the last seven contests overall. In three games as a double-digit favorite, Memphis has cashed two of three times, as the Grizzlies were bailed out by a late three-pointer to receive a front-door cover against the Pistons last Friday.
Lakers at Rockets - 8:05 PM EST
Los Angeles has no doubt been the biggest disappointment through the first month of the season at 8-9, as the Lakers begin their first extended road trip of the season. Pau Gasol is 'out' tonight for the Lakers with tendinitis in his knees. The Purple and Gold ended a three-game homestand with a humiliating loss to Dwight Howard's old squad as the Magic upset the Lakers as 13-point underdogs.
The first time the Lakers faced the Rockets, L.A. grabbed a 119-108 victory at Staples Center as seven-point favorites. The Lakers ran all over Houston in the first half, putting up 68 points in the first 24 minutes, while easily clinching the 'over' of 205. The Rockets allowed 54% shooting from the floor, as Howard torched Houston for 28 points and 13 rebounds.
Houston has played extremely well at the Toyota Center recently by winning five consecutive home contests. The Rockets have covered against several of the top teams in the East at home by picking up ATS wins over the Knicks, Bulls, and Heat. The key to Houston's success is their outside shooting, as James Harden and Chandler Parsons have helped lead the Rockets to 'overs' in eight of the last 10 games overall.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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