January 14, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
Six games take place on the Tuesday NBA card with plenty of intriguing matchups in the Western Conference. The Lakers go for their second straight victory as the Bucks venture out to Southern California, while the Blazers and Nuggets hook up in a Northwest Division battle. We'll start in the Lone Star State as the Rockets attempt to get on track against the Clippers.
Clippers at Rockets - 8:05 PM EST
Los Angeles is playing with no rest after Monday's rout of Memphis, as Chris Paul missed his first game of the season with a contusion in his right kneecap. The All-Star guard suffered the injury late in Saturday's setback to Orlando, as the Clippers posted a 3-3 SU/ATS record in the six games Paul missed last season.
The Rockets return to the Toyota Center off a dreadful road trip, losing all three games on the highway. Houston's dynamic offense broke the 100-point plateau just once, coming in Saturday's 107-100 defeat at Philadelphia as one-point underdogs. Kevin McHale's team has suffered through three of losing skids of three games this season, but has never dropped four straight.
The Clippers are in a stretch playing 14 of 17 games away from Staples Center, while compiling a 1-4 ATS record on the road without rest. Los Angeles is in the middle of a nice 'over' run, hitting the 'over in six of the last eight games. The Clippers and Rockets are meeting for the first time this season, as Los Angeles captured all three matchups last season, including an overtime triumph in Houston.
Blazers at Nuggets - 9:05 PM EST
Denver concludes a four-game homestand, as the Nuggets seek their sixth consecutive victory. George Karl's team rallied from a 10-point deficit to knock off the Warriors on Sunday as six-point 'chalk,' 116-105. The Nuggets play with revenge on Tuesday after the Blazers upended Denver at the Rose Garden, 101-93 as six-point 'dogs on December 20.
The Blazers pulled off that home triumph without LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed the game with an ankle injury. Portland hasn't had much luck at the Pepsi Center over the years, losing six straight meetings at Denver, while putting together a 1-9 SU/ATS the last 10 visits to Colorado dating back to 2007.
The Nuggets are known for their uptempo style of play, but Denver has cashed the 'under' in four of the last six home contests. Since covering five straight games in mid-December, the Nuggets have been inconsistent by compiling a 2-5 ATS record off an ATS win. Portland is suddenly becoming a solid play on the highway, covering three of the last four road contests.
Bucks at Lakers - 10:35 PM EST
Los Angeles snapped a six-game skid on Sunday by routing Cleveland, 113-93, while limiting an opponent to less than 100 points for the first time since December 28. Dwight Howard returned to the Lakers' lineup after missing three games with a labrum issue, as the All-Star center put up 22 points and 14 rebounds in L.A.'s first win of 2013.
The Bucks rallied from a 20-point deficit to stun the Raptors on Sunday afternoon, 107-96 as 2 ½-point road 'dogs. Milwaukee improved to 3-1 SU/ATS since Scott Skiles was removed as head coach, while the Bucks broke the 100-point mark in each victory during this stretch. The next three games for the Bucks take place against Western Conference foes, as Milwaukee owns a dreadful 2-9 ATS record versus interconference competition.
The Lakers are riding a three-game 'under' streak, as each total ranged between 209 and 217 ½ (Tuesday's total opened at 212). Mike D'Antoni's club has broken the 100-point mark in 20 of the last 22 games, while Los Angeles has covered just four of its last 11 home contests. The Bucks grabbed the only meeting last season at the Bradley Center, 100-89 as 4 ½-point 'dogs, as Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace were the only two regulars in the Lakers' lineup that night who are still on the team.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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