February 11, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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Three days of basketball remain before the All-Star break in the NBA, as teams attempt not to slow down any momentum built up from the first 50+ games of the season. We'll take a look at all six contests on the Tuesday card, starting with Denver trying to bounce back off a tough triple-overtime defeat.
Nuggets at Raptors - 7:05 PM EST
Denver's nine-game winning streak was snapped in dramatic fashion in Sunday's loss at Boston, 118-114. The Nuggets failed to cover as two-point underdogs in the triple-overtime setback, despite busting the 100-point mark in 11 straight games (9-2 to the 'over'). The Raptors picked up their second consecutive victory on Sunday, holding off the Hornets as 3 ½-point favorites, 102-89. Toronto has put together a 3-2 SU/ATS record since Rudy Gay entered the lineup, while allowing 99 points or less four times in this stretch. The Nuggets held off the Raptors, 113-110 at the Pepsi Center in early December, but Toronto cashed as 10 ½-point 'dogs.
Blazers at Heat - 7:35 PM EST
This is an interesting spot for the defending World Champions, as the Heat is coming of a 10-point victory over the Lakers on Sunday. Miami heads to Oklahoma City on Thursday night for the final game prior to the All-Star break, but the struggling Blazers invade South Florida on Tuesday. Portland travels south from Orlando after getting tripped up by the Magic as three-point favorites, 110-104. The Blazers have dropped seven of their last eight games away from the Rose Garden, while covering just three times in this stretch. The Heat is riding a five-game hot streak, as Miami goes for its sixth 'over' in the last seven home contests. Miami is playing with revenge after squandering a late double-digit lead in a 92-90 defeat at Portland last month.
Kings at Grizzlies - 8:05 PM EST
Sacramento picked up a pair of high-scoring home victories over Utah and Houston, as the Kings attempt to avenge two blowout losses to the Grizzlies. Memphis has cashed the 'over' in six of the last seven games, including in home wins over Golden State and Minnesota. The Grizzlies destroyed the Kings in two previous meetings by 32 and 26 points, while limiting Sacramento to an average of 75 points per game. Sacramento has struggled on the road of late by dropping eight of 10, while cashing tickets just three times (7-3 to the 'under').
Thunder at Jazz - 9:05 PM EST
Oklahoma City ran through Phoenix twice in the span of three days, as the Thunder has won each of their last four games by at least 20 points. The defending Western Conference champs look to become the second team (Spurs) to 40 victories in the league, while traveling to Salt Lake City for the first time this season. The Jazz returns home after Saturday's 120-109 defeat at Sacramento, as Utah attempts to snap a two-game skid. After losing just four games in January, the Jazz has already dropped three contests in six trips to the court in February. Utah has cashed in all four tries as a home underdog this season, while Oklahoma City owns a 1-3-1 ATS record the last four road games off a cover.
Suns at Lakers - 10:35 PM EST
The Grammy trip is over for Los Angeles, as the Lakers found a way to finish 4-3 SU and 3-4 ATS. The Lakers started with wins in three of the first four games, but lost two of the final three contests at Boston and Miami. Mike D'Antoni's club is quickly making up ground in the Western Conference playoff race with victories in seven of the previous 10 games, including three straight home wins. The last time these two division rivals hooked up, the Suns rallied late to shock the Lakers, 92-86 on the first leg of L.A.'s Grammy swing. Phoenix has dropped seven of its past nine games overall, including five of the previous six road contests.
Rockets at Warriors - 10:35 PM EST
Houston sent Golden State into orbit last Tuesday night by dropping a season-high 23 three-pointers on the Warriors in a 140-109 drubbing. The Warriors limp home from a dreadful 0-4 SU/ATS road swing, including three defeats by at least 21 points. Houston's leading scorer is limping at the moment, as shooting guard James Harden is listed as questionable with a knee injury. The Rockets have lost three straight road games, including Sunday's 117-111 setback at Sacramento as 6 ½-point favorites. The total of 221 for this contest is the second-highest in the league this season, as the Rockets outlasted the Lakers, 125-112 last month with a closing total of 223.
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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