February 21, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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Twelve games take place on the Friday NBA card, as teams are getting back into the swing of things following the All-Star break. The Celtics continue their West Coast trip at Phoenix, while the Lakers try to march back to .500 against the struggling Blazers at Staples Center. We'll start in the Nation's Capital as the Nuggets play with revenge against the Wizards.
Nuggets at Wizards - 7:05 PM EST
Washington has covered six straight games as a home underdog, as the Wizards go for the season sweep of the Nuggets. The last time these teams met at the Pepsi Center last month, the Wizards shocked the Nuggets with a 112-108 triumph to cash outright as 10 ½-point underdogs. The game easily finished 'over' the total of 203 ½ thanks to a 72-point quarter between the clubs. Denver has dropped three straight away contests, while allowing at least 109 points in losses at Boston, Toronto, and Brooklyn (all 'overs'). Eight of Washington's last 10 games have finished 'under' the total, as the Wizards have given up 96 points or less each time during this stretch.
Pistons at Pacers - 7:05 PM EST
These two Central Division rivals start a home-and-home set at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, as Indiana is coming off its most convincing win of the season. The Pacers dominated the Knicks on Wednesday, 125-91 as four-point home favorites, while dropping 74 points in the first half. Indiana has won 17 of its past 19 games in the Hoosier State, as Frank Vogel's club has eclipsed the 100-point mark in five of the previous seven home contests. The Pistons rebounded from Tuesday's blowout loss to the Grizzlies to knock off the lowly Bobcats the next night, 105-99. Detroit's loaded backcourt may be without point guard Brandon Knight, who suffered a knee injury in the victory over Charlotte. The Pacers hope to get Danny Granger back in the lineup for the first time this season, while Indiana has beaten Detroit twice by double-digits already.
Knicks at Raptors - 7:05 PM EST
Toronto saw its five-game winning streak disappear on Wednesday in a home loss to Rudy Gay's former team as the Grizzlies topped the Raptors, 88-82. One of those victories in that hot streak came against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden prior to the All-Star break, as Toronto got past New York, 92-88 as eight-point road 'dogs. New York will be motivated on its home court after getting pummeled at Indiana by 34 points on Wednesday, while the Knicks have dropped three of their last four games away from the Garden. The Raptors own a dreadful 4-7 SU/ATS record the past 11 contests at the Air Canada Center, as Toronto's defense looks for another impressive performance after allowing 89 points or less in four of the last five games.
Bulls at Bobcats - 7:05 PM EST
Chicago heads to Charlotte with no rest following Thursday's home loss to Miami, as the Bulls have split a pair of meetings with the Bobcats this season. Charlotte shocked Chicago at the United Center on New Year's Eve, 91-81 to cash outright as 11 ½-point road 'dogs, while covering as 13-point 'pups in a 93-85 setback last month in the Windy City. The Bobcats have struggled all season, while posting a 1-7 SU and 3-5 ATS record the last eight games on the highway, as Charlotte has drilled the 'under' seven times in this stretch. Chicago has played relatively low-scoring games with no rest, cashing the 'under' in nine of 12 times on the second of a back-to-back.
Rockets at Nets - 7:35 PM EST
Brooklyn pulled off a pair of comeback victories to stun Milwaukee in a home-and-home set on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Nets return home to battle the Rockets in a revenge spot, as Houston drilled Brooklyn at the Toyota Center, 119-106 as four-point favorites on January 26. The Rockets have covered seven of their last eight games, capped off by Wednesday's incredible rally over the Thunder in a 122-119 triumph. Brooklyn won its first eight games at the Barclays Center following the firing of Avery Johnson, but the Nets have split their last six home contests (1-5 ATS).
Kings at Hawks - 7:35 PM EST
Sacramento has lost eight of its last nine games away from Sleep Train Arena, as the Kings begin a five-game road trip. The Hawks look to put Wednesday's meltdown to the Heat in the rear-view mirror, while the team held onto forward Josh Smith for at least the rest of this season by not trading him at Thursday's deadline. Atlanta routed Sacramento back in November, 112-96 as two-point favorites, the ninth straight win in the series by the Hawks. Larry Drew's team has dropped five of its past six games on the front-end of a back-to-back, but all five of those defeats came away from Philips Arena.
Mavericks at Hornets - 8:05 PM EST
Dallas is coming back to life following a slow start with wins in five of its last seven games, as the Mavs seek revenge for a home overtime loss to the Hornets last month. New Orleans began the second half with a dud following consecutive setbacks to Chicago and Cleveland after finishing the first half with a 4-1 SU/ATS run. However, the Hornets have dominated against their division rivals in the ATS department by cashing in nine of 11 games. The Mavs are on fire away from home by compiling a 9-2 ATS record in the last 11 road contests, including three covers as double-digit underdogs.
Wolves at Thunder - 8:05 PM EST
Oklahoma City hasn't won a game since February 10 at Phoenix, as the Thunder attempts to snap a three-game skid against Minnesota. The Wolves took care of the reeling 76ers on Wednesday, 94-87 as 3 ½-point favorites to pull off the season sweep of Philadelphia. Minnesota upset OKC earlier this season at the Target Center, 99-93 in wire-to-wire fashion to cash as two-point 'dogs. The Thunder avenged that defeat one month later with a 106-84 thumping of the Wolves as 12 ½-point 'chalk.' OKC has covered in seven of its last eight home games as a favorite of at least nine points, while cashing the 'over' in five of the past six contests at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Magic at Grizzlies - 8:05 PM EST
Orlando's struggles continued in Wednesday's 111-96 defeat at Dallas, failing to cash as 11-point underdogs in spite of trailing by one point heading into the fourth quarter. The Magic has now lost nine consecutive road games, while losing sharpshooter J.J. Reddick to the Bucks in a multi-player trade on Thursday. The Grizzlies are riding a five-game winning streak, while hitting the 'over' in eight of the last 10 contests. Memphis owns a mediocre a 2-3-1 ATS record as a double-digit home favorite this season, but the Grizzlies defense has allowed at least 100 points in just one game at FedEx Forum this season.
Celtics at Suns - 9:05 PM EST
Boston is winless through the first two stops of a five-game road trip with setbacks to the Nuggets and Lakers. The Celtics look to end their short skid against a Suns' squad that has lost five of their last six games. Phoenix started the second half with a bang by knocking off Portland as six-point road 'dogs, 102-98, but the Suns were drilled the next night at Golden State, the third loss this season to the Warriors. Boston has struggled in the role of a road favorite by compiling a 2-7 ATS record, including a loss at Charlotte prior to the break. The Celtics downed the Suns at TD Garden, 87-79 in early January, but Phoenix cashed as nine-point 'dogs.
Spurs at Warriors - 10:35 PM EST
San Antonio hits the court in Northern California following Thursday's blowout of the Clippers. The Spurs have owned the Warriors over the years, winning 16 consecutive meetings, including seven straight victories at Oracle Arena. Golden State finally grabbed a win after six losses in a row with Wednesday's rout of Phoenix, but the Warriors cashed the 'over' for the seventh time in eight games. The Warriors may have problems with the Spurs, but Golden State covered in the last meeting at San Antonio as 11-point 'dogs in a 95-88 defeat on January 18.
Blazers at Lakers - 10:35 PM EST
Kobe Bryant proclaimed on Thursday that the Lakers were going to make the playoffs, but Los Angeles begins Friday's action at 26-29. The Lakers started their surge with a convincing home triumph over the Celtics in a revenge spot on Wednesday, but L.A. has alternated wins and losses in each of the last seven games. The Blazers have absolutely fallen apart at the seams by losing six consecutive contests, including setbacks to New Orleans, Phoenix, and Orlando in this stretch. Portland has lost five straight visits to Staples Center, including a 104-87 defeat to the Lakers in late December as nine-point 'dogs.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at email@example.com
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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