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Friday's Late Tips

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Editor's note: Brian Edwards owns an 8-1 record over the last three nights and his NBA picks have cashed at a 16-4 clip since April 25. For the season, Brian has a 105-73 record (59%, +25.66 units) in the NBA. Don't miss out on his five-game pick pack for tonight, including this pay-if-it-wins-only selection.

**Thunder at Rockets**

--As of early this morning, most books had Houston (47-40 straight up, 44-42-1 against the spread) installed as a one-point favorite for Game 6 vs. Oklahoma City. The total was 206.5 or 207.

--Kevin McHale’s club has won back-to-back games after falling behind 3-0 in this best-of-seven series. The Rockets won a 107-100 decision Wednesday night at OKC as 8.5-point underdogs. Gamblers taking Houston on the money line cashed +300 tickets (risk $100 to win $300), while the 207 combined points dipped ‘under’ the 208-point total. No team in NBA history has come back from a 0-3 deficit.

--James Harden shook off flu-like symptoms that forced him to leave the morning shoot-around and scored a team-high 31 points for the winners. Harden, who had made just 36 percent of his shots from the field in the first four games of the series, drained 10-of-16 shots from the floor and 7-of-9 from 3-point range in Game 5.

--OKC started intentionally fouling Houston center Omer Asik for a 2 ½-minute stretch midway through the fourth quarter. Asik responded by making 9-of-14 from the charity stripe. He finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Francisco Garcia knocked down five treys en route to an 18-point effort.

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--Kevin Durant scored a game-high 36 points in Game 5, but he was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. He had an uncharacteristic look of frustration on his face and was clearly forcing tough shots down the stretch.

--Oklahoma City (63-24 SU, 51-34-2 ATS) won Game 3 without All-Star guard Russell Westbrook, but it has struggled to replace his production in the last two games. The Thunder will need a better effort out of Kevin Martin, who was an atrocious 1-of-10 from the field in Game 5.

--Houston owns a 30-13 SU record and a 25-18 ATS mark in its home games this season.

--Westbrook tore his meniscus late in Game 2 and is out for the rest of the playoffs. Westbrook was averaging 24.0 points, 7.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game in the first two games.

--Houston starting point guard Jeremy Lin is ‘questionable’ for Game 6 with a bruised chest. Lin has missed the last two games and was ineffective in the first two contests. He made only 5-of-20 shots and averaged just 4.3 PPG.

--The ‘over’ hit in all four regular-season meetings between these teams, but the ‘under’ has cashed at a 4-1 clip in this series.

--The ‘under’ is 45-42 overall for the Rockets, 22-21 in their home games.

--The ‘under’ is 47-38-2 overall for OKC, 25-17-1 in its road assignments.

--The updated series odds from Sportsbook.ag: Thunder -700, Rockets +500.

--ESPN will have the telecast at 9:35 p.m. Eastern.

**Clippers at Grizzlies**

--After dropping Games 1 and 2 at Staples Center, Memphis (59-28 SU, 50-35-2 ATS) has won three in a row over the Clippers to set up Friday’s potential close-out game at home. The Grizzlies won Game 5 by a 103-93 count as 5.5-point underdogs, hooking up money-line backers with a +195 return (risk $100 to win $195).

--Zach Randolph was the catalyst for Lionel Hollins’s team in Game 5. The Michigan St. product scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Marc Gasol produced 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Mike Conley Jr. added 20 points and dished out six assists.

--Los Angeles (58-29 SU, 46-41 ATS) failed to provide Chris Paul with much help in the Game 5 loss. Paul was sensational with 35 points, six boards, four dimes and three steals, but Jamal Crawford was only other teammate in double figures with 15 points. Blake Griffin tried to play on the ankle he sprained in practice the day before, but he had to leave in the third quarter and didn’t return. Griffin had four points, five rebounds and five assists in 19 minutes of playing time.

--As of early this morning, Griffin was listed as ‘questionable.’ Most spots had the Grizzlies listed as six or 6.5-point home favorites with the total at 180.5 or 181. They are favored by 3.5 for first-half wagers, while the total is 91 or 91.5. Gamblers can take the Clippers to win outright and force a Game 7 back in Tinseltown for a +240 return (risk $100 to win $240).

--Memphis won by double-digit margins in Games 3 and 4 at home. The Grizzlies won by scores of 94-82 and 104-83, respectively.

--Memphis is 34-9 SU and 24-18-1 ATS at home this year.

--The ‘over’ is 4-1 in this series so far. Since losing Game 1 by a 112-91 score, the Grizzlies have taken the cash in each of the last four games. Even in a 93-91 Game 2 loss, Memphis covered the number as a 5.5-point underdog.

--The ‘over’ is 49-38 overall for the Clippers, but the ‘under’ is 22-21 in their road assignments.

--The ‘under’ is 51-35-1 overall for Memphis, 28-15 in its home games.

--The updated series odds from Sportsbook.ag: Grizzlies -400, Clippers +300.

--Tip-off is scheduled for 9:35 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Sportsbook.ag has the Miami Heat as the -300 favorite to win the NBA title.

--Brooklyn forced a Game 7 in its best-of-seven series with Chicago thanks to Thursday’s 95-92 win over the Bulls in a pick ‘em affair. The 187 combined points jumped ‘over’ the 184-point total. Game 7 will be at Barclays Center on Saturday night at 8:05 p.m. Eastern. The Bulls were playing short-handed in Game 6 with Luol Deng (illness), Kirk Hinrich (calf) and Derrick Rose (knee) out of the lineup.

--Golden St. advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with Thursday’s 92-88 win over Denver as a 2.5-point home ‘chalk.’ The Warriors hooked up their backers for the series as +400 underdogs. They got an inspiring performance from veteran center Andrew Bogut in the close-out game. Bogut finished with 14 points, 21 rebounds and four blocked shots. Steph Curry scored 22 points and passed out eight helpers, while Draymond Green came off the bench to provide 16 points and 10 boards.

--Golden St. has lost 29 consecutive games at San Antonio. The Warriors haven’t won on the road against the Spurs since Valentine’s Day of 1997.

--Most books are listing San Antonio as an 8.5-point home favorite for Monday's Game 1 vs. Golden St. The total opened at 201. 

--Sportsbook.ag has odds for the next team Dwight Howard will play for and the Lakers are -300 ‘chalk.’ These teams have the following odds: Rockets (+250), Mavs (+350), Field (+350), Hawks (10/1) and the Nets (15/1).

  
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