Friday’s Tip Sheet

Game of the Night: Celtics at Blazers – 10:05 PM EST

Boston (48-23 SU, 43-26-2 ATS) embarks on a late-season four-game West coast swing that continues to Sacramento, Phoenix, and Utah. The first stop is at the Moda Center to face Portland for the second time this season. The Celtics rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit to stun the Blazers on Super Bowl Sunday, 97-96 on Al Horford’s game-winning jumper at the buzzer. Horford led the Celtics with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while leading scorer Kyrie Irving sat out with a bruised quad.

Irving remains sidelined to rest his knee, as Boston pulled off another epic late comeback in Tuesday’s victory over Oklahoma City. The Thunder held a 98-92 advantage with 24 seconds remaining in regulation before the Celtics went on an 8-2 run, capped off by Marcus Morris’ three-pointer in the final seconds for a 100-99 triumph as 4 ½-point underdogs. Boston improved to 8-4 SU and 9-3 ATS since the All-Star break, but are 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS the last four games without Irving.

The Blazers (44-27 SU, 40-26-5 ATS) had their 13-game winning streak snapped in Tuesday’s 115-111 home setback to the red-hot Rockets. Portland lost to Houston for the third time this season, but managed a cover as five-point underdogs to improve to 11-0 ATS the last 11 games. In the defeat to the Rockets, the backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined to shoot 0-for-12 from three-point range, while scoring only 28 points.

Portland has been terrific as a home favorite since January by covering 13 of the past 14 when laying points at the Moda Center. Boston owns a solid 8-2 ATS mark as an underdog since late December, but has lost each of its last three straight-up as a road ‘dog, including recent defeats at New Orleans, Houston, and Toronto.

Wild Wild West

There is a five-game separation in the Western Conference between the 4th-seed Oklahoma City and the 10th-seed L.A. Clippers as seven teams are seeking five spots. Both San Antonio and Utah are currently above the cut line for a playoff spot as the two squads hook up at AT&T Center for the final time this season.

The Jazz (41-31 SU, 38-34 ATS) have captured each of the first three matchups with the Spurs, including a 120-111 road victory in early February. Utah plays with no rest following Thursday’s victory at Dallas, as Quin Snyder’s club is currently on a ridiculous 21-3 run, including 11 straight wins away from Salt Lake City.

San Antonio (42-30 SU, 38-32-2 ATS) has caught fire on its current homestand by winning and covering the first five games. The Spurs have limited all five opponents to 101 points or less, capped off by a 98-90 victory over the Wizards on Wednesday as 5 ½-point favorites. Gregg Popovich’s team is on an 8-1 UNDER run, while scoring 98 points or less in five of the past seven contests.

Thunder Struck

Oklahoma City (43-30 SU, 31-42 ATS) squandered a late six-point lead in Tuesday’s last-second loss at Boston to snap a six-game winning streak. The Thunder start a final stretch with seven of the last nine games against teams currently in the top eight of their conference, as Oklahoma City faces Miami for the first time this season.

The Heat (39-33 SU, 37-30-5 ATS) enters Friday’s play on a three-game winning streak, including recent victories over Denver and New York. Miami has endured plenty of issues on the highway of late by losing nine consecutive road games before edging the Lakers by one point last Friday. As an away underdog, the Heat own a solid 6-2-1 ATS the last nine, but have dropped five of the previous six matchups with OKC. Stand?

The Clippers (38-33 SU, 38-32-1 ATS) fell out of the top eight of the Western Conference recently by dropping four straight games. Los Angeles ended that skid in Wednesday’s 127-120 triumph at Milwaukee to cash outright as 5 ½-point road underdogs, paced by DeAndre Jordan’s 25-point, 22-rebound effort. The Clippers continue their four-game road trip at Indiana looking to avenge a sweep at the hands of the Pacers last season.

Indiana (41-31 SU, 40-32 ATS) returns to Bankers Life Fieldhouse following Wednesday’s make-up game loss at New Orleans, 96-92. The Pacers have dropped three of four since a three-game hot streak, while sitting in the fifth position in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Indiana owns a solid 7-2 SU/ATS record in its last nine in the favorite role, including a 6-0 SU/ATS run in the past six opportunities as home chalk.

Washed Out

It’s been tough sledding for the Wizards (40-31 SU, 33-37-1 ATS) from an ATS standpoint lately as the Southeast leaders are 2-6-1 ATS the last nine games following Wednesday’s setback at San Antonio. Washington has lost six of its past eight contests against Western Conference foes as the Wizards welcome in the Nuggets. Scott Brooks’ club beat Denver at Pepsi Center in late October, 109-104 as five-point underdogs, the third straight win for Washington in the series.

The Nuggets (39-33 SU, 32-37-3 ATS) picked up the first win on their road swing by pummeling the Bulls on Wednesday, 135-102 as nine-point favorites. Denver posed a 77-point first half, while drilling 20 three-pointers and nailing 61% of its attempts from the floor. The Nuggets have slumped to a 4-10 ATS record since the All-Star break, but have been listed as an underdog only three times in this span (1-2 ATS).

Steph’s Back

After missing the last six games with an ankle injury, two-time MVP Stephen Curry is ready to return to the Golden State lineup on Friday. The Warriors (53-18 SU, 30-40-1 ATS) lost four of six games without Curry, including Monday’s 89-75 setback at San Antonio. Even though Curry will come back against Atlanta, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green remain sidelined for Golden State.

The Hawks (21-51 SU, 35-35-2 ATS) play with no rest following Thursday’s setback at Sacramento, as Atlanta has lost 11 of 13 games on the second end of a back-to-back. However, Atlanta has cashed in eight of those 13 opportunities, while going 4-0 ATS in the last four tries on the road with no rest. In the previous matchup at Philips Arena in early March, the Warriors held off the Hawks, 114-109, but Atlanta grabbed the cover as 13-point ‘dogs.

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