Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

Tuesday's Tip Sheet

Game of the Night: Cavaliers at Heat – 8:05 PM EST

There’s plenty of history between good friends and former running mates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The two of them were drafted in 2003, captured a pair of titles in Miami, and were teammates in Cleveland for the first half of the season. Wade returned to the Heat in a February deadline deal following a year away from Miami, while James and the Cavaliers are trying to move forward with its revamped roster.

Cleveland (44-29 SU, 26-46-1 ATS) closed the first half with four straight wins, but lost seven of its next 12 games. The Cavaliers are back on track by winning five consecutive contests, including each of the past four with Kevin Love back in the lineup. Love missed 20 games with a hand injury, but the forward is back to performing at an All-Star level by producing a pair of double-doubles and averaging 20.2 points per game in the last four contests.

Miami (39-35 SU, 37-31-6 ATS) returns home following a pair of road defeats at Oklahoma City and Indiana. The Heat played in their third overtime game in a 12-day span in Sunday’s 113-107 setback to the Pacers, as Indiana picked up the front-door cover as 3 ½-point favorites. Returning home will benefit the Heat, who have won nine of their last 10 games at American Airlines Arena, while compiling an 8-1-1 ATS mark.

The Cavaliers have captured the first two meetings with the Heat this season, both at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland held off Miami in the first matchup in late November, 108-97 as the Cavs built a 75-49 halftime lead. The Heat fell by two in the next meeting in January, 91-89, but cashed as 2 ½-point underdogs. Miami has won 13 consecutive home matchups with Cleveland dating back to December 2010, while the Heat own a 5-1 ATS mark in the last six meetings in south Florida.

Disappearing Act

The lead in the Southeast division is quickly slipping through Washington’s hands as the Wizards (40-33 SU, 33-39-1 ATS) own a one-game lead over the Heat. Washington looks to end a three-game skid, capped off by a surprising 101-97 home setback to New York on Saturday as 10 ½-point favorites. The first loss in this stretch came at San Antonio last Wednesday, 98-90 as 5 ½-point underdogs, the fourth consecutive loss to the Spurs since December 2015.

San Antonio (43-31 SU, 39-33-2 ATS) swept its six-game homestand prior to Sunday’s 106-103 defeat at Milwaukee as two-point favorites. That loss marked the eighth setback in the last nine road games for the Spurs, while San Antonio has allowed at least 104 points in each of its past four contests away from AT&T Center. In last Wednesday’s victory over the Wizards, LaMarcus Aldridge led San Antonio with 27 points, while the Spurs limited Washington to 42% shooting from the floor.

Golden Wait

The Warriors (54-19 SU, 31-41-1 ATS) are the epitome of the walking wound as Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are all sidelined. Golden State fell on Sunday night to Utah as a lengthy 8 ½-point home underdogs, 110-91 without the aforementioned four stars in the lineups. The Warriors look to avoid consecutive losses for the third time this season as they face the Pacers for the first time in 2017-18.

Indiana (43-31 SU, 42-32 ATS) is fresh off a pair of close home wins over the Clippers and Heat to clinch a playoff berth for the third straight season. The Pacers on a late-season four-game west coast swing which continues against the Kings, Clippers, and Nuggets, while returning home to face the Warriors on April 5. Indiana has dropped four consecutive matchups with Golden State, including a 37-point setback in Indianapolis and a 36-point drubbing in Oakland last season.

Quick Return

Following a 2-2 road swing capped off by a comeback victory at Toronto on Sunday, the Clippers (39-34 SU, 39-33-1 ATS) face the Bucks for the second time in less than a week. Los Angeles outlasted Milwaukee last Wednesday, 127-120 as 5 ½-point underdogs, led by DeAndre Jordan’s 25-point and 22-rebound effort. The Clippers hit the road immediately following the game for two more on the highway at Phoenix on Wednesday and Portland on Friday.

The Bucks (39-34 SU, 29-39-5 ATS) venture to the west coast for four contests, looking to capitalize off Sunday’s home victory over the Spurs. Milwaukee is riding an eight-game OVER streak, while topping the 117-point mark in seven of those contests. Since late January, the Bucks own a 2-6 SU/ATS record as a road underdog, but managed to pull out a 97-96 triumph at Staples Center over the Clippers last March as 7 ½-point ‘dogs.

Playoff Preview?

Entering Tuesday’s action, the Blazers (45-28 SU, 41-27-5 ATS) own a two-game edge over the Thunder for the third playoff position in the Western Conference. New Orleans and San Antonio are tied for fifth as the Blazers and Pelicans could meet in a potential 3/6 matchup in the opening round of the playoffs. Portland dropped two straight following a 13-game winning streak, but the Blazers bounced back from their recent cold spell to hold off Oklahoma City on Sunday, 108-105, while improving to 14-2 ATS in the last 16 contests.

A tired Pelicans (43-31 SU, 40-33-1 ATS) squad saw its four-game winning streak go up in smoke in Saturday’s 114-91 drubbing at Houston. New Orleans had finished off three wins in three nights from Tuesday through Thursday last week prior to Saturday’s 23-point defeat. The Pelicans have won eight of their last nine in the role of a home favorite, while topping the Blazers in two of the first three matchups this season.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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