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NBA

Oct 30, 2018

Tuesday's Tip Sheet

Game of the Night: Clippers at Thunder – 8:05 PM EST

The focus in Los Angeles this season will be on the Lakers with the addition of LeBron James. However, the Clippers (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS) enter Tuesday’s action owning a better record than the Lakers so far in spite of no star power. The Clippers are coming off a pair of impressive blowout victories over the Rockets and Wizards, while scoring over 133 points in each win. In Sunday’s 136-104 rout of Washington, not only did the Clips easily cash as 3 ½-point favorites, but L.A. drilled 16 three-pointers and nine different players scored in double-figures.

The Thunder (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS) has crashed to a slow start as it took Oklahoma City five games to pick up its first win of the season. OKC held off Phoenix on Sunday, 117-110, but failed to cash as 13 ½-point favorites thanks to the Suns outscoring the Thunder, 34-21 in the fourth quarter. Both Russell Westbrook and Paul George scored 23 points each, while Nerlens Noel dropped a double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds for OKC.

In their first meeting of the season at Staples Center on October 19, the Clippers rallied past the Thunder, 108-92 as L.A. outscored OKC in the fourth, 37-15. The Thunder played without Westbrook, who was recovering from knee surgery, as the Clippers were led by Tobias Harris and Danilo Gallinari’s 26 points apiece. The Thunder have not scored more points their opponent in the fourth quarter this season, while only twice putting up more second half points than its foe.

Back to Beantown

As Boston is still in a frenzy over the Red Sox winning the World Series, the Celtics (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) are looking for an NBA Finals trip. Last summer, they came up one game short of that goal, but Boston is back at TD Garden following back-to-back road wins at Oklahoma City and Detroit. In Saturday’s road blowout of the Pistons, the Celtics bolted out to a 22-point halftime lead in spite of [...]bined points from Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum.

The Pistons (4-1 SU, 1-4 ATS) suffered their first loss of the season in Saturday’s 109-89 setback to Boston, the fifth consecutive home defeat to the Celtics since the start of the 2016-17 campaign. However, Detroit has covered in each of its past three trips to TD Garden, including as a six-point underdog in last November’s 118-108 triumph. Detroit is hitting the road for only the second time this season as the Pistons edged the Bulls, 118-116 as 4 ½-point favorites on October 20.

Houston…We (You Know the Rest)

The Rockets (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS) have yet to win a home game this season, sitting at 0-3 in three games at the Toyota Center. James Harden remains sidelined with a hamstring injury as Houston is coming off back-to-back double-digit home losses to the Jazz and Clippers. In Friday’s 133-113 setback to L.A., the Rockets shot 38% from the floor, while the starting backcourt of Chris Paul and Eric Gordon combined for 6-of-27 shooting.

The Blazers (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS) travel to Texas after knocking off the Pacers last night, 103-93 as Portland is playing with no rest for the first time this season. Portland put together its best defensive effort of the season by limiting Indiana to 41% shooting, while seven Blazers finished in double-figures. The Blazers had their issues with the Rockets last season by losing all four meetings, but Portland managed to pick up three covers as an underdog.

Top of the Atlantic

The three-team race to win the Atlantic division this season will be a good one between the Celtics, Raptors, and 76ers. Toronto and Philadelphia meet up tonight north of the border as the Raptors (6-1 SU, 3-4 ATS) are coming off their first loss of the season. Kawhi Leonard didn’t suit up in Monday’s 124-109 setback at Milwaukee, as the Raptors shot 9-of-45 from three-point range, including 0-for-9 from Kyle Lowry. Toronto is currently riding an 0-3 ATS streak, since covering three games in a row.

The 76ers (4-3 SU, 2-5 ATS) are also playing on a back-to-back after pulling away from the Hawks, 113-92 as 11 ½-point favorites. Ben Simmons paced Philadelphia with 21 points and 12 rebounds, as the 76ers improved to 4-0 at home. However, all three losses for the Sixers have come away from Wells Fargo Center, while Philadelphia is 0-2 SU/ATS as an underdog. Last season, the Raptors had their way with the 76ers by winning three of four meetings, including a pair of double-digit blowouts at home.

Hocus Pocus

With Halloween on the horizon, the league has put a spell on the Wizards. Washington (1-5 SU, 1-5 ATS) is two seasons removed from capturing the Southeast division title, but the Wizards are currently at the bottom of the division through six games. Washington wraps up a five-game road trip in Memphis as the Wizards are coming off a 32-point rout at the hands of the Clippers, while also falling to the Kings and Warriors. The lone victory on the season came in overtime at Portland, but the Wizards have yielded at least 111 points in regulation in all six games.

The Grizzlies (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) aren’t back to being a playoff team, like they were from 2011-17. However, Memphis has bounced back nicely from a 111-83 opening night loss to Indiana to win three of the past four games. The Grizzlies are a perfect 2-0 SU/ATS at FedEx Forum, although Memphis routed Atlanta and Phoenix. Memphis dropped both matchups with Washington last season, as the Grizzlies hit the road for three games following Tuesday’s contest starting in Utah.

Second Time Around

Atlanta and Cleveland met last Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena as the Hawks torched the Cavaliers, 133-111 as eight-point underdogs. Rookie Trae Young posted 35 points and 11 assists for Atlanta, who picked up its first win of the season. Now, these two teams hook up again at the “Q” but it’s Cleveland who is remains winless and has sent its head coach packing after six games.

The Cavaliers (0-6 SU, 3-3 ATS) are playing without the injured Kevin Love, while head coach Tyronn Lue was relieved of his duties this past weekend. Cleveland hasn’t been competitive at home this season by losing all three games at the “Q” by double-digits, including Saturday’s 119-107 defeat to Indiana as seven-point underdogs. The Hawks (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) saw their modest two-game winning streak end in Saturday’s 12-point home loss to the Bulls, but Atlanta held its first opponent below 100 points on the 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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