Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

Saturday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

Game of the Night: Lakers at Rockets – 8:30 PM EST

LeBron James remains sidelined for Los Angeles (25-21 SU, 19-25-2 ATS) with a lingering groin injury as the Lakers own a 5-7 record without their superstar. The Lakers picked up their second straight win in Thursday’s 138-128 overtime triumph at Oklahoma City as 10-point underdogs. L.A. erased an early 17-point deficit to actually lead at halftime, 67-63. Kyle Kuzma paced the Lakers with 32 points, while Ivica Zubac put up 26 points on 12-of-14 shooting off the bench, to go along with 12 rebounds.

The Rockets (25-19 SU, 22-21-1 ATS) suffered only their second home defeat in the last 14 games in improbable fashion on Wednesday against Brooklyn. Houston held a 13-point advantage with four minutes remaining in regulation and a six-point edge with 28.6 seconds left before Spencer Dinwiddie drilled a trio of three-pointers to force overtime. The Nets eventually won in the extra session, 145-142 to cash as six-point underdogs, but the story wasn’t Brooklyn’s comeback.

James Harden posted a 57-point effort in Monday’s win over Memphis, but topped that output on Wednesday by scoring 58 points, which included hitting 21 free throws. The Rockets attempted a league-record 70 three-pointers and hit 23 of them, but Houston has now alternated wins and losses in each of its past eight games.

The Lakers are seeking their first three-game winning streak since early December, while trying to avenge a pair of losses to the Rockets. In the last matchup at Toyota Center on December 13, the Rockets pulled away from the Lakers, 126-111 to cash as six-point favorites. Harden torched the Lakers for 50 points, but the Rockets also played with Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, and Clint Capela, all have since been sidelined due to injuries.

Finding the Pace

For the third time this month, the Pacers (29-15 SU, 23-21 ATS) lost by double-digits to one of the beasts of the Eastern Conference. After falling to Boston and Toronto in January, Indiana dropped a 120-96 decision to Philadelphia as three-point home favorites on Thursday. Victor Oladipo was limited to 6-of-20 shooting from the floor and scored 15 points in the defeat, while Indiana lost for the first time at home since December 18 against Cleveland.

Seven of the last nine home wins for the Pacers have come against teams owning losing records, as Indiana’s next opponent sits below the .500 mark. Dallas (20-24 SU, 26-18 ATS) has compiled a dreadful 4-18 record away from American Airlines Center, but won its last road contest at Minnesota last Friday. However, the Mavericks hit the road following consecutive home losses to Golden State and San Antonio, while blowing a 19-point advantage in Wednesday’s four-point defeat to the Spurs.

The Pacers had their nine-game OVER streak snapped against the 76ers, this coming one month after Indiana ran off 12 consecutive UNDERS. Dallas swept Indiana last season, including a 98-94 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in December 2017.

Royal Road Woes

The Kings (23-22 SU, 26-19 ATS) started the season by winning four of their first six games away from Golden 1 Center. Sacramento has put together a 5-10 road record since November 4, which includes five straight away losses. The latest defeat came in Thursday’s 114-95 setback at Charlotte, as the Hornets torched the Kings for 43 second quarter points. Sacramento cashed its sixth consecutive UNDER, while allowing at least 113 points for the seventh straight road game.

Sacramento heads to Detroit looking to beat the Pistons (20-24 SU, 21-22-1 ATS) for the second time in less than 10 days. The Pistons are coming off a 98-93 triumph over the Heat on Friday, as Detroit tries to close out its homestand at 3-0 with a win over Sacramento. Detroit will attempt to avenge a 112-102 setback on January 10, as the Pistons fell behind by 17 points at halftime. The Pistons played with no rest that night as Blake Griffin sat out on the second of a back-to-back. Detroit owns a 2-3 SU/ATS record on no rest as the Pistons beat the Warriors in the only time in this situation at Little Caesars Arena.

Disappearing Act

The Magic (19-26 SU, 22-23 ATS) built a 21-point lead over the Nets on Friday, but Brooklyn rallied back for a 117-115 victory to end Orlando’s four-game home winning streak. Orlando is back on its home court tonight to host Milwaukee (32-12 SU, 26-16-2 ATS), who is 10-2 SU/ATS since Christmas.

The Bucks have covered in every win during this stretch, including four times in the road favorite role. Milwaukee has topped the 109-point mark in each of its past 10 victories, while riding a 5-1 run to the UNDER in the previous six games away from Fiserv Forum. The Bucks crushed the Magic in their first matchup this season in Milwaukee, 113-91 as nine-point favorites in late October, as Orlando was limited to 32% shooting from the floor.

Perfect Ten?

It’s been a season to forget for Chicago, as the Bulls (10-35 SU, 20-24-1 ATS) own one of the worst records in basketball and are in the midst of a nine-game losing streak. Chicago returns home from an 0-5 road trip in which the Bulls covered only once in an eight-point setback at Utah. The Bulls last won at the United Center on December 21 against the Magic, while posting a 1-7 record in their past eight home contests since upsetting Oklahoma City.

The Heat (21-22 SU, 23-20 ATS) invade the Windy City tonight seeking to end a two-game slide after losing on the road at Milwaukee and Detroit. Miami erased a 14-point halftime deficit on Friday, but ultimately lost to the Pistons, 98-93 as short underdogs. The Heat is looking to avoid its first three-game losing streak since November, as Miami has won four straight off consecutive defeats.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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