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Feb 08, 2020

Saturday's Essentials

Editor's Note: NBA Totals (+3680) leader Antony Dinero went 3-0 on Friday and is on a 62-34 totals run. Don't miss out on more NBA winners from him on VegasInsider.com this season. Click for Picks!

Bucks (-9, 218) at Magic, 5:05 p.m. ET: Milwaukee has prevailed in three straight and owns the NBA’s top road mark at 20-4, which ranks percentage points ahead of the Lakers. The Bucks have won six of seven road games in 2020 and have picked up wins in eight of nine on the highway overall. George Hill is absent due to a hamstring injury but the team made it through the trade deadline intact. The Magic only added James Ennis from Philadelphia and have dropped nine of 11, including seven of the last eight. Scoring has been a major concern all season. Orlando has scored over 100 points just twice during its run of losses. Milwaukee has scored 100 or more in 75 straight regular-season games. The ‘under’ is 15-6-1 in the Magic’s last 22 contests.

Knicks at Pistons (-1, 213), 7:05 p.m. ET: Detroit opened life without Andre Drummond by losing in Oklahoma City, falling 108-101 despite Christian Wood’s 27 points and 12 rebounds as the focal point of the offense. Thon Maker took Drummond’s spot in the middle, while rookie Sekou Doumbouya came off the bench. Derrick Rose remains out with an abdominal injury, Markieff Morris and Svi Mykhailuk are nursing hip injuries and Luke Kennard is out through the All-Star break with a knee issue after not being traded before the deadline. New York has a season-best three-game winning streak working and has covered in eight of 10.

Mavericks (-4.5, 216.5) at Hornets, 7:05 p.m. ET: Charlotte has lost 12 of 13 outright and hasn’t covered this month, failing to do so in four straight. Marvin Williams was bought out and will join Milwaukee while Cody Martin is dealing with a concussion, so more minutes should be available for rookie P.J. Washington, who returned from injury earlier this week. Dallas won’t have Luka Doncic until next week at the earliest and has dropped consecutive games for the second time in 2020 after being clipped by Bradley Beal just before the buzzer in Washington D.C. on Friday. The Mavs haven’t lost three straight yet this season and have won on the second night of a back-to-back in two of their last situations. Kristaps Porzingis is wearing a mask after breaking his nose earlier in the week and may sit out the second of a back-to-back despite playing just 21:16 against the Wizards due to foul trouble.

Pelicans at Pacers (-2.5/227.5), 7:35 p.m. ET: This is likely going to be the night’s most entertaining matchup, featuring an Indiana squad looking to snap a four-game losing streak. Defense has been an issue for the Pacers, who squandered a huge lead in Toronto on Wednesday and lost at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to close a home-and-home against the Raptors on Friday. The high side has cased in six of seven involving the Pacers due to a slumping defense while the New Orleans has scored 120 or more points in seven of 11. Indiana has dropped three straight at home and isn’t likely to get T.J. Warren back from concussion protocol. Victor Oladipo has been starting in his place. Jrue Holiday will again face younger brothers Justin and Aaron for the second time this season after the trio made NBA history after taking the floor together in a 120-98 Pels win on Dec. 28.




Nets at Raptors (-7, 221), 7:35 p.m. ET: Kyle Lowry sat out the final 14-plus minutes of action due to a whiplash injury and may not be available for this matchup with Brooklyn, who is again missing starting point guard Kyrie Irving. Fred VanVleet and Terence Davis are likely to form the starting backcourt for Toronto if Lowry can’t go. The Raptors’ 13-game winning streak is the longest in franchise history and the longest in Toronto pro sports history. Brooklyn has won consecutive games to prolong the theme that this season’s group simply performs better without Irving monopolizing the ball. Although Spencer Dinwiddie benefits most from Irving’s absence, Caris LeVert has really turned it up of late, averaging 26 points and 7.5 assists over his last two games. Brooklyn has won four of five outright. The ‘under’ has covered in three straight games involving the Nets but the high side is on a 5-1 run in games involving Toronto. The Raps have covered in nine of their wins during this run.

Clippers at Timberwolves, 8:05 p.m. ET: L.A. won its last three games at home and now hit the road to open a four-game road trip that will take it to Cleveland, Philadelphia and Boston next. D’Angelo Russell has been dealing with a quad injury, which throws his availability for a potential debut with the Timberwolves into question. Karl-Anthony Towns is enthused to have a tag-team partner better suited to complement his own game and will also have other new faces around him in wing Malik Beasley, guard Evan Turner and forwards Juancho Hernangomez and Jarred Vanderbilt. The Clippers are looking to improve the on-court chemistry between stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, so both are expected to play. Pesky point guard Patrick Beverley has been ruled out with a groin injury but newly acquired forward Marcus Morris may debut after being traded by the Knicks on Thursday.

Lakers (-14/225) at Warriors, 8:35 p.m. ET, ABC: The teams with the best and worst records in the Western Conference square off in a nationally televised affair that isn’t exactly what folks envisioned when placing this on the schedule. Golden State won’t have Stephen Curry back until early March and dealt Russell to Minnesota in a deal that brought them Andrew Wiggins, who is under contract until 2023 and should be a part of the team’s future going forward. We’ll see if he debuts tonight against LeBron James, who is on an absolute tear despite the Lakers getting beaten by the Rockets’ small-ball approach the other night. The high side has prevailed in 10 of 13 involving L.A. since Jan. 10. Monitor the availability of Anthony Davis, who has been playing through a finger injury and may take a night off with the Lakers not playing again until Monday when Phoenix comes through Staples Center. Golden State lost the lone meeting between these teams 120-94 back on Nov. 13.

Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]

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