The Minnesota Timberwolves finally snapped a thirteen-game losing skid, against non-other than the Los Angeles Clippers, winning the game 142-115 through excellent team performance.
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The loss means the Clippers slip down the NBA power rankings into 6th, just behind Western Conference rivals the Nuggets, who they’ll face on Thursday night.
We have several great games for you this week, starting off with the Jazz on the road to Dallas. Then we have the West vs East clash, as the Clippers travel to TD Garden to face the Celtics.
Who will get the wins this week?
Utah Jazz (1.90) @ Dallas Mavericks (1.93)
The Utah Jazz is 34-18 for the season overall and will travel to the American Airlines Center looking to record a third successive win, beating the Rockets and Blazers in their last two games.
The Jazz has been excellent defensively this season. They’re allowing just 107.1 points per game, which is sixth in the league. Mitchell Donovan (averaging 24.3ppg) and Bojan Bogdanovic (averaging 20.9ppg) continue to lead the scoring tables and have become key to Utah’s success.
Rick Carlisle’s men sit on 32-21 for the season overall. Dallas will come into this one with the momentum from their last win over the Hornets. With Luka out, it’s been Hardaway Jr, KP and now Seth Curry putting up points in his absence.
Seth got 26-3-6 in the Mavs last game and he is putting up an average of 11.3 points per game, with a 3FG% of 4.27%. But Seth can often go quiet in games - will he show up again in this one?
These two NBA teams are playoff contenders and games like this are important to both teams. Expect this to be a close tie, but take the home side to win.
Expect a Mavs win.
Portland Trail Blazers (2.22) @ New Orleans Pelicans (1.70)
The Blazers have had an excellent 2020, led by Damien Lillard who is third in average points per game in the NBA. The Blazers sit 9th, just outside the playoffs, and go 25-29 for the season overall.
Lillard picked up 33 points and 8 assists in their win against the Miami Heat in their last game. Though the NBA betting odds aren’t released yet, we expect the Blazers to be favoured in the bookmakers’ eyes.
The Blazers are 7-3 in their last ten games, while the Pelicans are 6-4. New Orleans has won their last two games, picking up points off of the Bulls and Pacers. Zion Williamson was rested in the Pelicans last game in the win over the Pacers.
The Pelicans is putting up the sixth-most points per game in the NBA, putting up an average of 115.3ppg. Though defensively New Orleans is struggling. They are allowing 117.2 points per game on average, which is bad news when Portland has a white-hot Lilliard.
Pick Portland to win.
Toronto Raptors (1.72) @ Brooklyn Nets (2.21)
The Toronto Raptors lost out to the Spurs about a month ago. Since then, they’ve won every single game and will travel to New York looking to make it their 14th consecutive win. Toronto is 39-14 for the season outright.
The first game in the head-to-head series ended 119-118 in a win for the Raptors, who led the game from the second before a tense fourth quarter. Fan favourite Fred VanVleet put up 29 points, 6 assists and 2 boards, as he puts up a season average of 17.9ppg.
The Raptors is averaging 112.9 points per game, while the are allowing just 106.4 per game. Compare this to the 110.8 points per game for the Nets, allowing 115.5 per game.
The Raptor’s defensive capabilities will be the difference between the two teams. With Kyrie Irving out, the Nets look to Spencer Dinwiddle (averaging 21.0 ppg) and Caris LeVert (averaging 15.2 ppg) to provide the firepower.
Take the Raptors to win here.
Los Angeles Clippers (2.02) @ Boston Celtics (1.84)
This is the last big game before we head to the United Center, Chicago for the LeBron vs Giannis for the NBA All-star game and given that this is a big East vs Western Conference clash, this is our NBA free pick of the week.
The Clippers are 37-16 for the season outright and 7-3 in their last ten games. They lost in a shock defeat to the Timberwolves last week, before returning to winning ways against the Cavs on Sunday night. They will also face the 76ers before this one.
It was the usual names cropping up again against the Cavs, with George (22g,4a,6r), Williams (25g,3a,5r) and Harrell (19g,3a,9r) turning up on the night. They needed to make amends after the road loss at the Target Center.
The Celtics are in-form and chasing the Bucks, just behind a record-breaking Raptors side, for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. They are 37-15 overall and will look to record an eighth consecutive win against the Rockets before this one.
These two teams are an excellent matchup. Boston is averaging 112.7ppg, while they allow 105.5ppg. Los Angeles is putting up 115.8ppg and allowing 109.7ppg. We expect it to be a closely-fought game, with the Clippers edging it.
Take the Clippers to win.