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PHOENIX SUNS (38-36) at PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (47-25)


2015-03-30

The Blazers look to win their fourth straight game when they host the struggling Suns Monday.



The Suns hosted the Thunder on Sunday and lost 109-97 as 2.5-point favorites. Phoenix has lost three straight games both SU and ATS and has failed to score 100 or more points in four straight contests. This is a team that wins games because of its offense and it will need to start putting up points or it will miss the playoffs once again. The Blazers, on the other hand, have now won three straight games after beating the Nuggets 120-114 as 9-point home favorites. These teams have met three times this season and the Blazers are 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS in those contests. They blew out the Suns 108-87 in the only home game theyve played against the team this season and are 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS when hosting Phoenix over the past three seasons. The Suns, however, are an impressive 48-25 ATS in road games over the past two seasons. They are also 29-16 ATS in road games after playing a game as a favorite in that time. The Blazers, meanwhile, are 14-1 ATS after three straight wins by six points or less since 1996. SG Brandon Knight (Ankle) and SG Marcus Thornton (Toe) are questionable for Phoenix and SG Wesley Matthews (Achilles) is out for the season for Portland.



The Suns have struggled recently and theyll need to string together a big winning streak or they will miss the playoffs this season. PG Eric Bledsoe (17.2 PPG, 6.0 APG, 5.4 RPG, 1.7 SPG) has done everything he can to will his team to victories, averaging 20.2 PPG, 5.6 APG, 4.6 RPG and 1.4 SPG over the past five contests. Bledsoe will need to have a good game against the Blazers on Monday. He struggled with just 13 points and seven rebounds on 5-for-20 shooting from the floor against Portland last Friday and cant afford to do it again in this one. PF Markieff Morris (15.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.3 SPG) and SF Marcus Morris (10.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG) combined to rack up 34 points and 21 rebounds in that game against Portland. The two of them were able to find their shots offensively, but neither had an answer for LaMarcus Aldridge on the defensive end. One of them will need to step it up and defend at a high level on Monday. SG Brandon Knight (17.0 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.9 RPG, 1.4 SPG) returned from his eight game absence to face Oklahoma City on Sunday. He was awful in the game though, finishing with just three points (1-for-10 FG, 0-for-6 3PT) and four assists in 22 minutes. He is questionable in this game, but hell really need to find his stroke if he plays. He is not a great defender, so his presence can hurt the team when he is not knocking down shots.



The Blazers have gotten themselves on track recently, winning three straight games after a five game losing streak. PF LaMarcus Aldridge (23.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 1.0 BPG) was a monster against the Nuggets on Saturday, pouring in 32 points and also grabbing 11 boards in 35 minutes of action. The last time he faced the Suns, he could not miss in crunch time and was ultimately the reason Portland came away with a road victory. Hell need to continue to use his size to his advantage against a small Suns frontcourt. PG Damian Lillard (21.1 PPG, 6.3 APG, 4.8 RPG, 1.3 SPG) struggled against the Suns last game, finishing with just 11 points (4-for-15 FG) and four assists in what was a very off game for the All-Star. Lillard is just 8-for-26 over the past two games and needs to find his stroke soon because the playoffs are quickly approaching. SF Nicolas Batum (9.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.1 SPG) had just five points in 32 minutes the last time he faced Phoenix. He did, however, have nine rebounds and five assists in that game and followed it up with 15 points and seven assists in a win over Denver the following night. Batum is averaging 17.3 PPG, 7.7 RPG and 5.7 APG in three games against the Suns this season and will need to be more effective as a scorer than he was in the most recent meeting. C Robin Lopez (9.6 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.5 BPG) was big in the victory over Phoenix Friday, finishing with 12 points, 10 boards and a block in 29 minutes. Hell need to continue to protect the rim moving forward.




DALLAS MAVERICKS (8-7) at UTAH JAZZ (9-4)
2012-01-19

Tip-off: Thursday, 10:35 p.m. ET

Line: Apuestas Deportivas Golf Betting Online Bingo Utah -2.5, Total: 184.5



After losing to both L.A. teams on last-second three-pointers, Dallas is eager to get back in the win column visiting a red-hot Utah team on Thursday.



The Jazz started the season 1-3 (SU and ATS), but since turning the calendar to 2012, they have the NBAís best record at 8-1 SU (7-2 ATS). But before dropping two nailbiters in L.A. by a combined five points, the Mavericks were also on fire, winning five straight and seven of eight (both SU and ATS). Dallasí defense has been extremely stingy in the past seven games, limiting opponents to 78.9 PPG on 38.5% FG (28.6% threes). Although the Mavericks just played Wednesday night, they have shown a remarkable ability to win on zero days rest, going 17-9 ATS (18-8 SU) since the start of last season. And although the Jazz have historically been a tremendous home team, the Mavs won by 12 points and 17 points at EnergySolutions Arena last season. The pick here is underdog DALLAS to end its slide with a big road win.



The Mavericks have been tremendous defensively, but their offense continues to sputter.
Dirk Nowitzki (17.9 PPG, 46% FG, 25% threes) is averaging just 14.1 PPG (43% FG) in his past eight games, reaching 20 points just once in this span. Heís coming off a horrible 6-of-18 shooting night against the Clippers, but a date with Utah could be just what he needs to bust out of his slump. In last yearís four-game series sweep of the Jazz, Nowitzki averaged 24.8 PPG on 63% FG and grabbed 8.5 RPG.



SG Delonte West scored a season-high 17 points in the loss to the Clippers and made 3-of-5 from downtown. This was a great sign considering he entered the game 3-of-18 from three-point range. PG Jason Kidd hasnít shot the ball well either since his return from injury (5-of-17 FG, 1-of-13 threes), but he did dish out 10 assists against the Clippers, eight more than he had against the Lakers on Monday. Since returning to Dallas in 2007-08, Kidd has 115 assists and 34 turnovers (3.4 ratio) in 13 games versus Utah.



Unlike the Mavs who gear much of their offense around Dirk Nowitzki, the Jazz are happy to share the wealth. Seven players are averaging more than eight points per game led by Al Jefferson (18.0 PPG, 9.3 RPG) and Paul Millsap (15.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG), the teamís top two scorers and rebounders. This duo has been largely responsible for the teamís 50.0 PPG in the paint this month, the second-highest total in the NBA. However, Dallas has allowed just 32.4 PPG in the paint in January, which is the lowest total in the league.



Utah also has two potent scorers off the bench in Josh Howard (10.7 PPG) and C.J. Miles (8.2 PPG). Howard could miss his third straight game on Thursday due to a quadriceps injury, but Miles has 36 points and 11 rebounds spanning just 47 minutes in his past two home games. PG Devin Harris will be going up against his former team in this matchup. Harris has shot the ball terribly this season, posting a career-worst 34.1% FG. But heís starting to find his rhythm, scoring 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting in the past two games.