HEAT V NUGGETS
Miami’s Dwyane Wade achieved his career’s 500th 3-point shot within the third quarter of Heat’s Monday match with the Atlanta Hawks. Wade joined the likes of Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only players in history with at least 20,000 points, 5,000 assists, 4,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals, 800 blocks, and 500 3-points.
While Wade is enjoying a career-high feat, Miami lost 86-106 against Atlanta. Heat found the match one miserable time for shooting as they missed 20 of their first 22 attempts beyond the arc. Derrick Jones made 14 points that night with six rebounds from Bam Adebayo and five assists from Rodney McGruder.
Miami’s loss to the Hawks could have been a cap of a winning streak. Last Saturday, they beat the Washington Wizards 115-106 at American Airlines Arena. The Wizards’ Bradley Beal made 33 points, while Heat’s Hassan Whiteside only made 21, but that did not stop Miami from dominating that night. After that game, Miami moved over the .500 mark for the first time since the latter part of October last year.
Miami also defeated the Cavaliers last Thursday. With Wade out of the game with an illness, Josh Richardson led the Heat with 24 points to a 117-92 victory over Cleveland.
Miami will be facing the Nuggets on Wednesday as Denver is on the way to the American Airlines Arena. Denver will surely add fuel to the Heat as the Nuggets are flexing a five-match winning streak.
Last Sunday night at the Pepsi Center, Nikola Jokic made a career-high 39 points and 12 rebounds, leading the Nuggets to a 123-110 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. Paul Millsap complemented the Serbian guard with 18 points.
Denver also dominated over the Sacramento Kings last Friday at the Golden 1 Center, where Jamal Murray made 17 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter of the match, leading the Nuggets to a 117-113 victory over the Kings.
In addition, Denver also emerged victorious in a 115-108 win over New York Knicks, as well as in a 122-118 over the Suns and a 102-99 against San Antonio Spurs.
Denver, however, failed to extend their winning streak as they lost 125-113 against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center, where 24 points from Jokic failed to match James Harden’s 32.
Miami are in a relatively good form with only two losses within their last five games, while Denver – standing at the topmost spot in the West – are unbeaten in their last five games. Surprisingly though, tipsters are giving a line of -1 to the Heat with the Nuggets Over/Under 209.5.
RAPTORS V HAWKS
Toronto will host the Hawks on Wednesday at Scotiabank Arena with full confidence and energy of their inevitable victory.
The Raptors are hot after defeating the likes of Milwaukee and Indiana over the past few days. Thus, this means bad news for Atlanta.
Last Monday, the Raptors hammered the Pacers into a stunning 121-105 Toronto win at Scotiabank, where Norman Powell generated a season-high 23 points to beat the 21 points from Bogdan Bogdanovic. Pascal Siakam added 12 points and 10 rebounds in that night when Toronto broke Indiana’s six-game winning streak.
Prior to that, the Raptors also dominated over Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum, where Kawhi Leonard and Siakam both made 30 points. The Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo made 43 points that night, but it did not stopped the Raptors from bagging the 123-116 victory.
On the other hand, Atlanta’s form tells one that they are not yet ready to face the top squads in the league. The Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry equalized the Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon, both scoring 19 points in Atlanta’s 112-144 defeat to Milwaukee last Saturday at Fiserv.
The Hawks also lost 108-116 to the Pacers last week at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where Atlanta’s John Collins and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo both scored 22 points. Atlanta also lost to the Wizards 98-114 last Thursday at Capital One Arena.
The Hawks are not straight unlucky though, as they are fortunate enough to break their 3-game skid in a 106-82 victory over Miami Heat last Monday. Trae Young made 19 points that night complemented by 13 points and 13 rebounds from Collins at State Farm Arena.
With Leonard and Kyle Lowry back in the action, the Hawks’ travel to Scotiabank will clearly give Atlanta one rough Wednesday. The Raptors are beaten only once in their last five games, while the Hawks lost trice in their last five matches. Tipsters are endorsing a line of -14.5 for Toronto.
THUNDER V TIMBERWOLVES
Oklahoma City are completely stunned as they lost 98-116 against Washington last Monday at Chesapeake Energy Arena, where the Wizards’ Bradley Beal made 25 points, topping Thunder’s Russell Westbrook who made 22 points.
It was an unexpected loss as OKC just defeated Portland 111-109 last Saturday at Moda Center, where Paul George made 37 points while Trail Blazers Damian Lillard made 23.
Thunder also struck the Los Angeles Lakers last Thursday at Staples Center. George made 37 points that night albeit hostile heckles from the crowd. Westbrook added 14 points, 16 rebounds and ten assists to lead Oklahoma City to a 107-100 win over the Lakers.
OKC also dominated over Dallas last week at Chesapeake, where Westbrook generated 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, leading Thunder to a sparking 122-102 victory over the Mavericks.
Meanwhile, Minnesota are just as stunned when the Timberwolves’ coach and team president Tom Thibodeau was fired immediately after their 109-86 home win against Los Angeles Lakers last Monday at Target Center. Karl-Anthony Towns made 28 points that night. Andrew Wiggins also did good after making 28 points in that game with LA without its star player LeBron James.
The Wolves also made a 103-120 domination over Orlando Magic last Saturday at Target where towns made 29 points and 15 rebounds, complemented by 23 points and 10 assists from Jeff Teague. The match frustrated what could have been a caping of a losing streak after they lost to Boston Celtics 115-102 last Thursday at TD Garden and to the New Orleans Pelicans 123-114 earlier this year at Smoothie King Center.
Minnesota will be hoping to cap a winning streak after their win over Magic and Lakers, but it seemed like it will not happen as their upcoming Wednesday match will be with Oklahoma City.
Prior to their fall to Washington, Thunder enjoyed a three-game winning streak, only lost twice in their last five games. The Wolves are almost in the same form with two defeats minus a winning streak. With Derrick Rose expected to be out of the action, the Wolves will surely be having a bumpy road on Wednesday.
Oklahoma City are given a line of -8 to Minnesota’s Over/Under 223.5.
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