PACERS V RAPTORS

Toronto’s top scoring player Kawhi Leonard is expected to be out of the Raptors’ game on Thursday with Indiana at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Raptors are Jurassic in form with only one defeat to mind out of their eight games. That single loss is a 117-108 fall to Boston at TD Garden. Leonard made 33 points that night but not enough to beat the 31-foot 3-pointer from Kyrie Irving. The premier Boston player finished the game with 27 points and 18 assists, as well as leading the Celtics  to victory.

Last Sunday, the Raptors also scored a 119-109 win over Memphis at Scotiabank Arena, where Draymond Green made a season-high 24 points and went excellent after shooting seven 3-pointers within the third quarter.

Prior to that match, Toronto also beat Phoenix 111-109 last Friday at Scotiabank. Serge Ibaka made 22 points that night with Pascal Siakam scoring the crucial shot right before the time expired to secure a Raptors win over the Suns.

Indiana, on the other hand, also have a fairly good form with only one loss out of their five matches.

That defeat was a 120-96 fall to Philadelphia at Bankers Field Lifehouse. Joel Embiid was hot with 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Jimmy Butler also scored 27 points to equalized with the 27 points from Thaddeus Young.

The Pacers are in a good pace lately. Just last Monday, they thrashed the Charlotte Hornets 120-95 at Bankers. Victor Oladipo made 21 points complemented by 19 points and nine assists from Darren Collison to top the 23 points from Kemba Walker.

Indiana also defeated the Dallas Mavericks last Sunday at home. Tyreke Evans scored 19 points, to which Domantas Sabonis added 16 points and 11 rebounds to top the 20 points from Harrison Barnes and leading the Pacers to a 111-99 win over the Hornets.

76ERS V SPURS

Philadelphia made a really good spark to start an upward momentum after they hammered Houston last Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center. People saw the same Joel Embiid but with a much higher energy that night. Embiid made 32 points and 14 rebounds that night, including an impressive block, frustrating a shot from the Rockets’ premier James Harden.

Prior to that though the 76ers lost to Oklahoma City last Sunday at Wells Fargo. Embiid made 31 points that night, but the Thunder’s Paul George equalized with 31 points as well. George also made a four-point play at 5.1 seconds left to lead the Thunder to a 117-115 win over Philadelphia.

The Sixers also made a 120-96 domination over Indiana last Friday away from home. Jimmy Butler made 27 points complemented with 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists from Embiid to beat the 27 points from Thaddeus Young and secure a Philadelphia win over the Pacers.

Philadelphia also thrashed Minnesota last week at Wells Fargo, where Embiid made 31 points and 13 rebounds to dominate the lousy 15 points from Derrick Rose. The Sixers scored 149-107 to emerged as absolute victors against the Timberwolves.

The Sixers are 20-5 at home, people are expecting them to extend this excellent form on Thursday as they will be playing as hosts to the Spurs at Wells Fargo. Thus, tipsters are giving a line of Philadelphia -4.5.

San Antonio are having a bad time in away games at 9-14, which foretells what their Thursday game at Philadelphia will turn out to be.

Even based on their recent record so far, the Spurs are holding a relatively bad form with three defeats out of their five games, the most recent of which is a 103-95 loss to the LA Clippers last Monday at AT&T Center.

HEAT V CLIPPERS

Miami will be hosting the LA Clippers on Thursday at American Airlines Arena.

The Heat are lukewarm lately with a record of three losses and three wins out of their last six matches.

Last Tuesday, Miami fell to Boston at TD Garden, where Kyrie Irving made 26 points and 10 assists, to which Al Horford added 16 points and 12 rebounds to top the 18 points from Derrick Jones Jr. and secure a 107-99 Celtics win over the Heat.

A few weeks ago though, Miami beat the Celtics at American Airlines Arena. Retiring Dwayne Wade made 19 points complemented by 18 points from Josh Richardson to top the 22 points from Irving. The Heat as a team also scored a season-high 18 3-pointers that night to secure a 115-99 Heat victory over Boston.

Wade also made 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assist to assist the Heat in beating the Chicago Bulls 117-103. It was Wade’s last game in his hometown.

Miami also lost to Detroit last Saturday at Little Caesars Arena, where Dwayne Wade made 20 points but not enough to hold off the 32 points and 11 rebounds from Blake Griffin and a 98-93 Pistons victory over the Heat.

Prior to that, Miami laso lost to the Bucks last week at Fiserv Forum, where Giannis Antetokounmpo had 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, complemented by the 17 points from Eric Bledsoe to top the 19 points from Hassan Whitehead and lead a 124-86 Milwaukee domination over the Heat.

Miami also made a 112-108 victory over Memphis earlier this month at American Airlines Arena, where Justise Winslow scored 26 points with Dwayne Wade pulling off huge blocked shot in the final seconds.  

LA on the other hand are in a very bad shape with only one win out of their seven matches. That single win in their most recent record was a 103-95 victory over San Antonio last Monday at AT&T Center, where Tobias Harris scored 27 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

By @FitsEly

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