Magic v Thunder

Orlando have been unlucky lately, streaking losses in three games. Magic had a taste of the James Harden show last Monday at Toyota Center. The Rockets’ mothership had 40 points to beat the 23 points from Aaron Gordon and lead Houston to a 103-98 victory over the Magic.

Orlando also fell 91-95 to Washington last Saturday at Amway Center, where Nikola Vucevic scored 28 points to top the 27 from Bradley Beal but not enough to frustrate a Wizards’ win over Magic.

The Magic also lost to the Brooklyn Nets last Thursday at Barclays Center. Vucevic made 21 points but not enough to to the 29 from Spencer Dinwiddie and stop a 114-110 Brooklyn win over Orlando.

Orlando’s last win was a 122-103 victory over the Atlanta Hawks last week at State Farm Arena, where Evan Fournier and Vucevic both scored 29 points each to top the 24 points from Dewayne Dedmon.

Orlando will be hoping to break their three-game skid on Wednesday at Amway Center as they will be facing Oklahoma City.

The Magic could have a rough night on Wednesday though as Oklahoma City are flexing a five-game winning streak.

Last Monday, OKC defeated Milwaukee at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points but Paul George beat it with 36 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Thunder to a 118-112 win over the Bucks.

Thunder also beat the Pelicans last Friday at Chesapeake. Russell Westbrook made his 15th triple-double in the season with 23 points to beat the 22 from Jrue Holiday and secure a 122-116 Oklahoma City win over New Orleans.

OKC also beat Portland Wednesday last week at Chesapeake. George had 36 points and eight rebounds, complemented by 29 points, 14 assists and ten rebounds from Westbrook to beat the 34 points from Damian Lillard and secure a Thunder win over the Trail Blazers.

Orlando would most likely have a really hard time trying to stop a team as hot as Oklahoma City.

ROCKETS V PELICANS

New Orleans are currently suffering from a three-game skid. Their last win was a 105-85 victory over Memphis last week at FedExForum. Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic both scored 21 points each with Jahlil Okafor and Julius Randle also scoring 20 points each that night to beat the 22 points from Marc Gasol.

Last Thursday, the Pelicans lost 94-98 to Detroit at Smoothie King Center, where Holiday made 29 points but not enough to beat the 37 from Blake Griffin. Griffin made 20 of his 37 points in the first quarter alone, a mark of the Pels’ weak defense at the start of the game.

Oklahoma City also hammered New Orleans last Friday at Chesapeake. Russell Westbrook made 23 points to beat the 22 from Holiday and lead a 122-116 Thunder win over the Pelicans.

The Pels also fell to the Spurs last sunday at Smoothie king Center, where Holiday made 29 points to beat the 28 from LaMarcus Aldridge but not enough to frustrate a 126-114 New Orleans loss to San Antonio.

The Pels skid might extend a little bit more as they will be facing a blazing Houston Rockets on Wednesday at Toyota Center.

Houston’s James Harden alone is monstrous with 36.3 points a game average. Last Monday, Harden made 40 points to dominate the 23 from Aaron Gordon in the Rockets’ 103-98 win over Orlando Magic last Monday at Toyota Center.

Harden also made his 22nd consecutive game with at least 30 points last Saturday in Houston’s 121-119 victory over Toronto at Toyota Center. He scored 35 points that night to top the 32 from Kawhi Leonard.

The Rockets are 19-7 in home games, while the Pels are weak at away games with a 7-20 record. Thus, tipsters a giving a line of Houston -10 to Over/Under 234.5.

LAKERS V 76ERS

LeBron James is not expected to return to Los Angeles until Friday this week in the Lakers’ upcoming game with the Clippers.

The Lakers will be hosting the 76ers at Staples Center on Wednesday and LA might struggle in the game with their premier player out for the game.

Los Angeles made a 116-102 win over Phoenix last Monday at Staples. Ivica Zubac and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 24 points each to top the 21 from Devin Booker.

Prior to that though, the Lakers suffered from a three-game skid, notwithstanding the fire of the red-hot teams like the Golden State and Houston.

Los Angeles got thrashed by Minnesota last Friday at Staples. Karl Anthony Towns made 27 points and 12 rebounds to beat the 20 points  from Brandon Ingram and secure a Timberwolves 120-105 win over the Lakers.

LA also lost to the Warriors last week at Staples, where Klay Thompson made 44 points to top the 18 points from Zubac and lead a 130-111 Golden State win over the Lakers.

The Rockets also defeated the Lakers 138-134 earlier last week at Toyota, where James Harden made 44 points to beat the 32 from Kyle Kuzma.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, have a fairly good form with only two losses out of their seven games.

The Sixers lost 126-110 to the Nuggets last sunday at Pepsi Center, where Nikola Jokic made 32 ot top the 22 from JJ Redick.

Nonetheless, Philadelphia defeated a hot Houston last week at Wells Fargo Center. Harden made 37 points that night to top the 32 points from Joel Embiid, but not enough to frustrate a 121-93 Sixers win over the Rockets.

With LeBron still expected to be out of the action until Thursday, the Lakers might endure a rough night on Wednesday to face the top four team in the Eastern Conference.

By @FitsEly

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