It’s a big Wednesday in the NBA this week. Three of the top four teams in the Western Conference are in action at home. Here’s a look at the day’s best games.
OKC @ MINNESOTA
The Thunder and the Timberwolves, Northwest Division foes, meet for the fourth time this season on Wednesday night in Minnesota. The T-Wolves hold a 2-1 advantage so far this season beating Oklahoma City twice in October. The second of those games was played at the Target Center in Minnesota site of Wednesday’s game.
Minnesota (26-16) enters Wednesday’s game coming off a pair of wins over New Orleans and Cleveland on Monday night. Andrew Wiggins scored 25 points in just three-quarters of play and Jimmy Butler added 21. More importantly, Butler matched up with Cleveland’s LeBron James and held him to just 10 points. The T-Wolves will need that kind of effort against the Thunder’s trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony.
The matchup could be a preview of the postseason as currently Minnesota and OKC hold the fourth and fifth positions in the Western Conference standings. The T-Wolves will be tasked with slowing down Westbrook who is scoring 24.9 points a game, George who averages 20.9, and Anthony who scores 17.6. Westbrook is still close to averaging a triple-double per game with 10.1 assists and 9.6 rebounds.
The T-Wolves are a 3-point favorite over the Thunder. Minnesota is 15-6 at home. Butler averages 21.5 points a game and C Karl-Anthony Towns (20.2 ppg, 11.9 rpg) is one of the league’s best young big men. The T-Wolves are only 8-12-1 ATS when playing at home this season. The Over/Under is 210.5.
LA CLIPPERS @ GOLDEN STATE
Will this be the time the Clippers beat Golden State? Los Angeles has lost 10 straight to Warriors, including last Saturday’s 121-105 thrashing in L.A. Steph Curry lit it up with 45 points and he didn’t even play in the fourth quarter. Kevin Durant didn’t play for the Warriors, but he is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game.
The Clippers (18-21) are actually 7-3 in their last 10 games overall. They are currently ninth in the West and gaining on New Orleans. Head coach Doc Rivers’ team just hasn’t been able to figure out the Warriors. In the past meetings with the defending NBA champs, the Clippers have been outscored by an average of 124-108. As if losing ten straight isn’t bad enough, the Warriors have also covered in seven of those last 10 games. Golden State is only 19-21-1 ATS this season and 9-11-1 at home.
Blake Griffin suffered a concussion when elbowed by JaVale McGee in Saturday’s game and is listed as questionable for Wednesday.
PORTLAND @ HOUSTON
Portland heads to Houston Wednesday night to face the Rockets who will play, once again, without NBA leading scorer James Harden. The Trail Blazers might be forced to play without their leading scorer Damian Lillard, who has an injured calf. Lillard, who averages 24.9 points a game, was ruled out of Tuesday’s game against Oklahoma City.
Portland is 21-18 thus far and in sixth place in the West. Houston, despite losing seven of their last nine games, is still second at 28-11. The two teams met in early December in Portland and Harden scored 48 points in a 124-117 Rockets’ victory. Houston has won two of the last three against the Trail Blazers. The Rockets have lost three of their last four at home. The only win was over the lowly Lakers.
Houston is 7-12-1 ATS at home this season while Portland is 13-6 ATS on the road. The Trail Blazers have won five of their last seven games including a big 111-110 win over the Spurs last Friday.
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