Here I thought I was done leading these stories about the pitiful Philadelphia 76ers. Apparently not as I just found out that the Sixers could become the first team in NBA history not to win at least twice by its 30th game -- which happens to be Tuesday for the 1-28 franchise. In addition, every team in league history has won at least three times through its 42nd game. Not sure I see the 76ers accomplishing either of those. I do think the team made a smart move in hiring Mike D'Antoni as an assistant to Coach Brett Brown. D'Antoni is a very good offensive mind and knows new Sixers chairman of basketball operations Jerry Colangelo well from their Phoenix days. The Sixers might as well play fast and entertaining since they stink. And this isn't apparently a threat to Brown as he was just given a contract extension. D'Antoni hasn't joined the team yet, however. He will during its West Coast trip that starts the day after Christmas.
Grizzlies at 76ers (+9.5, 195)
If Memphis coach Dave Joerger is in some trouble as has been speculated, a loss here probably ends his tenure. The Grizzlies haven't won consecutive games since the start of the month. They are off a 96-84 home win over Indiana on Saturday. Marc Gasol had 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, while Matt Barnes added 15 points and 10 boards. Grizzlies guard and defensive stalwart Tony Allen missed a fifth straight game with a right knee injury. Doubt he plays here. Philadelphia was destroyed in Cleveland on Sunday, 108-86 for its 10th straight loss. Nerlens Noel had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the defeat. Memphis beat the visiting 76ers 92-84 on Nov. 29 for its sixth straight win in the series (also has won five straight at Philadelphia). That was Philly's 18th straight loss to start the year, tying the league record. Noel missed the game.
Key trends: The Grizzlies are 0-4 against the spread in their past four after a win. The 76ers have covered just one of their past 11 overall. The "over/under" is 5-1 in Memphis' past six after a win.
Early lean: Grizzlies and over.
Pistons at Heat (-3.5, 192.5)
Detroit mercifully has been off since Friday when the Pistons went four overtimes and won in Chicago 147-144. Andre Drummond had 33 points and 21 rebounds, and Reggie Jackson added 31 points and 13 assists. Drummond became the first Piston since Dennis Rodman in 1991 with 30 points and 20 rebounds in a game. No opponent had done it in Chicago since Larry Bird in 1980-81. It was only the second four-OT game in the NBA over the past 18 seasons. We might see Brandon Jennings make his season debut here as he was recalled from the D-League. His 2014-15 season was cut short by a ruptured left Achilles'. Miami beat Portland 116-109 on Sunday, shooting 57 percent from the field. Goran Dragic was ejected from a game for the first time in his career, but nothing that would get him suspended here. Detroit has lost two straight in Miami but beat the visiting Heat 104-81 on Nov. 25. Drummond had 18 points and 20 rebounds.
Key trends: The home team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 4-0 in the Heat's past four at home.
Early lean: Heat and over.
Mavericks at Raptors (-4, 196)
This is on NBA TV and will feature live betting at sportsbooks. Dallas has been off since Friday's 97-88 home win over Memphis. Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points and Zaza Pachulia, who has been a steal acquisition from Milwaukee, 10 points and 18 rebounds. It was his 15th double-double, tying as many as he had all last year. Backup point guard Devin Harris missed the game with a right hamstring injury and probably sits this one out. Toronto was upset at home 104-94 by Sacramento on Sunday. The Kings opened the game on a 17-2 run and at one point led by 22 points in the first quarter. Toronto had won four straight at home. Kyle Lowry was ejected with 7:22 remaining in the third quarter after receiving two technicals for arguing with referee Scott Wall. The Raptors ruined Dallas' home opener, 102-91 on Nov. 3. The Mavs swept the series last year.
Key trends: The Mavs are 2-5 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 4-0 in the previous four.
Early lean: Raptors and over.
Lakers at Nuggets (TBA)
L.A. lost a second straight Saturday, 118-78 in Oklahoma City. The Lakers didn't have Kobe Bryant, not that it would have mattered. He should be back here. Someone named Anthony Brown started in his place vs. OKC. Los Angeles coach Byron Scott said the Lakers looked "scared" and "intimidated." Denver lost a second in a row Sunday at home, 130-125 to New Orleans. Reserve Will Barton had a career-high 32 points for the Nuggets. He also had 10 rebounds. Danilo Gallinari turned his left ankle, so monitor him. He didn't think it was serious but didn't practice Tuesday. Rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay (sprained right ankle) missed a fourth straight game. It's doubtful he plays in this game. The Lakers lost at home to Denver 120-109 on Nov. 3. Kenneth Faried had 28 points and 15 rebounds. It was the Nuggets' 10th win in the past 11 meetings overall.
Key trends: The Lakers are 2-9 ATS in the past 11 meetings. The over has hit in nine of the past 12.
Early lean: Nuggets and over, regardless if Gallinari or Mudiay plays.
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