So it should be an interesting night in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday because the fans there are most likely to be cheering Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant harder than any Wizards player. Of course Durant is from that area and the Wizards are definitely targeting him in free agency this summer. Most believe that if Durant doesn't re-sign with the Thunder that he will return home like LeBron James did to Cleveland. One reason the Wizards didn't re-sign excellent young guard Bradley Beal to an extension yet was so they had the room to offer Durant a max deal this summer and then they can go over the cap to extend Beal. In last year's visit to D.C., there were "KD2DC" signs everywhere and Durant was featured on the Wizards' jumbotron wearing his Oklahoma City jersey with 'Washington' photoshopped on the front and the headline, "Come Home KD." Durant thought that was in poor taste.
Thunder at Wizards (TBA)
This will have live betting at sportsbooks as it's televised on NBA TV. Oklahoma City ended a three-game losing streak Sunday in a 124-103 victory over visiting Phoenix. Durant had 32 points and 11 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook 21 points, 13 assists and six boards. OKC shot 52 percent overall and 61 percent in the second half. Oklahoma City has scored at least 112 points in all four of its wins this season. Washington lost a second straight Saturday, 114-99 in Atlanta. In the second of a back-to-back, the Wiz had a season-high 26 turnovers which led to 33 Hawks points. The Thunder swept the Wizards last season. Beal, by the way, is being called questionable for this game with a bruised shoulder. That's why the TBA.
Key trends: The Thunder are 1-5 ATS in their past six road games. Washington is 0-5 ATS in its past five vs. teams with a winning record. The "over/under" is 7-1 in OKC's past eight following a win of more than 10 points.
Early lean: Wait on Beal, although he likely plays. Take Thunder regardless.
Jazz at Cavaliers (TBA)
Utah enters on a two-game winning streak, beating visiting Memphis 89-79 on Saturday. Derrick Favors had 12 points, 16 rebounds and three steals. At 4-2, the Jazz are off to their best start since 2008-09. Cleveland lost on opening night in Chicago but hasn't since. The Cavs are off a 101-97 home win over Indiana on Sunday. LeBron James was questionable for that one with a sore leg but played and had 29 points. J.R. Smith (right knee, quad) missed his third straight game. He took shots on the court in warm-ups and could return for this one. Cleveland has won 24 of its past 25 at home and is outscoring opponents by 12 per game there over that stretch. The Cavs have won three straight at home vs. Utah.
Key trends: Utah is 6-1 ATS in its past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The Cavs are 1-5 ATS in their past six at home. The under is 5-1 in Utah's past six.
Early lean: This is TBA because James' sore left thigh was hit against Utah. I'm sure he plays. But obviously need to wait on that.
Lakers at Heat (-10, 199.5)
The Kobe Bryant farewell tour continues with potentially his final game in south Florida. He struggled again Sunday in a 99-95 loss at the Knicks in probably his final game at Madison Square Garden (where he scored his first NBA point). Kobe was 6-for-19 from the field and 2-for-10 from long range in finishing with 18 points. He's perhaps the worst 3-point shooter in the NBA right now yet keeps taking them. Bryant is 4-11 in his career in Miami. The Heat are looking for their first back-to-back wins of the season as they won 96-76 at home against Toronto on Sunday. Hassan Whiteside had 20 points and 11 boards. All four Heat wins this season are by double digits. They have swept the Lakers three years in a row.
Key trends: The Lakers are 1-7 ATS in their past eight vs. teams with a winning record. Miami is 0-7 ATS in its past seven on Tuesday. The under is 6-0 in Miami's past six.
Early lean: Heat and under.
Knicks at Raptors (-8, 197.5)
New York is off that four-point win over the Lakers on Sunday that ended a three-game skid. Carmelo Anthony had 24 points. The Knicks were hoping to see guard Arron Afflalo make his season debut on Tuesday but that's now looking unlikely due to his left hamstring strain. Toronto is off a four-game road trip where it lost the final two games in Florida. Kyle Lowry is in a mini-slump over his past three games, shooting under 38 percent in each. The Raptors were 3-1 against the Knicks last season.
Key trends: The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 6-0 in the past six in Toronto.
Early lean: Raptors and over.
Celtics at Bucks (pick'em, 201.5)
Boston ended a three-game slide with Friday's 118-98 win over Washington. The Celtics shot 61 percent in the first half while leading by 23 at intermission. Boston was hoping to get back guard Marcus Smart for this game from a left toe sprain, but he didn't practice on Monday and is being called doubtful. Isaiah Thomas would continue to start as long as Smart is out. Milwaukee beat the Nets 94-86 on Saturday for its fourth straight win. Michael Carter-Williams missed his third straight game with a strained left ankle and has been ruled out Tuesday. The Bucks were 2-1 vs. Boston last year.
Key trends: The under is 7-1 ATS in the past eight meetings in Milwaukee. Boston is 4-1 ATS in the past five in the series.
Early lean: Bucks and under.
Hornets at Timberwolves (+1.5, 198)
Charlotte is off a 114-94 loss in San Antonio on Saturday. Hornets star center Al Jefferson played in Minnesota for three seasons, appearing in 208 games averaging 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds. He was acquired by the Wolves in the Kevin Garnett trade with Boston. It's the second of a back-to-back for Minnesota as it was in Atlanta on Monday. The Wolves remain without center Nikola Pekovic. Leading scorer Kevin Martin was set to return Monday after missing a game due to a family matter. Charlotte beat Minnesota twice easily last year and has won three in a row overall in the series.
Key trends: The Hornets are 12-4 ATS in their past 16 Tuesday games. Minnesota is 1-9 ATS in its past 10 at home. The over is 8-2 in Charlotte's past 10 on Tuesday.
Early lean: Hornets and under.
Mavericks at Pelicans (-1, 209.5)
Dallas beat the Pelicans in Big D 107-98 on Saturday to keep New Orleans winless. Deron Williams had 16 of his 19 points in the second half and Dirk Nowitzki scored nine of his 18 in the fourth quarter. Anthony Davis had 25 points for New Orleans, and Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson added 21 apiece. The Pelicans were without two starters in center Omer Asik and point guard Jrue Holiday; Holiday will play here but Asik is questionable. New Orleans is 0-6 for the first time since dropping a club-record eight straight to open 2004-05. The Mavs' Wes Matthews has now been cleared to play around 30 minutes per game off his Achilles tear that ended last season early with Portland.
Key trends: Dallas is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings in New Orleans. The over is 5-2 in the past seven meetings there.
Early lean: Pelicans and over.
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