What happened on Tuesday showed why some general manager of a contending team (ahem, Boston's Danny Ainge) should work out a trade for Kings star DeMarcus Cousins -- and also why said GM should be scared to death of getting Boogie. To recap Cousins' Tuesday: he was fined $50,000 for threatening a reporter from the Sacramento Bee over the weekend and told in no uncertain terms a suspension would be coming if it happened again. So Cousins, pretty clearly ticked off but motivated, then dropped a double-nickel (55 points) on the Trail Blazers in the Kings' win. Except it's never that easy for Cousins. In the final moments of the game, Cousins got ejected after barking at the Portland bench and his mouthpiece coming out. Apparently one official thought he purposefully spit it at the bench. So Cousins sprinted to the locker room, but then the referees talked, the call was reversed and Cousins came sprinting back and into the game. And of course he made a terrific block to help clinch the win. The guy is a major knucklehead but a Top-10 talent. Would you put your career on the line by trading for him? Your team better have strong leadership if so.
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Celtics at Pacers (+1, 208.5)
Boston won a third straight on Tuesday, 112-109 in overtime behind a career-high 44 points from Isaiah Thomas as he led a rally from 17 points down. His previous career best was 38 on three occasions. Thomas also tied a career mark with seven made 3-pointers. Indiana saw its two-game winning streak end in a 118-111 loss at the Knicks on Tuesday. The Pacers led by 15 in the third quarter. Paul George was 6-for-16 from the field for only 16 points. Boston had lost five of the last six regular-season road games at Indiana before a 105-99 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Nov. 12. The Celtics have not won two regular-season road games at Indiana in one season since 2007-08.
Key trends: The Celtics are 8-2-1 against the spread in their past 11 road games. The "over/under" has gone under in the past four meetings in Indianapolis.
Early lean: Celtics and under.
Warriors at Nets (+13, 231.5)
Golden State won a fifth straight Tuesday, trashing visiting Utah 104-74. Steph Curry had 25 points and Kevin Durant 22. No Warriors starter played heavy minutes. Warriors backup point guard Ian Clark took a hard fall and had chest X-rays after the game, but those were negative. Brooklyn dropped a third in a row Tuesday, 116-104 in Toronto with Brook Lopez getting the night off to rest. He'll play here. Bojan Bogdanovic is the only Brooklyn player to start all 27 games this season. Brooklyn naturally was 0-2 vs. the Warriors last year but played them reasonably well in both.
Key trends: The Warriors are 0-4 ATS in their past four on the road. The Nets are 8-0 ATS in their past eight after a loss. The under is 7-0 in Golden State's past seven on the road.
Early lean: Nets and under.
Magic at Knicks (-6, 210)
Orlando won a wild one in Miami on Tuesday, 136-130 in double overtime. I would have expected a game in the 80s between those two. The Magic really stole the game, rallying from down five late in regulation and four late in the first OT. Nik Vucevic had 26 points and 12 rebounds, Evan Fournier scored 26 and hit the 3-pointer with 1:26 left that put Orlando up for good. The Magic are actually a solid 8-7 on the road, they just stink at home. New York's three-game losing streak ended in a 118-111 home win over Indiana on Tuesday. Carmelo Anthony had 35 points and Derrick Rose 24 after missing two games. The Knicks improved to 1-12 when trailing after three quarters. Orlando was 2-1 vs. New York last season and has won five of the last eight matchups overall with the Knicks.
Key trends: The Magic are 2-6 ATS in their past eight at the Knicks. The over is 4-0 in the Knicks' past four after a win.
Early lean: Knicks and over.
Lakers at Heat (-4, 208.5)
First of the TNT doubleheader. Los Angeles fell in Charlotte 117-113 on Tuesday for its second straight loss. Jordan Clarkson paced the Lakers with 25 points behind 7-for-9 3-point shooting, and Nick Young added 24 points. D'Angelo Russell returned after missing one game with a sore left knee and had 15 points. But forward Larry Nance Jr. one of the NBA's best dunkers like his dad used to be, hurt his knee in the third quarter and didn't return. Miami blew late leads in regulation and the first overtime in losing 136-130 in double OT at home to Orlando on Tuesday, the Heat's third straight defeat. It was the most points Miami ever scored in a loss. Tyler Johnson had a career-high 32 points, the most any Heat reserve has ever scored in a game. Last season, these teams split the season series with each winning on its home court. The Heat have won a franchise-best eight consecutive games against the Lakers in Miami.
Key trends: The Lakers are 2-6 ATS in their past eight in Miami. The under is 4-0 in the past four meetings.
Early lean: Heat and over.
Spurs at Clippers (-1.5, 205)
Second TNT game. San Antonio ended Houston's 10-game winning streak on Tuesday and won its fifth in a row, 102-100. Patty Mills' 3-pointer with 12.9 seconds left was the deciding bucket. Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 21 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points with 10 rebounds. The Clippers began life without Blake Griffin (out 4-6 weeks following knee surgery) with a 119-102 home win over Denver on Tuesday. J.J. Redick scored 27 points, including 7-for-9 shooting on 3-pointers, and Chris Paul had 16 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds. Paul Pierce was a surprising starter for Griffin -- I doubt that continues. Los Angeles won the first meeting 116-92 in San Antonio on Nov. 5, but the Spurs were without Tony Parker and Danny Green. The Clippers have taken the past two meetings at home as well.
Key trends: The underdog is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. The under is 6-0 in the Spurs' past six on the road.
Early lean: Spurs and under.
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