I don't know about you, but I'm ready to just skip the rest of the NBA season and get to a Cleveland-Golden State third straight matchup in the NBA Finals. Those two played a spectacular game on Christmas, with the Cavs rallying from a 14-point deficit to win 109-108 on a Kyrie Irving jumper with 3.4 seconds left. It was interesting the Warriors went to Kevin Durant and not Steph Curry on their last attempt, with Durant not even getting a shot off. Curry struggled, shooting just 4-for-11 with 15 points. You don't hear head coaches call out their superstars publicly too often, but Steve Kerr did just that about Curry. I love watching Curry but he does sometimes throw a careless behind the back pass or the like when it's not necessary. "I think he can be a little smarter, I think he can make better decisions, and that'll help against anybody," Kerr said after the game. "But I'm not worried about him missing shots; I'm more worried about just decision-making and making sure that we're where we need to be as a group." The teams play again in Oakland on Jan. 16.
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Grizzlies at Celtics (-6.5, 197)
Memphis was in Orlando on Monday. Boston comes off a Christmas 119-114 victory at the Knicks. Isaiah Thomas had 27 points and Marcus Smart hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 47 seconds left. Boston visited Memphis last Tuesday and won 112-109 in overtime behind a career-high 44 points (36 after halftime) from Thomas. Marc Gasol and Troy Daniels led Memphis, which was up by as many as 14, with 24 points apiece. Gasol missed a short jumper at the end of regulation.
Key trends: The Grizzlies have failed to cover their past seven Tuesday games. But they are 13-3 against the spread in their past 16 in Boston. The "over/under" is 4-0 in the Celtics' past four.
Early lean: Celtics and over.
Thunder at Heat (+2, 206)
First of an NBA TV doubleheader. Oklahoma City won a third straight Sunday, 112-100 over visiting Minnesota. Russell Westbrook had 31 points and 15 assists. He was trying to become the first Thunder player ever to score at least 40 points in four straight games. Guard Victor Oladipo missed his seventh straight game with a right wrist sprain and he's not going to play here. Miami has been off since falling 91-87 in New Orleans on Friday. The Heat scored just 19 points during the final 15:21 of the game. Goran Dragic led with 23 points. Dion Waiters has missed around a month and didn't practice Monday so he won't play here. OKC beat Miami 97-85 on Nov. 7. Westbrook had just 14 points but 11 assists. The Heat shot 36.9 percent from the field.
Key trends: The home team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The under is 6-0 in the previous six.
Early lean: Thunder and under.
Rockets at Mavericks (+6.5, 209.5)
Houston hosted Phoenix on Monday and Dallas was in New Orleans. The Mavericks are close to getting center Andrew Bogut back from his knee injury, although he wasn't going to play Monday. Guard J.J. Barea remains out a week or two with a calf injury. These teams will be done with each other for the year already as the Rockets lead the season series 3-0. Houston is looking to sweep Mavs for first time since back-to-back in 1996-97 & 1997-98. Wesley Matthews is averaging 21.3 ppg in the three games for Dallas. James Harden is averaging 24.0 points, 10.3 assists and 7.7 rebounds for Houston.
Key trends: The Rockets are 12-5 ATS in the past 17 meetings. The under is 4-0 in the previous four.
Early lean: Rockets and under.
Jazz at Lakers (+4, 204)
Second NBA TV game. Utah dropped a third straight Friday, 104-98 to Toronto. Rudy Gobert had 13 points and 14 rebounds, his 10th straight double-double. That's the longest such streak for a Utah player in seven seasons. Guards George Hill (toe) and Dante Exum (knee) were out. Doesn't appear as if either will play Tuesday. The Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 111-102 victory over the Clippers on Sunday. The Lakers had dropped 11 in a row in the series. It obviously helped their cause that Blake Griffin and Chris Paul were out. The Lakers have ruled out Larry Nance Jr. for a month with a bone bruise in his left knee. Utah is 2-0 vs. the Lakers this season, winning them by a combined 13 points.
Key trends: The Jazz are 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings. The over is 3-1-1 in the previous five.
Early lean: Lakers and under.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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