Will the Clippers have star point guard Chris Paul for Wednesday's game? That remains to be seen. Paul strained his left hamstring in the third quarter of the Clippers' 106-101 win over the San Antonio Spurs last Thursday night. He sat Friday vs. Dallas, was then cleared to play in the Christmas night matchup against the Lakers but ended up sitting out again after he didn't feel comfortable while going through pregame warm-ups. Then he also sat Monday vs. Denver. Paul missed two games against the Rockets during the 2015 Western Conference semifinals because of a similar injury. Paul is having another great season, averaging 17.6 points, 9.6 assists and 5.2 rebounds. J.J. Redick also sat Monday with his own hamstring issue, so monitor that as well. Of course L.A. is without Blake Griffin, who is expected to miss four to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery last week.
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Pacers at Wizards (-4.5, 213)
Indiana dropped a third in a row Monday, 90-85 in Chicago. Aaron Brooks had a season-high 19 points to lead the Pacers, who are 4-12 on the road. Guard Rodney Stuckey (left hamstring) returned after missing two games but lasted only six minutes before reinjuring it. Washington beat visiting Milwaukee 107-102 on Monday after getting blasted 123-96 in Beer Town on Friday. Otto Porter had 32 points, made a career-high five 3-pointers and grabbed 13 rebounds, and John Wall had 18 points and a season-high 16 assists in the victory. Indiana has won three straight games at Washington, including a 123-106 victory last season on Nov. 24 in which the Pacers made a franchise record 19 3-point field goals.
Key trends: The Pacers are 7-0 against the spread in the past seven in Washington. The "over/under" is 7-1 in the past eight meetings.
Early lean: Wizards and over.
Hornets at Magic (TBA)
Charlotte's three-game winning streak ended in a 120-118 upset loss in Brooklyn on Monday on a Nets buzzer-beater. The Hornets, who were led by Nic Batum's 24 points, led by 14 in the third quarter. Marco Belinelli sat it out with a sprained ankle. Orlando won a second straight Monday, 112-102 over Memphis. Aaron Gordon had 30 points. The Magic played without leading scorer Evan Fournier for a second straight game with a heel injury. Charlotte won the first meeting of the season against Orlando 109-88 on Dec. 9. The Magic shot only 37.4 percent from the floor.
Key trends: The Hornets are 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings. The over is 5-1 in the past six in Orlando.
Early lean: Wait on Fournier, who is officially questionable.
Knicks at Hawks (TBA)
New York's two-game winning streak ended with a 119-114 home loss to Boston on Christmas. Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and Derrick Rose had 25 for the Knicks. Anthony moved into 28th place on the league's all-time scoring list. Atlanta lost 104-90 in Minnesota on Monday. Dwight Howard had 20 points on 9-for-9 shooting and 12 rebounds for the Hawks in his return from a back injury. Tim Hardaway Jr. was a late scratch because of a groin injury. New York has taken the past three meetings against Atlanta, including one this season.
Key trends: The Knicks are 12-5 ATS in their past 17 trips to Atlanta. The over is 5-1 in the past six meetings.
Early lean: I think this is TBA because Paul Millsap took an elbow to the eye on Monday but did play through it. However, it was quite swollen after. So wait on him.
Bucks at Pistons (-4, 201)
Milwaukee lost in Washington 107-102 in the second of a home-and-home on Monday. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Tony Snell missed a late 3-pointer that could have tied it. Forward Mirza Teletovic was out with a concussion. Detroit ended a five-game losing streak with a 106-90 surprise of Cleveland on Monday. It helped that LeBron James was sitting out. Andre Drummond had 11 points and 17 rebounds. Detroit beat visiting Milwaukee 98-83 on Oct. 30. Drummond had 20 points and 23 rebounds.
Key trends: The Bucks are 8-3 ATS in the past 11 meetings. The under is 7-1 in the Pistons' past eight vs. the East.
Early lean: Pistons and under.
Nets at Bulls (-10.5, 213)
Brooklyn's five-game skid ended in a 120-118 home win over Charlotte on Monday. Randy Foye hit the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. Bojan Bogdanovic led Brooklyn with 26 points. But the team lost Jeremy Lin to a strained hamstring in the third, the same injury that cost him 17 games earlier in the season. Chicago's three-game slide ended Monday in a 90-85 win over Indiana. Dwyane Wade scored 21 points, and Nikola Mirotic added a season-high 20. Michael Carter-Williams returned to the Bulls lineup after missing nearly two months with left knee and left wrist injuries. Chicago won in Brooklyn 118-88 on Halloween. The Nets were 5-for-31 from long range.
Key trends: The Nets are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 4-1 in those.
Early lean: Nets and over.
Clippers at Pelicans (-4.5, 204)
First of an NBA TV doubleheader. Short-handed L.A. lost a third straight Monday, 106-102 to Denver. Jamal Crawford had 24 points and Austin Rivers 19. New Orleans beat Dallas 111-104 on Monday. Anthony Davis had 28 points and 16 rebounds. L.A. has won 15 of the past 20 meetings vs. New Orleans and both this season in easy fashion. On Dec. 10 it was 133-105 and Paul set a Pelican opponent franchise record by handing out 20 assists. He also became the first player in NBA history to hand out 20 assists, score 20 points and commit zero turnovers in a game.
Key trends: The Clippers are 4-13 ATS in their past 17 in New Orleans. The over is 4-0 in the past four meetings.
Early lean: Bit surprised an opening line -- wait on Paul.
Suns at Spurs (-13.5, 214)
Phoenix lost in Houston on Monday, 131-115. Eric Bledsoe led the Suns with 24 points, and Brandon Knight added 21 off the bench. The Suns are just awful defensively. San Antonio beat Chicago 119-100 on Christmas for its second straight win. LaMarcus Aldridge had a season-high 33 points. Kawhi Leonard had 25 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. San Antonio beat Phoenix 107-92 on Dec. 15 and has won the past eight meetings.
Key trends: The Suns are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 7-2 in the previous nine.
Early lean: Spurs and over.
Timberwolves at Nuggets (-5, 215)
Minnesota stopped a two-game losing streak with a 104-90 home victory over Atlanta last time out. Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Zach LaVine hit six 3-pointers. Minnesota hit a season-high 15 3s and led by as many as 29. Denver stopped its two-game losing streak with a 106-102 victory at the Clippers on Monday. Nikola Jokic had 24 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Denver won the first meeting vs. the Wolves 102-99 on Nov. 3. But Minnesota is 3-2 in its past five at the Pepsi Center.
Key trends: The Wolves are 0-4 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 8-1 in Denver's past nine vs. the West.
Early lean: Nuggets and over.
Kings at Trail Blazers (TBA)
Sacramento won its fourth straight Monday, 102-100 over Philadelphia. DeMarcus Cousins made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 20.9 seconds remaining and finished with 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Rudy Gay was back after missing two weeks and had 17 points. Portland is in a total free-fall, having dropped six straight and 10 of 11. It was beaten 95-91 at home by Toronto on Monday. Damian Lillard missed it with a sprained ankle. The Trail Blazers have won 13 of their past 15 games against the Kings at the Moda Center, including seven straight.
Key trends: The road team is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. The under is 5-0 in Portland's past five at home.
Early lean: Wait on Lillard.
Raptors at Warriors (-10, 226.5)
Second NBA TV game and a possible NBA Finals preview, although I doubt the Raptors can get past the Cavaliers in the East unless Cleveland suffers an injury to either LeBron James or Kyrie Irving. Toronto won a fourth straight Monday, 95-91 in Portland and has won a franchise-record seven in a row away from home. The Raptors' streak of 100-point games ended at 16 however. Golden State's seven-game winning streak ended in that great Christmas game in Cleveland. The Warriors blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 36 points. Golden State won in Toronto 127-121 on Nov. 16 and has taken the past 11 home meetings in the series.
Key trends: The Raptors are just 1-10 ATS in their past 11 in Oakland. The over is 4-1 in the past five meetings.
Early lean: Warriors and over.
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