I'm an NBA junkie. So while Tuesday's Milwaukee at Oklahoma City game might not mean much to you or in the grand scheme of things, I'm pumped to see it. That's because I would argue the two best athletic marvels (OK, LeBron James is in a class of his own) in the league will be dueling here in the Greek Freak and Mr. Triple-Double. Of course, I'm referring to the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thunder's Russell Westbrook. Both guys are breaking the mold when it comes to point guard play in the Association. How are other point guards supposed to check the 7-foot tall Freak when he can go the length of the court in about six strides? While he is all grace, Westbrook relies on sheer ferociousness. How else to explain a 6-foot-3 guy pulling down double-digit rebounds a night? Two truly brilliant players, and I hope they guard each other plenty Tuesday. It's the only interconference matchup on the schedule.
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Nets at 76ers ( -1, 217.5)
Brooklyn won a second straight Sunday, 91-82 over Atlanta. It was the first time the team won both games in a back-to-back set since March 31 and April 1, 2015. Brook Lopez had 29 points. The Nets have ruled out Joe Harris for the rest of the season. Philly lost a third in a row Sunday, 113-105 in Toronto. For the second straight game, Philly rookie Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot set a career high in points, this time with 23. The 76ers are the only team not to have an ATS win as a favorite this year. This is probably their last chance. Philly is 3-0 vs. Brooklyn this season.
Key trends: The underdog is 4-1 against the spread in the past five meetings. The "over/under" has gone under in 10 of the past 13.
Early lean: 76ers and under.
Hornets at Wizards (-6, 217.5)
Charlotte won its third straight Sunday, 113-101 in Oklahoma City. Kemba Walker had 29 points in the Hornets' first-ever win in OKC in nine tries. Charlotte had a whopping 18 steals. Washington concluded a five-game trip with a 139-115 loss at Golden State on Sunday. John Wall had 15 points and 11 assists for the Wizards, setting the franchise single-season assists record. Washington is 2-1 vs. Charlotte this season.
Key trends: The home team is 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings. The over is 4-0 in the previous four in Washington.
Early lean: Wizards and over.
Magic at Cavaliers (-11, 222)
Orlando lost his fourth consecutive Saturday, 121-111 in Brooklyn. Elfrid Payton had 20 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for his fifth triple-double of the season for Orlando. Nikola Vucevic had 27 points and 11 rebounds. Jeff Green (sore lower back) was out. Cleveland won a second in a row on Sunday, 135-130 in double OT over Indiana. The reason I don't like the Cavs to cover here is because LeBron James played 52 minutes, his most in more than four years. He did have a triple-double of 41 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists. Might LeBron sit here? Cleveland is 2-0 vs. Orlando.
Key trends: The Magic are 1-6-1 ATS in the past eight meetings. The under is 6-1 in the previous seven in Cleveland.
Early lean: Magic and over.
Raptors at Pacers (+1, 205)
Toronto won a second in a row Sunday, 113-105 over Philadelphia. DeMar DeRozan had 17 points and a season-high nine assists. Serge Ibaka had 24 points and six blocks. PJ Tucker sat out with left knee soreness. Indiana dropped a fourth straight Sunday, 135-130 in double OT in Cleveland. Paul George staged a magnificent duel with LeBron by putting up 43 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Lance Stephenson scored four points and committed five fouls in 18 minutes of his first game since returning to Indiana. Toronto has won nine of the past 10 regular-season meetings vs. Indiana, including both this season.
Key trends: The Raptors are 14-6 ATS in the past 20 meetings. The over is 5-1 in Indiana's past six after a loss.
Early lean: Raptors and over.
Nuggets at Pelicans (TBA)
Denver snapped a three-game skid Sunday with a 116-113 upset in Miami. Danilo Gallinari had 29 points in the Nugs' final game against an Eastern Conference team. Darrell Arthur (left knee), Will Barton (left foot) and Jameer Nelson (right calf) were all sidelined. New Orleans had a two-game winning run end Sunday at home vs. Chicago, 117-110. Anthony Davis had 30 points and 11 rebounds. The Pelicans hit 34 of 35 free throws. This is their final home game. These clubs have split two meetings. They play again in Denver on Friday.
Key trends: The road team is 7-1 ATS in the past eight meetings. The over is 5-0 in Denver's past five on the road.
Early lean: Wait on the Nuggets guys.
Bucks at Thunder (-4.5, 212.5)
ESPN game. Milwaukee's three-game winning streak ended Sunday in a 109-105 home loss to Dallas. Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 15 rebounds. Rookie guard Malcolm Brogdon missed his second consecutive game with back tightness. Oklahoma City dropped its second straight Sunday, 113-101 to Charlotte despite Westbrook's 40th triple-double of the season; he's now one shy of tying the record and is clearly going to finish the season averaging one. To clinch a season triple-double, Westbrook needs 11 rebounds and 29 assists over the Thunder's final six games. Westbrook had 40 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists vs. the Hornets. Milwaukee beat OKC 98-94 on Jan 2. Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 10 rebounds. Westbrook had 30 points but was 9-for-28 shooting and had a crucial late turnover.
Key trends: The Bucks are 1-6 ATS in their past seven after scoring at least 100 points in their previous game. The under is 4-1 in OKC's past five at home.
Early lean: Thunder and under.
Bulls at Knicks (TBA)
Derrick Rose won't get a chance to beat his former team as he's done for the year with a torn meniscus in his right knee. There goes that max free-agent contract he was hoping for. New York lost 110-94 on Sunday to Boston without Rose and Carmelo Anthony (sore lower back). Not sure what the point of playing Melo the rest of the way would be. Jimmy Butler is single-handedly dragging the Bulls into the playoffs. Chicago won a fourth straight Sunday, 117-110 in New Orleans behind Butler's 39 points. The Knicks are 2-0 vs. the Bulls.
Key trends: The Bulls are 0-4 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 7-3-1 in the past 11.
Early lean: Wait on Anthony.
Grizzlies at Spurs (TBA)
Memphis had a two-game winning streak snapped in a 108-103 loss at the Lakers on Sunday. Mike Conley missed a tying 3-poniter with 6.3 seconds to go. Marc Gasol missed a fourth straight game with a left foot strain. The Spurs won a second straight Sunday, 109-103 over Utah. Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and seven assists. Several guys got the night off and it might happen here with San Antonio also playing Wednesday. Memphis leads San Antonio 2-1.
Key trends: The Grizzlies are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 6-2 in the previous eight.
Early lean: Have to wait on Gasol and just about every key Spur. Ah, April basketball.
Trail Blazers at Jazz (TBA)
Portland played Monday in Minnesota. Utah's three-game winning streak ended Sunday, 109-103 in San Antonio. Rudy Gobert had 19 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots. Boris Diaw scored 19 points, making all nine of his shots against his former team.George Hill missed his third straight game with a strained right groin.Portland and Utah have split two meetings.
Key trends: The home team is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 6-2 in the previous eight.
Early lean: Wait on Hill.
Timberwolves at Warriors (-13.5, 222)
Second ESPN game. Minnesota hosted Portland on Monday in the night's only NBA game. Golden State won an 11th consecutive Sunday, 139-115 over Washington. Steph Curry hit nine 3-pointers and had 42 points. Draymond Green had his fifth triple-double of the season with 11 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds. Even if the Warriors win out, they can't get to 70 wins again (68 maximum). Golden State is 2-1 vs. Minnesota this season.
Key trends: The Wolves are 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 8-1 in the Warriors' past nine at home.
Early lean: Wolves and under.
Mavericks at Kings (TBA)
Dallas' four-game losing streak ended in a 109-105 win in Milwaukee on Sunday. Harrison Barnes scored 15 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter. Dallas made 19 straight free throws at one point. Seth Curry sat with a shoulder injury. He might play here. Sacramento ended a two-game skid with a 123-117 win in Minnesota on Saturday. Rookie Buddy Hield had a career-high 22 points. Ty Lawson added 21 points and 11 assists. Sacramento shot a season-high 56.4 percent. The Kings and Mavs have split two games in Dallas this season.
Key trends: The Mavs are 1-5 ATS in the past six meetings. The under is 9-3 in the previous 12.
Early lean : A few Mavs, including Dirk Nowitzki, are questionable.
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