It was an interesting weekend if you are a Kentucky basketball fan. On Sunday, the Cats lost an instant classic to North Carolina in the Elite Eight, and Coach John Calipari surely will be saying goodbye to his two best players in freshmen Malik Monk and De'Aaron Fox as they will head to the draft. On Friday in Boston, former Kentucky player Devin Booker had the individual game of the NBA season by scoring 70 points (most by any Kentucky player ever) in a 130-120 loss. It was the most points in an NBA game since Kobe Bryant's 81-point outing against Toronto in 2006. Booker became the sixth player ever to have at least 70. The others are Wilt Chamberlain (six of them), Kobe, David Robinson, David Thompson and Elgin Baylor. Booker, just 20, became the youngest player to score at least 60. It was also the most ever against Boston. The last player to increase his career high in points by at least 31 as Booker did in a game that was not his debut was Larry Kenon, who scored 41 points in his second career game on October 27, 1976. Incidentally, Booker's career high in his lone season at Kentucky was 19.
Free $60 in Member NBA Picks No Obligation Click Here
Bucks at Hornets ( -4.5, 205)
Milwaukee's three-game winning streak ended in a 109-94 home loss to Chicago on Sunday. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks, who were severely outrebounded and couldn't complete the season sweep. The Bucks shot 4 of 19 (21 percent) in the fourth quarter. Charlotte won for the fourth time in five games Sunday, 120-106 over Phoenix. Kemba Walker had 31 points and nine assists. Walker became the fourth player in team history to have 50 20-point games in a season. Charlotte and Milwaukee played on opening night and the Hornets won 107-96. They have taken three straight in the series.
Key trends: The road team is 11-1 against the spread in the past 12 meetings. The "over/under" has gone under in five of the past seven meetings in Charlotte.
Early lean: Hornets and under.
Timberwolves at Pacers (-4.5, 208.5)
Minnesota lost its sixth in a row Saturday, 112-100 in Portland. Andrew Wiggins had 20 points in the Wolves' seventh straight road loss. Indiana ended a two-game slide with a 107-94 home victory over Philadelphia on Sunday. Myles Turner had 17 points and tied a career high with 16 rebounds. The team is 8-4 this season when he has a double-double. Al Jefferson finished with 14 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle.Indiana is looking to sweep the regular-season series over the Timberwolves for the second straight year after earning a 109-103 win at Minnesota on Jan. 26.
Key trends: The Wolves are 0-6 ATS in their past six road games. The over is 11-4-1 in Indiana's past 16 vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Pacers and over.
76ers at Nets (-1, 225.5)
Philadelphia fell 107-94 on Sunday in Indiana in game No. 4 of a five-game trip. The Sixers took 41 3-pointers, making 14. Jahlil Okafor was held out with soreness in his right knee and Jerryd Bayless did not play due to a left wrist injury. Brooklyn won for the third time in four games Sunday, 107-92 in Atlanta. Brook Lopez had 23 points in his team's sixth road win of the season. Lopez already has become the Nets' career leader in field goals. Guards Joe Harris (sprained left shoulder) and Sean Kilpatrick (strained left hamstring) did not play. Philadelphia is 2-0 vs. Brooklyn this season.
Key trends: The under is 9-1-2 in the past 12 meetings. The Nets are 7-1 ATS in their past eight vs. the Eastern Conference.
Early lean: Nets and under.
Suns at Hawks (TBA)
Phoenix lost its eighth straight Sunday, 120-106 in Charlotte. Booker had 23 points and TJ Warren 21 and 10 rebounds. Atlanta was without three starters Sunday at home vs. Brooklyn and lost a seventh in a row Sunday, 107-92. Paul Millsap (knee), Kent Bazemore (knee) and Thabo Sefolosha (right groin strain) were all out. Dwight Howard had 19 points and 16 rebounds. Phoenix beat Atlanta 109-107 on Nov. 30. Booker was held to 13.
Key trends: The Suns are 12-4 ATS in the past 16 meetings. The under is 8-0 in Atlanta's past eight vs. teams with a losing road record.
Early lean: Wait on those Hawks, mainly Millsap.
Heat at Pistons (pick'em, 207.5)
Detroit was in New York on Monday on a three-game losing streak. Miami lost for the third time in four games Sunday, 112-108 in Boston. Tyler Johnson had 24 points and James Johnson scored 20 for the Heat. Hassan Whiteside had 19 points and 15 rebounds. Dion Waiters sat out with a sprained left ankle and Coach Erik Spoelstra said there is no timetable on Waiters' return.That could be the difference between this team reaching the playoffs or not. The Pistons are 2-1 vs. the Heat so a win here could be a crucial playoff tiebreaker.
Key trends: The home team is 7-3 ATS in the past 10 meetings. The under is 6-0 in Detroit's past six at home.
Early lean: Pistons and under.
Warriors at Rockets (+2, 237)
NBA TV game. Golden State won its seventh consecutive Sunday, 106-94 over Memphis. Klay Thompson scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half. Houston is too good to overlook, but one has to wonder if the Warriors aren't peeking ahead to Wednesday's huge game in San Antonio. Houston won its fourth in a row Sunday, 137-125 over Oklahoma City. Lou Williams scored 31 points off the bench, and James Harden finished with 22 points and 12 assists. The Rockets shot 63.3 percent for their highest field-goal percentage since shooting 63.4 percent on Jan. 24, 1995. Ryan Anderson was out with a sprained ankle and will sit around two weeks. Houston and Golden State have split two meetings. The Rockets have dropped the past five at home in the series.
Key trends: The Warriors are 8-3 ATS in the past 11 meetings. The over is 10-3 in Houston's past 13 at home.
Early lean: Rockets and over.
Nuggets at Trail Blazers (-2.5, 230)
Denver's two-game winning run ended in a 115-90 home loss to New Orleans on Sunday. The Nuggets went only 6 of 25 on 3-point attempts, snapping a team-record streak of 25 games in which the Nuggets made at least nine 3s. They are 0-13 this season when failing to score 100 points. Portland won its third in a row Sunday, 97-81 at the Lakers. Damian Lillard scored 22 points and Portland pulled even with Denver for eighth place in the West. Portland leads Denver 2-1 this season, so this could be a potentially big playoff tiebreaker with a victory. Lillard is averaging 36.3 points vs. the Nuggets in 2016-17.
Key trends: The Nuggets are 5-2-1 ATS in the past eight in Portland. The over is 7-1 in the previous eight meetings.
Early lean: Blazers and over.
Wizards at Lakers (+9, 222)
Also an NBA TV game. Washington started a four-game road trip Saturday with a 127-115 victory in Cleveland. John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 64 points. Top reserve Bojan Bogdanovic was a late scratch with lower back stiffness. The Croatian is averaging 14.8 points in 17 games since coming over in a trade from Brooklyn. The Lakers lost 97-81 at home to Portland on Sunday, shooting just 39.3 percent. Rookie Brandon Ingram was out with right patellar tendinitis. No reason for the Lakers to push him at all. Washington beat the Lakers 116-108 on Feb. 2. Wall had 33 points.
Key trends: The Lakers are 3-7-1 ATS in their past 11 at home. The over is 6-0 in Washington's past six vs. the West.
Early lean: Wizards and over.
Get free picks from any Doc's Sports handicapper - there is no obligation for this offer and no credit card required. Just sign up for an account, and you can use the $60 in free picks for any Doc's Sports Advisory Board handicapper and any sport. Click here to get started now . Get all of today's NBA picks and predictions updated daily .
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent NBA Handicapping Articles
- Free NBA Picks: Saturday, March 24, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
- NBA Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
- Free NBA Picks: Friday, March 23, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
- Free NBA Picks: Thursday, March 22, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
- Expert NBA Betting Advice: How to Wager the Golden State Warriors with Injuries
- Free NBA Picks: Wednesday, March 21, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
- Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, March 20, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
- Handicapping the NBA Western Conference Playoff Race
- Free NBA Picks: Saturday, March 17, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
- Free NBA Picks: Friday, March 16, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping