Could the Toronto Raptors get back All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry on Wednesday? It's possible. He hasn't played since the All-Star Game because of a wrist injury and surgery but was a limited participant on practice on Monday. The Raptors are still a battle with Washington for the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Now I'm not sure whether getting the No. 3 or 4 spot is better because it would depend on whether Cleveland finishes first or second. Even though the Cavs are scuffling, I'd imagine teams want to avoid LeBron James as long as possible in the postseason. The Raptors surely would like Lowry to work the rust off a few games before the playoffs begin. The team's beat reporter said he expects Lowry to return at some point this week. So if not Wednesday then Friday against Miami or Sunday against the Knicks. When speaking to reporters Monday, Lowry said his wrist wasn't yet "100 percent" and was unsure about his return. The Raptors are 14-6 without him entering their game Tuesday vs. Indiana and Lowry had ruled himself out of that.
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Heat at Hornets ( -2.5, 208.5)
Important game for both as they battle for an East playoff spot. Charlotte was in Washington on Tuesday. Miami lost a second straight at home Sunday, 116-113 to Denver. Goran Dragic had 22 points and Hassan Whiteside 16 points and 12 rebounds. He became the first Heat player to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a season. Dion Waiters sat again and it's not looking good for him to get back by the end of the regular season. Charlotte leads Miami 2-1 this season and is looking to take the season series for the first time since 2009-10.
Key trends: The home team is 7-3 against the spread in the past 10 meetings. The "over/under" has gone under in seven of the past eight.
Early lean: Hornets and under.
Raptors at Pistons (+1.5, 198)
As noted, Toronto was in Indiana on Tuesday. Detroit has been off since a crushing 108-105 OT loss in Milwaukee on Friday. The Pistons were up 10 with about five minutes left in regulation. That probably kills their playoff hopes. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope played and had 17 points after being arrested on Wednesday for suspicion of DUI. Toronto is 2-1 vs. Detroit. DeMar DeRozan is averaging 26.7 points against the Pistons this season.
Key trends: The Raptors are 7-2 ATS in their past nine trips to Detroit. The over is 8-3 in the past 11 meetings.
Early lean: Pistons and over.
Thunder at Grizzlies (TBA)
If Russell Westbrook gets a triple-double Tuesday vs. Milwaukee, he could set the single-season record with a 42nd here. I wonder if Coach Billy Donovan sits him once the record is reached as Russ hasn't taken a game off yet. Memphis was in San Antonio on Tuesday with Marc Gasol and Tony Allen questionable. Memphis still has a shot to catch Oklahoma City for the sixth seed in the West but would have to win this game. That means facing Houston instead of San Antonio in the playoffs. The Thunder are 2-1 vs. the Grizzlies.
Key trends: The home team is 10-1 ATS in the past 11 meetings. The under is 6-2 in OKC's past eight overall.
Early lean: Wait on Gasol.
Nuggets at Rockets (TBA)
Denver was in New Orleans on Tuesday. Houston ended a three-game losing streak with a 123-116 in Phoenix on Sunday. James Harden missed his first game of the season with an illness. I'd say there's no reason to play him here with Houston locked in to its seed, but Harden really wants the MVP. Patrick Beverley had the game of his life vs. the Suns with a career-high 26 points along with nine assists and eight rebounds. The Rockets became the first NBA team to make at least 1,100 3s in a season. Houston is looking for the four-game sweep of Denver after being swept three games in 2015-16.
Key trends: The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The over is 10-4 in Houston's past 14 at home.
Early lean: Wait on Harden.
Cavaliers at Celtics (TBA)
Clearly the game of the night and shown on ESPN. The Cavs hosted Orlando on Tuesday. A Cleveland victory wins the season series 3-1 and would thus give the Cavs the tiebreaker for the top seed in the East if they end up with the same record. Boston comes in on a two-game winning streak following an easy 110-94 victory at the Knicks on Sunday. The Celtics reached the 50-win plateau for the first time in six years. Jae Crowder left in the second half with a sore left elbow but X-rays were negative. I would imagine he's playing in this huge matchup if at all possible.
Key trends: The Cavs are 1-3-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 4-1 in Boston's past five at home.
Early lean: If Crowder plays, I like Boston.
Lakers at Spurs (TBA)
San Antonio hosted Memphis on Tuesday, so I'd be shocked if some key Spurs don't sit here. The Lakers ended a four-game losing streak, which could actually prove costly come lottery time, with a 108-103 home win over short-handed Memphis on Sunday. D'Angelo Russell had 28 points. Three other Lakers added double-doubles, the first time that happened on the team since Dec. 16, 2014. Rookie center Ivica Zubac missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee.San Antonio is 3-0 vs. the Lakers and has won eight straight in the series.
Key trends: The Lakers are 2-6 ATS in their past eight on the road. The over is 7-0 in the past seven meetings.
Early lean: Lakers could be good underdog value here.
Warriors at Suns (TBA)
Golden State hosted Minnesota on Tuesday. I would fully expect a few Warriors to get this game off. Phoenix lost a 12th in a row Sunday, 123-116 against Houston. Tyler Ulis finished with a career-high 34 points for the Suns, who were swept in a season series by the Rockets for the first time in franchise history. Devin Booker had 27. T.J. Warren did not play due to illness. Golden State is on a 10-game winning streak vs. Phoenix.
Key trends: The Warriors are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 6-2 in the previous eight.
Early lean: Over regardless of the total unless the Warriors sit their stars.
Mavericks at Clippers (TBA)
Second ESPN game. Dallas was in Sacramento on Tuesday with Dirk Nowitzki and a few others questionable. The Clippers won their third in a row Saturday, 115-104 over the Lakers. Blake Griffin had 36 points and Chris Paul 29. It's the third game in a row they each had at least 26. Austin Rivers missed a second straight game with a hamstring issue and is done for the regular season. Dallas leads the season series with L.A. 2-1, with both victories by two points.
Key trends: The Clippers are 6-1 ATS in their past seven playing on three or more days rest. The under is 4-1 in the past five meetings.
Early lean: Clippers will blow out the Mavs.
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