After four torturous months, the NBA is back! The daily preview breaks down a blockbuster between Championship hopefuls Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks.
10:30 (AEST), Mon 3rd Aug @ ESPN Wide World of Sports Arena, Orlando
History: Played 128: Bucks 70 V Bucks 58
Last meeting: October 24, 2019: Bucks 117 d Rockets 111 at Toyota Center
Final Thoughts: Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks both notched first-up wins in the Orlando bubble against quality opposition.
The Rockets – sixth in the Western Conference – improved to 41-24 with a 153-149 overtime win against Dallas Mavericks. Houston rallied from 11 points down at three-quarter time.
James Harden (49 pts, 9 reb, 8 ast) and Russell Westbrook (31 pts, 11 reb, 8 ast) fired in unison. It was a hugely encouraging restart from the superstar duo.
The East-leading Bucks put away third-placed Boston Celtics 119-112. MVP favourite Giannis Anteokounmpo picked up where he left off, racking up 36 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists.
Khris Middleton (18 pts, 5 reb, 8 ast) also made a solid start to life in the bubble, while the Bucks’ defence shut down Celtics offensive spearhead Jayson Tatum impressively. Key rotation players Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton remain sidelined for Milawaukee.
The Bucks have won their last three against the Rockets, including a 117-111 result during the early stages of the 2019-20 season.
Antetokounmpo put up a triple-double as the Bucks overturned a 16-point halftime deficit.
The Bucks are 37-29 against the start this season – fifth in the NBA. The Rockets are 30-35 ATS (22nd).
The heavyweight, both on a two-day turnaround, head in high on confidence. Houston are a tempting option with a 4.5-point start, but 54-12 Milwaukee remain the NBA’s benchmark this season and are deserving favourites.
OTHER NBA GAMES
|Brooklyn Nets V Washington Wizards||Handicap – Wizards +4 @ $1.90|
|Boston Celtics V Portland Trail Blazers||Total – Over 227.5 @ $1.87|
|Memphis Grizzlies V San Antonio Spurs||Handicap – Grizzlies -3.5 @ $1.87|
|Orlando Magic V Sacramento Kings||Result – Magic @ $1.78|
|Phoenix Suns V Dallas Mavericks||Total – Over 234.5 @ $1.87|