The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for a potential Finals preview – albeit with a couple of star attractions watching from the bleachers.

NBA Tips – Los Angeles Lakers V Brooklyn Nets

14:00 (AEDT), Fri 19th Feb @ Staples Center, Los Angeles

History: Played 95: Lakers 69 V Nets 26

Last meeting: March 10, 2020: Nets 104 d Lakers 102 at Staples Center

Final Thoughts: It’s the hot tip to be the NBA Finals match-up in July. But LA Lakers and Brooklyn Nets both head into this blockbuster missing prime beef.

Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis and currently sidelined. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James have both been listed as questionable.

The 22-7 Lakers have won eight of their last nine. The defending champs were tipped up by the Nuggets (122-105) four days ago but bounced back with a 112-104 win over the Timberwolves. With Davis out, James went off for 30 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists. Dennis Schroder chipped in with 24 points, while Montrezl Harrell had 17 off the bench.

The 18-12 Nets are on a four-game winning streak. They performed a stunning comeback against the in-form Suns two days ago, winning 128-124 after trailing by 21 at halftime. Back-court pairing James Harden (38 pts, 7 reb, 11 ast) and Tyler Johnson (17 pts, 5 reb) both hit five threes, while Joe Harris had 22 points and Jeff Green scored 18 off the bench. It was a monumental effort – from Harden in particular – with Irving and KD out.

The Nets have won three of their four games against the Lakers since LeBron’s arrival. Last season an LBJ triple-double spearheaded a 128-113 Lakers victory in Brooklyn. He finished one assist short of another at Staples, but Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie led a 104-102 Nets upset just before the COVID shutdown.

The Lakers are 9-4 at home, winning their last five at Staples. The Nets are 7-7 on the road with three straight away victories.

LeBron has proved more than capable of leading his team to AD-less wins and the Lakers are comfortably the more consistent and reliable of these heavyweights.

Tip: Margin – Lakers 1-10 @ $2.87

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Milwaukee Bucks V Toronto RaptorsHandicap – Bucks -6 @ $1.90
Sacramento Kings V Miami HeatResult – Kings @ $2.00