The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips as Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat attempt to consolidate their top-six standing in their respective conferences.
12:00 (AEST), Mon 12th Apr @ Moda Center, Portland
History: Played 64: Trail Blazers 41 V Heat 23
Last meeting: March 25, 2021: Trail Blazers 125 d Heat 122 at American Airlines Arena
Final Thoughts: Sixth in the West hosts sixth in the East as Miami Heat make the trek to Portland.
The Trail Blazers have won seven of their last 10 against the Heat, including a 125-122 victory in Miami three weeks ago.
CJ McCollum (35 pts, 8 ast) starred with six threes, while Damian Lillard (22 pts, 9 ast) drained three free-throws at the death to secure the winning margin. Big man Enes Kanter (18 pts, 16 reb) had a productive night and Carmelo Anthony put up 20 points.
The result was part of a five-game slide for Miami. But they were missing Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic that night. The Heat have since improved to 27-25 with four wins from their last five games.
They bounced from a 124-112 loss to the Grizzlies (which featured a Bam Adebayo triple-double) with a 110-104 defeat of the Lakers two days ago. Butler (28 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast, 3 stl) stuffed the stats sheet in a commanding display. Tyler Herro hit four of five three-point attempts off the bench but is questionable due to a foot complaint today.
Blazers search for momentum
The 31-21 Trail Blazers have made a patchy start to April amid a tough schedule. They went down heavily to big guns the Bucks (127-109), Clippers (133-116) and Jazz (122-103) but comfortably accounted for the Thunder (133-85) and Pistons (118-103).
Kanter finished with an absurd 24 points and franchise-record 30 rebounds against Detroit at home yesterday. Lillard (27 pts, 10 ast) and McCollum (26 pts) were also prominent.
Jusuf Nurkic has played only 18 games this season and has missed two of the Blazers’ last three, but he is expected to play today.
Portland are 16-10 at home this season, but just 11-15 against the spread. Miami are 12-12 on the road, overall and ATS. The Heat have won eight of their last 10 away games.
The Heat have won eight of their last 10 away games. They come in as narrow $1.87 favourites with the Blazers on a back-to-back, but I’m backing the home side’s superior backcourt to secure a vital W.
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|Charlotte Hornets V Atlanta Hawks||Margin – Hawks 11+|
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|Cleveland Cavaliers V New Orleans Pelicans||Handicap – Pelicans -7.5 @ $1.87|
|Orlando Magic V Milwaukee Bucks||Total – Over 224.5 @ $1.90|
|Dallas Mavericks V San Antonio Spurs||Total – Over 220 @ $1.90|
|Minnesota Timberwolves V Chicago Bulls||Handicap – Bulls -3.5 @ $1.90|
|New York Knicks V Toronto Raptors||Handicap – Raptors +3.5 @ $1.90|
|Memphis Grizzlies V Indiana Pacers||Margin – Grizzlies 1-10 @ $2.79|
|LA Clippers V Detroit Pistons||Handicap – Clippers -12 @ $1.90|