LeBron James set a new Miami Heat record on Sunday when he scored 30 points or more for the fifth straight game.
It might just be the best run of form that James has enjoyed during his career. All of which, will be something of a concern for Portland, when they land in South Beach on Tuesday night.
The Heat have won five straight, in contrast with the Trailblazers who are just 5-11 over the last month. This slump hit a new low, when they lost at the terrible Magic on Sunday.
While Miami has stuttered against other leading teams, they’ve been ruthless against the lottery chasers, with an 18-3 mark over opponents with worse than .500 records.
Portland has now dropped to 25-26 overall and they’re especially vulnerable to good offensive sides. With a bench which is missing in action, expect the Blazers to check out and Miami to come up trumps on the handicap of -12 at 1.91.
Two Western wannabes face off in Oakland, when Houston visits Golden State.
Both have slipped back into the pack after surprisingly good starts to the season. The Warriors have lost four straight and although they’re probably safe in second place in the Pacific Division, they’re counting down the days until Andrew Bogut is cleared to play full minutes.
The Rockets have won three of their last five, with their biggest victory coming against Golden State, who they blew out 140-109 ten days ago. Their perimeter shooting has picked up again and that should exploit a key Warriors weakness. So take Houston for lift off.
Thoughts are now turning to this weekend’s All Star Game in Houston where the best of the league will clash in the annual showpiece on Sunday night.
The East are currently second favourites at 2.15 which is deserved, but there’s more intrigue on the top scorer front.
There are odds of 3.10 on anyone other than LeBron James, Kevin Durant or Kobe Bryant ending up as top scorer. With Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving figuring to get a large role for the guard-light East, he could make a name for himself on his debut.
Best Bet: Take Houston to beat Golden State at 1.91
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