Lakers v Thunder
29 points. That’s the margin of improvement Kobe Bryant and his supporting cast must find on Wednesday night to level their Western Conference semi-final series at 1-1 with Oklahoma City.
Battered 119-90 on Monday, and seemingly over-matched in almost every position, Bryant has promised his team will make some adjustments to avoid any repeat. But in Game 1, their worst fears were realised as the Thunder used their speed and the consistent shooting of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to pick the Lakers apart.
For Game 2, OKC are favoured by 7.5 points at 1.91 and although you’d expect their opponents to do better, it’s worth a punt on another sizeable Thunder victory, perhaps by more than the total points line of 195.5.
76ers v Celtics
After producing yet another surprise stop on their unexpected play-off journey, the Philadelphia 76ers go home on Wednesday with a 1-1 split from the opening two scraps of their Eastern semi against Boston. Mistakes cost the Celtics dear in Monday’s 82-81 loss at the TD Garden.
Their ageing Big Three have been afforded no rest in two close encounters with the Sixers so far. Philadelphia’s younger legs have been happy to chase them around the floor. Suddenly, another upset looks possible.
But it’s still took early to write Boston’s obituary, not when this is likely to be their stellar group’s last stand. Take the Celtics to regain the edge at 2.18 and keep Game 3 under the line of 171.5 points.
Bet of the Day: Take the Thunder over the Lakers on the -7.5 handicap at 1.91