By equalling their franchise record with an 11-game winning streak, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the best mark in the NBA at 20-4. To break it, they’ll need to avenge one of those rare defeats from early in the campaign.
Atlanta provided an early glimpse into their capacity to confound the odds this season when they took a 104-95 victory in OKC last month and they’ve continued to establish themselves as a nightly threat. However, they come off a narrow win against Washington last night and it’s an even tougher ask to come home and hold off the league’s dominant team.
The Thunder are 12-3 against opponents with .500 records or better and 16-1 when leading in field goal percentage. While Al Horford is capable of going toe to toe with Serge Ibaka, and Josh Smith of challenging Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook should get the looks to bring down the Hawks.
Milwaukee travel to Memphis, five weeks after they were drubbed 108-90 by the Grizzlies but the Bucks are showing some surprising form, winning five of their last six including results over Brooklyn and Indiana. Only once in those victories – against Charlotte – did they go over 100 points so it could be another grind against a Memphis team which is giving up a league-low 90 points per game.
The Grizzlies held Chicago to just 71 on Monday, scoring a season-low 80 and they’ve been outstanding in forcing bad shots. Against a Bucks team which relies on Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, that’s a major plus. So take under the points line of 184.5 at 1.91.
It’s Round 3 of the newest Broadway Show, Nets-Knicks, but there’s a question mark over whether Carmelo Anthony will return from a two-game absence. He watched as New York fell to their first home loss of the season on Monday, against Houston and Brooklyn must be hoping he stays in street clothes.
Last month, the teams went to overtime before the Nets prevailed while last week, the Knicks ground out a 100-97 win with Anthony hitting 45. If he returns, New York will be so good they’ll name it twice.
Bet of the Day: Take Oklahoma City over Atlanta on the handicap of -6.5 at 1.91.