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NBA News

PHOENIX SUNS (38-36) at PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (47-25)


2015-03-30

The Blazers look to win their fourth straight game when they host the struggling Suns Monday.



The Suns hosted the Thunder on Sunday and lost 109-97 as 2.5-point favorites. Phoenix has lost three straight games both SU and ATS and has failed to score 100 or more points in four straight contests. This is a team that wins games because of its offense and it will need to start putting up points or it will miss the playoffs once again. The Blazers, on the other hand, have now won three straight games after beating the Nuggets 120-114 as 9-point home favorites. These teams have met three times this season and the Blazers are 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS in those contests. They blew out the Suns 108-87 in the only home game theyve played against the team this season and are 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS when hosting Phoenix over the past three seasons. The Suns, however, are an impressive 48-25 ATS in road games over the past two seasons. They are also 29-16 ATS in road games after playing a game as a favorite in that time. The Blazers, meanwhile, are 14-1 ATS after three straight wins by six points or less since 1996. SG Brandon Knight (Ankle) and SG Marcus Thornton (Toe) are questionable for Phoenix and SG Wesley Matthews (Achilles) is out for the season for Portland.



The Suns have struggled recently and theyll need to string together a big winning streak or they will miss the playoffs this season. PG Eric Bledsoe (17.2 PPG, 6.0 APG, 5.4 RPG, 1.7 SPG) has done everything he can to will his team to victories, averaging 20.2 PPG, 5.6 APG, 4.6 RPG and 1.4 SPG over the past five contests. Bledsoe will need to have a good game against the Blazers on Monday. He struggled with just 13 points and seven rebounds on 5-for-20 shooting from the floor against Portland last Friday and cant afford to do it again in this one. PF Markieff Morris (15.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.3 SPG) and SF Marcus Morris (10.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG) combined to rack up 34 points and 21 rebounds in that game against Portland. The two of them were able to find their shots offensively, but neither had an answer for LaMarcus Aldridge on the defensive end. One of them will need to step it up and defend at a high level on Monday. SG Brandon Knight (17.0 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.9 RPG, 1.4 SPG) returned from his eight game absence to face Oklahoma City on Sunday. He was awful in the game though, finishing with just three points (1-for-10 FG, 0-for-6 3PT) and four assists in 22 minutes. He is questionable in this game, but hell really need to find his stroke if he plays. He is not a great defender, so his presence can hurt the team when he is not knocking down shots.



The Blazers have gotten themselves on track recently, winning three straight games after a five game losing streak. PF LaMarcus Aldridge (23.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 1.0 BPG) was a monster against the Nuggets on Saturday, pouring in 32 points and also grabbing 11 boards in 35 minutes of action. The last time he faced the Suns, he could not miss in crunch time and was ultimately the reason Portland came away with a road victory. Hell need to continue to use his size to his advantage against a small Suns frontcourt. PG Damian Lillard (21.1 PPG, 6.3 APG, 4.8 RPG, 1.3 SPG) struggled against the Suns last game, finishing with just 11 points (4-for-15 FG) and four assists in what was a very off game for the All-Star. Lillard is just 8-for-26 over the past two games and needs to find his stroke soon because the playoffs are quickly approaching. SF Nicolas Batum (9.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.1 SPG) had just five points in 32 minutes the last time he faced Phoenix. He did, however, have nine rebounds and five assists in that game and followed it up with 15 points and seven assists in a win over Denver the following night. Batum is averaging 17.3 PPG, 7.7 RPG and 5.7 APG in three games against the Suns this season and will need to be more effective as a scorer than he was in the most recent meeting. C Robin Lopez (9.6 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.5 BPG) was big in the victory over Phoenix Friday, finishing with 12 points, 10 boards and a block in 29 minutes. Hell need to continue to protect the rim moving forward.




NBA Wrap: Lakers win to make Sixers only winless team
2014-11-11

Carlos Boozer added 16 points in Byron Scott's first win as Lakers coach. Their victory left the Sixers as the NBA's only winless Apuestas Breeders Cup team at 0-7.

Lin and Boozer's offense dominated the third, when the Lakers were down by seven before a 25-6 run sent them into the fourth leading 76-64.

It was a lead they never gave up (see full recap).

Deng scores 30, Heat roll over Mavs
DALLAS -- Luol Deng is still learning how he fits as Miami's new No. 3 with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.

The Dallas Mavericks might say he's coming along just fine.

Deng scored a season-high 30 points, Bosh and Wade added 20 apiece and the Heat stayed perfect against Dallas since the 2011 NBA Finals with a 105-96 victory on Sunday night.

The Heat have won seven straight regular-season games against Dallas since the Mavericks took three in a row in the finals to capture their first championship (see full recap).

Suns rally to deal Warriors 1st loss
PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns didn't do much different to defend the high-flying Golden State Warriors in the second half Sunday night. They just stuck with their effective bench play and let the Klay Thompson-less Warriors get tired and make mistakes in a fourth quarter that saw the Suns outscore them by 20.

Phoenix zoomed past the Warriors to a 107-95 victory on the strength of a 36-16 fourth quarter, leaving the NBA with no unbeaten teams.

Isaiah Thomas scored 15 of his 22 points in the fourth and fellow reserve Gerald Green added 16 of his 19 points in the final quarter, when the Suns surged ahead after trailing by eight through three (see full recap).

Blazers extend Nuggets' skid to 5
PORTLAND, Ore. -- LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 points and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Denver Nuggets their fifth straight loss with a 116-100 victory on Sunday night.

Wesley Matthews added 21 for the Blazers, who have won three of their last four.

Ty Lawson had 18 points for Denver after missing the team's 110-101 loss at home to Cleveland on
Friday night because of a sore left ankle. Kenneth Faried led the Nuggets with 19 points


March Madness Bracket
2015-02-15

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NBA: The end is near for Chicago
2010-04-27

Last season, the Chicago Bulls pushed the Boston Celtics to the brink of a first round playoff exit, losing a classic series in se Botas Moto ven games. It certainly doesn’t look as if the Bulls have that type of effort ready for 2010 versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James has been his usual sterling self in getting his team to within one win of advancing to the second round. The decisive game could be Tuesday night in Cleveland, and Sportsbook.com oddsmakers weren’t shy in showing their support for the hosts, listing the Cavs as 12-point chalk.

The confidence with which the Cleveland Cavaliers play is flabbergasting. For three quarters of Game 3, Chicago took the action to Cleveland, holding a double digit lead most of the time. The Bulls were the aggressor and it appeared Cavs players were satisfied with their less than full effort. In the fourth quarter the Cavs came storming back with LeBron taking over the offense and his teammates knocking down three-pointers, finally succumbing by just two points 108-106, as Chicago made their free throws late.

The most stunning aspect of the closeness of that contest was the reaction of James and his teammates, not long faces from losing a game they could have won by playing all 48 minutes, but they were smiling, with a almost maniacal grin of “Oh man, we almost got’em, we’ll take care of this later”.

There were no smiles before Game 4 as King James led a tyrant army of mercenaries into the United Center and blew away their Windy City counterparts by 22. Cleveland returns home to end the series and is 18-6 ATS after a blowout win by 20 points or more.

Cleveland is starting to reap the rewards for trading for Antawn Jamison, who scored 24 points in Game 2. Jamison is highly respected around the league and didn’t come to Cleveland to improve his legacy, but rather to get a championship ring. At 33, Jamison is sensing his basketball mortality.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” he said. “I don’t have another five or 10 years left in this body. The sense of urgency is there, not only with myself but with the rest of these guys. That’s why I think it’s a great fit because we all have the same mentality. We are all trying to accomplish the same thing—right now. We’re not trying to wait until next year or the year after that.” The Cavs have covered 42 of their previous 66 playoff games.

Chicago is also sensing their mortality, about this season. Star guard Derrick Rose missed practice Monday to undergo an MRI on his right ankle and forward Luol Deng sat out with a sore knee and calf. The Bulls are once again dozen points underdogs and hope to hit enough shots to improve on a 19-10 ATS record revenging a same season loss.

The Cavaliers will look to polish this series off and most likely go on to face Boston next. They are 17-7 UNDER after winning by 20 or more points, with average margin of victory 13.9 points for this 8:00E TNT broadcast.

The StatFox Power Line shows Cleveland by 12, matching the number.