Two games brought two teams moving onto the next round last night in the NBA, as the Bucks and Warriors punched their tickets following impressive wins. Now, the attention turns to three more teams looking to punch their tickets, as the three home teams (Toronto, New Orleans, and Utah) will look to punch their tickets as well.
Will the 76ers, Suns, and Mavericks clinch their spot? Let’s take a closer look.
#1. Raptors ML | +105 at DK Sportsbook
After scoring 38 points in game 1 and 23 in game 2 for the 76ers, Tyrese Maxey was thought to be the potential x-factor in a series the team might sweep. Since then, however, that thought has evaporated. Led by potential league MVP Joel Embiid who is dealing with an injured thumb, the 76ers’ offense has gone cold, scoring just 95 points over their past two games, both losses.
The Raptors, on the other hand, could come one game closer tonight to becoming the first team in NBA history to come back from being down 3-0, and the confidence this team has at the moment is making it all the more possible. With James Harden essentially a liability at this point with his recent play, I like for the Raptors to ride one of the best home-court advantages in the NBA tonight in Toronto and get this one done; forcing a game 7.
#2. Suns -2.5 | -110 at DK Sportsbook
The Pelicans will look to stave off elimination tonight against the top-seeded Suns, after what has been one of the more impressive runs so far this postseason. For the Suns, the formula for winning has been simple, keep CJ McCollum in check and let the rest of the team beat you. On Tuesday night, that’s exactly what they did, keeping him to just 7-of-22 from the field while winning 112-97.
For the Pelicans, already down Zion Williamson, their leading scorer from Tuesday Brandom Ingram is also dealing with a finger injury sustained late in the Game 5 loss. In what will be the Pelicans’ third elimination game this postseason (play-in tournament), I think their time is up in this one as the Suns advance and await the return of Devin Booker.
#3. Mavericks -1 | -110 at DK Sportsbook
The Jazz will look to bounce back in a big way quickly tonight when they host the Mavericks with their season on the line, turning in one of the coldest streaks of shooting in league history as of late. In fact, their 3-of-30 clip from deep on Tuesday was the worst in NBA playoff history per ESPN Stats & Info.
The Mavs on the other hand, have seen unlikely production from guard Jalen Brunson, who through five games this postseason is averaging 28.6 per game, a full 12 points above his season average. With All-Star Luka Doncic increasingly, now averaging 31.5 points per game in his own right, I like for the Mavericks to close this one out tonight in Utah.
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