Valentine’s Day is three days away as we’ll see if Kevin Durant gets showered with love in his first game back in Oklahoma City since signing with rival Golden State last summer. Durant had OKC within one victory of knocking off Golden State in the 2016 Western Conference Finals, owning a commanding 3-1 series lead. However, the Warriors rallied back for three consecutive victories to advance to the NBA Finals and eventually break up the eight-year marriage of KD and Russell Westbrook as the dynamic duo of the Thunder.
It’s business as usual this season for Golden State (45-8 SU, 25-26-2 ATS), as Durant leads the Warriors in scoring at 25.7 points per game, with last season’s Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry right behind at 25.2 ppg. The Warriors play with no rest tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena following Friday’s 122-107 rout of the Grizzlies to cash as 7 ½-point favorites. Golden State avenged a pair of earlier losses this season to Memphis thanks to a 36-point effort from Klay Thompson, which included eight three-pointers.
The Thunder (31-23 SU, 30-23-1 ATS) are holding their own without Durant this season, led by Westbrook and his league-high 26th triple-double in Thursday’s 118-109 home triumph over the Cavaliers. OKC attempted 106 shots from the floor compared to 79 for Cleveland, while the backcourt pair of Westbrook and Victor Oladipo combined for 52 points in the third straight home win for the Thunder.
Golden State has won five consecutive games against Oklahoma City since falling in that 3-1 hole in last season’s conference finals, but only one of those victories came at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The first two wins this season by the Warriors over the Thunder came at Oracle Arena in Oakland, each in convincing fashion. Golden State dominated OKC, 122-96 as 12-point favorites on November 3 as Durant dropped 39 on his former squad, while Westbrook was limited to 4-of-15 shooting from the floor.
In the second meeting on January 18, the Warriors steamrolled the Thunder once again, 121-100 as 15-point favorites with Durant putting up a 40-point effort on 13-of-16 shooting from the field.
Steve Kerr’s club owns a solid 8-2 record on no rest this season, however, the Warriors have covered only twice in this situation. The Thunder is listed as a home underdog for the fourth time this season, compiling a 1-2 SU and 2-1 ATS mark, while not receiving this many points at home since a 113-88 setback to the Spurs as six-point ‘dogs on April 7, 2015.
From a totals perspective, each of the first two meetings finished UNDER the total this season, while eight of the past 10 matchups have gone UNDER.
Nearly halfway through February and both the Celtics and Jazz are leading their respective divisions. Boston visits Utah tonight for the third of a four-game road trip, looking to capitalize off Thursday’s comeback victory at Portland. The Celtics covered for the first time in their last five opportunities with a 120-111 triumph at Moda Center, avenging a home loss last month to the Blazers. Now, Boston goes for the season sweep at Utah, while capturing four of the past five meetings with the Jazz.
Utah squandered a 21-point advantage in Thursday’s overtime setback at Dallas, ending a four-game winning streak. The Jazz are riding a seven-game home hot streak against Eastern Conference foes, while cashing in five of those contests. Quin Snyder’s squad has compiled a 6-4 SU and 4-6 ATS record off a road defeat this season, but three of those ATS losses have come as a favorite of seven points or more.
The Heat continue to rack up victories as Miami extended its winning streak to 13 games after last night’s 108-99 triumph at Brooklyn. Miami has returned to life in the Eastern Conference playoff race by pulling within one game of Detroit for the eighth spot, while trying to sweep its four-game road swing. The Heat heads to Philadelphia this evening, as the two teams have split a pair of meetings this season.
The 76ers will be without Joel Embiid for the ninth straight game with a knee contusion, as Philadelphia is fresh off a 112-111 victory at Orlando on Thursday. Philadelphia continues to cash tickets at Wells Fargo Center by covering nine consecutive home games since the start of January, while winning seven times with the two losses coming to Houston and San Antonio.
Philadelphia is riding the longest home ATS streak in the league, but Dallas is right behind with eight consecutive covers at American Airlines Center. The Mavericks shoot for their seventh home victory in nine tries after rallying past the Jazz on Thursday in overtime, 112-105. Dallas owns a solid 7-1 SU/ATS as a home favorite as the Mavericks host the Magic tonight.
Orlando has stumbled to a 2-9 record in the last 11 road contests, while dropping three straight games overall. The Magic held off the Mavericks earlier this season as 7 ½-point home favorites, 95-87, but Orlando has lost four consecutive visits to Dallas.
— The Clippers have had their way with the Hornets by capturing nine of the past 10 meetings, including season sweeps in the last two seasons. Los Angeles heads to Charlotte tonight as the Hornets have dropped four of their last five home contests.
— The Bucks and Pacers are meeting for the second time this season as the Central division rivals hook up in Indianapolis. Milwaukee rolled past Indiana in its first matchup in November, 125-107, avenging a 1-3 record from last season against the Pacers. Both teams are playing without rest coming off losses on Friday as the Bucks are 3-8 SU/ATS and the Pacers own a 3-7 SU and 2-7-1 ATS mark on the second of a back-to-back.
— Cleveland has won five of the past six matchups with Denver as the teams meet up at Quicken Loans Arena. The Nuggets have put together a 1-8 SU/ATS record off a road victory this season, coming off Friday’s triumph at New York. Cleveland is in an interesting scheduling spot tonight off a four-game road swing, then traveling to Minnesota on Tuesday.
— The Suns are fresh off a rare home victory last night against the Bulls as Phoenix travels to Houston. The Rockets have posted a perfect 2-0 SU/ATS record against the Suns this season, while the road squad has won eight of the last 10 meetings in this series. Seven of the previous eight matchups between these Western Conference squads have flown OVER the total, including both December wins by Houston.