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Celtics: Aron Baynes (foot) is out.
Magic: Isaiah Briscoe (concussion) is out.
Today’s NBA Matchups
Boston Celtics (37-23) at Toronto Raptors (44-16)
Line: Raptors -4, O/U: 227
Celtics: 113 ppg, top five defense, slower than average pace
Raptors: 114 ppg, above average defense, average pace
- Toronto had won seven in a row but lost to the Magic after deciding to rest Kawhi Leonard, who is averaging 27 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals.
- Kyle Lowry put up 19 points, 10 assists, and 4 steals, but he turned it over 5 times in the loss.
- Serge Ibaka moved to the bench for Marc Gasol, and each had just five rebounds as the Magic won the battle on the boards by ten.
- The Celtics won 12 of their last 15 games before the All-Star break, but lost by one in Milwaukee and then by ten in Chicago.
- Kyrie Irving put up 37 points and 10 assists in the Bulls loss.
- Gordon Hayward is back after tweaking his ankle. He had 5 points in 24 minutes off the bench.
- The only thing scary about Terry Rozier right now is his lack of production. He’s averaging under 6 points per game on 29% shooting in his last five games.
Orlando Magic (28-33) at New York Knicks (12-48)
Line: Magic -7.5, O/U: 215
Knicks: 106 ppg, second-worst defense in the NBA, average pace
Magic: 105 ppg, average defense, slow pace
- The Knicks avoided the longest home losing streak in NBA history by beating a stumbling Spurs team 130-118 behind 27 points from Damyean Dotson. Samuel L Jackson shouted them out at the Oscars for Spike Lee.
- Dennis Smith Jr. had 19 points and 13 assists, rookie Kevin Knox had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Emmanuel Mudiay kicked in 19 off the bench.
- DeAndre Jordan missed that game with a sprained ankle, and he’s still day-to-day.
- The Magic are 8-2 in their last ten. In the past week, they’ve lost at home to the Bulls and won in 113-98 in Toronto, which pretty much sums this team up.
- Kawhi rested and Terrence Ross got buckets, leading the way with 29 points and 9 rebounds.
- Aaron Gordon put up a very Draymond Green stat line: 7 points (2-11 FG), 7 rebounds, 6 assists, team-high +12.
- Nikola Vucevic had 23 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists in the game, and that’s basically what he’s averaging this year.
Oklahoma City Thunder (38-21) at Denver Nuggets (41-18)
Line: Nuggets -3, O/U: 236
Nuggets: 112 ppg, above average defense, bottom five pace.
Thunder: 116 ppg, second-best defense in the NBA, top five pace
- The Nuggets have won four in a row, most recently 123-96 over the Clippers.
- Nikola Jokic is averaging 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists in his last ten games.
- Paul Millsap looks healthy as he put up 21 points and 16 boards in that win.
- Gary Harris is coming off the bench as he works his way back from an adductor injury.
- Trey Lyles could miss a few weeks with a hamstring issue. He’s averaging 9 points and 4 rebounds this year.
- The Thunder won a double-overtime thriller against Utah but lost the next night 119-116 to Sacramento.
- Paul George had 45 points, 9 boards, 7 assists, and the game-winning floater over Rudy Gobert. He looked tired the next night, shooting 4-19 from the floor in the Kings loss.
- Russell Westbrook had 43 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 assists in the win over the Jazz, and followed it up with 41, 10 and 4 in the loss. He also had 7 turnovers.
- Jerami Grant is back healthy and starting, an underrated key piece for this Thunder team.