Game: Brooklyn Nets @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Odds: Nets +2.5, Cavaliers -2.5
The Brooklyn Nets won seven games in a row by defeating mostly losing opponents and frequently pulling through in the clutch. Last Friday, they beat the Milwaukee Bucks by 18 points to earn their eighth straight victory. Brooklyn aims for its ninth straight win tonight when they visit Cleveland. The Cavs are a half-game ahead of the Nets in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland is 22-12 so far this season and won five straight before dropping a 118-107 game to Toronto on Dec. 23.
The Nets had only two victories in their current streak against teams with winning records: Atlanta and Indiana, who are both 17-16. Then, they held the lead for the final 42:56 of the 118-100 victory over the Bucks last Friday. Brooklyn limited Milwaukee to 44 percent shooting from the field and 24.3 percent from three-point range. That came after they dominated Golden State leading by as many as 44 points on Wednesday.
The Nets can now tie the Bucks and Celtics for the NBA’s longest winning streak of the season. Brooklyn can also achieve its first winning streak of nine games since a record-breaking 14-game run in 2006. What’s great for Brooklyn is that star Kevin Durant didn’t have to overexert himself in the Nets’ last two wins. Durant had 24 points on Friday and 23 last Wednesday.
Cleveland has recently been nearly as hot as the Nets, who are 12-1 in their last 13 games. The Cavaliers are 14-6 in their last 20 games since their five-game losing streak from last month, but they are also attempting to avoid consecutive losses for the first time since that run.
Cleveland’s five-game winning streak was snapped on Friday when the Cavs lost to the Raptors. Cleveland made 51.3 percent of its shots, but despite shooting over 50 percent for the 15th time this season, it allowed the NBA’s worst 3-point shooting team to make a season-high 19. The Cavs trailed by as many as 26 early in the third quarter before head coach J.B. Bickerstaff benched his starters.
Darius Garland scored 17 points to lead the Cavaliers, and Isaac Okoro added 15. Donovan Mitchell, the Cavs’ star who averages 28.9 points per game, was limited to 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting after scoring 36 points in a victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday.
In addition to being 8-0 SU in their last eight games, the Nets are 5-1 ATS in the last six. They are 4-1 SU in their last five road games and 5-1 SU in the last six against Cleveland. Last April, Brooklyn beat Cleveland in the play-in tournament.
The Cavs are 5-1 SU in their last six games and 12-2 SU in their last 14 at home. Cleveland has covered the spread in four of the last five against Brooklyn at home. Cleveland has also beaten 15 of the last 20 Eastern Conference opponents the team has faced.
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