We have hand selected the best five games for tonight’s action and our NBA picks have got five winners for you! We may not have every game on the schedule but we have every winner, so don’t miss out!
Houston Rockets @ Boston Celtics – 7:30PM ET
The Boston Celtics have dropped two straight at home and have been underwhelming so far this season, sitting two games below 0.500 and just eighth in the East. Speaking of underwhelming, they host the Houston Rockets tonight who have the equal second worst record in the league and are now attempting to rebuild.
Wednesday night saw the Rockets hold an 18 point lead at one stage before eventually losing 108-120 to Brooklyn. Kevin Porter Jr continues to be the leading scorer for the team since the trade deadline, putting up 20 points and six assists in the loss. Danuel House Jr, commonly known for his defense, had the second most points with 18 while Christian Wood had a good all around game.
KPJ just so fun to watch 🔥
First half: 14 PTS | 6/10 FG | 2 3PT
Houston up in Brooklyn 68-57 at half 👀 https://t.co/wluUh11n4c
— Overtime (@overtime) April 1, 2021
The issue for Houston, in this clash and all season, has been their defense. Giving up a 34 point last quarter, with the game on the line, won’t go well in many games. Boston should be looking to take advantage of that and help get themselves back on the winners list. They shot just 41.5% from the field and a dismal 23.4% from deep, but only lost to the Mavericks by five points on Wednesday.
Boston had three players score over 20 points, led by Jayson Tatum’s 25 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. He and Jaylen Brown, who added 24 points, combined for seven steals but the Celtics were in too big of a hole that they couldn’t recover, being down by 19 points at halftime.
Houston has shown some promise of late, but they are still just 7-17 on the road this season while the Celtics are 13-9 at home this season and are 11-6 as home favorites. Look for Tatum and Brown to dominate this clash and help get their team back on track.
Dallas Mavericks @ New York Knicks – 7:30PM ET
A couple of inconsistent teams that are in the middle of the road in their respective conferences face off tonight at The Garden. The Dallas Mavericks come into this one off back to back road wins over the Thunder and the Celtics, hoping to make it three straight against a New York Knicks side that has dropped two straight.
Following a disappointing home loss to the Heat, New York gave up an 18 point first half lead, recovered to extend their lead back up to 13 early in the fourth before eventually losing 101-102. Julius Randle led the team with 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists while RJ Barrett had 23 but both missed potential game winners in the final 15 seconds, handing New York another road loss.
The Knicks are just 10-15 on the road but luckily get back home for this one where they are 14-9. However Dallas are 14-11 on the road this season and come in with a full head of steam, especially after their win in Boston. Luka Doncic was incredible for the Mavs with 36 points, eight rebounds and five assists while Jalen Brunson had 21 off the bench, shooting at 80% for the game.
The Mavs have now moved into the top 10 for net rating but will be tested against a Knicks side that allows the least points per game and has the fourth best defensive rating in the league. While the Knicks have a very good defense, Doncic is an MVP candidate and has proven that when carrying the Mavs over the line in multiple tough wins throughout the season. This one may get ugly but we like Dallas to pick up a third straight here.
Chicago Bulls @ Utah Jazz – 9PM ET
The Chicago Bulls conclude their luckless four game road trip against the Utah Jazz tonight and it looks like it will stay that way here. Chicago have dropped three straight on this road trip and five straight overall, a streak that started with a 25 point home loss to none other than the Jazz.
Since that game Utah have gone 5-0, including three by double figures, and are primed to pick up their 21st consecutive home win in this one. With Donovan Mitchell sitting out their last contest in Memphis, everyone had to pick up the slack and that is what they did. Three different Utah players scored 20+ points, led by Mike Conley’s 26, adding seven assists and four steals too.
— NBA (@NBA) April 1, 2021
Utah connected another 16 triples in that game, extending their league lead in three pointers made. However the Jazz can win games when not connecting from deep, using their third ranked defense to keep them afloat. They will need that defense against a Chicago side that, despite losing five straight, is a much better team on the road. The Bulls average seven more points per game when travelling and kept it close in Phoenix on Wednesday night.
With Zach LaVine out of the lineup, three different Bulls players had double doubles, led by Nikola Vucevic’s 24 points and 10 boards. Denzel Valentine also provided a much needed scoring punch, scoring 19 points off the bench. Chicago dominated the rebounds, collecting 18 more than Phoenix but allowed them to shoot 56.8% from the field and 44% from deep, something they can’t do against the Jazz.
Utah is the best team in the league this season and that only improves when playing at home. It is still unconfirmed whether Mitchell or LaVine will be back for their respective clubs, but either way, the Jazz are best equipped to win this game. Whether it be with an offensive onslaught or a defensive lockdown, Utah are the better team on both ends and will show that here.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Phoenix Suns – 10PM ET
The Oklahoma City Thunder snapped a three game skid and also ended their home stand on a positive note with a comfortable win over the Raptors on Wednesday night, but now have to get on the road and face the Phoenix Suns tonight. Despite winning four straight, the Suns have been far from convincing, needing overtime in one and not winning by more than seven points.
Their most recent clash was a 121-116 home win over the Bulls, who were missing Zach LaVine. A high scoring 39-37 first quarter turned into a nine point lead at the half for Phoenix, needing 45 points from Devin Booker to keep their lead throughout. The guard shot a blistering 70% from the field, getting set up perfectly by Chris Paul who ended with 19 points and 14 assists.
The Suns shot 57% from the field and 44% from deep in the game and that sort of offense may be too much against an OKC side that is failing at tanking by winning games they shouldn’t. After making moves at the deadline to get more draft capital, losing SGA to injury and putting a healthy Al Horford on ice for the remainder of the season, OKC still managed to pull out a 113-103 win over Toronto on Wednesday.
The Thunder had seven different players in double figures, led by Svi Mykhailuk’s 22 points on 64.3% shooting and Moses Brown’s 20 point, 12 rebound double double. Four of the five starters shot better than 58% from the field, allowing them to overcome their 18 turnovers for the game.
Those shooting clips likely won’t carry over here against a Phoenix side that, despite giving up 116 last time out, have moved up to fifth in defensive ratings for the season and should look to knuckle down here. At the time of writing, the Suns’ gap in second over the Clippers in third had extended to two games and against a team like OKC, Phoenix should just be winning.
Milwaukee Bucks @ Portland Trail Blazers – 10PM ET
The Milwaukee Bucks were finally able to turn things around on Wednesday night, picking up a comfortable road win against the Lakers after losing three straight. They will need all the form and momentum they can get against a streaking Portland Trail Blazers side that has won four straight, all on the road.
The Blazers did it easy on Wednesday, beating the Pistons 124-101. Damian Lillard was unstoppable with 33 points and 10 assists while CJ McCollum contributed a modest 24 and six. Portland had six different players in double figures and are still ramping up Jusuf Nurkic, as he returns from multiple injuries.
Against a poor Detroit side, Portland shot over 50% from the field and from deep, something Milwaukee also managed to do against the Lakers on Wednesday. The factor that will shine through for this one is that the Bucks are ranked ninth for defensive rating while Portland are second last (29th).
Four straight wins for the Blazers and another 30 piece for Dame.
Tonight was Lillard’s 26th 30-point game, that leads the NBA. pic.twitter.com/mIEFZADXwn
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 1, 2021
In Wednesday’s 112-97 win in LA, Jrue Holiday had his hand in everything, scoring a game high 28 points while adding eight rebounds, six assists and four steals. Giannis Antetokounmpo had another big, efficient game with 25 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
These teams are offensive juggernauts but Milwaukee is more equipped on the defensive end to put themselves ahead. In saying that, they are fresh off a three game losing streak and Portland has been mighty impressive during their current four game winning streak. The Blazers have been rolling since the return of McCollum and Nurkic but Milwaukee have the better team on both ends and that should shine through here.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
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