There are three NBA games on the board for Thursday night. The Pistons and Hornets are both battling key injuries and will play tonight’s game without their starting point guards, while the Pacers will try to stop the Mavericks 11-game SU winning streak. Finally, the late-night TNT game pits a critical division battle between the Lakers and Kings.
Below is a look at all three NBA matchups for tonight.
DETROIT (-7, 177½) at NEW ORLEANS (TNT)
The Pistons finished December on a 0-4 ATS run, including three SU losses in a row. The Pistons received further bad news when starting point guard Chauncey Billups was injured late in the 93-92 home loss versus Indiana on December 29th is out for at least another week with a calf injury. Billups leads the team in assists (8.1 apg) and steals (1.3 spg) and is second in scoring (18.0 ppg).
The Hornets 8-3 SU start to the season is a distant memory compared to their 4-16 SU mark since November 22nd. The fall coincided with numerous injuries and the Hornets are still without their top three scorers as Chris Paul (18.4 ppg), Peja Stojakovic (17.8 ppg) and David West (17.4 ppg) are each out for at least another month. The Hornets are also without Bobby Jackson (10.9 ppg) who hopes to return next week from a rib injury.
INDIANA at DALLAS (-8½, 190)
The Mavericks remain the hottest team in the league and enter tonight with an 11-game SU winning streak. Despite the recent success, Dallas is only 4-5-2 ATS during this current streak. The Mavericks have been without Jerry Stackhouse who is fourth on the team in scoring (11.3 ppg).for the past six games due to an ankle injury.
Indiana is also in solid current form with a 6-3 SU/ATS record during the past three weeks and they should be well rested after a four-day layoff since their 113-102 upset loss at Charlotte last Saturday. The Pacers were in a difficult scheduling situation as they had just upset the Pistons the night before and then had to travel without rest and play their third game in four nights.
L.A. LAKERS at SACRAMENTO (-4½, 207) (TNT)
Despite being without second leading scorer Lamar Odom for the past eleven games, the Lakers are still a solid 8-3 ATS. Los Angeles returned from their season-high six game road trip with an easy 104-94 home win versus Philadelphia last Sunday. The game was not as close as the final score indicated as the Lakers led by 15 points entering the fourth quarter.
The Kings are also in solid current form and enter this game on a 4-1 SU/ATS run, including back-to-back home wins versus Golden State and New York. Sacramento is finally healthy as Ron Artest has played in the past four games and scored a season-high 39 points in 43½ minutes on Tuesday.