NBA betting tips: 3 picks for Tuesday's playoff games
Jack Green makes his NBA predictions for Tuesday night's action as Game 2 takes place in three playoff series.
Brooklyn Nets (-9.5) vs Boston Celtics
The Nets took Game 1 of this series 104-93 despite starting slowly and going into half-time with a six-point deficit.
Brooklyn’s ‘Big Three’ of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving really got going in the third quarter, and from then on it wasn’t particularly close. The trio combined for 49 points in the second half, with Durant looking particularly dominant on his way to a stat line of 32 points and 12 rebounds.
This was always going to be a tough series for the Celtics, and the fact that they lost by double digits despite making a good start on Saturday night bodes poorly for their chances.
The Nets went 28-8 at home in the regular season and have looked unstoppable whenever their three superstars are healthy, so another double-digit win is likely on Tuesday.
Phoenix Suns (+1.5) vs Los Angeles Lakers
The Suns made a statement with their 99-90 win in Game 1 on Sunday night. They took the lead in the first quarter and never relinquished it, leading the Lakers at one point in the fourth quarter by as many as 16 points.
The health of Anthony Davis and LeBron James was a major question mark heading into the postseason and both Los Angeles superstars are listed as probable for this game. Davis struggled badly in Game 1, scoring 13 points on 5-16 shooting, while James played better but tweaked his shoulder.
The Suns, meanwhile, looked very much like a team that went 51-21 in the regular season. They have a huge advantage over the Lakers from beyond the three-point line, Chris Paul brings them toughness and playoff experience, and in Deandre Ayton they have a potentially dominant big man who completely outshone Davis on Sunday night.
LA will surely bounce back from that defeat so a blowout is unlikely, but it’s hard to justify them giving points after their performance in Game 1.
Los Angeles Clippers (-6.5) vs Dallas Mavericks
The Clippers lost 113-103 at home on Sunday to fall behind 1-0 in this series, but a response looks likely from the hosts at Staples Center on Tuesday.
They were the best three-point shooting team in the NBA this season but made just 11 of their 40 shots from beyond the arc in Game 1. LA shot 41.1 per cent from three during the regular season, and getting close to that mark in Game 2 would give them a much better chance of victory.
It’s worth remembering that the Clippers had some trouble with Dallas in last year’s playoffs but eventually figured them out and won the series 4-2, including a 154-111 blowout in Game 5 and a 111-97 close-out win in Game 6.
It’s not time to panic just yet for the Clippers, and with a 26-10 home record in the regular season it’s worth backing them to even the series.
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