NBA tips: Back the Lakers and Celtics in our Wednesday 4-fold
Los Angeles and Boston are poised for victories, and they head our last accumulator before All-Star Weekend.
Indiana Pacers to beat Brooklyn Nets –
The Pacers, who are sixth in the Eastern Conference thanks to a run of eight wins in 11 games, should continue to climb the standings by beating the lowly Nets.
Brooklyn have lost six games on the bounce, and were beaten by 13 points against the Clippers last time out.
They have lost five home games in a row, and their 26th-ranked defence will struggle to contain Indiana’s offense, which is averaging the 12th-most points in the NBA and has scored over 100 in nine of the last 10 games.
Washington Wizards to beat New York Knicks –
The Knicks are in a slump in the absence of star power forward Kristaps Porzingis, having lost seven consecutive games.
It’s hard to see them beating a Wizards team that have won six of eight, losing only to fellow playoff contenders Philadelphia and Boston.
Washington are one of the most balanced teams in the NBA, ranking 10th in points per game and 12th in points allowed, and they’ve actually played better without injured point guard John Wall.
Boston Celtics to beat Los Angeles Clippers –
The Clippers have been in good form recently, but a trip to Boston – where the Celtics have won 21 of 31 games this season – is a daunting test.
The Celtics won by 11 when these teams met at Staples Center last month, and a similar result is likely in the return fixture on Wednesday night.
Boston have won 15 of 20 games against Western Conference teams this season, while the Clippers have a record of 9-10 against the East.
Los Angeles Lakers to beat New Orleans Pelicans –
The Lakers have quietly moved into third place in the Pacific division with a run of eight wins in 11 games.
They lost against the Dallas Mavericks last time out in what was the first game after trading for former Cleveland point guard Isaiah Thomas, but the 29-year-old did score 22 points off the bench and should give LA a boost offensively.
The Lakers’ upturn in form should continue against the Pelicans, who have struggled without injured centre DeMarcus Cousins, winning just three of their last eight.
These are both fine offensive teams who push the pace, and the Lakers – having added Thomas – should win a high-scoring game.
*Odds subject to change.