NBA Saturday: Knicks, Magic meet in Orlando
The New York Knicks ended a two-game losing streak with Thursday’s 100-83 triumph as one-point home dogs against the San Antonio Spurs, cashing tickets for my followers. Should we back New York again here or shift gears to the Magic?
Knicks, Chandler pull away from Spurs
New York led by as many as 25 points in its victory over the Spurs, holding Tim Duncan and Co. to 36.4 percent field shooting. The Knicks drained 12-of-27 buckets beyond the arc, while outscoring San Antonio in the paint, 36-12.
Knicks center Tyson Chandler notched his third double-double in four games, notching 10 points and 14 boards. New York’s Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith united for 43 points, knocking down a combined 18-of-37 from the floor.
The battle’s 183 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 203, moving the UNDER to 6-3 in the Knicks’ last nine games. New York’s Pablo Prigioni logged a team-high nine assists off the bench, while adding three of his side’s 10 steals.
Magic, Nelson fall short at home
Orlando picked up a seventh straight loss in Wednesday’s 96-94 defeat against the Chicago Bulls, while holding on to cash as a three-point home dog. The Magic trailed by as many as 18 points, outscoring Chicago in the fourth quarter, 23-14.
Magic guard Jameer Nelson piled in a season-high 32 points, drilling 6-of-9 shots from three-point land. Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic logged 20 points and 12 boards, notching a second straight double-double.
The duel’s combined 190 points jumped above the ‘total’ of 184, lifting the OVER to 6-0 in Orlando’s last six games. Magic forward Josh McRoberts was held to two points in 21 minutes of action, while adding a team-high five assists.
Back the Magic as home dogs
Bookmaker.eu opened New York as a 6 ½-point road favorite, while first setting the ‘total’ at 194 ½. Both squads will be off for one day following the matchup, with Orlando opening a road trip in Portland and New York returning home against the Boston Celtics.
I am taking the points here with the Magic for my Saturday NBA pick. Look for a hard-fought affair as Jacque Vaughn’s club looks to end its losing streak. Orlando also comes in with revenge after dropping November’s meeting with the Knicks, 99-89, with the Magic held to 13 points in the fourth quarter.
The Magic saw seven members of its squad reach double figures in November’s defeat, while outrebounding New York, 42-31. Orlando logged a costly 20 turnovers, but had no problems finding the rims at Amway Center with a 49.3 percent mark from the field.
New York’s triumph over the Spurs came with catching San Antonio in a grueling spot and the sizable win is overvaluing Chandler and Co. here. The Knicks are 0-5 ATS in matchups that followed their last five victories, while going 1-5 ATS in the team’s last six spots that came after scoring 100 or more points in the previous game.
Orlando’s numbers from Nelson and Vucevic against the Bulls have the team reaching mid-season form here, while mate J.J. Redick looks to bounce back from a 1-for-8 night beyond the arc. Look for the Magic to get the money here, adding to the team’s 4-1 ATS mark in its last five battles against clubs with winning records.