Thursday night gives NBA bettors a break, as just two games hit the schedule with a huge matchup between the Cavaliers and Warriors and the Thunder/Suns to close out the night. Despite there just being two games, fans are in for quite an entertaining night of basketball due to all the star power involved. With all that being said, we welcome the light docket after a heavy 12-game Thursday night where we made it out alive with a 7-5 record (bringing us to 482-250 on the season).

The night could have been so much better had the Jazz taken care of the lowly Lakers and the Wizards not lost to the Timberwolves. Those are the breaks, though, and we march on into another night of NBA picks:

Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers

The Warriors come into the night with the NBA’s best record (44-10) but the Cavaliers could be ready to give them a piece of their mind. Winners of eight of their last 10, Cleveland has done a terrific job of executing a fast-paced offense, while also improving on defense. If this game were in Golden State the Warriors would probably be the easy pick given how dominant they’ve been at home this year, but the Cavs have been solid on their home floor and seem to be rounding into top form. Even more important is they’ve dropped their allowed points to just 98 per game, and that’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be going away. That doesn’t mean they’ll come close to shutting down the Warriors tonight, but I do think they have the tools to squeak out a win. Expect a lot of points and some big individual performances, but I’ll take the Cavs at home.

Pick: Cavs 108, Warriors 105

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Phoenix Suns

Kevin Durant remains out but that shouldn’t matter as OKC comes into the desert tonight as the hottest team in the league (7 wins in a row). Russell Westbrook has been a man possessed and that’s really especially been the case whenever KD has been out. We should expect nothing else tonight, especially in an up-tempo matchup where there will be very little defensive resistance from the Suns. Phoenix does still have the weapons via Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Markieff Morris to contend with the Thunder, but they just don’t have the same defensive chops OKC does right now. The Thunder would be a total lock if Durant were available, but even without him it’s hard to bet against them. Look for this game to be explosive, but for the Thunder to pull away late and nab their eighth win in a row.

Pick: Thunder 109, Suns 103

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