DeMarcus Cousins went nuts on Monday night, kicking off the new NBA week in style with a career high 56 points – good for tops this season, as well. The Kings still lost in 2OT to the Hornets, but they’ll turn right around tonight and have a chance to win their sixth game in their last eight tries. That won’t be easy without small forward Rudy Gay (eye) and a tired crew, though, so NBA bettors have to look at this (and all of tonight’s matchups) from all angles.
We’ve got you covered luckily, as we break down all eight Tuesday night games and offer our NBA picks for 1/26/2016:
Clippers @ Pacers
This may be the best game of the night if the Clippers can keep themselves from flattening due to the latest Blake Griffin news (out more time with a hand injury). Luckily Lob City has remained cool and collected while he’s been outing, going a very strong 11-3 during that span. Indiana can be a threat – especially at home – but they don’t feel so daunting after losing six of their last 10 games. Paul George hasn’t looked elite consistently, either, while the Clips are a strong 12-5 against Eastern Conference teams. I’ll take the Clips to get a big road win as they try to start a new winning streak.
Pick: Clippers 103, Pacers 101
Thunder @ Knicks
New York definitely enjoys the most success at home (13-9 at MSG this year), but the Thunder are a tough opponent to face, home or away. OKC has been ablaze with 8 wins in their last 10 games and they’ll surely want to get the taste of a bad loss to the Nets out of their mouths. They also won’t want to get swept by the pedestrian Knicks, who squeaked a win by them in OKC earlier this year.
Pick: Thunder 107, Knicks 88
Magic @ Bucks
Orlando is in a really bad way right now, as they’ve free fallen from near the top of their division to the bottom with an ugly six-game losing streak. Just last night they had a huge road win over the Grizzlies in the bag and really showed their youth by blowing it. They did crush the Bucks at the Amway Center earlier this year but the Magic are 1-9 over their last 10 games and are just 8-12 on the road this year. I’d favor the Bucks, who are a pretty solid 12-7 at the Bradley Center and have at least kept it together lately (5-5 in last 10 contests).
Pick: Bucks 98, Magic 96
Kings @ Blazers
Boogie and co. will be without Rudy Gay and will surely be tired on the second game of a back-to-back (not to mention a 2OT game). Portland hasn’t been all that bad lately either (5-5 in last 10 games) and a healthy Damian Lillard has been helping them play more competitively. I would normally take the Kings but they could come out flat on the road.
Pick: Blazers 104, Kings 102
Suns @ 76ers
This is a very interesting game to pick, as the Suns are really banged up with injuries and even when they’re healthy they’re tough to love (2-8 in their last 10 games). They’ve been a dysfunctional bag of quit pretty much all year and with Brandon Knight out again tonight, they just don’t have a ton of talent to rely on. Philly has been better, too, winning three out of their last 10 games – which is good for half of their wins on the entire year. It’d be so Suns to bomb tonight, so I’m pulling for the Sixers.
Pick: 76ers 96, Suns 92
Heat @ Nets
Miami is beaten up beyond belief but there is still an outside chance they get some bodies back tonight. They don’t really need Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside back for the Nets, but Brooklyn is at their best at Barclays Center and Miami could be a little tired after playing last night. Everything points to Miami winning, but they’re not 100% and the Nets did win the last meeting. They just had a huge win over the Thunder in their last game, too, so they could be feeling pretty confident at home.
Pick: Nets 101, Heat 98
Wizards @ Raptors
John Wall has been in a bit of a rut and the Wiz have struggled to a rough 20-22 start, but they still have to find a way to compete when they arrive in Canada tonight. The Raptors are no joke, as they’re quiely a very good, balanced team. They’re also at home where they’re 15-6 and are riding a nice 8-game winning streak. The three previous meetings this year were all fairly close, but Toronto dictated the pace and got a win each time. Although it seemed unlikely going into the year, prepare to watch the Raptors secure the season sweep tonight.
Pick: Raptors 98, Wiz 95
Mavs @ Lakers
Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia have both been banged up and could easily sit out of this one, but no one should have trouble picking this one. Los Angeles has just nine wins on the year and the last two times they faced Dallas this year they lost. Brace yourself for a good amount of points, but the Mavs should pull out the win.
Pick: Mavs 109, Lakers 104