There are just two games on the NBA schedule Thursday and both are nationally televised by TNT and both are potential playoff previews as the Lakers visit the 76ers (that would have to be in the NBA Finals) and the Timberwolves visit the Warriors. Here are our parlay picks.
Best bets for Thursday’s NBA
LA Lakers at Philadelphia (-1.5)Tips at 7:30 p.m. ET and it’s perhaps fitting the Lakers are playing in Philly on Thursday because Wednesday was the two-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s death. Bryant of course starred with the Lakers but went to high school in Philadelphia.
It’s the first meeting of the season between the teams. It’s not impossible they meet in the NBA Finals but not that likely. It’s the 286th meeting between the two franchises dating back to 1950 (204th in the Los Angeles era) and the 178th since the Sixers moved to Philadelphia prior to the 1963-64 season. Philly has won eight of the past 15 overall. The Lakers are 5-5 in their last 10 visits to the City of Brotherly Love.
The Lakers got back All-Star Anthony Davis from a long injury absence Tuesday and won at the Nets, 106-95, LA’s 10th double-digit victory of the season. Los Angeles scored a season-best 27 fast break points. LeBron James had his 18th consecutive game with 25+ points as he finished with 33 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks. Los Angeles shot a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line, the first time they did not miss a free throw (min. 10 attempts) since 2/11/15 at Portland.
Davis tallied eight points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and four blocks. He was on a minutes restriction. Frank Vogel said after Tuesday’s game that he wants to get Davis some more minutes as he gradually works himself back from his absence.
Philly beat the Pelicans 117-107 on Tuesday. Joel Embiid tallied a game-high 42 points (12-24 fg, 18-20 ft) with 14 rebounds, four assists, and a game-high four blocked shots. Embiid has four straight games with at least 38 points and 12 rebounds. He’s the first player ever to do so in at least four straight. Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain did so in three games in a row on three occasions. Tobias Harris notched his second consecutive double-double with a season-high 33 points and 11 rebounds in a game-high 39:08 of playing time.
Guard Seth Curry (left ankle soreness) has been ruled out for Thursday’s game. It will be straights Curry’s fourth consecutive game on the sidelines. Furkan Korkmaz should get another start, and Tyrese Maxey will continue to shoulder the majority of the ball handling responsibilities. Fellow guard Danny Green (right hip pain) is listed as questionable.
Minnesota at Golden State (-5.5)
These teams have split two meetings, each winning at home. The one in San Francisco was Nov. 10 and Golden State prevailed 123-110. Former Wolves player Andrew Wiggins had 35 points. Stephen Curry scored 25 points to go with six assists. Draymond Green had to leave the game with a bruised thigh. He won’t play in this game, either. Anthony Edwards scored a career-high 48 points for Minnesota, hitting seven 3-pointers.
The Warriors have won the last 10 games against the Timberwolves in the Bay Area. The last time the Timberwolves defeated the Warriors in the Bay Area was on April 5, 2016 (124-117 OT).
Curry has played in 806 career games, one game shy of tying Chris Mullin for the most games played for the Warriors franchise. Curry will join only Mike Conley (Memphis), LeBron James (Cleveland) and Reggie Miller (Indiana) as the only players to be the all-time career leader in points assists, 3-pointers and games played for a franchise.
Tonight’s game vs. Minnesota is the sixth of seven straight home games. The Warriors are 4-1 on the current homestand. Golden State has held three opponents under 92 points during the homestand. The lone loss in the last five games came in overtime to the Pacers. Curry is averaging team-highs in points (22.0) and assists (8.2) per game in five appearances during the homestand. Klay Thompson has played in three games, averaging 16.0 points per game. Wiggins has a 15.0 scoring average in the last five games. Jordan Poole, who has come off the bench in three of the last five games, is averaging 13.4 points per contest. Otto Porter Jr., who has played in four games on this homhttps://mybookie.ag/sportsbook/ncaa-basketball/northwestern/estand, is averaging 10.5 points per game. Kevon Looney is averaging a team-high 10.4 rebounds per game.
The Wolves may be without guard and defensive demon Patrick Beverley as he has missed the past couple with an ankle injury. Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said that Beverley’s injury isn’t “too severe.” Look for Jaden McDaniels to remain in the starting lineup if Beverley sits again.
Minnesota leads the league in opponent turnovers per game (16.9). Those turnovers have led to 20.1 points off turnovers per game, leading the NBA in the category. The Timberwolves are averaging 5.8 blocks per game, tied for second in the NBA and 8.8 steals per game, ranking tied for fourth in the league in the category.
- Both home teams cover the spread on a parlay.