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DALLAS MAVERICKS (51-35) at HOUSTON ROCKETS (59-27)


2015-04-29

The Mavericks look to extend this series with a win over the Rockets in Houston in Game 5 on Tuesday.


The Mavs were facing elimination on Sunday and came away with a 121-109 victory as 2.5-point home favorites. Dallas shot the ball extremely well, hitting 54.3percent of its shots and 35.7percent from the outside. In the series, Houston has now won-and-covered in three of the four games. The Rockets are 6-2 both SU and ATS when hosting the Mavericks over the past three seasons. They are also 9-7 both SU and ATS versus the Mavs overall in that time. Dallas is 19-9 ATS in road games after failing to cover four or five of its past six over the past two seasons. The Mavericks are, however, just 5-13 ATS after a combined score of 205 points or more in three straight games this season. Theyre also up against a Rockets team that is 11-1 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite this season. PG Rajon Rondo (Back) and SF Chandler Parsons (Knee) are both out for the playoffs for Dallas and PG Patrick Beverley (Wrist), PF Donatas Motiejunas (Back) and SF K.J. McDaniels (Elbow) are all out indefinitely for the Rockets.


The Mavs pulled out a gutsy win in Game 4 and will now look to force the Rockets to travel back to Dallas for Game 6 by winning on Tuesday. PF Dirk Nowitzki (21.0 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.0 APG in playoffs) had 16 points, eight boards, four assists and a block in Game 4. Nowitzki has been hitting timely shots and will need to continue to provide leadership and a sturdy scoring presence for this team. SG Monta Ellis (26.3 PPG, 4.8 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.5 SPG in playoffs) is averaging 32.5 PPG, 6.0 APG and 2.0 SPG over the past two contests for Dallas. He is holding his own against James Harden and as long as he can do that, the Mavericks have a chance of winning come the end of the game. SF Al-Farouq Aminu (10.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.0 BPG, 1.3 SPG in playoffs) had 16 points, 12 rebounds and a block in 38 minutes of action in Game 4. He is playing very well as Chandler Parsons replacement and will need to continue to play well on both ends in his matchup with a very talented group of Rockets small forwards. PG J.J. Barea (13.3 PPG, 7.0 APG, 4.5 RPG in playoffs) has scored in double digits in four straight games. He had 17 points, 13 assists and a steal in 36 minutes on Sunday and is giving the Mavericks a huge edge at the point guard position.


The Rockets had a chance to close out the series in Dallas in Game 4, but they could not get stops when they needed to. Theyll now look to advance to the next round with a win in Houston in Game 5. SG James Harden (28.5 PPG, 7.8 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG in playoffs) has not skipped a beat in this postseason. Harden had 24 points, five rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes last game, but he has not played well defensively against Monta Ellis. Hell need to slow him down in Game 5 and also be more efficient as a shooter, as he was 1-for-7 from behind the arc last game. SF Josh Smith (16.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.0 BPG in playoffs) caught fire in Game 4, pouring in 23 points on 8-for-10 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 shooting from behind the arc. Smith played some solid defense as well and will need to bring some of that scoring on Tuesday. C Dwight Howard (16.3 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 2.8 BPG in playoffs) had 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 36 minutes on Sunday. He was, however, a liability at the end of the game because of his poor free-throw shooting. He was 3-for-13 from the line and the Mavericks exploited that with the Hack-a-Shaq.




NBA: DeRozan scores 30 points and Raptors beat Nets, 100-95, to even up series
2014-04-25

The best-of-seven Eastern Conference Football Live Betting Lines nfl football betting Online Bingo NFL Odds series is tied at one game apiece.

Amir Johnson had 16 points and nine rebounds, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 boards for his second double-double of the series, while Kyle Lowry had 14 points, nine boards and six assists. Patrick Patterson added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Atlantic Division champions.

Joe Johnson topped the Nets with 18 points, while Deron Williams had 15, Mirza Teletovic added 14, and Kevin Garnett finished with 13.

Toronto outrebounded Brooklyn 52-30.

The series shifts to Brooklyn for Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 on Sunday.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey predicted a completely different group of players especially DeRozan would show up for Game 2 after the majority of them looked overwhelmed by the bright lights of the playoffs in Game 1.

The Raptors led by as much as 11 in the second quarter but the Nets got hot in the third and took a 66-64 advantage into the fourth.

DeRozan poured in seven points early in the fourth including a massive left-handed dunk that had capacity crowd of 20,382 fans at the Air Canada Centre that included Mayor Rob Ford, Drake and multimillionaire NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein, roaring.

DeRozan had to take a seat with seven minutes to go after picking up his fifth foul, and looked frustrated when the television cameras showed him sitting alone at the end of the bench during a timeout.
The 24-year-old all-star returned with about three minutes to play and promptly knocked down two huge shots, his second a fadeaway jumper from 18 feet that had him flexing his chest and growling in celebration.

Lowry had a basket and a steal that led to a Patterson free throw that put Toronto up by five with 1:10 to play, and the Raptors point guard raised his hands to the crowd like a conductor directs an orchestra.

Paul Pierce, who scorched the Raptors down the stretch in Game 1, missed on a shot that would have tied the game with about 30 seconds to play, and then DeRozan drained two free throws with 20.6 seconds left to seal the victory for Toronto.

Johnson took flight for a massive dunk to the delight of the delirious fans the perfect punctuation mark on a solid game by the entire Raptors team.

If there was one glaring negative, it was turnovers again. The Raptors coughed up 17 points on 21 turnovers. Saturday, they gave up 17 points on 19 turnovers and vowed to clean up the giveaways.

The players at least didn't have to put up with the distraction of Saturday's shot-clock fiasco. The power sources to the clocks were replaced after they were fried in the third quarter of Game 1, leaving announcer Herbie Kuhn to count down the 24 seconds on each possession.

As in Game 1, hundreds of fans jammed Maple Leaf Square outside the ACC to watch the game on the giant screen.

Valanciunas led the way with eight points in the first quarter punctuated by a circus play that led to a Ross basket Valanciunas took a shot and missed while falling down, and grabbed his own rebound while still on his backside, chucking a pass from the seated position. The play was part of a 15-3 run that put the Raptors up by five with about three minutes left in the quarter. The Raptors took a 21-19 lead into the second.

A Raptors opened the second with a 14-7 run to take an 11-point lead but the Nets fought back to cut Toronto's lead to 45-39 heading into the dressing room at halftime.

Johnson ran amok for 12 points in the third, and the Nets outscored the Raptors 27-19 in the quarter to lead by two points with a quarter left to play.

NOTES: Casey finished fifth in voting for NBA coach of the year announced earlier Tuesday. He received five first-place votes.

The Canadian Press


Can Tom Thibodeau lead the Bulls to the next level?
2010-06-25

Since winning six NBA titles form 1991-98, the Chicago Bulls franchise has been struggling to move past the Michael Jordan era. In the last 12 years, Chicago has managed to post only two winning seasons. During this period, the Bulls have been able to win just a single postseason series. Since Phil Jackson departed the scene in Chicago after the 1998 campaign, seven different head coaches have guided the Bulls. Now, Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau will become Chicago's eighth head coach since the end of Jackson's glorious run with the franchise. Thibodeau will be a head coach in the league for the first time. He has certainly paid his dues in the NBA as an assistant over the last two decades. Before landing in Boston prior to the 2007-08 campaign, Thibodeau served stints as an assistant for the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets. He became a notable head coaching candidate after helping the Celtics win a championship in his first season with the club. Thibodeau has been praised throughout the league for his ability to improve teams defensively, and NBA betting knows this is a key to the Bulls become a powerhouse again.



He will take over a Bulls squad that isn't too far away from becoming a serious contender in the Eastern Conference. After posting an average of just 20 wins per year in the first six seasons following the dismantling of the 1998 title squad, Chicago has managed to reach the postseason in five of the last six campaigns. The goal in the years to come will be to make some deep playoff runs. Thibodeau will certainly have some talent to work with. All-Star point guard Derrick Rose is already one of the best backcourt performers in the league at the age of 21. He averaged 21 points and 6 assists per game last season. Forward Luol Deng (18 points, 7 rebounds per game last season) has been a solid frontcourt scorer in his six years in the league. He is only 25 years of age. In the middle, center Joakim Noah has made some steady improvement during his three years in the NBA. Last year, the 25-year-old Noah averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds per outing. With a strong, young nucleus in place and no significant free agents on its own roster to deal with this summer, Chicago should be able to make some additions to its club during the offseason. MVP LeBron James heads a strong free agent class. While James is leaning towards staying in Cleveland, the Bulls are viewed as the top contender to land him if he departs the Cavaliers. Besides James, there are a few other significant free agents that might view Chicago as a good destination. The Bulls should also be able to add a solid contributor in the draft. Chicago will have the 17th overall selection in the first round of the draft. So, Thibodeau is in a good position with a franchise that appears to be on the rise.


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