Incredibly rare for a team in the Steve Kerr era to sweep the Golden State Warriors in a regular-season series – much less a sweep of four games as no one has done that. It’s what the Houston Rockets, on an NBA-high nine-game winning streak overall, can do Wednesday night at home in the game of the night around the NBA and nationally televised by ESPN.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The Rockets have won by six points (without James Harden) and one point (in overtime) in Oakland this season and took the meeting in Houston way back on November 15, 107-86, behind 27 points from Harden. Golden State was without Steph Curry. That was the teams’ first meeting since last season’s Western Conference Finals. It would surprise no one if they met again there later this year, although Houston might end up on the side of the bracket where it may have to face the Warriors in the conference semifinals.
Kevin Durant left Sunday’s shocking upset loss to Phoenix with an ankle injury, and has been ruled out for Golden State for Wednesday night. The Warriors are 2-5 against the spread in the past seven meetings between the teams. Houston opened as a 2-point favorite.
It’s a matchup of All-Star point guards in the first ESPN game of Wednesday as D’Angelo Russell and the Brooklyn Nets visit Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both teams will reach the playoffs in their respective conferences but exactly which seed is up in the air. The Thunder won in Brooklyn on December 5, 114-112. Paul George was magnificent with 47 points, including 25 in the fourth. Westbrook had a triple-double of 21 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds.
The Nets, who were without an injured Russell, blew a 23-point lead to fall to 8-18 at the time – that was their low point of the season, and they have been a much better team ever since. The Nets are 5-1 against the spread in their past six in Oklahoma City, but opened as 7.5-point underdogs for Wednesday night.
Just about every game in the terrible Southeast Division matters the rest of the way with the winner all but assured to finish under. 500. Two “contenders” face off Wednesday as the Orlando Magic visit the Washington Wizards. Orlando perhaps has the most talent in the division, while the Wizards, with John Wall out for the season, would be the longshots of the four possible Southeast champions. Whichever team wins the division will likely get routed in the first round of the playoffs.
The Wizards are 2-1 against the Magic and won the lone matchup in D.C. 117-109 on November 12 when Wall was still around. Orlando has lost 13 of its past 14 trips to Washington and covered just four of those outings, and opened as a 2.5-point underdog.