Betting News and Notes - Dec 16th

Betting News and Notes - Dec 16th

NBA Today - December 16
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD Sunday, Dec. 16

Portland at Denver (8 p.m. EST). The Blazers have won six straight for the first time since 2002.

STARS

-Dwight Howard, Magic, had 33 points and 18 rebounds and Orlando beat Charlotte 103-87.

-Paul Pierce, Celtics, scored a season-high 32 points to lead Boston to a 104-82 victory over Milwaukee.

-Vince Carter, Nets, matched a season high with 32 points in New Jersey's 105-97 win against Cleveland.

-Jason Kapono, Raptors, scored 17 of his career-high 29 points in the fourth quarter to help Toronto beat Indiana 104-93.

HOME SWEET HOME

The Boston Celtics overcame Ray Allen's absence to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 104-82 and match the franchise record with a 12-0 start at home. Boston also won its first 12 home games in 1984 en route to the '85 NBA finals.

KINGS OF THE ROAD

The Sacramento Kings became the final NBA team to win a road game with a 109-99 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. The Kings, who entered the game with nine straight road losses to open a season, matched a team record set in 1987-88 and again in 1993-94.

MAGIC MAN

Dwight Howard had 33 points and 18 rebounds and Orlando beat the undermanned Charlotte Bobcats 103-87 on Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak. Howard, who had his NBA-leading 20th double-double, would have had an even bigger night if not for 11-of-20 shooting from the free throw line.

TRIPLE-DOUBLE

Kirk Hinrich delivered the second triple-double of his career, and the Chicago Bulls hung on to beat the Knicks 101-96 on Friday, handing New York its fifth straight loss. Hinrich finished with 15 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds. His only other triple-double was against Golden State on Feb. 28, 2004.

SNAPPED

The Golden State Warriors roared from behind in the final minutes to snap their nine-game losing streak to the Lakers with a 108-106 victory Friday night.

STREAKS

Portland won their sixth-straight game with a 99-91 victory over Utah on Friday night. The Jazz lost their sixth straight and second to the Trail Blazers in a week.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

LeBron James had 29 points and eight assists in Cleveland's 105-97 loss to New Jersey on Friday night.

MAKING MOVES

The Charlotte Bobcats acquired center Nazr Mohammed from the Detroit Pistons on Friday in exchange for center Primoz Brezec and forward Walter Herrmann. Mohammed is averaging 3.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21 games.

SPEAKING

''It feels great. You want to take about 40 shots. I kept yelling 'Hey, pass me the ball.' They say, 'You're standing 45 feet outside of the 3-point arc.' I'm saying 'Hey, pass me the ball, still.' It's just one of those rare times when you feel like every shot you take is a good shot.'' - Jason Kapono, who scored a career-high 29 points to lead Toronto to a 104-93 win over Indiana on Friday night. Kapono scored 25 points in the second half, including 17 in the fourth quarter.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 16th

Sunday's NBA matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Golden State at Detroit

Golden State swept last season's series with the Pistons by an average of 25 points, and snapped an 11-game losing streak at The Palace of Auburn Hills with a 111-93 rout March 5.

Boston at Toronto

Toronto and Boston have already met twice this season, with the Celtics winning both contests. They posted a 98-95 overtime victory in Toronto on Nov. 4, and routed the Raptors 112-84 in Boston on Dec. 7.

Portland at Denver

The Trail Blazers travel to Denver, where they've lost nine in a row since 2003 and 15 of 16 since 1999.

L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers

This is the first meeting between the Clippers and the Lakers this season. Kobe Bryant has averaged 38.9 points in his last 10 games against the Clippers, including 37.0 last season as the teams split four meetings.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 16th

Sunday's NCAAB Top 25 matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Arkansas-Pine Bluff at No. 12 Texas A&M

Texas A&M has a chance to continue its progression Sunday when it faces Arkansas-Pine Bluff for the second time. The Aggies won 82-53 on Nov. 24, 2003 in the only previous meeting.

Fresno State at No. 22 Arizona

Fresno State leads the all-time series over Arizona 3-2, but they have not met since an 87-62 Bulldogs' victory on Dec. 9, 1980.

No. 1 North Carolina at Rutgers

Rutgers has lost every meeting in this series since winning the first one in 1921. The Scarlet Knights have lost five in a row versus ranked opponents since beating then-No. 22 Louisville 65-56 on Jan. 28, 2006.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 16th

Lakers' Bryant will be game-time decision against Clippers

Strained groin bothered him in the fourth quarter of loss to Warriors.

The Lakers have had this little problem the last few years.

The Clippers.

After blowing past them for the better part of nine seasons -- series score from 1995 to 2004: Lakers 31, Clippers 5 -- the Lakers have managed only 2-2 splits with their Staples Center mates the last three seasons.

That's a little weird, no?

"I don't think it's weird at all," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "They've got a better team than we have for the last few years. Now I think we're starting to catch up and they've had the [Elton Brand] injury. They've had some talented players."

Tonight's game between the teams is a Lakers home game, although Kobe Bryant might be sidelined because of what the team is calling a strained left groin.

It will be a game-time decision for Bryant, who was hurt while trying to spin along the baseline near the midpoint of the fourth quarter in the Lakers' 108-106 loss Friday against Golden State.

Bryant was hobbled the rest of the way, although he said afterward he would play tonight against the Clippers. Bryant did not take part in Saturday's practice and did not speak to reporters afterward.

A day later, the sting of losing to the Warriors after leading, 102-94, with 3:29 to play, hadn't left the Lakers.

"We started just settling on shots and they started picking on Kobe because he couldn't move," Jackson said. "I would've taken him out of the game earlier, but because he was on the foul line, I couldn't get him out in that situation."

Andrew Bynum gets another test tonight when he goes against Clippers center Chris Kaman, who is averaging 18.6 points and 13.8 rebounds in his fifth NBA season.

"These are guys I'm going to be playing against for the next 10, 12 years in the league," said Bynum, averaging 11 points and 10 rebounds. "I think that he's doing really well right now. I feel like I can become a great player in the league, and it starts by just going out and playing hard."

Jackson said Bynum might be getting help down low.

"I told these guys we're going to have to double-team [Kaman]," Jackson said. "He's ready to do the things that an NBA center has to do physically and mentally. He's playing great."

TONIGHT

Clippers vs. Lakers, 6:30, FSN West, Ch. 5

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- 570, 710, 1330.

Records -- Lakers 13-9, Clippers 9-13.

Record vs. Clippers (2006-07) -- 2-2.

Update -- The Clippers have stumbled after a 4-0 start, although they won two of three games on a trip that ended with a 98-91 victory in Memphis. After tonight, the Lakers begin a four-game trip Tuesday in Chicago. Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw was not at Friday's game after undergoing eye surgery. He could return to the bench for tonight's game.

latimes.com

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