TheSpread.com NBA Picks and Predictions 2/26

TheSpread.com NBA Picks and Predictions 2/26

Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their NBA picks and predictions for Thursday, February 26.

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Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets, 8:05PM ET

As satisfying as the Houston Rockets' latest victory might have been, they'd surely consider one Thursday night to be a lot more meaningful.

It would be pretty big for the Cleveland Cavaliers, too.

A key reason the Cavaliers lead the Eastern Conference is their league-best home record, but no team has been hotter at home than Houston and that's where they begin a challenging road trip as teams riding five-game winning streaks square off.

That run is the longest of the season for the Rockets (36-21), who are coming off Tuesday night's 98-94 victory over a Portland team which entered with the fourth-best record in the West. Three of their previous four wins were against sub-.500 teams and the other came versus a visiting Dallas club which is 4-9 on the road in 2009.

NBA Free Pick: Cleveland  – Best Line: -2.5 Sports Interaction

Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:35PM ET

Even when they're not playing at their exceedingly high standards, the Los Angeles Lakers keep finding ways to win.

The Phoenix Suns are finding that an up-tempo style provides their best shot to post victories.

Though Phoenix is Los Angeles' closest pursuer in the Pacific Division, a huge gap remains between the rivals going into their matchup Thursday night.

Los Angeles (47-10) returns to Staples Center after winning its fifth straight and 16th in 18 games on Tuesday, 107-93 over Oklahoma City. Kobe Bryant scored 15 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, but the Thunder nearly erased the Lakers' 18-point third-quarter lead.

NBA Free Pick: Phoenix – Best Line: N/A Sports Interaction

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