NBA Thursday Previews

The NBA heads into the All-Star break with a great TNT doubleheader when the Orlando Magic take on the Cleveland Cavs and the San Antonio Spurs battle the Denver Nuggets.

Here’s a look at both games from

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Cleveland is a 6 ½-point home favorite over Orlando in the early 8 pm ET game.

This is a rematch of the East Conference finals won by Orlando. Cleveland was able to exact some revenge in the first meeting, 102-93 in Orlando as one-point 'dogs.

Cleveland (42-11 SU, 27-25-1 ATS) has established themselves as the East’s best team, and even swept the Lakers out West. They’re on a 12-game winning streak (7-5 ATS) and this will be their sixth consecutive game at home.

Orlando (36-17 SU, 27-25-1 ATS) has played much better of late, going 10-2 SU after last night’s 107-87 win at Chicago. The Magic were 4 ½-point favorites.

A lot of those 10 wins were against easy opponents, but two were against Boston, and one versus Atlanta. Center Dwight Howard is playing his best basketball of the season, and Vince Carter scored 48 points two games ago against New Orleans.

Cleveland has the ‘big man’ depth to contain Howard, so Carter and the rest of the team must play real well to have a chance.

San Antonio Spurs (+6) at Denver Nuggets

San Antonio (29-21 SU, 24-25-1 ATS) is in the middle of their eight-game ‘rodeo trip’ that will continue after the break. The Spurs have gone 2-2 SU (1-3 ATS) in the first four, including losing to the Lakers on Monday night 101-89.

The Lakers were 2 ½-point home dogs playing without Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, but still got the win.

Denver (35-17 SU, 24-25-3 ATS) last played Tuesday at home, demolishing fading Dallas 127-91 as seven-point ‘chalk.’ Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups both returned to the lineup, combining for 35 points.

Power forward Kenyon Martin missed the Mavs’ game with a knee injury. He is questionable tonight, but the team has enough firepower without him with their two stars back.

These teams have met twice this year with Denver winning and ‘covering’ both on the road. Both games went ‘under’ the total.

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Posted: 2/11/10 10:45AM ET


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