PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (26-41)
at DENVER NUGGETS (47-22)
Tip-off: Thursday, 9:05 p.m. ET
Line: Denver -14.5, Total: 205.5
The hottest team in the Western Conference laces up their sneakers on Thursday night when the Nuggets host a 76ers team that hasn't won on the road in a while.
While Denver has won 13 straight games overall and 15 consecutive home tilts, the 76ers have lost their past 14 road games. Philadelphia is now 6-24 SU (12-18 ATS) on the road this season, averaging a mere 89.9 PPG (43% FG) while allowing 96.9 PPG (46% FG). The Nuggets have had no trouble scoring at home this season, posting 108.4 PPG on 49% FG, which has led to stellar marks of 30-3 SU and 24-9 ATS. Despite what these two clubs have done this season, the 76ers have dominated this series since 2010, winning four of five meetings (SU and ATS), including an 84-75 home victory on Oct. 31. Denver star PG Ty Lawson is questionable for this game with an Achilles injury while PF Wilson Chandler (shoulder) is doubtful.
Can the Nuggets extend their streak with a lopsided victory on Thursday? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Gary is 68% ATS (25-12-1) since Feb. 20, StatFox Brian is 63% ATS (20-12-1) since Feb. 28, and StatFox Scott is 54% ATS (38-32-1) since Feb. 3. The experts are a collective 55% ATS (152-125-4) since February began, and Scott is now 54% ATS (108-93-2) for the season, while Gary is also 54% ATS (88-76-5) and Brian is 52% ATS (109-101-4). For NBA Totals, Gary is a stellar 71% (12-5) since March 7, Brian is 60% (6-4) since March 13, and Scott is 64% (16-9-3) since Feb. 22 to raise his season record to 57% (92-70-3) in Totals.
Philadelphia is 2-22 SU in its past 24 road games, averaging just 89.6 PPG on 43% FG during this slide, while the defense has given up 98.8 PPG on 47% FG and 35% threes. PG Jrue Holiday (18.6 PPG, 8.6 APG, 4.3 RPG) is coming off a dreadful performance in Wednesday's 29-point loss versus the Clippers, scoring a season-low two points on 1-of-8 FG with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. And he has always shot poorly versus Denver with a 39.6% FG clip in five career meetings. In the Oct. 31 victory over the Nuggets, he made just 5-of-16 shots, but still helped his team prevail with six rebounds, 11 assists and just three turnovers in his 41 minutes.PF Thaddeus Young (15.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG) made just 3-of-9 shots against Denver, but has had a huge month, scoring 18.1 PPG on 59% FG with 8.7 RPG in 11 games in March. SG Evan Turner (13.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 4.4 APG) has been cold though, scoring just 9.3 PPG on 37% FG in his past eight games. He was held to five points on 2-of-7 FG in the most recent meeting with the Nuggets.
Denver loves to get up-and-down the court, with their fast-breaking style leading to an NBA-best 58.0 points in the paint per game. The Nuggets are posting 110.8 PPG during the 15-game home streak. Although PG Ty Lawson (16.9 PPG, 6.9 APG) is dealing with a heel injury, he still scored 25 points with four rebounds and four assists in Tuesday's 114-104 win at Oklahoma City. He had a well-rounded 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds versus the 76ers earlier this season. PF Danilo Gallinari (16.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG) didn't play in that game, and he has been ice-cold in his past six contests with 11.8 PPG on 29% FG (7-of-29 threes). Former 76ers SG Andre Iguodala (12.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 5.0 APG) had 11 points (5-of-13 FG), four rebounds and four assists in Philly in October, and enters this game on a five-game shooting slump. During this stretch, Iguodala is averaging a mere 10.0 PPG on 38% FG and 4-of-16 threes.