Basketball Las Vegas Odds and Picks: Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat
Friday, March 08, 2013
by Tomas Lopez
The Miami Heat will put its franchise-record 16-game winning streak on the line when it hosts the struggling Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. The Heat haven't lost since Feb. 1 at Indiana, though they've certainly had to pull off some late-game magic to keep the streak alive. LeBron James hit a driving, left-handed layup for the winning basket in a 97-96 home win over Orlando on Wednesday, three nights after the Heat rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat the New York Knicks.
Things have gone in the wrong direction for the 76ers, who have dropped three straight and 10 of 11 after a 107-96 loss at Atlanta on Wednesday. They have two more chances on their current road trip - at Miami and at Orlando - to snap an 11-game skid away from home. It's the second of four meetings this season. Miami won the first one, 114-90 in Philadelphia, and has won 12 straight against the Sixers.
Philadelphia 76ers (23-37): Philadelphia has been solid at the defensive end but has struggled to put the ball in the basket. Point guard Jrue Holiday (19 points, 8.6 assists) is having an outstanding year, and forward Thaddeus Young (14.7 points, 7.7 rebounds) has been solid in the post, but swingman Evan Turner (13.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists) has been inconsistent and the bench lacks depth, especially with guard Nick Young (11.1 points) listed as doubtful with a sprained left ankle.
Miami Heat (45-14): The defending champions are on pace to have an even better regular season this season, thanks in large part to James' MVP-like numbers (27 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.2 assists). James has been so dominant that he has overshadowed fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade (21.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5 assists) and Chris Bosh (16.8 points, 7.1 rebounds). James has scored in double figures in 478 consecutive games, including all 200 with the Heat.
1. James' next 3-pointer will be the 1,000th of his career.
2. Philadelphia is 21-1 when leading after three quarters.
3. Wade has at least one steal in 20 consecutive games, one shy of matching the longest streak of his career.
NBA Basketball Prediction: Heat 104, 76ers 91.
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