NBA Betting – Warriors Return to Action in Portland
Zack GarrisonNo comments
The Golden State Warriors’ (48-4, 24-4 Away) quest to best the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls resumes tonight when the Warriors return from the All-Star break with a visit to the Portland Trail Blazers (27-27, 16-11 Home) at the Moda Center (10:00 PM Eastern).
The Warriors had the best first half the NBA has ever seen. With 48 wins and just four losses, the team is currently on pace to break the 72-10 mark set by Michael Jordan and company.
Golden State has some breathing room at the top of the NBA standings, sitting four games up on second-place San Antonio. But their pursuit of history has kept the pressure on.
“It’s such a high-stress environment everywhere we go,” reigning MVP Steph Curry told the Associated Press.
Golden State stretched its current win streak to 11 with a 112-104 win over the Suns last Wednesday. Double-digit win streaks are becoming the norm for the team, but this one has been impressive even by their standards; the Warriors have knocked off the other top-three teams in the NBA – Cleveland, San Antonio, and OKC – in the last ten.
All four of Golden State’s setbacks have come on the road this year, but they’re still 20 games over .500 away from home and have won five straight in enemy territory.
Portland, on the other side, has turned things around after a slow start of the season. They have taken eight of their last nine and have their own three-game win streak on the go. They helped their own cause in the Western Conference playoff race before the break by downing the Rockets (twice) and Grizzlies.
The wins over Houston saw Portland vault the Rockets for seventh in the conference. The team was expected to take major steps back this year after losing star forward LaMarcus Aldridge to free agency; they aren’t going to snag another division title this year, but the progress of point guard Damian Lillard and shootign guard CJ McCollum has kept Portland more than competitive. Lillard (24.3 PPG, 7.3 APG) has become a legitimate top-five player at his position, while McCollum has upped his scoring average by 14 points over his sophomore season (20.7 PPG).
“We just embraced the challenge,” Blazers Damian Lillard said to the AP. “You’ve got to give credit to all the work we put in.”
Portland is certainly on a nice run but, the first time they met the Warriors this season, they lost by 20 points. That was their sixth loss in the last seven against Golden State. They haven’t covered much against the Warriors of late, either, losing five of the last six ATS at the Moda Center.
Pick: Warriors (-8.5).