Category Archives: Sports

Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers

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The Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers meet Thursday night at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Atlanta Hawks look for some consistency after splitting their last 10 games. The Atlanta Hawks are averaging 102.5 points on 46.1 percent shooting and allowing 100 points on 44 percent shooting. Paul Millsap is averaging 18.4 points and 8.8 rebounds while Al Horford is averaging 15.2 points and 2.9 assists. Jeff Teague is dishing 5.6 assists and Kent Bazemore is grabbing 4.5 rebounds. The Atlanta Hawks are shooting 34.1 percent from beyond the arc and 79.3 percent from the free throw line. The Hawks are allowing 35.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 40.8 rebounds per game. The Atlanta Hawks have lost five of their last eight road games.

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The Indiana Pacers need a victory after losing six of their last seven games. The Indiana Pacers are averaging 102.3 points on 44.6 percent shooting and allowing 100 points on 44 percent shooting. Paul George is averaging 23.9 points and 7.3 rebounds while Monta Ellis is averaging 13.7 points and five assists. George Hill is dishing 3.1 assists and Jordan Hill is grabbing seven rebounds. The Indiana Pacers are shooting 34.8 percent from beyond the arc and 74.7 percent from the free throw line. The Pacers are allowing 33.4 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.6 rebounds per game. The Indiana Pacers have won six of their last 10 home games.

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Nashville Predators at Calgary Flames

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The Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames meet Wednesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Nashville Predators look to keep rolling after winning four of their last five games. The Nashville Predators are averaging 2.6 goals per game and are scoring on 20.6 percent of their power plays. James Neal leads Nashville with 17 goals, Roman Josi has 24 assists and Filip Forsberg has 143 shots on goal. Defensively, the Nashville Predators are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 78.2 percent of their power play chances. Pekka Rinne has allowed 100 goals on 1,047 shots faced and Carter Hutton has given up 18 goals on 200 shots. Rinne has allowed five goals in his last three games

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The Calgary Flames could use a win after losing six of their last eight games. The Calgary Flames are averaging 2.6 goals per game and are scoring on 13.9 percent of their power plays. Johnny Gaudreau leads Calgary with 20 goals, Mark Giordano has 20 assists and Sean Monahan has 111 shots on goal. Defensively, the Calgary Flames are allowing three goals per game and are killing 75.7 percent of their power play chances. Karri Ramo has allowed 84 goals on 929 shots faced and Jonas Hiller has given up 41 goals on 348 shots. Ramo has allowed seven goals in his last three games.

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Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs

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The San Antonio Spurs come into tonight’s game coming off their worst loss of the season, one of ESPN’s patented “Game of the Century of the Week”s against the Golden State Warriors. As the Dubs like to do, they ran through the Spurs to the tune of a 30-point win. Luckily for the Rockets they will get a pissed off Spurs squad looking to get back on track.

Houston comes into the game on a 3-game winning streak, coinciding with Josh Smith’s return to the team. Smoove’s presence has been noticeable in every area except the points column in the box score. He’s doing everything else for Houston that the Rockets don’t normally do, including nurturing ball movement and actually playing defense.

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The Houston Rockets look to stay red hot after winning nine of their last 12 games. The Houston Rockets are averaging 104.9 points on 44.6 percent shooting and allowing 105.6 points on 46.4 percent shooting. James Harden is averaging 27.7 points and seven assists while Trevor Ariza is averaging 12.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. Terrence Jones is grabbing 4.7 rebounds and Patrick Beverley is dishing 2.6 assists. The Houston Rockets are shooting 35.4 percent from beyond the arc and 71.4 percent from the free throw line. The Rockets are allowing 36.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42.9 rebounds per game. The Houston Rockets have split their last 10 road games. Dwight Howard is questionable with an ankle injury.

The San Antonio Spurs haven’t lost back-to-back games since February. The San Antonio Spurs are averaging 103.9 points on 48.9 percent shooting and allowing 90.4 points on 42.8 percent shooting. Kawhi Leonard is averaging 20 points and 2.6 assists while LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 15.6 points and 8.7 rebounds. Tony Parker is dishing five assists and David West is grabbing four rebounds. The San Antonio Spurs are shooting 38.4 percent from beyond the arc and 78.8 percent from the free throw line. The Spurs are allowing 32 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 45 rebounds per game. The San Antonio Spurs haven’t lost a home game since March 12th. Tim Duncan is questionable with a knee injury.

The Spurs last played the Rockets earlier this month in a win that coincided with the first scoreless game of Tim Duncan’s career. Duncan’s sitting out a second straight gamedue to his knee, suggesting his DNP against Golden State was likely not part of a calculated mindgame by Gregg Popovich.

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Chicago Blackhawks at Carolina Hurricanes

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The Chicago Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes square off Tuesday at the PNC Arena.

The Chicago Blackhawks look to stay hot after winning 10 of their last 12 games. The Chicago Blackhawks are averaging 2.8 goals per game and are scoring on 22.1 percent of their power plays. Patrick Kane leads Chicago with 30 goals, Artemi Panarin has 29 assists and Jonathan Toews has 123 shots on goal. Defensively, the Chicago Blackhawks are allowing 2.3 goals per game and are killing 82.4 percent of their power play chances. Corey Crawford has allowed 84 goals on 1,241 shots faced and Scott Darling has given up 30 goals on 334 shots. Crawford has allowed three goals in his last three games.
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The Carolina Hurricanes look to keep rolling after winning six of their last nine games. The Carolina Hurricanes are averaging 2.4 goals per game and are scoring on 16.9 percent of their power plays. Jeff Skinner leads Carolina with 17 goals, Justin Faulk has 19 assists and Victor Rask has 98 shots on goal. Defensively, the Carolina Hurricanes are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 82 percent of their power play chances. Cam Ward has allowed 74 goals on 776 shots faced and Eddie Lack has given up 55 goals on 547 shots. Lack has allowed six goals in his last three games.

The Blackhawks are 6-2 in their last 8 road games and 20-6 in their last 26 overall. The Hurricanes are 2-9 in their last 11 Tuesday games and 21-43 in their last 64 games following a win.

The Blackhawks are 2-6-1 in the last 9 meetings in Carolina and 4-1 in the last 5 meetings overall.
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Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors

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When and Where:

Tuesday at 7:30 PM at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Probable starters

Washington: John Wall, Garrett Temple, Kelly Oubre Jr., Nene, Marcin Gortat.
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Luis Scola, Jonas Valanciunas.

Injury Report
Alan Anderson is out; Bradley Beal and Kris Humphries are questionable for the Wizards.
DeMarre Carroll is out for the Raptors.

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The Wizards have lost three of their last four games and looked terrible in last night’s 116-91 blowout loss to the Celtics. Otto Porter Jr and Jared Dudley led the team with 15 points each while Ramon Sessions had 12, but the Wizards go as John Wall goes, but he finished with just eight points and 10 assists as the Wizards battled hard in the first half before getting blown out 62-42 in the second half. With the loss, Washington falls to 20-22 on the season and 10-14 at home.

The Raptors continued their climb up the power rankings with a dominant 112-94 home win against the Clippers on Sunday. Kyle Lowry led the scoring with 21 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 20 points while DeMar DeRozan had 18, but it was actually the second unit who sparked the team with a 17-3 run in the second quarter to take control of the game and turn a double-digit deficit into a 62-49 lead going into halftime. The Raptors would go on to cruise to their eighth straight victory and improve to 29-15 overall and 15-6 at home.

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Detroit Red Wings at NY Islanders

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The Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders meet Monday night at the Barclays Center.

The Detroit Red Wings look for consistency after splitting their last eight games. The Detroit Red Wings are averaging 2.4 goals per game and are scoring on 17.1 percent of their power plays. Dylan Larkin leads Detroit with 15 goals, Henrik Zetterberg has 23 assists and Tomas Tatar has 102 shots on goal. Defensively, the Detroit Red Wings are allowing 2.5 goals per game and are killing 80.6 percent of their power play chances. Petr Mrazek has allowed 62 goals on 913 shots faced and Jimmy Howard has given up 49 goals on 531 shots. Mrazek has allowed three goals in his last three games.

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The New York Islanders look for a victory after winning six of their last 10 games. The New York Islanders are averaging 2.7 goals per game and are scoring on 17.8 percent of their power plays. Brock Nelson leads New York with 18 goals, Kyle Okposo has 23 assists and John Tavares has 136 shots on goal. Defensively, the New York Islanders are allowing 2.4 goals per game and are killing 87.9 percent of their power play chances. Jaroslav Halak has allowed 52 goals on 690 shots faced and Thomas Greiss has given up 47 goals on 648 shots. Halak has allowed four goals in his last three games.

The Red Wings are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record and 6-1 in their last 7 road games. The Islanders are 9-4 in their last 13 home games and 14-3 in their last 17 Monday games. The Red Wings are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in New York and 2-8 in the last 10 meetings overall.

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Minnesota Timberwolves at Cleveland Cavaliers

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The Cleveland Cavaliers certainly didn’t benefit from any bump in performance in their first game under Tyronn Lue, who says it might take some time to implement his vision for an up-tempo offense.

Things are likely to come easier against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Looking to give Lue his first coaching victory, the Cavaliers hope to avoid dropping consecutive home games for the first time in a year Monday night while dealing the Timberwolves their ninth consecutive road defeat.

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Cleveland (30-12) is 24-6 in its last 30 regular season games against Western Conference opponents (10-5 this season). The Wine and Gold have also won 12 of their last 13 regular season games over the West at The Q.

Minnesota (14-31) is trying to win consecutive games for only the second time since late November following Saturday’s 106-101 home win over the Memphis Grizzlies. In the victory, Shabazz Muhammed bucketed a season-high 25 points and Andrew Wiggins added 19 points.

Last game: The Cavs came up flat in Lue’s debut, losing to the Chicago Bulls 96-83 on Saturday at The Q.

Cavaliers’ probable starting lineup: 6-3 Kyrie Irving (15.8 ppg, 3.8 apg), 6-6 J.R. Smith (12.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 39% 3-pt range), 6-8 LeBron James (25.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 6.2 apg), 6-10 Kevin Love (15.6 ppg, 10.9 rpg) and 7-2 Timofey Mozgov (6.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg).

Timberwolves’ probable starting lineup: 6-4 Ricky Rubio (9.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 8.6 apg), 6-8 Andrew Wiggins (20.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg), 6-9 Tayshaun Prince (3.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg), 6-11 Kevin Garnett (3.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and 7-0 Karl-Anthony Towns (15.8 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.8 bpg).

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New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

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Date: Sunday, Jan. 24
Time: 3:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver

This season’s AFC championship game looks very familiar, with the New England Patriots battling it out with the Denver Broncos. These two teams are the best when it comes to quarterback power — Tom Brady of the Pats and Peyton Manning of the Broncos. And what’s even more interesting is that these two American football greats will be facing each other in a rather colorful rivalry spanning more than a decade.

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This matchup will be a little different, however. Peyton Manning, not Brock Osweiler, will be the Broncos’ quarterback, and the Patriots will have receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and tight end Rob Gronkowski back and healthy. Jamie Collins, who injured his back Saturday against the Chiefs, also could play after missing the regular-season matchup. The Patriots lost Hightower and Gronkowski to injuries during the game earlier this season before the Broncos won in overtime. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s receivers were Brandon LaFell, Keshawn Martin and Chris Harper (yikes) with Edelman and Amendola out with injuries

The New England Patriots hope to clinch their third Super Bowl appearance since the 2011 season. Tom Brady is completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 302 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Brady has three touchdown passes in his last three games. Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski have combined for 183 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Keshawn Martin has two receptions. The New England Patriots ground game is averaging 38 yards per contest, and Steven Jackson leads the way with 16 yards on six carries. Defensively, New England is allowing 20 points and 378 yards per game. Patrick Chung leads the Patriots with nine tackles, Chandler Jones has a sack and Dont’a Hightower has a pass deflection.

The Denver Broncos look to reach their second Super Bowl in the last three seasons. Peyton Manning is completing 56.8 percent of his passes for 222 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Manning has two touchdown passes in his last five games. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas have combined for 125 receiving yards while Bennie Fowler has two receptions. The Denver Broncos ground game is averaging 109 yards per contest, and C.J. Anderson leads the way with 72 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Denver is allowing 16 points and 396 yards per game. Danny Trevathan leads the Broncos with nine tackles, Derek Wolfe has one sack and Aqib Talib has two pass deflections.

The Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win. The Broncos are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 home games and 3-1-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Denver and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings overall.

The Broncos defense is good enough to keep them in this game, but Manning is less than a shell of himself. The Broncos struggle to run the football and have a quarterback who can’t throw the ball like he used to. Brady has his weapons back, and the Pats are back to being that scary football team that’s hard to stop

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Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers

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While everyone is focused on the other conference championship featuring the rivalry of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, the NFC title game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers has what it takes to grab the spotlight this Sunday.

The Panthers have been superb defensively all season long, and when that defense is tested by one of the league’s best offenses from the Cardinals, it’s a kind of game that shouldn’t be missed.

The Arizona Cardinals hope to reach their first Super Bowl since the 2008 season. Carson Palmer is completing 61 percent of his passes for 349 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Palmer has six touchdown passes in his last three games. Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown have combined for 258 receiving yards and one touchdown while Michael Floyd has three receptions. The Arizona Cardinals ground game is averaging 40 yards per contest, and David Johnson leads the way with 35 yards on 15 carries. Defensively, Arizona is allowing 20 points and 386 yards per game. Tony Jefferson leads the Cardinals with nine tackles, Dwight Freeney has one sack and Jerraud Powers has two pass deflections.

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The Carolina Panthers look for their first Super Bowl appearance since the 2003 season. Cam Newton is completing 72.7 percent of his passes for 161 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. Newton has three touchdown passes in his last three games. Greg Olsen and Jerricho Cotchery have combined for 99 receiving yards and one touchdown while Ed Dickson has two receptions. The Carolina Panthers ground game is averaging 144 yards per contest, and Jonathan Stewart leads the way with 106 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Carolina is allowing 24 points and 403 yards per game. Luke Kuechly leads the Panthers with 11 tackles, Josh Norman has a sack and Robert McClain has one pass deflection. Foswhitt Whittaker is questionable and Jared Allen is doubtful.

The Arizona Cardinals struggled to run the ball well against the Green Bay Packers in their playoff game last week. It is fair to ask if they will be able to do anything against Carolina, considering their defense. Center Lyle Sendlein knows they have to do better.

He was asked if Green Bay really stacked the box against them in their game on Saturday. Sendlein said “not really.”

“We should have had a little more success in the run game against Green Bay,” he explained. “We have things in the game plan for when they do stack the box, and we still didn’t execute so it’s something if we want to keep playing, we’ve got to improve our run game.”

And they have themselves a challenge in Carolina, where the Panthers are the league’s fourth-best defense against the rush.

“We see them as the best defense in the league,” Sendlein said. “Their front seven is something special, so we’ll have our challenges this week.”

Head coach Bruce Arians indicated they don’t need to run the ball to take the pressure off the passing game, “because that’s who we are on offense,” but they need to do it more effectively

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Los Angeles Clippers at Cleveland Cavaliers

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will begin their four-game homestand on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Tipoff is at 8 p.m.

The Cavaliers have already lost to the top two Western Conference teams over the past week, getting routed 132-98 by the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors as 3.5-point home favorites on Monday.

The Clippers currently sit in the fourth spot in the West and saw their season-high 10-game winning streak come to an end with a 110-103 loss to the Sacramento Kings as four-point home favorites last Saturday.

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It’s the second game in as many night for the Cavaliers (29-11), who beat the Brooklyn Nets, 91-78, on Wednesday night.

In the win, Kevin Love bounced back from his worst game of the year, scoring 17 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. LeBron James chipped in with 17 as well. Timofey Mozgov made his third straight start, getting the nod over Tristan Thompson in an attempt to combat the size of Brook Lopez. Mozgov scored 11 points.

Los Angeles (27-14) has won 11 of 12, including a 140-132 overtime win against the Houston Rockets. The Clippers’ quality stretch has coincided with Blake Griffin’s absence. The power forward is expected to miss his 12th straight game with a partially torn left quad.

Point guard Chris Paul has elevated his play with Griffin sidelined. Paul is averaging 18.2 points and 9.6 assists, which ranks fourth in the NBA.

This will be the first meeting between Los Angeles and Cleveland this season, with the latter sweeping two games last year. The Clippers are just 3-14 SU and 4-13 ATS in the past 17 meetings dating back to 2007, with the under cashing in four of the last five.

The Cavs have not performed particularly well when playing the second game of a back-to-back lately, going 3-3 SU and 1-4-1 ATS in their previous six.

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