14 Jan

Sixers star to miss next game against Hawks

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will miss Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks due to swelling in his left knee. The NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player also missed Saturday’s 120-109 loss against the Utah Jazz due to the same injury.

On Monday, Embiid did some light shooting after practice, wearing a heavy brace around his knee. Unlike Tobias Harris, De’Anthony Melton and Furkan Korkmaz, who all sat out against Utah, however, Embiid did not take part in what Nurse described as a “training camp–style practice today in length and in competition.”

Joel Embiid after practice shooting with a wrap around his knee #Sixers pic.twitter.com/k4mehcl1Is

— Ky Carlin (@Ky_Carlin) January 8, 2024
Embiid has missed eight games this season and Philadelphia has lost six of them. The Jazz loss followed an ugly performance on Friday in which Embiid played 36 minutes and the Sixers lost 128-92 against the New York Knicks. Nurse said Monday that they needed to prioritize transition defense, point-of-attack defense and challenging shots.

“The easy way out is to say, “Oh, we’re beat up and we don’t have enough people,’ and all that kind of stuff,” Nurse said “But I can’t accept that as a coach. There is a way we want to play regardless of who’s out there.”

After what he described as a training camp like practice, Sixers head coach Nick Nurse gave an update on the playing status of Joel Embiid (knee), Tobias Harris (ankle), De’Anthony Melton (back) and Furkan Korkmaz (illness). pic.twitter.com/GBaIU4otDs

— PHLY Sixers (@PHLY_Sixers) January 8, 2024
For Embiid to be eligible for the All-NBA team and another MVP award, he must play in 65 of Philadelphia’s 82 games this season.

The Sixers have lost three of their last four games and are 5-5 in their last 10, but, at 23-12, they are third in the Eastern Conference. After visiting Atlanta, they’ll begin a three-game homestand on Friday during which they’ll face the Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets.

In 27 games, Embiid is averaging a league-high 34.6 points, plus 11.8 rebounds and a career-high 6.0 assists.

14 Jan

Lakers’ Darvin Ham not in immediate danger of losing job despite recent turmoil, per reports

Despite all the noise surrounding Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham recently, he is not about to get fired, according to NBA reporter Marc Stein.

Stein’s latest newsletter indicates that, as mediocre as the Lakers’ 2023-24 season has been, it would have to get much worse for the front office to make a coaching change:

The current signals in circulation suggest that things would have to worsen significantly — significantly — for the 18-19 Lakers to truly put Darvin Ham’s job under immediate threat. That was the messaging in circulation even before Sunday night’s stirring 106-103 victory over the Clippers despite some crunch-time shakiness against their co-tenants at Crypto.com Arena.

League sources say Ham continues to enjoy very strong support from Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka … especially after the leadership Ham provided in his first season as the frequent voice and face for the franchise as it spent months in sub-.500 purgatory before finally surging into the playoffs with a 9-2 closing kick.

[…] But it’s believed that the Lakers are determined to get through the season before seriously pondering any semblance of drastic changes and still hope offseason signee Gabe Vincent can be a difference-maker when he returns from injury.

Separately, Ham told The Athletic’s Sam Amick that he has the support of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss. After a report in The Athletic last week about a “deepening disconnect” between Ham and the players, Buss reportedly sent the coach “a lengthy text message of support.”

On an episode of ESPN’s “The Hoop Collective” podcast published Monday, Brian Windhorst said that Ham was not going to be fired after Sunday’s game against the Clippers, regardless of the result.

“Let’s put it this way: There have been a number of stories in the last few days that have emerged about player or agent frustration at the head coach,” Windhorst said. “And [there are] many examples in the history of the NBA where player frustration with the head coach has led to the head coach being replaced. But in this case, the organization — at least for now — fully supports Darvin Ham. And of the players who might be frustrated at Darvin Ham, I don’t think that the players who have the power with the frustration are in that space yet.”

Here’s a quick recap of the last few days of Ham/Lakers chatter:

Wednesday, Jan. 3: Lakers miss 26 of their 30 3-point attempts and lose by 14 points to a Miami Heat team missing Jimmy Butler. LeBron James leaves the arena without speaking to reporters after scoring 12 points on 6-for-18 shooting. Austin Reaves describes the vibe in the locker room as “shitty.”
Thursday, Jan. 4: The Athletic publishes its story on the divide between Ham and the team, which it attributed to his decisions regarding the rotation and the starting lineup. (This echoes an Anthony Irwin story published Dec. 27.)
Friday, Jan. 5: In another The Athletic story, a “high-ranking Lakers source” pushes back on the notion that Ham is on the verge of losing his job. Before Los Angeles’ game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Ham says that he’s “aligned” and “on the same page” with Buss and team president Rob Pelinka, adding that he wishes people would be “firm enough to stand on what they’re saying” instead of talking to reporters anonymously. Then the Lakers lose by 14 points and James tells reporters, “We just suck right now.” It is their fourth consecutive loss and ninth in 11 games, but Ham says, “It’s the NBA, man. This is a marathon, and you have to look at the totality of the picture. I’m tired of people living and dying with every single game we play. It’s ludicrous, actually.”
Sunday, Jan. 7: Irwin reports that, while the Lakers’ game against the Los Angeles Clippers “won’t be considered a win-or-go-home game for Darvin Ham,” Buss and Pelinka will have “no choice” but to “take a serious look at Ham and whether he is capable of turning this around” if they suffer an embarrassing loss. Irwin cites several sources saying that Lakers players and officials are sick of Ham telling them to play harder and don’t feel that he has taken accountability. Before the game, Ham says he does not feel as if he’s coaching for his life and Clippers coach Tyronn Lue says that the criticism of Ham is “definitely unfair.” Then the Lakers beat the Clippers by three points and James goes out of his way to compliment Lue, who coached James in Cleveland. (The Lakers made Lue an offer to be their coach in 2019, but the two sides did not come to terms on a contract, with Lue later saying that that he “didn’t think I was treated fairly” during the negotiations.)
The Lakers are not quite a .500 team and their offense ranks 23rd in the NBA. They entered the season expecting to be championship contenders, but are 10th in the West, with both the Golden State Warriors (17-19) and Utah Jazz (17-20) right behind them. There are serious problems here, and some of Ham’s decisions regarding the rotation — Reaves didn’t start for almost two months; for four games both he and D’Angelo Russell came off the bench — have been pretty strange. That does not, however, mean that Ham is necessarily going to take the fall.

Based on multiple reports Monday, the Lakers’ preference is to not make a coaching change. If they’re going to stick with Ham, though, they’ll need to play well enough that this storyline goes away naturally (or at least avoid the type of meltdowns that will bring it to the fore). Next up are home games against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday and the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, before Los Angeles visits the Utah Jazz on Saturday. Eight of the Lakers’ next nine games are at Crypto.com Arena, including a “road” rematch against the Clippers on Jan. 23. Let’s see if they can string some wins together.

14 Jan

Warriors won’t trade Klay Thompson, Draymond Green or Jonathan Kuminga

On Monday, Marc Stein reiterated a previous report from Michael Grange that the Golden State Warriors do not intend to trade Jonathan Kuminga, who reportedly had lost faith in head coach Steve Kerr as his playing time and rotational consistency wavered.

Additionally, in his newsletter, Stein also reported that there is “zero indication” that the Warriors “would even explore trading franchise legends Klay Thompson or Draymond Green.”

Andrew Wiggins, on the other hand, appears to be available. From Stein:

There likewise continues to be zero indication that they would even explore trading franchise legends Klay Thompson or Draymond Green. The Warriors are also known to be resistant to the idea of trading Kuminga, who was selected with the No. 7 overall pick in 2021.

Given the limited success Golden State has found when pairing Kuminga with Andrew Wiggins, there is a rising belief among rival teams that the Warriors are increasingly open to the idea of trading Wiggins, who was an integral component of their title run in 2022.

The question persists: What sort of market exists for Wiggins, even though he possesses what is regarded as a team-friendly contract, so soon after he was relegated from the Warriors’ starting lineup? Wiggins, 28, is in Year 1 of a four-year, $109 million deal.

Previously, Grange had noted that Golden State was reluctant to move Kuminga despite recent drama, even in a potential swap for Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. This is what he reported then:

Still, according to multiple sources, the Warriors are loathe to trade Kuminga, who is seen as a potential star who can help them win now and in the future, the rare piece on the roster who can help Golden State both support Steph Curry in the present and transition to a successful post-Curry future, should it ever come.

And a not insignificant detail is that Kuminga is said to have a very close relationship with Warriors owner Joe Lacob who has historically been reluctant to part with any of the young talent that represents the Warriors’ so-called ‘two-timelines’ strategy of meshing a group of young draftees with their established championship core.

This news followed the final 18 minutes of the Warriors’ loss to the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 4, where Kuminga did not play and had to watch helplessly from the bench as their 18-point lead melted away in the final few minutes. “[Thursday night] was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” a source told Shams Charania then.

This was not the first time that Kuminga and his camp have voiced their frustration, either.

“Sometimes, I come out the game not knowing what I did,” Kuminga said after the Warriors’ loss to the Nuggets on Christmas. “And that messes with my head. It’s like, ‘What they want me to do?’ I can pass and I can do different s—.”

Kerr told reporters prior to the team’s win over the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 5 that he had met with Kuminga and discussed the reports.

“We talked,” Kerr said then. “Obviously those things are better discussed behind the scenes. Any time something like that goes public it creates a distraction. It’s important for all of our guys — and I talked to our whole team about it — you got an issue? I’m here. I am the most accessible coach in the league probably. My door is always open.

“It’s a difficult situation because every player naturally has his own goals, his own dreams. Everybody wants to flourish, everybody wants to blossom. We have a lot of guys who are capable of playing and I have very difficult decisions to make each and every night. [Kuminga] is a young player, he’s growing, he’s getting better, that’s why he’s been in the starting lineup. He will continue to grow and this is all part of his growth.”

As for the idea of trading Green and/or Thompson, well, there is a few obstacles in the way. First and foremost, the Warriors are incredibly loyal to the pair and the contributions they made to a dynasty; it seems as if they’re willing to absorb the downside of their careers to make sure they honor their legacies.

But even if Golden State was open to the idea of trading one or both of them, Thompson’s game has fallen off considerably, and he’s an impending free agent who is going to want a decent-sized deal. Green, meanwhile, is about to come of his second suspension of the season, and allegedly threatened retirement before being talked out of the decision by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Regardless, Green has a hefty contract still on the books — a four-year, $100 million deal that extends through the 2025-26 season, with a player option for the 2026-27 campaign.

Finally, Wiggins, has been a shell of the player that he once was. He’s averaging just 11.9 points (down from 17.1 last season), 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists (a career low). He’s in his age-28 season, and, like Green, is signed through at least through the 25-26 season. As it currently stands, the Warriors would be hard pressed to find a potential suitor for the 6-foot-7 former No. 1 overall pick.

Golden State is currently sitting at 11th place in the Western Conference with a 17-19 record (5-5 over the last 10 games), which, if the season ended today, puts them outside of the Play-In Tournament. Having dropped Sunday’s game to the Raptors, the Warriors pick up play on Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans after a two-day layover.

14 Jan

Live stream, TV channel, start time for Monday’s NBA game

After a tough loss on the road their last time out, the Clippers look much better today on their home court. Sitting on a score of 100-91, they have looked like the better team, but there’s still one more quarter to play.

If the Clippers keep playing like this, they’ll bump their record up to 23-13 in no time. On the other hand, the Suns will have to make due with a 19-18 record unless they turn things around (and fast).

Who’s Playing
Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Clippers

Current Records: Phoenix 19-17, Los Angeles 22-13

How To Watch
When: Monday, January 8, 2024 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Crypto.com Arena — Los Angeles, California
Follow: CBS Sports App
Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
Ticket Cost: $18.00
What to Know
The Suns have enjoyed a six-game homestand but will soon have to dust off their road jerseys. Having just played yesterday, they will head out on the road to face off against the Los Angeles Clippers at 10:30 p.m. ET on January 8th at Crypto.com Arena. Both of these teams will be coming in off a loss in a game they were expected to win.

It’s hard to win when you make nine fewer threes than your opponent, a fact the Suns found out the hard way on Sunday. They took a 121-115 hit to the loss column at the hands of Memphis. The loss hurts even more since the Suns were up 97-84 with 0:35 left in the third.

Despite their loss, the Suns saw several players rise to the challenge and make noteworthy plays. Devin Booker, who scored 24 points along with eight assists, was perhaps the best of all. Less helpful for the Suns was Chimezie Metu’s abysmal 0-5 three-point shooting.

Meanwhile, the Clippers unfortunately witnessed the end of their five-game winning streak on Sunday. They fell just short of the Lakers by a score of 106-103.

Ivica Zubac put forth a good effort for the losing side as he dropped a double-double on 22 points and 19 rebounds.

Phoenix’s defeat dropped their record down to 19-17. As for the Clippers, their loss dropped their record down to 22-13.

Monday’s match is shaping up to be a masterclass in shooting: The Suns just can’t miss this season, having made 48.1% of their shots per game. However, it’s not like the Clippers (currently ranked fifth in field goal percentage per game) struggle in that department as they’ve made 48.8% of their shots per game this season. Given these competing strengths, it’ll be interesting to see how their clash plays out.

The Suns are hoping to beat the odds on Monday, as the experts think they’re headed for a loss. For those looking to play the spread, careful betting on Phoenix: they have a less-than-stellar 13-22-1 record against the spread this season.

14 Jan

Grizzlies star’s shoulder tear ends his season after only nine games

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant will miss the remainder of the season with a torn labrum, the Grizzlies announced on Monday evening on social media.

From the Grizzlies’ official release:

At Saturday’s training session, Morant suffered a subluxation of his right shoulder. Following ongoing soreness and instability, Morant underwent an MRI that revealed an underlying labral tear.

Morant will undergo season-ending surgery and is expected to make a full recovery ahead of the 2024-25 season.

It is devastating news for the Grizzlies, who were finally starting to establish some momentum after a treacherous start to the season. Memphis was 6-3 in the nine games Morant had played in, over which he averaged 25.1 points, 8.1 assists and 5.6 rebounds.

Morant had missed Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns, with what was deemed a sore right shoulder. He was also expected to miss Tuesday’s contest against the Dallas Mavericks prior to the season-ending announcement.

Following the announcement, Morant posted a blue heart emoji on X.


— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) January 9, 2024
Previously, Morant, who inked a five-year, $193 million rookie extension to remain with the Grizzlies in 2022, opened the 2023-24 season with a 25-game suspension as a result of multiple instances in which he brandished a firearm on social media.

There’s no way to spin this kind of setback as a positive, but if you want to look at the glass half full, the Grizzlies were probably too far back in the Western Conference standings to make a run at anything more than a Play-In Tournament spot after getting off to such a bad start without Morant. As it stands, the Grizzlies entered Monday with a 13-23 record, which puts them at 13th place. Would making the Play-In, without Steven Adams or Brandon Clarke, be worth losing a lottery pick?

I’m sure the Grizzlies would say yes, because they feel like they could’ve beaten anyone in a playoff series with a healthy Morant. But now they can go into a pseudo-tank and wind up with a high pick. The Grizzlies currently own the sixth-best odds for the No. 1 overall pick.

Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. are All-Star level players, and they can continue to develop the rest of this season as focal points without conceding touches to Morant, and Memphis can come back raring to go next season with a healthy Morant, potentially an even better Bane and Jackson, and a Adams and Clarke back on the offensive glass.

Again, this is a gut-punch for the Grizzlies. But it’s not a long-term killer. This season might well have been lost anyway. They can chalk it up as an official loss and start building toward what is still a really bright future.

For his career, the 24-year old Morant has averaged 22.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game.

14 Jan

Knicks on the rise after big trade, Bucks in free fall, Mavericks crack top five

New Year’s resolutions are rarely followed through, but there are a few NBA teams that hope the promising start to 2024 carries all the way through the season. First and foremost are the New York Knicks, who vaulted into the top three of this week’s NBA Power Rankings thanks in part to their new forward, OG Anunoby, who was acquired from the Toronto Raptors just over a week ago.

The Knicks’ undefeated week has them just behind the powerhouse Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets — in that order — as Boston’s missteps weren’t enough to knock them off the pedestal … yet.

Another team that’s been at the top of the rankings for most of the season, the Milwaukee Bucks, suffered a precipitous fall this week thanks to three bad losses and a seemingly unhappy Giannis Antetokounmpo. They were the league’s biggest fallers, dropping 11 spots to No. 14. On the positive side we have the Indiana Pacers, whose 13-spot rise is somewhat bittersweet due to the injury suffered by Tyrese Haliburton on Monday night.

Here’s a look at the first set of NBA Power Rankings for 2024.

14 Jan

2024 NBA picks, January 9 predictions from proven model

The Detroit Pistons will face off against the Sacramento Kings at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Little Caesars Arena. Detroit is 3-33 overall and 2-14 at home, while Sacramento is 21-14 overall and 8-7 on the road. The Kings have dominated this series in recent years, winning seven of the last 10 meetings against the Pistons.

The Kings are favored by 11 points in the latest Pistons vs. Kings odds, and the over/under is 240 points. Before entering any Kings vs. Pistons picks, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 12 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 112-62 roll on all top-rated NBA picks dating back to last season, returning well over $4,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on Sacramento vs. Detroit. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA betting lines for the game:

Pistons vs. Kings spread: Pistons +11
Pistons vs. Kings over/under: 240 points
Pistons vs. Kings money line: Pistons: +425, Kings: -581
Pistons vs. Kings picks: See picks here
What you need to know about the Pistons
The Pistons’ recent rough patch got a bit rougher on Sunday after their fourth straight loss. They took a hard 131-114 fall against Denver. The Pistons have now lost 19 of their last 20 games, but they’ve been profitable against the spread. In fact, Detroit is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games.

The Pistons are averaging 111.5 points per game, which ranks 25th in the NBA. They’re knocking down 46.8% of their field goals and 34.4% of their 3-point attempts.

What you need to know about the Kings
Meanwhile, the point spread may have favored the Kings last Sunday, but the final result did not. They ended up on the wrong side of a bruising 133-100 walloping at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans. The Kings were in a tough position after the first half, with the score already sitting at 72-47.

Despite the setback, the Kings will be confident they can secure a resounding victory on Tuesday. Sacramento is 5-2 in its last seven games against the Pistons and the Kings are 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games at Detroit.

How to make Pistons vs. Kings picks
The model has simulated Pistons vs. Kings 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Under, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in well over 60% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

14 Jan

2024 NBA picks, January 9 predictions from proven model

The Minnesota Timberwolves will face off against the Orlando Magic at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday at the Kia Center. Orlando is 21-15 overall and 13-4 at home, while Minnesota is 25-10 overall and 11-8 on the road. The Magic have dominated this series in recent years, winning seven of the last 10 meetings against the Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves are favored by 5 points in the latest Magic vs. Timberwolves odds, and the over/under is 216.5 points. Before entering any Timberwolves vs. Magic picks, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 12 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 112-62 roll on all top-rated NBA picks dating back to last season, returning well over $4,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on Minnesota vs. Orlando. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA betting lines for the game:

Magic vs. Timberwolves spread: Magic +5
Magic vs. Timberwolves over/under: 216.5 points
Magic vs. Timberwolves money line: Magic: +163, Timberwolves: -197
Magic vs. Timberwolves picks: See picks here
What you need to know about the Timberwolves
The point spread may have favored the Timberwolves on Sunday, but the final result did not. They took a 115-108 hit to the loss column at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks. The losing side was boosted by Anthony Edwards, who dropped a double-double with 36 points and 10 rebounds.

Even though they lost, the Timberwolves dominated the offensive glass and finished the game with 18 offensive rebounds. That’s the most offensive rebounds Minnesota has managed all season. The Timberwolves have won 14 of their last 20 games, but they’re 1-6 against the spread in their last seven contests.

What you need to know about the Magic
Meanwhile, it may have taken overtime to finish the job, but the Magic ultimately got the result they hoped for on Sunday. They walked away with a 117-110 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The victory made it back-to-back wins for the Magic.

The Magic’s win was the result of several impressive offensive performances. One of the most notable came from Paolo Banchero, who shot 4-for-7 from downtown and dropped a double-double with 35 points and 10 rebounds. The game was Banchero’s third in a row with at least 30 points. The team also got some help courtesy of Caleb Houstan, who scored 25 points. The Magic are 11-2 in their last 13 games at home and they’re 5-1 against the spread in their last six contests overall.

How to make Magic vs. Timberwolves picks
The model has simulated Magic vs. Timberwolves 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Over, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in almost 60% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

14 Jan

2024 NBA picks, January 9 predictions from proven model

The Los Angeles Lakers will host the Toronto Raptors in an NBA interconference matchup on Tuesday. Los Angeles is 18-19 overall and 12-6 at home, while Toronto is 15-21 overall and 6-12 on the road. The Lakers and Raptors have split their last six meetings over the last three seasons, with the home team winning each contest last year.

Tip-off is set for 10:30 p.m. ET at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. The Lakers are 5-point favorites in the latest Lakers vs. Raptors odds, according to the SportsLine consensus, and the over/under is 236.5 points. Before entering any Raptors vs. Lakers picks, you need to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s advanced computer simulation model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 12 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 112-62 roll on all top-rated NBA picks dating back to last season, returning well over $4,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on Toronto vs. Los Angeles. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Raptors vs. Lakers:

Lakers vs. Raptors spread: Lakers -5
Lakers vs. Raptors over/under: 236.5 points
Lakers vs. Raptors money line: Lakers: -201, Raptors: +166
TOR: The Raptors are 3-1 against the spread over their last four games as the underdog
LAL: The Lakers are 13-9 ATS with one day off, which is Tuesday’s situation after playing on Sunday
Lakers vs. Raptors picks: See picks at SportsLine
What to know about the Raptors
The Raptors are 3-2 since trading OG Anunoby in a package to the Knicks in exchange for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley. The two former Knicks have fared well in their new homes, both increasing their scoring totals from where it was in New York to begin the season. Barrett is averaging 21 points and 6.5 rebounds while Quickly is averaging 17.3 points and 6.5 assists over their first four contests with Toronto. Barrett is coming off scoring 37 points on 65% shooting, including knocking down 5 of 8 3-pointers, with six rebounds and six assists in a 133-118 win over the Warriors on Sunday.

Quickley is averaging nine assists over his last two games after scoring 26 points in a 116-111 victory over the Grizzlies on January 3. Power forward Pascal Siakam is averaging 25.8 ppg over five games without Anunoby compared to 22.1 ppg on the season as he’s taken on a larger offensive role since the trade. The Lakers are allowing 115.4 ppg over their last five contests, and the Raptors are scoring 126 ppg over their last five games. Jakob Poeltl (ankle) is out on Tuesday. See which team to pick here.

What to know about the Lakers
LeBron James (ankle) is questionable and Anthony Davis (ankle) is probable for Los Angeles as the two frequently show up on the injury report but often still play. James has played in 34 of 37 games with Davis playing in 35 contests. The duo control nearly every the Lakers do offensively with Davis averaging 25.2 points and 12.2 rebounds and James averaging 25.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.4 assists this year.

The Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 106-103 win over the Clippers on Sunday. Although Toronto has been scoring at a higher rate since trading away Anunoby, its defense has taken a hit. The Raptors are allowing 122.8 ppg over their last five contests compared to 115.7 ppg overall on the season. The Lakers are 2-2 over their last four games at home, and given some reports of locker room issues stemming from L.A. falling to 10th in the Western Conference after winning the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament, it hopes Sunday’s win over a talented Clippers team in the beginning of a winning run. See which team to pick here.

How to make Lakers vs. Raptors picks
The model has simulated Raptors vs. Lakers 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Under, and it also says one side of the spread hits almost 70% of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

10 Jan

LeBron James sides with Jaylen Brown, reacts to controversial ending of Celtics vs. Pacers game

The ending of the Indiana Pacers 133-131 win over the Boston Celtics saw a controversial overturned call in the final seconds of the game and social media users were vocal about it — including LeBron James.

Celtics shooting guard Jaylen Brown was pulling up for a potential game-winning jumper with four seconds remaining when he was fouled by Buddy Hield. However, the Pacers challenged and overturned the initial call to a clean block. At that point the score was tied 131-131, so Brown missed the chance of giving his team the lead with two free throws. Brown himself called for an investigation. He had put up a season-high 40 points by going 17-for-26 from the field.

Jaylen Brown said referee James Williams told him he was sure that Brown did not get hit in the head. Buddy Hield told Joe Mazzulla what everyone can see, which is that he did in fact do so.

Brown said there should be an investigation into this game.pic.twitter.com/ETHznGoJgU

— Bobby Krivitsky (@BobbyKrivitsky) January 9, 2024
The next morning, James also gave his two cents on officials overturning that foul call and defended Brown — after all, this was a familiar feeling for him. Just a little over a week ago on his birthday, James was frustrated with a call in his own game. The Lakers star hit what appeared to be a game-tying 3-pointer against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but officials ruled it a 2-pointer instead and the Lakers lost 108-106. James was visibly upset about it.

“See what I’m saying! JB clearly got hit in the back of the head,” James wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “They reviewed the play, just to reverse it and say he didn’t. MAN WHAT!! Good ass game to have an ending like that. And yall see why I be going (apeshit) out there when it happens.”

Eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter also appeared shocked at the referees’ decision on Brown. While watching live in a stream with Quentin Richardson, he screamed and laughed in disbelief. Richardson said it looked like a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial in which officials purposely made a game go into overtime. Brown himself also mentioned BWW on social media.

Despite the loss, the Celtics still have the NBA’s best record at 28-8. They’ll play again on Wednesday as they host the Timberwolves at 7 p.m. ET.