PHI @ OKC: Though they did upset the Lakers in L.A., Philadelphia has lost nine of its last 11 road games. Meanwhile, despite a loss to the inspired Nets on Wednesday, Oklahoma City is great (16-3) at home. Kevin Durant might be particularly inspired after the first ejection of his career, and Russell Westbrook vs. Jrue Holiday is a marquee PG matchup. This is the third of four games in five nights for the Sixers, who must play in San Antonio tomorrow. They figure to be tired and frustrated when they finally get home.
IND @ BOS: Losers of four straight by an average of almost 20 points, the Celtics are desperate to turn things around. The Pacers have won nine of 11, but they are a sub-.500 road team. George Hill (groin) might return tonight, and D.J. Augustin has earned more minutes by playing well in two starts, but if Rajon Rondo is 100%, he can take over the game from either or both. Paul George has emerged as a star for Indiana; he’ll get special attention from Paul Pierce tonight. It’s another game to watch with interest, though it’s not likely to be an offensive showcase for either team.
CHI @ MIA: It takes a lot to slow down the great LeBron James; a bruised knee kept him out of practice yesterday but I expect him to suit up. If he doesn’t, look for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to put up big numbers in a defensive battle. Joakim Noah is not in a slump, or hurt — he has been suffering from the flu. In his absence, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson both had their best games of the year. Richard Hamilton is playing with a sore foot and Kirk Hinrich is always banged up, so this is potentially another low-scoring affair.
UTA @ PHO: It’s been the Luis Scola show for three games now, as the veteran has averaged 26 points against some strong opposition. Goran Dragic is another must-start; he’s up against Jamaal Tinsley, who is filling in for Mo Williams (thumb) for the next few weeks. Neither of these teams is very good on the road, so Phoenix gets the slight edge. If Marcin Gortat plays like he can against Al Jefferson, the Suns could even romp. Enes Kanter (ankle) is doubtful, making Derrick Favors a sneaky fantasy play.
LAL @ LAC: The latest Battle of L.A. is a doozy. The Clippers must regroup after two road losses. It’s their third game in four nights. Kobe Bryant called his team old and slow after Tuesday’s defeat; they are well-rested and presumably determined to show more energy. Pau Gasol, who had trouble with both knees earlier, is now hobbled by a sore foot. Blake Griffin seems fatigued, and took a hard fall on Wednesday. If Steve Nash can hold his own against Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard is at his best, the Lakers can prevail.
The Spin is here no later than 9:00 EST, every day. Be sure to join tonight’s Sheridan Hoops Freeroll. You could win up to $100 cash! More details in my DraftStreet Diary, which usually appears later each morning. Follow us on Twitter — @SheridanFantasy — for updates and roster advice.