Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Portland Trailblazers, 01/11/17 - Prediction
Written by: Nikhil Kalro
Cleveland Cavaliers (28-9, 16-19 ATS) at Portland Trail Blazers (17-23, 17-23 ATS)
NBA: Wednesday, January 11 at 10.30 PM ET, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
The Line: Cleveland -3.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers, 28-9 for the season, will travel to Portland for the second of a back-to-back road game on Wednesday night. The Cavaliers were beaten by Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz in Kyle Korver’s debut game. The Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Lakers again, this time 108-87.
Jazz, Hayward trump Cavs, LeBron
The Cleveland Cavaliers lost just their ninth regular-season game when the Utah Jazz put on a clinical show to take the win 100-92. It was LeBron James v Gordon Hayward, trading blows in the third quarter. James scored 29 points and Kyrie Irving had 20 points. Cleveland managed 36.5% from the field, 29% from beyond the arc.
It was the second quarter where the Cavaliers were perennially put behind the game, scoring 12 to the Jazz’s 27, after a tied first quarter. “When we got down so much, we had to play so hard to come back,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “We used so much energy in the third quarter. We should have started the game that way.”
The Cavaliers cut a 15-point halftime deficit to single figures, but couldn’t get enough penetration in the fourth quarter to get close. Kyle Korver made his Cavaliers debut, scoring two points in 17 minutes. “I’ve always felt the better the players are around me, the better I can be,” Korver said. “And this is the most talented team I’ve ever been on.”
Trail Blazers register consecutive wins against Lakers
CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard helped the Portland Trail Blazers bounce back from a 125-124 loss to the Detroit Pistons with a rout of the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. McCollum scored 25 points, Lillard 20 after starting 0 from 8 from the field.
Maurice Harkless scored 14 points, Al-Farouq Aminu put up 15 boards. The Lakers had taken a two-point lead into the half, but were appalling in the third quarter, putting up just 12 points, thereby enabling the Trail Blazers to blow the game open. The Lakers were 5 of 23 from the field in the third quarter. Portland shot 50.6% from the field, 33.3% from distance. The Lakers, on the other hand, managed 38.6% from the floor and 37.5% from beyond the arc.
The Trail Blazers average 108.2 points per game, which ranks them fifth in the NBA. However, they allow far too many, they concede 111.5 points per game, 28th in the league.
Cleveland Cavaliers are:
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 Wednesday games.
Portland Trail Blazers are:
- 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games following a straight up win.
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 against NBA Central opponents
- 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games playing on 0 days rest.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
This contest may have had a different feel had Cleveland beaten Utah. But on the second night of a back-to-back, the Cavaliers will be determined to ensure they don’t lose them both. Expect a more energetic performance from the outset from the Cavs. The Trail Blazers will score plenty but will struggle to get ahead.
The Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers
Nikhil has been working with ESPN since the age of 18 and covers cricket for their website ESPNcricinfo. When not writing or editing news, game reports, commentary and analysis stories, he is following American sports. A love for stats and patterns, research and results and plain simple learning with a few years of handicapping experience makes him almost 0.500 reliable. A degree in business administration and a keen eye for volatile industries like the stock market help too.
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