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Friday NBA Betting Preview

The Celtics picked up a split in the first two games of their series against the Cavaliers in Cleveland. Can they keep the pressure on tonight as the series shifts to Boston as road favorites? Despite being told they were too old to hang with the younger Cavs, the Celtics smoked Cleveland 104-86 as a 6-point road underdog.

Ray Allen led the Celtics with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Rajon Rondo tied a Celtics playoff record with 19 assists. The Cavaliers’ offensive machine struggled, as LeBron James was clearly bothered by his bad elbow. James scored a team-high 24 points, but that was down from the 35 points he had in the series opener. Antawn Jamison added 16 points, while the rest of the Cavs big names all tanked. Mo Williams scored only four points on 1-of-9 shooting and Shaquille O’Neal looked his age while delivering only nine points.

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The extra day off between Game 2 and 3 will hopefully give James time to rest up his elbow and bounce in Game 3. The Celtics should also be thankful for the extra day, with two of their big men hurting. Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins both missed practice this week with nagging injuries. Garnett has a bad foot and Perkins had a bad knee, so be sure to check their status for tonight before placing your bets. Despite Boston’s big win in Game 2 the Cavaliers are a 1-point road favorite in tonight’s game at Bovada. Also on tonight is Game 3 between Phoenix and San Antonio, as Los Suns try to put a strangle hold on the series, already up 2-0.

The Suns took both games at home to open the series after a 110-102 win in Game 2 as 3-point favorites. Amar’e Stoudemire battled for a team-high 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Steve Nash and Jason Richardson both deposited 19 points. The Suns were able to pull away from the Spurs thanks to some timely three-point shooting, most notably from Channing Frye. He netted 15 points in the game, all on three-pointers, while shooting 5-of-6 fro beyond the arc.

The Spurs actually shot better than the Suns in Game 2, hitting 50% compared to the Suns 42%, but that couldn’t match them from three-point range and they were also out-rebounded 49-37. Tim Duncan scored a game-high 29 points to go with 10 boards and Tony Parker had 20 point and seven assists. George Hill started instead of Parker again, but he watched most of the second half and scored only 14 points. Manu Ginobili also had a quiet night with 11 points. The Spurs are a 6.5-point home favorite tonight at Bovada as they try to get back in the series.