Magic, Lakers Favored to go 3-0
The Orlando Magic and Los Angles Lakers can all but lock up their second-round playoff series on Saturday night, as they each take a 2-0 series lead into Game 3. But only one of them is favored on the road. And Kobe is the one embracing the underdog role. The Magic started off their series with Atlanta by blowing out the Hawks in Game 1. Atlanta started out much better in Game 2, but they couldn’t hold the Magic down the entire game and Orlando came back in the second half to win 112-98 as a 9.5-point Magic Hawks odds favorite at Bovada.
Orlando trailed 57-49 at the half in Game 2, but took over the lead with some big runs in the third and fourth quarter to leave the Hawks in the dust. Dwight Howard continued his domination from Game 1 with 29 points and 17 rebounds, while Vince Carter also had a solid showing with 24 points. Four different Magic players netted at least 20 points in the win, as Jameer Nelson added 20 points, and Rashard Lewis chipped in with 20 of his own.
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The Hawks weren’t nearly as flat as they were in Game 1, but it still wasn’t enough to escape with a win in Orlando. Al Horford put a miserable performance in Game 1 behind him (four points of 1-of-7 shooting) to lead Atlanta with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Jamal Crawford also bounced back from an awful Game 1 (five points on 1-of-11 shooting) to net 23 points. The Hawks have to hope that returning to Atlanta for Game 3 will spur them to a win on Saturday. Atlanta was 34-7 at home this season compared to 19-22 on the road, and overall they won 16 of their last 17 at Philips Arena. The Hawks’ only win against the Magic this season came at home in March, but they’re a 2-point home underdog in Saturday’s game.
The Lakers can put the Jazz into what would likely be an inescapable 3-0 hole on Saturday with a victory in Game 3. The Lakers took a 2-0 series lead on Tuesday night after outmuscling the Jazz in a 111-103 win as 5.5-point favorites. Kobe Bryant netted a game-high 30 points, while the twin towers of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum combined for 39 points and 29 rebounds while using their size to dominate the Jazz.
Thanks to Gasol, Bynum, and Lamar Odom off the bench the Lakers out-rebounded the Jazz 58-40 while also recording 13 blocks. Paul Millsap led Utah with 26 points and 11 boards, and Carlos Boozer added 20 points and 12 rebounds. Deron Williams only netted 15 points while handing out nine assists. Utah definitely needs a spark in Game 3 and they might get it with Andrei Kirilenko expected to return. Kirilenko hasn’t played since March due to a strained left calf, but he should be able to return on Saturday. With the series shifting to Utah, and Kirilenko expected back, the Jazz are a 4.5-point home favorite in Game 3. The Jazz have won 13 of their last 14 games at home while posting an 11-3 record ATS.