Over the last 10 days, Three at 3 has gone 21-8-1. Here are our top plays for Friday night's NBA action:
1. Brooklyn Nets at Charlotte Hornets (-4.5)
7:00 pm ET
The Nets and Hornets met in Brooklyn the other night, when the Nets came away with a wild 134-131 double overtime win as one-point favorites. Charlotte shot only 44.3% from the floor in that game, and Brooklyn shot 49.0%. Look for the Hornets to be a lot better in their own arena. Kemba Walker will be the key for Charlotte here, as he scored 35 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists in Brooklyn. Another big game should be expected, but his opponent’s won’t be as comfortable playing away from home. Spencer Dinwiddie had 37 points and 11 assists in the win on Wednesday, but that type of performance is unlikely to happen in back-to-back games. And after losing four of their last six games, the Hornets should come out with a major sense of urgency in this game. It’s hard to imagine the Nets matching their intensity, despite the fact that they have won nine of their last 10 games.
Pick: Hornets (-4.5)
2. San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets (-4.0)
9:00 pm ET
Over the last three seasons, the Spurs are 23-11 against the spread when facing teams with win percentages between 60% and 70%. San Antonio is also 12-3 against the spread versus teams that make at least 46.0% of their field goals. The other night, the Spurs beat the Nuggets 111-103—which should have them feeling good about this one. Denver hit a flurry of late threes, which closed the gap a little, but it was truly a dominant performance from San Antonio. DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge combined to score 57 points in that game, and they should have their fingerprints all over this one. With Gary Harris and Paul Millsap out, Denver loses its two best defenders where DeRozan and Aldridge play. The two of them will make sure it’s yet another long night for the Nuggets, and Rudy Gay should be able to add more here. He had just six points on 3-of-11 shooting on Wednesday, but you can’t keep him down for long. He has been playing too well offensively, and he’ll find his stroke soon. This is looking like it could be an outright win for San Antonio.
Pick: Spurs (+4.0)
3. Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns (+6.0)
9:00 pm ET
In Wednesday’s upset win over the Orlando Magic, head coach Igor Kokoskov ended the game with a lineup of Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre Jr., Mikal Bridges, T.J. Warren and Deandre Ayton. That lineup has the length and shooting ability to give anybody trouble, no matter what Phoenix’s record might be. Booker is the one that is making all of that possible. While he is one of the best young scorers in basketball, the youngster also sees the floor extremely well. He is pulling a double shift by serving as the team’s point guard, but he has made this team more competitive and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Suns finished the season with a good against-the-spread record. Booker has also been giving more effort on the defensive end. Meanwhile, after back-to-back losses, the Thunder are looking vulnerable right now. And Oklahoma City is just 9-22 against the spread when coming off an upset loss as a road favorite under current head coach Billy Donovan.
Pick: Suns (+6.0)