Heat visit Clippers on NBA betting schedule

By: Barry Daniels | Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Miami Heat will attempt to extend their winning streak to 10 in a row and their road winning streak to a franchise-tying 14 straight when they continue a five-game road excursion with Wednesday’s stop in Los Angeles to play the Clippers.

Pete Korner, who provides the betting line for the majority of Nevada sports books as owner of Sports Club, has made Miami a 7 ½-point favorite for the 7:35 p.m. (PT) contest at Staples Center. The total is set at 191 points.

Miami began the five-game trip by registering back-to-back overtime victories against Milwaukee and Portland. Both games soared above the closing total, leaving the ‘over’ 5-1 in Miami’s last six outings. However, the ‘under’ is still 12-8 in the club’s first 20 road dates.

Tuesday’s 107-100 overtime win at Portland lifted Miami’s spread ledger to 20-19, as the Heat barely covered as five-point road favorites. Miami also put an end to Portland’s eight-game home winning streak.

Though the Heat are just one game above .500 against the spread overall, they are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 outings and 13-7 in their first 20 road encounters.

Erik Spoelstra’s troops have amassed triple-digit scoring in six of their last seven games to lift them into 10th place offensively with a 101.7 PPG average. They are shooting a sizzling 47.5 percent from the field, which ranks second.

But it’s a stingy defense that has carried the Heat to the Eastern Conference’s best record at 30-9. The club is yielding just 92.2 points per game, which is second-best in the NBA.

Miami is first in defensive field goal percentage, holding the opposition to a meager 42.3 percent from the floor. The squad is also first in defending the three-point line, allowing opponents to shoot just 31.6 percent from beyond the arc.

LeBron James led the Heat past Portland by scoring a game-high 44 points, while Dwyane Wade added 34 markers. It marked the first time in franchise history the Heat had one player with at least 40 and another with at least 30.

The victory lifted the Heat to 12-1 in overtime in Spoelstra's three seasons as head coach, including 6-1 on the road. The Heat also improved their road ledger to 15-5 SU this season, as they are outscoring their road opponents by an average of nine points per game (100.6 – 91.6).

The Los Angeles Clippers dropped the first two games of this five-game homestand, but then rebounded by capturing the next two.

The latest success occurred Sunday with a 105-91 victory against the Golden State Warriors. The Clippers easily covered as 4 ½-point home favorites, which lifted their home ledger to 9-13 SU and 10-12 ATS.

The combined 196 points dipped below the 210 ½-point closing total. It was the Clippers’ second straight ‘under’ game after four straight ‘over’ contests. Nevertheless, the ‘under’ is 18-7-1 overall and 14-9 in their first 23 home encounters.

Eric Gordon scored 25 points and Blake Griffin had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead the winners past the Warriors and give the Clippers their seventh win in the last 10 games. Baron Davis had 17 points and 11 assists for a Clippers team that has roared to life after sitting at 5-21 in mid-December.

Though the Clippers have surpassed triple-digits in seven of their last 10 outings, they rank just 19th offensively with a 97.6 PPG average. They are also 19th in field goal percentage by shooting 45.4 percent from the floor.

The Clippers are also 19th defensively, allowing 100.5 points per game. Most of that defensive deficiency has occurred from long distance. The Clippers are next-to-last in defending the three-point line, allowing the opposition to shoot 39.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Clippers starting center Chris Kaman has now missed 15th straight games with a sprained left ankle. The former All-Star hasn't played since Dec. 5, and the Clippers haven’t indicated he's anywhere close to returning.

Miami continues its five-game road swing Thursday with a stop in Denver to play the Nuggets. The Clippers make the short trip to Oakland for a Friday meeting against the Golden State Warriors.

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