NBA Thursday Games Recap: Celtics Finally Overcome Warriors

Boston Wins Featured Game, Fails to Cover

East vs West Games Split 2-2

Of the five NBA games last night, four pit Eastern Conference teams against their Western counterparts. The results were two of each winning despite the Eastern teams all being favored. This included the Boston Celtics, who finally vanquished the Golden State Warriors. The win snapped a four-game losing skid against the defending NBA champions even if Boston did not cover the 6.5-point spread. The NBA Thursday games recap also sees the Western dogs come up big.

Western Teams Go 3-1 Against the Spread Versus East

While the Warriors lost, they still covered against the Celtics. This improved their record to 6-1 ATS in their last seven against Boston. Golden State was also on its way to upsetting Boston but an 8-0 Celtics run in overtime sunk their moneyline. Jayson Tatum scored 34 points, which was the most of any player on Thursday night. He continues to be among the NBA scoring leaders.

But while Golden State fell short of an upset victory, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns both delivered. The Wolves were +160 underdogs against Toronto. But despite being on the second night of a back-to-back and without two of their best players, Minnesota outscored Toronto 27-17 in the fourth period to win. The loss was Toronto’s third in their last four games.

Phoenix, on the other hand, outplayed Brooklyn for the first three quarters and built an insurmountable lead. As +140 underdogs, the Suns handed Brooklyn its fourth straight defeat. Nets guard Kyrie Irving scored 30 points to lead all scorers but it was for naught. The Nets are winless since their MVP Kevin Durant got hurt last Sunday.

The other Eastern team that won was Philadelphia. The 76ers, unlike their division rivals, won and covered as a favorite. Philadelphia dominated Portland and led them for the whole game even going up by 26 at one point. The star tandem of Joel Embiid and James Harden topped the team stats on the night. It was Philadelphia’s fourth straight win.

The “Other” Game

The fifth matchup is actually the first to be played in this NBA Thursday games recap.The Chicago Bulls, the largest favorites of the night at 7.5 points, lit up the Detroit Pistons 126-108. Chicago outscored Detroit in all four quarters as DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine combined for 56 points on 50 percent shooting. The total (236.5) also went under by just 2.5 points (234).

Upsets Went Over, Chalk Stayed Under

Another coincidental trend here is totals for the East vs West matchups. The two games that saw the Eastern favorites win had their respective totals go under. Boston-Golden State still went under its 241.5 total by 2.5 points (239) despite overtime while Philadelphia-Portland fell short by a whopping 35 points of the 235 total.

That means defense reigned supreme in these matchups. Boston and Golden State both shot at 40 percent while Philadelphia held Portland to just 95 points, which is their second-lowest output this season.

‘Brooklyn shot 52.4 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from 3 points. Fortunately for Phoenix, they made 28 free throws to Brooklyn’s 15.’

As for the half of this NBA Thursday games recap, the Western underdogs that won produced higher-scoring games. The offenses were out of control as Phoenix allowed Brooklyn to score 38 fourth-quarter points as their total went over 221.5 (229). Brooklyn shot 52.4 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from 3 points. Fortunately for Phoenix, they made 28 free throws to Brooklyn’s 15.

Toronto and Minnesota played mainly on offense. Each team scored 30+ points in their first three quarters. Their 254 total points went 20.5 points over the 233.5 total and were also the highest combined score for Thursday.
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