The race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference takes center stage Wednesday night when the Boston Celtics host the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers won 122-102 at home against Orlando on Tuesday to pull into a tie with the Celtics with five games to play for both teams.
It was the third straight win for Cleveland, which has lost seven of its last 10 road games and dropped a 103-99 decision at Boston on March 1. The Celtics have won two in a row and nine of their last 11 following a 110-94 victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, reaching the 50-win mark for the first time in six years. “It was definitely an individual goal of mine coming into the season, to win 50 games,” guard Isaiah Thomas told reporters. “I’m just glad we got to that, but, like I keep saying, we still got a lot more work to do.” Thomas has scored at least 30 points in all three meetings with Cleveland this season, although Boston has lost two of those encounters.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Ohio (Cleveland), CSN New England (Boston)
LINE HISTORY: In a late-arriving betting line, the Celtics opened at -3.5 and the total hit the board at 219. The spread was bumped up to -4 after only an hour on the board. Check out the complete line history here.
Cavaliers – SG K. Korver (Probable, foot).
Celtics – SG A. Bradley (Probable, illness), SF J. Crowder (Questionable, elbow).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Cavaliers (-5.8) – Celtics (-6.1) + home court (-3) = Celtics -3.3
Futures odds provided by Sports Interaction.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (50-27 SU, 34-40-3 ATS, 44-32-1 O/U): LeBron James has recorded two straight triple-doubles after producing 18 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against Orlando. Cleveland made 18-of-36 from 3-point range and shot 53.7 percent from the floor overall en route to its third straight game with at least 122 points. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving combined for 52 points while sharpshooter Kyle Korver returned from a foot injury to produce 11 points in 12 minutes.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (50-27 SU, 38-37-2 ATS, 37-37-3 O/U): Forward Jae Crowder required an MRI on his left elbow after experiencing some issues during Sunday’s win, but there was no structural damage and he is questionable for this one. Thomas shot at least 50 percent in four of his last five games and has four efforts with at least 30 points in that span. Guard Avery Bradley (illness) has missed two consecutive contests but is expected to return and face the Cavaliers.
* Cavaliers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games.
* Celtics are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games.
* Over is 4-1 in Cavaliers last 5 games playing on 0 days rest.
* Under is 5-1 in Celtics last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
* Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Boston.
Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The lines were late hitting the board on Wednesday. At publication time for this preview there was no consensus data to report. View full consensus data here.