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Saturday, Feb 11
by Larry Ness - 02/11/2006
Under the Friday night lights of the NBA, a number of impressive streaks came to an end. Dallas had won 13 straight games (11-2) heading into its game in Denver, the longest winning streak of any team this season. The Mavs had held all 13 of its opponents to less than 100 points in the process and in Denver, faced a team which had lost its previous NINE against the pointspread and would be playing without Marcus Camby. Naturally, the Nuggets never trailed in the game and led by a season-high 34 points from Kenyon Martin, beat the Mavericks 113-10!
By the way, my free play last night was Denver! For Saturday, its Colorado over Texas Tech in college hoops (4:00 ET). In Saturday's NBA, I look to continue my 71.4% current run with my 10* Blowout of the Month. In college hoops, I'm featuring an exclusive LEGEND Play, my 20* Situational Game of the Year (expect a total blowout!) and another Las Vegas Insider.
San Antonio ended the Nets' 12-game (9-3 ATS) home winning streak last night as well, winning 83-73 in the Meadowlands. While Duncan struggled with the flu (34 minutes / 12 points), Ginobili and Parker combined for 41 points for the Spurs. The Bobcats' modest three-game winning streak (believe it or not, a franchise record!) also ended on Friday, as Charlotte lost to Toronto, 88-73. The Celtics had lost six consecutive games both SU and ATS heading into Friday night's game with Portland but won easily, 115-83.
Leave it to the pathetic Knicks to keep one streak alive, as they lost 111-100 in Oklahoma City to the Hornets. The Knicks have now lost EIGHT straight games and 14 of their last 15 (3-12 ATS). There is little doubt that Larry and Isiah have things well under control in New York! How about the "homeless" Hornets? Unlike the Saints of the NFL, this New Orleans-based team has THRIVED in its "home-away-from-home", going a combined 17-8 in Oklahoma City and Baton Rogue.
There is just a short four-game card in Saturday night's NBA but if one believes in "revenge" games, there are three. The Cavs were beaten at Oakland by the Warriors back on January 20, 99-79. Tonight, they get the Warriors in Cleveland (7:35 ET) where they are 18-6 SU and 14-9-1 ATS. The Warriors have gone just 5-13 since January 1 (Cavs are favored by 7 1/2 points with a total of 198 1/2). The Rockets own the league's worst home record at 6-16 (no other team has fewer than nine wins at home!) and host the Jazz in Houston tonight at 8:35 ET (Rockets are favored six points with a total of 171 /12).
The Jazz beat the Rockets 82-74 at Houston back in December but Ming didn't play in that one. Houston has both McGrady and Ming back for this one (13-6 when both play). Speaking of injured players coming back, Utah forward Carlos Boozer played just over six minutes in the team's 94-80 win last night in Minnesota. It marked his first action since February 14, 2005 (had missed the last 80 games!). Memphis has beaten the Lakers in all three previous meetings this and looks to make 4-0 tonight in the Staples Center (10:35 ET).
However, the Grizzlies just lost last night in the same building to the Clippers (91-87) and have now dropped seven of their last eight games. The Lakers will be playing at home for the first time since January 27 . They just returned from a seven-game road trip (2-5) and are favored by 4 1/2 points with a total of 185 1/2. LA enters on a six-game home winning streak.
Saturday is always a big day in college basketball and today is no different. All four of the nation's top-four teams play on the road while no less than 14 games will be televised by the ESPN family of networks or by one of the major networks. Two of Saturday's games feature top-25 opponents and both are on TV.
George Washington takes the nation's longest current winning streak into today's action with 11 consecutive wins but right behind the Colonials with 10 straight wins are Bucknell, Gonzaga, Memphis and U Conn. Gonzaga owns the nation's longest current home winning streak at 35 and will host Stanford tonight in a non-conference clash.
The Bulldogs remain one of just SIX schools to enter Saturday play still unbeaten in conference play (Bucknell, Duke, GW, Memphis and Penn are the others), while FIVE schools enter this weekend still winless in their respective conferences. That list includes Prairie View, St Bonaventure, South Florida, Texas State and The Citadel. Four of the five play today, the exception being St Bonaventure, which plays on Sunday.
ESPN starts things off at 12:00 ET with No. 18 Iowa at No. 24 Indiana. Steve Alford beat his alma mater back on January 24 in Iowa city (73-60) but finds his Hawkeyes as four-point underdogs today (132 1/2). The other game involving ranked opponents is No. 13 UCLA at No. 21 Washington on ABC (regional) at 3:30 ET. The Huskies beat the Bruins back on January 14 in Pauley Pavilion, 69-65. Washington rallied from a 15-point deficit in that game and are 14-2 this year. The Huskies are favored by 3 1/2 points with a total of 146 1/2.
No. 1 U Conn visits Seton Hall at 8:00 ET. Seton Hall is 0-9 when facing the nation's No. 1 team and that includes an embarrassing 93-40 loss earlier this year (Nov 16), to then-No. 1 Duke. While the Pirates (15-6) have won six straight, they still find themselves as 7 1/2-point home dogs to the Huskies (total is 142). No. 2 Duke is in College Park to face Maryland at 1:00 ET on CBS. The Blue Devils beat Maryland by 24 points earlier this year and the Terps have played the last five games (going 2-3) without their leading scorer (Chris McCray), who has been suspended for the year due to poor grades. Duke is favored by 5 1/2 points with a total of 159.
No. 3 Memphis is at Marshall (4:00 ET), where the Tigers are favored by 16 points with a total of 142. No. 4 Villanova plays at DePaul on ESPN at 2:00 ET. The wildcats are favored by eight points with a total of 134 1/2. No. 8 George Washington is at St Joe's on ESPN2 at 2:00 ET. The Colonials are favored by 3 1/2 points with a total of 143. Finally, Stanford visits Spokane at 9:00 ET, trying to end Gonzaga's 35-game home winning streak. The Bulldogs are favored by 7 1/2 points with a total of 146.
Ness Notes is available by 1:00 ET Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday's notes by 11:00 ET.