Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets (-3, 191.5)
The Boston Celtics could be without star point guard Rajon Rondo when they visit the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. Rondo rolled his right ankle in the third quarter of Wednesday's 98-93 win over Utah and didn't return. Coach Doc Rivers said following the game that he didn't know if Rondo would play against the Nets. Both teams have won three in a row. The Celtics' latest victory - sparked by Paul Pierce's 23 points - was their fifth in six games. Brooklyn is coming off its best performance of the season in a 114-101 win over Cleveland on Tuesday. Deron Williams scored 26 points and had 10 assists while Joe Johnson added 25 points. The Nets, who averaged 93 points going into the game, finally showed some offense, shooting 54.5 percent. Brooklyn led 64-42 at halftime and coasted to the victory.TV:
8 p.m. ET, TNT.ABOUT THE CELTICS (5-3, 2-5-1 ATS):
Boston obviously isn't the same team without Rondo, or even if he's slowed down by his injury. He had 10 assists Wednesday, his 32nd straight game in double figures. Jeff Green and Leandro Barbosa scored 16 points apiece off the bench, both playing the entire fourth quarter. Green, who missed last season because of a heart condition, had a season high in points, while Barbosa, signed as a free agent, matched a season-best output.ABOUT THE NETS (4-2, 3-2-1 ATS):
Brooklyn's much-hyped backcourt finally had a big game Tuesday. Williams and Johnson, who have appeared in a combined eight All-Star games, went 19-of-36 from the field. Center Brook Lopez added 23 points. The Nets could also be getting some help on the injury front. Forward Gerald Wallace and guard MarShon Brooks could return from ankle problems. Backup center Andray Blatche left practice Wednesday with a migraine, but is expected to play.
* Under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Celtics are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
* Favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings at the Nets.
* Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Celtics are 9-3 ATS in the last 12 road meetings versus Nets.BUZZER BEATERS:
1. The Celtics have won three of four on the road with the only loss coming in the opener against the Heat.
2. The Nets begin a three-game West Coast trip on Sunday with games against the Kings, Lakers and Warriors.
3. Boston won all three games between the teams last season and has taken eight of the last 10 in the series.Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets (+2, 204)
Miami doesn't have much time to get over a 107-100 loss to the Clippers as it travels to Denver for Thursday's game against the up-and-down Nuggets. The Heat are 2-2 on a six-game trip that ends Saturday. All three of Miami's losses have come away from home by a total of 45 points. Shoddy defense has been a problem for the Heat. Miami has allowed an average of 107 points in the last three games.
Overall, the Heat has given up over 100 points six times in nine games. Denver coach George Karl's team has yet to find any consistency in going .500 in the early season. The Nuggets' four-game winning streak ended with a 110-100 loss Monday in Phoenix. Denver lost its first three games and its four defeats have been by a combined 35 points. The four wins have been by a total of 44 points. The Heat defeated the Nuggets 119-116 in Miami on Nov. 3, thanks to a fourth-quarter rally and 40 points by Chris Bosh.TV:
10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, Sun Sports (Miami)ABOUT THE HEAT (6-3, 4-5 ATS):
Dwyane Wade, playing with a sprained left foot, was far from 100 percent in Wednesday's loss. He was held to six points, made just 2-of-10 field-goal attempts, and committed five turnovers in 29 minutes. LeBron James scored 30 points with seven assists and five rebounds in 41 minutes, but the Heat looked like a tired team in the second half. Miami was outscored 33-20 in the third quarter and trailed by 19 points in the fourth period.ABOUT THE NUGGETS (4-4, 5-3 ATS):
Forward Kenneth Faried, who leads the league in offensive rebounds, is expected to play after falling to the floor and hitting his head Monday. He was pulled briefly and returned, but didn't practice Tuesday. Karl is confident the NBA's fourth-leading rebounder will play against Miami. Faried is averaging 13.9 points and 10.8 rebounds. He had 22 points with 12 rebounds in the first game against the Heat. TRENDS:
* Over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings in Denver.
* Home team is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
* Heat are 3-12-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings.
* Heat are 0-6 ATS in the last six meetings in Denver.BUZZER BEATERS:
1. The teams have split the four games they've played since James, Wade and Bosh joined forces in Miami.
2. Denver is shooting 64 percent from the foul line, which is last in the NBA .
3. Miami hasn't won in Denver since Jan. 29, 2002, losing 10 in a row.