NBA picks: Friday, Feb. 28

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NBA picks: Friday, Feb. 28

Totals to target

Warriors at Knicks – over 200

Certain venues and circumstances are conducive to high-scoring affairs. A nationally-televised primetime showdown between the Knicks and Warriors at Madison Square Garden is a great spot for a situational play on the over. Considering Steph Curry dropped 54 in Golden State’s last trip to New York and the torrid pace Carmelo Anthony has been on lately (38.8 points per game over last five), it’s safe to assume defense will be at a premium in this one. Additionally, the Knicks’ woes notwithstanding, they’ve been playing barn-burners more often than not over their last 10 home dates, with an average total of 207.8 in that span and 7-3 record to the over.

Kings at Lakers – under 216

Both of these teams are young and can be explosive on the offensive end, but that hasn’t manifested when they’ve played each other this season. Both matchups (L.A. wins of 100-86 on Nov. 24 at Staples and 106-100 on Dec. 6 in Sacramento) were well under the total of Friday’s game. Overall, four of the teams’ last six meetings in Los Angeles have gone under the total. That was the general trend of the Lakers’ recently completed six-game homestand, in which the average total was a shade over 201, with three of those contests finishing under.

Safe sides

Thunder (-6) vs. Grizzlies

Until this week, the Thunder hadn’t lost three consecutive games at home in the last five seasons. They’ve never lost more than three straight games period in that same span. On six other occasions, Oklahoma City has dropped exactly three in a row. In each instance, they’ve won the following game, with a minimum margin of victory of 11 points and an average margin of 18.7. While the Grizzlies have been one of the best teams in the league over the last few months, this game is all about an angry Thunder squad out for blood after an unprecedented slump in their building. If history is any indicator, that should translate to a comfortable win.

Bobcats (+8.5) at Spurs

The Bobcats have been sneaky good against the number on the road, compiling a 17-10-1 mark that’s good for eighth in the NBA. They’ve been especially hot recently, going 8-3 straight up since the end of January, including 4-2 on the road. Over their last eight games overall, they’re a 6-1-1 ATS, which included a 104-100 home setback to the Spurs on Feb. 8. San Antonio, meanwhile, is less than a week removed from its Rodeo trip – a grueling three-week, nine-city excursion – and allowed a reeling Pistons team to squeeze out a backdoor cover as 10.5-point ‘dogs on Wednesday. The Spurs are also expected to be without Tony Parker for the fifth straight game. Pushing for a playoff spot in the East, Charlotte figures to be competitive in the Alamo.

Overall picks: 4-5

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