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NBA playoff preview and tips: Kings making history, 76ers on a tear

The NBA playoffs continue on Thursday night with the Nets, 76ers, Warriors, Kings, Clippers and Suns in game three action.

The NBA playoffs continue on Thursday night as the venues switch for game three of the series. We've broken down the state of play in each tantalising matchup and provided the best bet for today's games. 

Suggested bets

Philadelphia 76ers -5

Sacramento Kings +7

Los Angeles Clippers +2

Philadelphia 76ers (2) @ Brooklyn Nets (0)

The 76ers made the most of home advantage as they head to Brooklyn with a pair of wins in the bag. The victories mean Philadelphia have now beaten the Nets in all six meetings this season, including two on the road.
Individually, Brooklyn have had some good performances in the playoff games. As a team, they're just outsized. Philadelphia are a bigger, stronger team and they've been able to dominate too many key aspects of the game.
When the 76ers shooting percentages dropped off in game two, their defence took over. We saw the same thing happen when Philly won 101-98 here in March, just two weeks after scoring 137 against the Nets.
It's hard to say at this point what Brooklyn can do to level the playing field. The 76ers will firmly believe they come here, wrap the series up 4-0, and have an extended break before the next round.
They're reliant on the 76ers bombing in a way we haven't seen all season, whilst the Nets offence can't afford to miss because we know they aren't grabbing the rebound. Games three and four take place in Brooklyn instead of Philadelphia, but it's still a mismatch.

Sacramento Kings (2) @ Golden State Warriors (0)

The reigning and defending NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, trail 2-0 to their Northern California rivals, the Sacramento Kings. This is a team used to winning everything on the verge of being dumped out by a team that hasn't made the playoffs for 17 years.
We now switch to the Chase Center for game three and you know it's going to be a different story now the Warriors are home. Their struggles on the road this season have been unprecedented, but they're still 33-8 on their home court.
Sacramento's intensity on both sides of the ball was the key to winning game two. They were able to force the Warriors into 22 turnovers, which is a huge, huge number. The scores were only as close as they were because Golden State have elite scorers.
The big news ahead of game three is that Draymond Green is out. Whilst Curry gets the press, Green does the hard yards. He offers so much on defence and holds this team together. With Iguodala already out and Wiggins questionable, the Warriors are stretched at Forward.The Warriors intensity will go up a level at home, and their scoring won't subside and ordinarily, their defence would improve. They outscore teams 120-112 at Chase Center. The absence of Green is key and whilst the Warriors should win, can they slow the Kings down?

Phoenix Suns (1) @ Los Angeles Clippers (1)

The sides are tied at one apiece after two games in Phoenix, meaning the Clippers have stolen home-court advantage. Three of the remaining five games will be played at the Staples Center, where LA will be targeting a 3-1 lead.
After losing game one of the series, Phoenix bounced back with an elite performance on offence. They shot just shy of 59% in their 123-109 game-two win over the Clippers. Despite LA scoring just as well, Phoenix were able to move the ball much faster.
The Clippers return home to host game three of the series and the bookmakers have made them an underdog on their home court. It's worth noting, Phoenix have lost more games than they've won on their travels this season.
The Clippers have responded well to a loss, going 7-2ATS after their last nine losses. The Suns, meanwhile, are 2-5ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a winning home record.
LA has shown enough across two games to show they can compete and this now looks like a series that could zig-zag all the way to game seven. The Clippers were able to win game one because of Tyronn Lue coaching ability, and they should be able to cook up some adjustments to help them past Phoenix in game three.

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