San Antonio Spurs (-3, 207 o/u) at Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers (35-18, 17-8 Home) may or may not stand pat during today’s trade deadline. No matter who is on the court tonight, the Clippers will face a monumental challenge as the San Antonio Spurs (45-8, 17-8 Away) come to the Staples Center (10:30 PM Eastern).
The Spurs have the second-best record in the NBA; if it wasn’t for the Warriors’ historic run, San Antonio would be getting all the headlines. The Spurs rolled into the All-Star break with six straight wins and hold a 14-game lead over Memphis in the Southwest Division. Spurs have the best defense in the NBA, allowing just 91.8 points per game while they score 105.0 points each night, fifth best in the league.
Their defense has been dominant all year, allowing just 91.8 points per game, easily the best mark in the NBA. (The second-ranked Heat surrender 96.3 PPG.) The Spurs’ offense is also top-five (105.0 PPG).
Their dominance at both ends of the court has led to 25 wins in the past 29 games. And they’re not just squeaking by, either, covering the spread in 20 of the last 29 conference games.
Their next opponent is one they know well. The Clippers knocked off San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs last season. However, they’ll be fielding a different looking squad tonight (trade deadline aside); both Blake Griffin and Austin Rivers will miss tonight’s game due to injury.
Griffin, the team’s leading scorer, has been out since late December, but the team hasn’t really faltered. Led by point guard Chris Paul (19.3 points and 9.4 assists per game), the Clippers are 18-5 without the former Sooner. But they haven’t faced the Spurs in that time, and they haven’t had much success against San Antonio lately, with or without Griffin, going 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games against the Spurs.
But LA Clippers are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games when playing at home against San Antonio, and 6-17 SU in their last 23 games when playing at home against the Spurs.
Pick: San Antonio (-3).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (DeAndre Jordan) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)
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