A pair of Western Conference teams look to build some momentum down in the Lone Star State. The Oklahoma City Thunder heads on the road as they battle the San Antonio Spurs Friday night. Oklahoma City won its third in a row as they took down the Bulls 92-79 at home Wednesday night. San Antonio had won five of six before getting knocked off 98-86 on the road by the Timberwolves Wednesday night. The Spurs hold a 90-73 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams and took two of the three matchups last season.
Oklahoma City Thunder Seeks Fourth Straight Win
Oklahoma City has won three straight but each of those wins came at home. The Thunder is back at the .500 mark but they are on the road here, where they are just 2-5 on the year. Oklahoma City raced to a 27-7 lead after the opening quarter against Chicago as they held the Bulls to two of 16 shooting and didn’t look back. The Thunder prevailed despite shooting 36.1 percent from the field and 8 of 30 from three point range by cashing in at the free throw line: they were 32 of 37 and won the rebounding battle 48-38. Russell Westbrook had 21 points, seven assists and four steals to lead Oklahoma City.
The Thunder is mediocre offensively this season as they are 22nd with an average of 103.1 points per game. Oklahoma City is 22nd in the league in rebounding with 42.1 boards per contest. The Thunder is 21st in assists with 20.8 per game. Oklahoma City is 2nd in the league in scoring defense as they allow 97.1 points a night. Carmelo Anthony is second on the Thunder with 20.3 points plus 5.8 boards a night. Russell Westbrook contributes 20.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 9.6 assists and two steals per game. Paul George adds a team high 21.9 points plus 2.36 steals a contest and Steven Adams chips in 12.3 points plus 8.4 boards a night. Jerian Grant, Andre Roberson, Raymond Felton, Alex Abrines and Patrick Patterson have to make their presence known on both ends. Oklahoma City is 21st in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 44.5 percent from the floor. The Thunder is tied for 6th with 11.1 made threes per game and stands 22nd in three point shooting at 35.1 percent.
San Antonio Spurs Look to Rebound
San Antonio had won four of their last five games but came up on the short end of the stick against the Timberwolves on the road. The Spurs saw their 12 game win streak against the Timberwolves come to a halt with the defeat. San Antonio led by six after the first quarter before getting bombed 39-19 in the second quarter and never recovered. The Spurs shot only 41.8 percent from the field in the contest and hit 7 of 24 three point attempts in the game while committing 16 turnovers. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
The Spurs are below average offensively this season, ranking 25th in scoring offense with 101.5 points per game. San Antonio is 7th in rebounding with 45.7 boards a contest while the team is tied for 9th in assists with 22.9 dimes per game. San Antonio is 4th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 98.9 points a game. Kawhi Leonard is still out of the mix and the team hopes to have him back in the near future. LaMarcus Aldridge contributes a team-leading 22 points plus 8.3 rebounds a night while Manu Ginobili chips in 8.4 points per game. Pau Gasol averages 10.5 points and 8.2 rebounds in his second year with the team. Tony Parker (once he returns), Rudy Gay (12 points), Patty Mills, Kyle Anderson, Bryn Forbes and Danny Green (10.6 points) all are looked at to contribute for coach Gregg Popovich’s team. The Spurs are 17th in the league by shooting 45.2 percent from the field. San Antonio is 25th in three point field goals per game with 8.7 per contest. The Spurs are tied for 10th in the league by knocking down 36.9 percent of their long range attempts.
- Thunder are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
- Thunder are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 1 day of rest
- Thunder are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Friday games
- Spurs are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Spurs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games
Oklahoma City has won three in a row but the Thunder is still a mediocre team on the road. Despite having three stars, it hasn’t really panned out at this point for the Thunder. San Antonio is still minus two-fifths of their starting lineup but they’re making do with the pieces they have to work with. The Spurs have good weapons and can shoot from the perimeter. Playing at home, you have to give San Antonio the edge here as they come up with a victory.
Pick: San Antonio Spurs Pick ‘Em
The Spurs are dealing without Leonard and Parker with no solid timetable for either man to come back into the rotation. Adams missed the last game for the Thunder and hopes to be back in the mix for this contest. Oklahoma City has to find better ways to get production when two or all three of Westbrook, George and Anthony are on the floor at the same time. The problem with that is that all three were in the top 10 of scoring on isolation plays last season. San Antonio is getting good production from Aldridge but other guys have to step up offensively to help in the absence of Leonard.
The under is 4-0 in the Thunder’s last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record, 9-2 in their last 11 games following a straight up win, 13-3 in their last 16 road games and 4-1 in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points. San Antonio has seen the under go 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Western Conference foes and 7-2 in their last nine Friday games. The teams have combined to stay under the total in five of their last six meetings in San Antonio and four of their last five meetings overall. Given the way the teams are playing right now, look for this one to stay under the total.