Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#549 San Antonio Spurs vs.
#550 Phoenix Suns
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 5:05pm EST
Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix
Written by Chris Kubala

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W/L
ATS
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#549 San Antonio
#550 Phoenix
9-14
11-12
47-40-2
36-46
47-42
38-44
110
107
109
116

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It’s a battle of Western Conference teams on the hardwood south of the border. The San Antonio Spurs are the visiting team of sorts as they take on the Phoenix Suns in Mexico City as part of the NBA Global Games Saturday afternoon. The Spurs come in off a 117-109 overtime loss to Cleveland at home Thursday night in their last game. Phoenix was dropped 115-108 at home by Memphis in their last game Wednesday night. The Spurs own a 96-77 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams and took three of the four meetings last season. That includes a 126-124 home win in the most recent matchup on January 29, 2019.

San Antonio Spurs Hoping to Get on Track

San Antonio saw their two-game win streak snapped with their overtime defeat at home to a struggling Cleveland team that had dropped eight straight coming into the game. The Spurs enter this one third in the Southwest Division, eight games behind Dallas in the standings. In the Western Conference playoff picture, the team is 12th, two games behind the Suns for the final playoff spot. San Antonio trailed by nine after the opening quarter and by 10 after three quarters. The Spurs rallied to lead by five with 20.1 seconds to play but ended up in overtime. San Antonio ran out of steam as they were outscored 14-6 in the extra session. The Spurs shot 48.8 percent from the field, including five of 16 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 50-36. DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 21 points in the loss.

The Spurs are average offensively this season, ranking 13th in scoring offense with 111.5 points per game. San Antonio is 11th in rebounding with 45.6 boards a contest while the team is 14th in assists with 24.3 dimes per game. San Antonio is 25th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 115.5 points a game. DeMar DeRozan leads the team with 21.4 points per contest this season. LaMarcus Aldridge (18.8 points, 7.1 rebounds), Bryn Forbes (12.4 points) and Derrick White (10 points) are solid contributors as well on the offensive end. Dejounte Murray (9.5 points, six rebounds, four assists), Patty Mills (11.1 points) and Rudy Gay (11.2 points, 5.7 rebounds) are solid secondary scoring options. The Spurs are 9th in the league by shooting 46.6 percent from the field. San Antonio is 30th in three-point field goals per game with nine per contest. The Spurs are tied for 17th in the league by knocking down 35.2 percent of their long-range attempts.

Phoenix Suns Look to Hang On to Playoff Position

Phoenix lost for the sixth time in nine games as they were upended at home by Memphis in their last game. The Suns enter the game third in the Pacific Division, 11 games behind the Lakers. Phoenix holds the final playoff spot in the Western Conference entering Saturday by a half-game over the Kings. The Suns rallied from eight down after the opening quarter to tie the game at the half. Phoenix led 78-75 with 2:47 to play in the third quarter but gave up a 13-1 run over the next four minutes to trail by nine. The Suns didn’t get closer than four the rest of the way. Phoenix shot 39.8 percent from the field, including nine of 34 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 55-44. Frank Kaminsky led the Suns with 24 points in a losing effort.

The Suns are 5th in the league in scoring with an average of 115.4 points per game. The Suns are 27th on the glass by collecting 42.5 boards per game. Phoenix stands 1st in the league in assists with 28.4 per contest. Phoenix is 21st in the league in scoring defense as they allow 114 points a night. Devin Booker leads the Suns with 25 points plus 6.2 assists per game on the year. Kelly Oubre Jr. (17.4 points, 6.3 rebounds), Aron Baynes (14.3 points, 5.5 boards), Ricky Rubio (13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 9.2 assists), Dario Saric (11.1 points, 7.2 rebounds) and Frank Kaminsky (11 points, 5.3 rebounds) are each averaging in double figures. The Suns are 11th in the league in field goal percentage at 45.9 percent so far. The Suns are tied for 7th in three pointers per game with 12.9 per contest. Phoenix is tied for 13th in three-point percentage as they splash 36.1 percent of their chances from long range. The Suns will be better once Deandre Ayton returns from his 25-game suspension for PEDs: he’s played just one game this season.

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San Antonio let one slip away against Cleveland in their last one and that is the kind of stinging defeat that carries with you for a bit. The Spurs had the Cavaliers down five with 20.1 seconds to play only to lose in overtime. Phoenix was knocked off by Memphis but the Suns are putting together some decent basketball. Ayton’s suspension will be up in the next week or so and the team has done a decent job staying in the mix without him. The Suns are a high-octane attack and they should take advantage of the sometimes sluggish Spurs to get the win here in front of a raucous crowd.

Prediction: Phoenix Suns -2.5

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San Antonio has gone just 2-8 as the visiting team this season. The Spurs have put up 110.2 ppg in those contests while allowing a staggering 116.5 ppg on the road. San Antonio's typical road game sees 226.7 ppg on the books at the final buzzer. Phoenix is 6-8 as the home team on the year. The Suns have averaged 116.9 ppg in their home games while allowing 114.3 ppg. That's an average of 231.2 ppg this season in Phoenix's home tilts. Should we expect that kind of production after seeing San Antonio struggle at home against Cleveland?

The under is 4-1 in the Spurs' last 5 games following a straight up loss, 6-2 in their last 8 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game and 6-2 in their last 8 vs. a team with a losing straight up record. Phoenix has seen the under go 5-2 in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Unfamiliarity with the venue, an odd tip-off time and altitude all take a toll in this one. The last one is the most important as players will get fatigued quicker. This one ends up short of the total.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.