Featured Video from Scott Steehn
Both the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers will be playing the second game of back-to-back situations when they clash at the AT&T Center in San Antonio on Saturday night. The Spurs took a six-game winning streak with them into Friday’s matchup against New York. Portland had won two in a row heading into a road date with New Orleans.
Portland shooting guard C.J. McCollum is in the midst of an outstanding run and will look to keep it going this weekend. McCollum has scored at least 25 points in each of the past four games, including a 35-point performance in Tuesday’s 125-104 road win over the Clippers. McCollum missed his first seven shots against the Clippers but later exploded for 23 fourth-quarter points as Portland opened a three-game road trip on a high note. He was the beneficiary of the defense locking in on point guard Damian Lillard and was 6-of-11 from three-point range during his latest scoring binge.
“I don’t ever get gun-shy,” McCollum commented. “I’ve missed a lot of shots in my career and percentage-wise you’re going to miss more than you make, especially from (3-point range). You just have to stay confident, stay aggressive and know who you are. I’m very comfortable with who I am as a basketball player and a person, so I just go out there and try to be my best self.”
Lillard finished with 20 points and matched his season best of 12 assists against the Clippers and his career point total sits at 12,560, just two shy of second-place LaMarcus Aldridge on the franchise list.
“I didn’t come into the game saying ‘I need to pass (Aldridge) tonight,'” Lillard assured. “It’s a lot of games for me to do that. I was scoring some points, I was making shots but they started to give me a lot of attention with traps and all that stuff, so I was just trying to make the next play and make them pay for giving me all that attention.”
Climbing up the standings
The Spurs are trying to avoid one of the bottom three seeds in the Western Conference playoffs. In that effort they boast the NBA’s longest current winning streak (six) prior to Friday. San Antonio counts wins over NBA-best Milwaukee and Western Conference powers Oklahoma City and Denver during its current streak and will host a pair of teams in front of it in the West–Portland and Golden State–during this current home-stand. The Spurs shot 52.4 percent from the floor while taking care of struggling Dallas 112-105.
28 PTS | 7 REB | 3 AST pic.twitter.com/dMCQdDnNQt
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 13, 2019
San Antonio’s stars are leading its recent surge and guard DeMar DeRozan is at the front of the pack. The 29-year-old did not make the all-star team in his first season in the Western Conference but is playing like one while averaging 23.4 ppg on 53.4 percent shooting and 6.6 apg over the last five games. Forward LaMarcus Aldridge is just as hot while posting 27.6 ppg on 57.3 percent shooting and 10 rebounds over the last five contests and he scored at least 28 points in each of the last three games.
The San Antonio Spurs are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last six overall
- 16-7 ATS in their last 23 home games
- 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games against teams with winning percentages over .600
The Portland Trail Blazers are:
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against the Western Conference
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games playing on no days of rest
- 3-9 ATS in their last 12 road games against San Antonio
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Spurs forward Rudy Gay (illness) sat out the last two games but is expected back for both games this weekend. His team is on a roll right now and it always plays well at home. Portland is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 trips to San Antonio. It is also worth noting that the home team is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five head-to-head matchups.
Prediction: San Antonio Spurs
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams have been lighting up the box scores of late. There is no reason to think McCollum, Lillard, and DeRozan will suddenly cool off. The over is 18-7-1 in the Trail Blazers’ last 26 overall, 5-2 in their last seven on the road, and 4-1 in their last five against the Western Conference. It is also 20-7 in the Spurs’ last 27 against winning opponents and 14-3 in their last 17 playing on no days of rest. Additionally, the over is 23-8 in the last 31 meetings between the two teams and 5-0 in Portland’s last five trips to San Antonio.