SAN ANTONIO SPURS (59-16)
at OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (54-19)
Tip-off: Thursday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Oklahoma City -3.5, Total: 208
The Spurs try to extend their amazing win streak to 20 games on Thursday, but it won't be easy when they visit the surging Thunder.
San Antonio is riding a franchise record 19-game surge (15-4 ATS) where they have won by a stellar average margin of 16.8 PPG, outscoring opponents 111.2 PPG to 94.4 PPG. This includes a 111-90 blowout of the Warriors on Wednesday night, where it outshot its opponent 53.0% FG to 42.4% FG. Due to the lopsided margin, San Antonio was able to keep everybody fresh, with Boris Diaw (33 minutes) the only player logging at least 30 minutes in the victory. The Spurs are 11-6 ATS when playing with no days' rest this season. Oklahoma City is also heating up with an 8-2 SU record (5-4-1 ATS) in its past 10 contests. This includes a 116-96 rout of the Jazz in its most recent game on Sunday where it outshot its opponent 55.4% FG to 41.9% FG. However, the Thunder aren't used to such a long layoff, and are a subpar 6-9-1 ATS when getting at least two off days in between games, including 0-2 ATS with 3+ days of rest. San Antonio has been an excellent road team this season at 29-8 SU (24-13 ATS), and is a perfect 8-0 ATS after committing 14 or less turnovers in three straight games this season. But Oklahoma City doesn't lose much at home, going 31-7 SU (21-16-1 ATS), and is a perfect 7-0 ATS versus elite teams (6+ PPG margin) this season. The Thunder have also won all three games of this season series (SU and ATS) by sizable margins of 6, 13 and 8 points, and own a commanding 10-6 SU (11-4-1 ATS) advantage over the past three seasons in this series, including 7-1 (SU and ATS) at home. On the injury front, the Spurs will likely be without PFs Aron Baynes (ribs) and Matt Bonner (calf), while Oklahoma City is still missing SG Thabo Sefolosha (leg) and C Kendrick Perkins (groin), while PG Reggie Jackson (back) is questionable.
Can the Thunder put an end to San Antonio's long win streak on Thursday night? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Zach is a stellar 72% ATS (13-5) since March 9, while StatFox Gary is heating up with a 59% ATS mark (19-13) since Feb. 13. StatFox Dave has a strong 56% ATS (49-39-1) Best Bets record since Dec. 1, while StatFox Brian also remains profitable, going 53.1% ATS (26-23-1) since Jan. 25.
It's no fluke that San Antonio has the best record in the NBA. The club scores 105.6 PPG (6th in league) on 49.0% FG (2nd in NBA) with a league-best 39.9% threes and 78.5% FT (4th in NBA). The Spurs also lead the league in assists (25.4 APG) and rank eighth in turnover differential (+0.9). Defensively they are also tremendous, holding opponents to 97.0 PPG (4th in league) on 44.1% FG (6th in NBA) and 35.4% threes (9th in league), while posting a solid +1.4 RPG margin (12th in NBA). PF Tim Duncan (15.2 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.9 BPG) continues to provide steady production every night, averaging 17.3 PPG (58% FG), 8.0 RPG and 1.8 BPG over his past six contests. He has usually dominated the Thunder in his career too with 20.1 PPG (51% FG), 11.4 RPG and 2.5 BPG in 59 meetings, including a double-double average of 14.0 PPG and 10.3 RPG this season. PG Tony Parker (17.1 PPG, 6.0 APG) is finally over his Achilles injury, pumping in 20.0 PPG on 55% FG with 6.0 APG over the past two contests. He has also been outstanding in the season series with Oklahoma City, averaging 25.3 PPG (50% FG), 6.3 APG and 1.3 SPG. SF Kawhi Leonard (12.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.7 SPG) has also been very productive recently with 14.3 PPG (41% threes) and 6.6 RPG over his past nine contests, but Leonard has not played well in the season series with a mere 8.5 PPG (35% FG) and 5.5 RPG in two meetings. SG Manu Ginobili (12.3 PPG, 4.4 APG, 3.0 RPG) has also shot poorly in the three losses to the Thunder, scoring only 11.0 PPG on 39% FG and 5-of-15 threes. But the veteran has shot very well during his team's 19-game win streak, netting 13.2 PPG on 50% FG.
Oklahoma City is really tough to contain offensively, as the team scores 106.2 PPG (5th in NBA) on 47.3% FG (6th in league), 36.6% threes (11th in NBA) and 80.4% FT (2nd in league). But the Thunder turn the ball over 15.2 times per game, which is the third-most in the NBA, ahead of only Houston and Philadelphia. Defensively, they allow only 99.4 PPG (10th in league) on 43.3% FG (3rd in NBA) and 35.5% threes (11th in league), thanks in part to a hefty 6.1 BPG (2nd in NBA) and 8.3 SPG (10th in league). This Oklahoma City club also leads the NBA in rebounding margin this season at +4.3 RPG. SF Kevin Durant (32.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 5.7 APG, 1.3 SPG) continues to be unstoppable, eclipsing 25 points in 38 straight games, where he's averaged 35.1 PPG (52% FG, 41% threes), 6.8 RPG and 6.3 APG. He's been the biggest reason his team is on the verge of sweeping the Spurs with 25.7 PPG (48% FG), 8.3 RPG and 4.0 APG in the three meetings. PG Russell Westbrook (21.1 PPG, 6.9 APG, 5.7 RPG, 1.9 SPG) has also performed well versus San Antonio this season with 18.5 PPG, 8.0 APG and 3.5 RPG in two meetings. His knee is finally looking fully healed, as Westbrook is averaging 20.0 PPG (49% FG), 6.0 APG and 5.7 RPG in just 27.3 MPG over his past three contests. SF Serge Ibaka (15.1 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 2.6 BPG) has also played well recently with 14.0 PPG (48% FG), 8.1 RPG and 3.0 BPG during his team's 8-2 surge. He has also had his way in the paint with San Antonio this season, producing 15.0 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 4.3 BPG in the three victories. SF Caron Butler (9.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG) has been giving this team some great minutes recently. He poured in 15 points off the bench in Sunday's win to give him 13.5 PPG (12-of-24 threes) and 3.3 RPG over the past four contests.