The San Antonio Spurs travel to the Chesapeake Energy Arena to visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.
San Antonio heads to OKC trying to get back on track. The Spurs saw their three-game winning streak end at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves in their last outing. The Thunder meanwhile are looking to extend their three-game winning streak as they return home from a five-game trip. The Spurs could be without leading scorer and top assists man DeMar DeRozan who missed their last game due to personal reasons.
The San Antonio Spurs are currently 2nd in the Southwest Division with a 5-5 record. After a slow start, the Spurs have returned to the .500 mark by winning three out of their last four games. San Antonio was on a three-game run before DeMar DeRozan sat out their last game and they scored only 88 points in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
DeRozan is not just the team’s leading scorer at 21.2 points per game but he is also the Spurs’ top passer at 7.2 dimes per contest. Without him, the offense struggled against the Wolves despite Lonnie Walker IV stepping up by scoring 25 points in the game. LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 points and 9 rebounds while Dejounte Murray finished with 11 points and 6 assists for the Spurs.
San Antonio ranks 17th in scoring at 111.1 points per game this season. They are 11th off the glass with an average of 45.4 rebounds per game and are 10th in passing at 25.5 assists per game. The Spurs are only 23rd in scoring defense at 113.1 points per game allowed.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are currently 5-4 on the season and they are third in the Northwest division team standings. The Thunder finally head home after a five-game road trip where they went 4-1. OKC is winless in its first three home games and would love to get that first home win at last.
In their last game, OKC defeated the Brooklyn Nets 129-116. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander waxed hot with 31 points while grabbing six rebounds and issuing six assists. Veteran big man Al Horford added 22 points and seven rebounds while Hamidou Aiello came off the bench to score 25 points during the win.
The Thunder have the 9th best scoring defense in the league at 108.9 points per game allowed. However, they are third from the bottom in team scoring at only 104.9 points per game scored. OKC is tied for 14th in rebounding at 44.7 boards hauled per contest and they are also just 28th in passing at 22.2 assists per game.
San Antonio is 3-1 SU in their last four games played. The Spurs are 4-2 in six road games played this season. Oklahoma City is 4-1 SU in their last five games played. The Thunder are 0-3 SU in three home games played so far, but 6-1 SU in their last seven January games. Head to head, the Spurs are 5-3 SU in their last eight games played against the Thunder. However, OKC is 4-1 SU in their last five home games against San Antonio.
The Spurs have won three out of their last four games to return to the .500 mark. But they are coming off a loss to Minnesota in a game where they missed the services of leading scorer DeMar DeRozan who skipped the game due to personal reasons.
There is no guarantee that DeRozan will be playing on Tuesday night and without that guarantee, the Spurs are losing over 20 points per game.
Like last season, the Thunder were expected to go into rebuild mode after trading Chris Paul to Phoenix. However, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been red hot to start the year and the team has gotten a big lift from Darius Bazley who is averaging 11.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
The Thunder are very competitive this season and have won three in a row heading to this game. SGA is on a red hot streak while the Spurs could very well be without DeRozan again on Tuesday. These teams are playing well right now but for me, DeRozan’s potential absence is a big plus for the Thunder. I’ll take the plus money and go with the home team here.
Prediction: OKC Thunder
The Spurs are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played. San Antonio is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games played on the road but 0-7 ATS in their last seven games against the Northwest Division. The Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last five games played. OKC is 1-2 ATS in three home games played this season. They are also 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the Western Conference, and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against the Southwest division. Head to head, the Spurs are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Thunder.
Bot these teams head to this game on a roll with each having three wins in their last four games played. However, the Spurs are coming off a loss in a game where DeRozan didn’t play due to personal reasons. There’s no word yet whether he’s going to miss more time but I won’t risk that. The Thunder went 4-1 in their just-concluded road trip and are glad to be home where they will look for their first win at home this season. Shai-Gilgeous Alexander is putting up 25.6 points per game during their current three-game winning streak. I’m going with the hot hands here.
Prediction: Thunder +2.5
The total has gone over in four out of the Spurs’ last five games played. The over is 4-2 in their six road games played this season, and 4-1 in their last five games played against the Western Conference. The total has gone under in eight out of the last 12 games played by the Thunder. OKC has seen the total go over in seven out of their last nine games played at home. Head to head, the total has gone over in three out of the last four meetings between these two teams.
These teams are in the bottom half of the league in scoring, with the Thunder at 28th among 30 teams, because they play a slow-paced kind of game. The Spurs have a leaky defense but the Thunder will make up for that by being a Top 10 defensive team at 108.9 points per game allowed. DeRozan is listed as day to day after missing their last game due to personal reasons. I think OKC dictates its pace against a San Antonio team that may be without their top scorer.
Prediction: Under 216.5
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