San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers (-1.5, 207 o/u)
The San Antonio Spurs (55-27, 22-19 road) are not making too much of their 107-92 Game 1 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (56-26, 30-11 home). Stoicism notwithstanding, the defending champs will know that an 0-2 hole would be extremely tough to climb out of. The Spurs will look to win the pivotal Game 2 and even the series tonight at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles (10:30 PM Eastern).
“We’re still being positive, we still have an opportunity to steal one,” said Spurs guard Danny Green. “We’re on the road, it’s a new thing for us. Since I’ve been here, we haven’t lost many Game 1s … but things happen. If you wanna be a championship team, you gotta win on the road. You gotta adjust and adapt.”
For San Antonio, adjusting in Game 2 will simply mean hitting open shots. The Spurs failed to connect on a number of good looks in Game 1 and wound up shooting just 35-percent from the field. The guard combo of Green and Tony Parker were a combined 6/22 from the floor and 1/9 from three.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, had just about everything fall in Game 1, hitting on 54-percent of their shots from the field. Their stars, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, led the way, combining for 58 points, 19 rebounds, and 12 assists.
The Clippers raced to a 12-point lead at the end of the first quarter and largely controlled the game from start to finish. But the dominant nature of the win hasn’t left L.A. coach Doc Rivers overly confident.
“They’re still the defending champs, and they’re going to be the defending champs every night,” said Rivers. “We have a lot of confidence in our team, but you just have to stay humble and respect who you’re playing.”
In the trends, Los Angeles lost the first two games against San Antonio during the regular season, but won and covered the spread in the last three. The Clippers were a dreadful 16-25 ATS at home on the year, but with the line at a modest Clippers (-1.5), taking L.A. and laying the points looks like the better play.
My Pick: Clippers -1.5.
(Photo credit: Verse Photography (Flickr: 20131118 ClippersvGrizzles29) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)