Sportsbook.ag NBA Saturday
No. 1 SAN ANTONIO SPURS at No. 2 OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (Spurs lead series 2-1)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Oklahoma City -3.5 & 202.5
Opening Line & Total: Thunder -3.5 & 202
After ending the Spurs win streak at 20 games with a 20-point drubbing on Thursday, the Thunder look to tie up the Western Conference Finals at two games apiece on Saturday night.
There were many heroes for Oklahoma City in its 102-82 crushing of the Spurs (their first loss since April 11) in Game 3, but the most unlikely of stars was SG Thabo Sefolosha who scored 19 points with six rebounds and six steals. His defense was a big reason why the Spurs shot 39.5% FG (38% on two-point tries) and committed 21 turnovers. The Thunder nailed 46% of their field-goal attempts and outscored their opponent by 20 points in the paint (44 to 24) and 18-7 on fast-break points. Now the Spurs are in the unfamiliar territory of following an SU loss, but they have been just fine in this scenario this season, going 12-4 (11-5 ATS), outscoring these teams by 7.5 PPG (102.3 to 94.8). Most great teams are able to bounce back from dud performances, as clubs with a 3.0+ PPG margin are 143-89 ATS (62%) after a loss by 15+ points over the past five seasons. On the flip side, the young Thunder have been prone to letdowns this season, going 0-8 ATS after a blowout win of 20+ points.
Oklahoma City improved to 32-7 SU at Chesapeake Energy Arena, but is just 20-19 ATS at home. The Spurs snapped a nine-game road win streak, but are still an impressive 26-12 SU (22-15-1 ATS) away from home this season. And even with Tuesday's loss, San Antonio is still 10-2 (8-4 ATS) in the past 12 meetings with the Thunder, including 5-2 (SU and ATS) at Oklahoma City.
After scoring 120 points in Game 2, the Spurs were held to 41 in each half as no player surpassed 16 points. San Antonio's starting frontcourt of C Tim Duncan, PF Boris Diaw and SF Kawhi Leonard combined for a mere 14 points on 6-of-20 FG in 55 minutes of action. Duncan had his second straight off-shooting night (5-for-15 FG), and is now 7-of-26 (26.9%) in the past two games. Although he tallied five blocks, Duncan pulled down only two rebounds in his 26 minutes of action and posted a minus-16 rating. Leonard posted a double-double in Game 2 (18 points, 10 rebounds), but was limited to just 15 minutes on Thursday, scoring two points with six rebounds. PG Tony Parker, who was incredible in Game 2 (34 points on 16-of-21 FG) shot well again in Game 3 (6-of-12 FG, 2-of-4 threes), but posted a minus-13 rating with five turnovers and just four assists. SG Manu Ginobili scored 23.0 PPG on 60% FG (15-of-25 FG) in Games 1-2, but he tallied just eight points on 1-of-5 FG with four turnovers on Thursday. The only two players that thrived on the offensive end of the floor were a pair of reserves. SG Stephen Jackson had a team-high-tying 16 points on 6-of-7 FG (4-of-5 threes) and DeJuan Blair had 10 points (5-of-7 FG) and six rebounds in just 10 minutes on the court.
Oklahoma City saw a lot more balanced scoring in Game 3 as 11 different players made field goals. Five reached double-figures led by Kevin Durant's 22 points on 8-of-17 FG (0-for-4 threes). The Thunder star also had six rebounds and five assists, while posting a +18 rating. PG Russell Westbrook had been averaging 23.7 PPG in the 2012 playoffs entering Thursday, but finished Game 3 with a mere 10 points on 5-of-15 shooting. But he didn't let his misses affect other areas, piling up nine assists, seven rebounds, four steals, two blocks and a game-high +29 rating. SG James Harden added 15 points and a +19 rating off the bench and PF Serge Ibaka posted a +22 rating with 14 points, three blocks and two steals to make up for his paltry three rebounds. C Kendrick Perkins led his team with eight boards and also had three blocks. After posting a game-low minus-14 rating in Game 2, Perkins turned that around with a strong +13 rating in his 23 minutes on Thursday.