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It’s Thursday and that means the weekly NBA double header on TNT and we’ve got two interesting games tonight. Dallas is in San Antonio two days after the Spurs got shelled by the lowly Timberwolves and Knicks (who’ve been shelled twice in a row) are in Portland.

Dallas vs. San Antonio (-8); Total set at 206

Although some will look to that 24-point loss in Minnesota as a big negative for the Spurs but you can’t really take anything from that game. Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard were rested and not even dressed for the game as Popovich gets his guys some rest down the stretch. It was also 24 hours after an intense home game against Oklahoma City, so after the late night flight up to Minnesota, the last place those Spurs players wanted to be was in Minnesota. They should rebound tonight as they look for the season sweep of the Mavericks.

Sweeping teams in a season is quite tough though and that’s got me staying away from the side here. San Antonio will definitely be motivated after that last game, but Dallas has also got to be frustrated with all their earlier losses to the Spurs and wants to save some face this year. That’s why I think the ‘under’ is the way to go here.

San Antonio has only allowed opponents to put up 100 or more on them in back-to-back outings six times all year and two of those were OT games. They’ve allowed 100 or more 25 times prior to last game so shutting down their next opponent seems to come with plenty of regularity. Dallas is ending a four-game road trip tonight and come in on a four-game winning streak as they’ve decided to play much better on the defensive end themselves. They are 4-6 O/U in their last 10 outings and will need to use that new-found defensive intensity to stop the Spurs scoring 111+ on them like they have all year.

Take the under

New York vs. Portland (-5); Total set at 194.5

The Knicks have had Carmelo Anthony back in the lineup for two games and they’ve lost by 20+ in both. That’s not a direct reflection of Anthony being back, but this New York team has looked like garbage of late. They have lost three of four coming into tonight and need something to change if they want to stop this slide.

Portland is a team that has lost three of four as well but two of those came to a very good Memphis team. They would love to take advantage of the slumping Knicks but -5 for them in this spot is simply too much.  Portland did already beat the Knicks 105-100 back in New York on New Year’s Day but nobody other than Carmelo and J.R. Smith (73 points combined) seemed to want to play for New York that day.

The Knicks will have heard their second straight tongue lashing from Coach Woodson after last night’s loss and should come out much more inspired tonight. They are 4-1 ATS in their last five in Portland and a phenomenal 10-1 ATS in their last 11 on TNT Thursday Night.

Take the points with New York.

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