January 8, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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The NBA card on Wednesday is filled up with 11 games, including a handful of contests involving Western Conference foes. The Clippers look to stay hot at home against a stumbling Mavericks' squad, while the Thunder attempts to get on track as the Wolves invade OKC. We'll start in the Lone Star State with the Spurs laying a big number against the struggling Lakers.
Lakers at Spurs (-13, 212) - 8:05 PM EST
San Antonio returns home following its most surprising loss of the season at New Orleans on Monday night. The Spurs (27-10 SU, 22-14-1 ATS) fell to the young Hornets, 95-88 as eight-point favorites, while New Orleans covered for the third time against San Antonio this season. The Lakers (15-18 SU, 13-19-1 ATS) travel to the Alamo following Tuesday's loss at Houston, as Los Angeles will be without big men Dwight Howard (torn labrum) and Pau Gasol (concussion) on Wednesday.
In the first meeting this season at Staples Center, the Spurs escaped past the Lakers, 84-82 in mid-November as one-point road favorites. Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 28 points for L.A., while the Spurs won in spite of shooting just 39% from the field. San Antonio grabbed two of three matchups last season, but Los Angeles managed a victory as 10-point road 'dogs in a 98-84 triumph without Bryant last April.
As a road underdog this season, the Lakers own a dreadful 0-8 SU and 1-7 ATS mark, as the only pointspread cover came in a six-point defeat at Oklahoma City in early December. The Spurs are just 2-4 ATS the last six games off a loss, but Gregg Popovich's team is 5-1 ATS the previous six home contests when laying at least nine points.
Wolves at Thunder (-11 ½, 200 ½) - 8:05 PM EST
Minnesota heads to Oklahoma City with no rest to battle a Thunder (26-8 SU, 20-13-1 ATS) squad that will likely be extremely motivated. The woeful Wizards tripped up the Thunder on Monday night as 11-point home underdogs, 101-99, as OKC fell to 5-4 the last nine games following a 12-game winning streak. The Wolves (15-15 SU, 16-14 ATS) hit the road following Tuesday's home victory over the Hawks, while Minnesota looks to shock Oklahoma City for the second time this season.
In the last matchup between these Northwest Division teams, Minnesota caught an unrested OKC squad by surprising the Thunder, 99-93 as two-point home 'dogs. The Wolves led from the start, while holding the Thunder to just 40% shooting from the floor. Kevin Love led the way for Minnesota with 28 points, but the All-Star forward will be out on Wednesday after suffering a hand injury last week at Denver. The win snapped a 12-game skid to Oklahoma City dating back to 2009, but the Wolves have covered each of the last six meetings.
Since starting the season at 8-3 ATS as a home favorite, Scott Brooks' club has covered just four of their last ten games at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The 'over' is hitting at a solid 6-3 clip the previous nine home contests for the Thunder, while OKC has eclipsed the 104-point plateau in 12 of the last 14 home games. The Wolves have dropped five of seven road games with no rest, but managed a victory as an away 'dog in this situation last Thursday at Denver, 101-97.
Grizzlies at Warriors (-2, 189) - 10:35 PM EST
Memphis wraps up its three-game West Coast swing in Oakland as the Grizzlies seek a perfect 3-0 SU/ATS trip. The Warriors (22-11 SU, 20-12-1 ATS) hit the court for the first time since getting slaughtered by the Clippers on Saturday night, falling by 26 points. Golden State is also playing with revenge after falling to Memphis back in early November.
The Grizzlies (22-10 SU, 19-12-1 ATS) picked up their first win of the season at Oracle Arena, 104-94 as 1 ½-point favorites on November 2. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph combined for 36 points and 20 rebounds, while Memphis converted 28 free throws in the win. Memphis has owned this series, beating Golden State seven straight times, including three in a row in the Bay Area.
The defense of the Grizzlies continues to stifle opponents, holding six straight foes to less than 88 points (5-1 to the 'under'). Memphis is riding a three-game road winning streak, as Lionel Hollins' club has knocked off each opponent in this span by double-digits. Golden State has won 10 of its previous 12 home contests, while covering the number nine times.
Mavericks at Clippers (-10 ½, 200 ½) - 10:35 PM EST
Dallas can't get out of its own way recently, losing three straight games with the lead in the fourth quarter. The latest meltdown came in Salt Lake City on Monday as the Mavs (13-22 SU, 16-19 ATS) scored just 14 points in the final quarter of a 100-94 setback as five-point 'dogs. The Clippers (27-8 SU, 22-13 ATS) got back to their winning ways following a short two-game skid by beating the Lakers and Warriors on consecutive days.
Los Angeles is rolling recently at Staples Center by winning 12 straight home contests, including 10 of those victories by double-digits. One of those triumphs came over Dallas on December 5, a 112-90 rout as 8 ½-point favorites. Six Clippers scored in double-figures, led by Jamal Crawford's 20 points. L.A. will be without their veteran sixth man, as Crawford is out due to a foot injury.
Rick Carlisle's team is a disaster away from Dallas, winning five of 20 road contests, including eight losses in the last nine games on the highway. The Mavs have sailed 'over' the total in 11 of the past 16 games, while going 5-2 to the 'over' in the last seven away contests. The Clips are nearly automatic at home off a win, posting a 14-1 SU and 13-2 ATS record in this situation.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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