Playing With a Full Deck
The San Antonio Spurs finally have their top three players back on the court together. That doesn't bode well for a Golden State Warriors team that has lost back-to-back games against other top Southwest Division teams.
At full strength for the first time in more than a month, the Spurs look to protect their Southwest Division lead when they visit the Warriors on Monday.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Golden State -2 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 205 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on San Antonio +2 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
Manu Ginobili returned from a five-game absence because of a sprained left index finger on Sunday, scoring 23 points as the Spurs (23-9) beat the Los Angeles Clippers 88-82. He was 5-for-12 from the field and 12-for-13 from the free-throw line.
"I was feeling good all game long. I just didn't make the shots that I usually make, but I just stayed patient and let it come to me," Ginobili said.
Ginobili scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, including eight of the team's last 12 in the game.
"He's our finisher. He's our attacker and he just adds another dimension to our team, especially down the stretch," Spurs forward Tim Duncan said. "When plays don't work or things aren't working exactly right, someone like that can break down a defense."
"He's a great guy to make things happen and find open shots for people. And we missed that the last few games."
Duncan had 17 points and 17 rebounds Sunday, and Tony Parker added 26 points as the Spurs' top three scorers played together for just the second time in the team's last 14 games.
Their previous game together on Dec. 22 was also a win over the Clippers, but Ginobili played less than three minutes in that game before injuring his finger.
The Spurs are one game ahead of Dallas and New Orleans in the Southwest. They'll try to maintain that lead against the Warriors (19-15), who lost at Dallas on Wednesday and to New Orleans on Friday. Golden State hadn't dropped consecutive games since opening the season with a six-game losing streak.
Baron Davis had 26 points and eight assists against the Hornets, but the Warriors gave up 39 points in the first quarter and 32 more during the third in the 116-104 defeat. They've given up 237 total points in their last two losses.
"We played lackluster to open the two important quarters and that's the first and third," Davis said. "They got off to the lead and all they had to do was sustain while we had to scratch and claw to get back into it. We weren't giving the effort on the defensive end and that's not like this team."
San Antonio won 10 of 11 games against Golden State between 2004-05 and 2006-07, but the Warriors won the first meeting this season 96-84 at home on Dec. 11. Duncan missed that game with a sprained ankle, while Parker and Ginobili combined to shoot just 9-for-28 from the field.
Duncan tweaked his left knee in a collision on Sunday, but doesn't expect to miss any time.
"It went numb for a while, but it feels a lot better now," he said. "It's going to swell a little bit, obviously, but hopefully by tomorrow it'll be fine."
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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