|NBA: Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs Preview & Picks|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Friday, 02 November 2007 03:29|
Right Where We Left Off
The San Antonio Spurs are picking up right where they left off.
The reigning NBA champions look to open a season with three consecutive wins for the first time in seven years Friday night when they host the Sacramento Kings.
Oddsmakers from Bodog.com have made San Antonio -14.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 190.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 55% of bets for this game have been placed on San Antonio -14.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
The Spurs (2-0), who ended their title run last summer by winning six consecutive games, last began a season with three wins in a row in 2000-01, en route to the best record in the NBA.
Manu Ginobili made 3-pointers and scored 30 points, including the go-ahead basket with 32 seconds left in Wednesday's 104-101 victory at Memphis. He also made 13-of-14 foul shots for the game.
"The difference in the game is that Manny willed it. He just willed it," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He went to the hole, took charge, made the free throws. He saved the day for us."
The Spurs opened the season at home Tuesday, receiving their rings before a 106-97 win over Portland.
Ginobili added seven assists Wednesday after getting 16 points and eight assists against the Trail Blazers. The shooting guard, one of the best reserves in the league, credits his fast start to an offseason conditioning program where he did little during August and started training in September.
"I feel great right now. It seems to be paying off," Ginobili said. "I don't know what that means a few months from now, but right now I feel really fresh."
Tim Duncan has put up his usual numbers, totaling 41 points and 22 boards through two contests. The All-Star forward led San Antonio with 23.8 points per game and 12.8 rebounds as the Spurs swept four games from the Kings (0-1) last season.
The Kings, meanwhile, are coming off a 104-90 loss in their opener at New Orleans on Wednesday as they played without Mike Bibby (thumb), Ron Artest (suspension) and first-round pick Spencer Hawes (knee).
"We have no depth," said new coach Reggie Theus said. "It is very frustrating to be short-handed. It's beyond frustrating, but we have no choice but to deal with it."
With Artest suspended for seven games after pleading no contest to a charge related to domestic violence, Theus started shooting guard Kevin Martin at forward and he responded with a team-high 26 points against the Hornets.
With Bibby out at least eight weeks with his thumb injury, newcomer Orien Greene took his place in the lineup and had two points and an assist in 16 minutes. John Salmons picked up the slack with 22 points and nine assists.
The Kings, who visit Dallas on Saturday, are starting their first set of back-to-back games. They went 15-29 in those contests a season ago.
Sacramento got some help at the point Thursday, signing former Spurs guard Beno Udrih.
Udrih, who spent three seasons with San Antonio after being chosen 28th overall in the 2004 draft, may not play against his former team Friday. He appeared in 207 regular-season games with the Spurs, averaging 5.2 points and 1.8 assists.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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