Red-Hot Spurs

Winless on the road, the Sacramento Kings have been a good home team this season. More than a home-court advantage, however, will be needed to beat the red-hot San Antonio Spurs.

San Antonio seeks its sixth straight victory overall and second in as many games against the Kings this season when the teams meet Monday night at Arco Arena.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made San Antonio –6.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 193 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 93% of bets for this game have been placed on San Antonio –6.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

The Spurs were tied after one half Sunday night at Seattle, but tightened up after the break and pulled away for their season-high fifth consecutive win, 116-101.

"They ran rampant in that first half,'' said Spurs center Tim Duncan, who scored a team-high 26 points. "We didn't say anything ... we understand what it takes to win a game."

Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker added 22 apiece for San Antonio (12-2), which finished 11-for-19 from 3-point range.

The Spurs own the best record in the Western Conference and are off to the best 14-game start in team history - one game better than last season. But how important is that to coach Gregg Popovich?

"Not very,'' he said. "We've had good starts in the past and not won the championship.''

San Antonio does look dominant, though. Only two of its 12 wins have been by fewer than nine points.

"It's about taking steps to improve, because everybody knows we are going to the playoffs,'' Ginobili said. "So it's about in April being in as good a shape as possible.''

Parker reached the 20-point mark for the fourth straight game Sunday while Duncan did it for the third consecutive contest. Parker is averaging 26.5 points and 8.2 assists in his last four games.

Stifling defense has been a trademark of Popovich's teams in 12 years with the Spurs, and this season is no exception. San Antonio is allowing 91.5 points per game, a mark bettered only by Boston.

The Spurs are 3-0 this season in the second night of back-to-back games.

Sacramento (4-9) is 4-2 at home this season, but has dropped four consecutive meetings with the Spurs at Arco Arena.

Overall, the Spurs have won five straight games against the Kings and nine of the last 10 matchups in the series. Sacramento was held to a franchise record-low 23 first-half points in a 96-80 loss at San Antonio on Nov. 2.

On Friday night at Portland, the Kings faltered down the stretch and remained winless on the road with an 87-84 defeat.

"We had our chances,'' Sacramento coach Reggie Theus said. "We had the ball taken from us down the stretch. We needed defensive stops and we couldn't get them.''

Kevin Martin had 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Kings, who lost their third straight game overall. Ron Artest added 17 points, 11 boards and five assists after missing the previous game due to personal reasons.

Beno Udrih returned from a knee injury to start at point guard, where he has been subbing for the injured Mike Bibby (thumb). Udrih, who spent his first three seasons with the Spurs, had 11 points and matched a season high with six assists.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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