San Antonio, Houston ready for marquee tilt

San Antonio, Houston ready for marquee showdown

Golden State boasts the NBA’s best record at 51-11. Still, the battled-tested Spurs are poised to make Steve Kerr’s bunch extremely uncomfortable down the stretch.

In search of win No. 8 in a row, San Antonio will host Lone Star State rival­­­­­ Houston tonight. Online sports book gives Kawhi Leonard & Co. odds of -175 to come out on top. The Rockets, on the other hand, enter AT&T Center as +151 underdogs.

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With a little less than a month remaining in the regular season, the Spurs trail the Warriors by several games for the top overall seed in the Western Conference. Yet Gregg Popovich’s troops can all but extinguish Houston’s faint hopes of a division title with a victory in this spot. The inimitable coach continues to lean on Leonard, who’s averaging 26.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.9 steals.

Mike D’Antoni, of course, possesses his own MVP candidate in James Harden. The Arizona product notched his league-leading 49th double-double of the season in Saturday’s 123-109 victory over Memphis. Harden’s vastly improved decision-making at the point has also enabled the likes of Eric Gordon and Clint Capela to enjoy career years.

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San Antonio understands full well that it must use all available resources to keep No. 13 in check. But there’s a slight problem: The host team went to overtime in each of the past two games. That could spell doom against a Rockets group that relishes getting out in transition.

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