Spurs to extend Warriors' 'slump'?

Spurs to extend Warriors' 'slump'?

Mortality eventually reveals itself to all beings, even those as supremely gifted as the Warriors. But while the last week has produced uncommon adversity for Steve Kerr’s bunch, the search for 73 wins remains alive and well.

Golden State must capture its final four contests to break Chicago’s single-season record of 72. The immediate future arguably presents the biggest obstacle yet, with almost-as-mighty San Antonio arriving in Oakland tonight.

After two shocking results at Oracle Arena in the last week alone, oddsmakers suddenly have to think twice about automatically listing the host squad as a double-digit favorite. Indeed, the Spurs are “just” 7.5-point underdogs in online sports book Bovada.lv’s eyes. The over/under total rests at 208.

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Tuesday’s 124-117 overtime defeat to Minnesota stalled the Warriors’ pursuit of the top seed in the Western Conference. If Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the rest of defending NBA champs can subdue San Antonio head-to-head, though, home-court advantage throughout the playoffs is theirs.

One wonders if Gregg Popovich’s occasional habit of sitting battle-tested veterans will make such a distinction easier to attain. Point guard Tony Parker suggested earlier in the afternoon that the class of the Southwest Division has every reason to play it straight, which seems like a much more reasonable proposition tonight rather than when the two organizations meet again over the weekend.

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Provided that Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge perform the usual heavy lifting, we’re obviously referring to a scintillating matchup. Golden State’s 1-5 ATS record since March 27 should, however, give you pause before expecting a triumphant bounce-back.

THURSDAY NBA FREE PICK: SPURS +7.5

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