Resting Easy

Both the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs can now rest easy knowing they'll be returning to the upcoming Western Conference playoffs.

With plenty to play for in the final few regular season games, however, neither team can truly rest.

The Spurs will be chasing the West's top seed while the Suns jockey for home-court advantage in the first round when the teams meet in San Antonio Wednesday, with Phoenix seeking its first season-series victory in five years.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made San Antonio -6 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 199.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 55% of bets for this game have been placed on San Antonio -6 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

San Antonio has won nine of its last 10 games, and seems unwilling to ease up entering the season's final week. The Spurs (53-24) are just one game behind New Orleans for first place in the West, but just 1 1/2 games ahead of the Suns (52-26), who are in sixth.

"In past seasons with five games to go, you knew you could be first, second, third or even fourth, and that's it. This year it could be seventh, so it puts pressure on everybody," San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili said. "We can't slow down, we have to keep playing."

The Spurs, who've won five straight and 12 of 13 at home, rebounded from a dismal offensive effort with a 72-65 win at Portland on Sunday. In its previous game, San Antonio had lost 90-64 to Utah, meaning its two lowest point totals of the season came in the last two games.

But the team's signature defense seems to be tightening just as the playoffs approach. The Spurs have held their last 11 opponents under 100 points, with those teams averaging just 86.1 points and shooting 40.7 percent from the field.

The Suns again feature an uptempo style, even since the acquisition of center Shaquille O'Neal.

O'Neal was scratched Tuesday due to a hip contusion, but Amare Stoudemire had 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead seven scorers in double figures as Phoenix won 127-113 at Memphis to clinch a playoff berth.

"We wanted to win it from the inside, and, without Shaq, we were undermanned in the interior," Stoudemire said. "I just tried to attack in many ways. Just try to keep them off-balance a little bit."

The Suns had lost two of three before Tuesday's win, but they've still won 12 of their last 16 - averaging 114.5 points over that span - as O'Neal has grown more comfortable. The center, who is expected to return for Wednesday's game, is averaging 12.6 points and 10.6 rebounds in 24 games since coming to Phoenix in a trade from Miami.

The hot streak has left Phoenix just 2 1/2 games from the top of the West, tied with Utah a half-game behind Houston for the last home-court spot in the first round.

"We are working against the conference standings right now," Stoudemire said after the win over the Grizzlies. "We are still improving as a team, and this was a good game for us. It was also an important game."

Since taking three of four against San Antonio during the 2002-03 season, Phoenix had won just three of its last 14 games against the Spurs entering 2007-08.

But the Suns have won two of the first three in the series this season, including a 100-95 win at San Antonio in December and a 94-87 win exactly one month ago.

Here are some top trends for tonight's matchup:

-SAN ANTONIO is 51-38 ATS (+9.2 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.

-PHOENIX is 30-15 ATS (+13.5 Units) in road games against Southwest division opponents since 1996.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Celtics improving Finals odds The Boston Celtics are showing signs that they want to be in the hunt to win the NBA Finals next season. Do oddsmakers feel the Celtics are...
Thumbnail Warriors re-sign Curry, Iguodala The Golden State Warriors are committed to keeping their championship team together. The team re-signed a number of players last week to improve their odds to...
Thumbnail Paul George joins the Thunder The Oklahoma City Thunderwon the Paul Georgesweepstakes last week. How has this impacted the team’s ability to win the NBA...
Thumbnail Rockets improve Finals odds After making a big splash this week, are the Houston Rockets making a push to win the 2018 NBA Finals?
Thumbnail Updated NBA Finals Odds After a busy week with the NBA Draft taking place, which team improved their odds to win the 2018 NBA Finals?

NBA Headlines

  • MIAMI (AP) Udonis Haslem believes he can still play, and the Miami Heat apparently agree.
    The three-time NBA champion has signed a one-year, $2.3 million deal to remain with the Heat for what...
  • SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The Utah Jazz signed big man Eric Griffin to a two-way contract Thursday.
    Contract details were not released.
    Griffin was a member of the Jazz during NBA summer leagu...
  • CLEVELAND (AP) A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cleveland Cavaliers are discussing a contract with former NBA MVP Derrick Rose.
    The team is discussing a one-year deal with Ros...
  • SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The Utah Jazz signed forward Royce O'Neale on Wednesday.
    Contract details were not released.
    The 6-foot-6, 215-pound wing played for Gran Canaria in Spain last season...
  • MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Mario Chalmers, nearly 1 1/2 years after he ruptured his right Achilles tendon playing for the team.
    The Grizzlies announced the de...

NBA Team Pages