Win or go Home

Jannero Pargo spun through the air on a one-handed dunk attempt, stuffed himself on the front rim and fell backward onto the court while his New Orleans Hornets teammates buckled over in laughter.

Tyson Chandler, showing no lingering effects from a foot injury last Tuesday, quickly grabbed a ball and mocked the whole sequence - fall included.

If the young Hornets are nervous about Monday night's Game 7 against the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, it didn't show after practice on Sunday.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made New Orleans -4 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 182 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 57% of bets for this game have been placed on San Antonio +4 (View NBA Bet Percentages). Bet this game.

Chandler joked that having three days off after Thursday's Game 6 loss helped his conditioning because he was able to spend more time with his 2-year-old daughter.

``She may be a little tougher to chase around than Tim Duncan,'' Chandler said. ``She's been a handful out there - no disrespect to Tim Duncan. He knows he's my guy.''

No Hornets team has advanced to a conference finals in the 20-year history of the franchise. However, this squad, led by first-year All-Stars Chris Paul and David West, already has led the organization to new heights, including a franchise-record 56 victories in the regular season.

That mark earned the Hornets the second seed in the Western Conference and what seems to be an all-important home advantage in this second-round series. The home team has won every game by double digits. The Hornets have yet to lose in six home playoff games during the first two rounds of the playoffs.

``We knew it was going to be a long series, the type of team we're dealing with,'' said West, whose sore back didn't stop him from scrimmaging on Sunday and apparently won't keep him out of the lineup on Monday night.

``The reason we fought out games throughout the regular season was to be able to have a Game 7 on your home floor. We've been able to do that, so we've got to take advantage of the opportunity we have.''

This is also the first time the Hornets have faced elimination in these playoffs, something the Spurs overcame in Game 6 in San Antonio, when the Spurs blew out the Hornets, led by Manu Ginobili's 25 points.

``You've just got to be very focused, knowing that you can't blink, that you can't let the other team get on a run, get confident on a run,'' said Ginobili, who made six 3-pointers in Game 6. ``It's going to be a really tense game with a lot of adrenaline. Fans are going to be going nuts. So it's going to be a very fun game to play.''

Although the Spurs have won four NBA titles in the previous nine seasons, they've never won two back-to-back. They've also never fought back from a 2-0 playoff series deficit, which they had early on in this series. The Spurs were beaten soundly in their previous three games in New Orleans, but in none of those games was their season on the brink as it is now. Whether added urgency makes San Antonio a better road team remains to be seen.

``We'll see if we thrive on pressure after Monday's game. We still don't know,'' Ginobili said. ``It's a great test for both teams. A lot of pressure, as I said before, and we're going to try to be the ones that respond to that pressure the best way.''

While the Hornets appear loose and jovial, there was a poignant moment Sunday when coach Byron Scott gathered players in a huddle and told them he wasn't ready to close the book on what has been a special season.

There has been a certain magic about the Hornets this season, their first full-time campaign in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005.

Paul and West both made their All-Star debuts in the same season that New Orleans hosted the popular exhibition of basketball's elite, then led the Hornets to the playoffs for the first time in four years.

The team incorporated the city's fleur-de-lis symbol into its logo and backed it up by helping with rebuilding projects all over town while offering performances worth cheering on the court.

The New Orleans Arena, often half-empty back in November and December, has been routinely sold out since midseason. Indeed, a city of world-renown culinary distinction now has an undeniable appetite for pro basketball, if only the Hornets can serve up another round of the playoffs.

``I don't want today to be our last practice,'' Scott said Sunday. ``I don't want tomorrow to be our last shootaround. I just felt I needed to let them know and hopefully they feel the same way.''  Bet this game.

Here are some top trends for today's game:

- SAN ANTONIO is 10-8 against the spread versus NEW ORLEANS over the last 3 seasons

- 10 of 17 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

Get real live customizable updates, public betting info from 6 online sports books, archived public betting info and much more by clicking here.

NBA Top Stories

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?
Thumbnail Will Fox be a top-5 pick? With the 2017 NBA Drafttakes place later tonight. Where can we expect one of the top prospects, De’Aaron Fox, to land tonight?
Thumbnail Fultz to go to the 76ers? The Boston Celticshave traded out of the No. 1 pick. The Philadelphia 76ersnow hold the top pick once again. Is it a slam dunk who they will take in the NBA...
Thumbnail 2018 NBA Finals Odds After dominating the 2017 NBA Playoffs, will anyone keep the Golden State Warriors from winning the NBA Finals again...
Thumbnail Stephen Curry Game 5 Props Will Stephen Curry bounce back from a poor showing in Game 4 when the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals tonight at 9PM...

NBA Headlines

  • HOUSTON (AP) Chris Paul is heading to Houston to join James Harden, giving the Rockets two All-Stars in the backcourt to lead their chase for a championship.
    In the NBA's second blockbuster t...
  • EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) The Los Angeles Lakers have exercised their $1.3 million contract option on guard David Nwaba for the upcoming season.
    The Lakers announced the move Wednesday.
    Nw...
  • AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Pistons have traded swingman Darrun Hilliard to the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations.
    Hilliard appeared in a career-high 39 games last ...
  • SAN ANTONIO (AP) An ex-financial adviser to retired San Antonio Spurs player Tim Duncan has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for defrauding the former NBA star of millions of dollars...
  • CLEVELAND (AP) LeBron James will help tell a story he's still shaping.
    The Cavaliers superstar is teaming with Showtime on a documentary that will examine the modern NBA and the league's impa...

NBA Team Pages