San Antonio (65-12) at Golden State (69-9)
When: Thursday, April 7th 2016
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
Time: 10:35 ET | TV: TNT
The two best teams in the NBA meet again on Thursday as the Golden State Warriors host the San Antonio Spurs in Oakland. The Warriors seem to be losing a little focus as they try and break the NBA record of 73 wins set by the Chicago Bulls in 1995-96. Golden State had a 54-game regular season home winning streak snapped last Friday by the Boston Celtics 109-106. They started a new streak two days later by blasting Portland 136-111, but fell again at home, this time to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves 124-117 (OT) on Tuesday. The Warriors blew a 17-point lead against Minnesota and committed a season-high 24 turnovers in the process. With four games remaining, the Warriors need to win out to break the record and will play two teams twice – the Spurs and Grizzlies. Stephen Curry, who earlier this season became the first player to hit 300 3-pointers in a season, needs 18 in the final four games to reach 400. A win tonight would clinch home-court advantage throughout the NBA Playoffs.
The Spurs still have a shot at 70 wins if they win their final five, but they have a very tough schedule and coach Greg Popovich will more than likely rest his starters for a few of those games. It would appear that Popovich is going to play his stars in Oakland tonight in what is probably a good tune-up game for a potential Western Conference Finals series. The Spurs come in riding a four-game winning streak after Tuesday’s 88-86 win at a scrappy Utah. The victory over the Jazz marked the 1,000th career regular-season victory for Spurs center Tim Duncan, making him the third player in history (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1,074, and Robert Parish, 1,014) to reach the mark. The Spurs beat Golden State at home last month 87-79 as five-point favorites. The Warriors handled San Antonio at Oracle Arena on January 25th 120-90. Kawhi Leonard will be looking to get back on track for the playoffs. He is 3-of-14 from 3-point range in the last three games.
As long as San Antonio plays its starters, which it looks like they will, they should be able to hang around on the road against Golden State. The defense really shut down Curry last month and I think they can control him again.
Pick: Spurs +7