Thunder vs Spurs Preview and Free Pick [1/31/2017]

Oklahoma City (28-20) at San Antonio (36-11)
When: Tuesday, January 31st 2017
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Time: 8:35 ET | TV: NBA TV

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The first-place San Antonio Spurs continue their four-game homestand with a visit from the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night. The home swing didn’t get started off very well as the Spurs dropped their sixth home date this season after a 105-101 loss to the lowly Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs lost only once the entire season at home in the 2015-2016 season. San Antonio blew a 15-point second-quarter lead against Dallas and head coach Gregg Popovich isn’t happy with the sloppy performance. Veteran guard Manu Ginobili agrees with Popovich saying, “(Sunday) was mental errors, mainly, communication errors, the ones that shouldn’t happen. He wasn’t happy and we aren’t happy. We are competitors and we want to win, too. Of course, we want to play again and have a better game.” Power forward David Lee has certainly stepped up his game with the absence of center Pau Gasol (hand), averaging 12.8 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 64.8% from the field over the past six games. This will be the first meeting this campaign against Oklahoma City after the teams split four games last year.


The Thunder suffered a rare loss on Sunday in which Russell Westbrook recorded another triple-double in a 107-91 loss at Cleveland. Oklahoma City is 18-6 when Westbrook records a triple-double this season and 51-10 in his career, but the Thunder lost to Cleveland despite 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists from Westbrook. His 24 triple-doubles are the most in a season since Wilt Chamberlain posted 31 in 1967-68, and his averages of 30.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.2 assists have him on pace to join Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson (1961-62) as the only players to average triple-doubles over an entire season. Westbrook averaged 27 points, 8.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds in four games against the Spurs last season but also committed an average of 5.3 turnovers. His turnover issues have been a problem this month as he’s averaging 5.9 turnovers and has twice recorded 10. Rookie power forward Domantas Sabonis (6.2 points) has averaged 11 points over the past two games and Oklahoma City will be looking for more offense from the first-round pick with Enes Kanter (broken forearm) out for up to two months.

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The Thunder always have a chance to win with Westbrook on the court and the Spurs aren’t as dominant at home as they have been. Nine points is lot to lay against Oklahoma City. I’ll take it.

Pick: Thunder +9