The San Antonio Spurs try to earn a win on the road when they take on the Los Angeles Lakers in a Sunday matinee. The game between Western Conference squads is set to tip-off at 3:30 p.m. ET at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
The Spurs have alternated wins and losses over the last five games, including a 123-109 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. San Antonio is 4-8 and in third place in the Southwest Division, 1½ games behind the second-place Memphis Grizzlies.
The Lakers are coming off a 107-83 blowout by the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night, snapping their two-game winning streak. Los Angeles is 7-6 and in fourth place in the Pacific Division, 1½ games behind the third-place LA Clippers.
If you’re going to bet online on this game, the NBA lines have the Lakers as 2½-point favorites at home, with the over/under set at 220. If you’d prefer to bet on the moneyline, you can get Los Angeles at -150, while the Spurs are listed at +130.
The Spurs have yet to have a winning streak but their two wins in the last four games are better than the 2-6 start they got off to. Unfortunately, this is the first of a three-game road trip before they head home to face the defending Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns.
Guard Dejounte Murray has emerged as the leader for Gregg Popovich’s squad, filling up the boxscore to the tune of 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game, leading San Antonio in all of those categories. Murray had a triple-double (21 points, 15 assists, 12 rebounds) in the first meeting between these teams this season, a 125-121 overtime victory by the Lakers.
The Spurs are going to need all of their players to hit the boards in this one, with 7-1 center Jakob Poeltl (13.9 points, 9.7 rebounds) still sidelined. San Antonio is tied for 26th in the league in rebounds per game with just 44.2.
Yes, LeBron James didn’t play a minute of the game, but the Lakers’ 24-point loss at home to Minnesota didn’t sit well with Anthony Davis or anyone in the Los Angeles organization. The Lakers dropped to 2-3 without James, and it’s uncertain when he’ll be able to return from a strained abdominal muscle.
“We’re not going to win a championship the way we’re playing,” Davis said after Friday’s loss. “We have to be better. We’ve got to decide who we want to be. A championship team? That’s not us right now.”
Davis has been doing all he can, averaging a team-high 23.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. He’s doing that despite a thumb injury that has been bothering him for a bit.
Guard Russell Westbrook is putting up solid numbers, averaging 19.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 1.3 steals. But the team is still trying to figure out its chemistry after so many changes to the roster in the offseason, and not having James to help facilitate the transition hasn’t helped.
Lakers Win at Home
The Spurs gave the Lakers a tough time in their first meeting — James missed that one as well — but Los Angeles should be better at home. Davis will lead Los Angeles to a win that helps make up for the ugly showing on Friday night, easily covering the spread.
When making your NBA picks, take the Lakers to win and cover at home.