The Western Conference foes will meet at the AT&T Center on Saturday when the Portland Trail Blazers take on the San Antonio Spurs, looking to conclude a three-game road trip with a win in the second of back-to-back games, while the hosts are hoping to continue with fine form after winning the previous six games. The rivals traded victories in the recent H2H duels with home team usually on the winning end, and they already met three times this season with Portland leading the series 2-1, so San Antonio will be looking to set close it with a win in front of their own crowd. NBA: Saturday, March 16, 2019, AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas, 7:30 PM ET
Portland Trail Blazers exploded in the fourth quarter to get a win over the Clippers
Portland was in a good form of five wins in a row but lost three of the following four games only to bounce back with a pair of wins over the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers. The Blazers now improved to the 41-26 record and are currently sitting in the 4th position in the Western Conference with five wins behind the conference leaders Golden State Warriors and four wins behind the Northwest Division rivals Denver Nuggets. Portland is two wins ahead of their next opponents San Antonio Spurs and the Blazers are with one foot in the playoffs as they have eight wins more than the Sacramento Kings, who are in the 9th place at the moment.
C.J. McCollum led the Blazers in a 125-104 win over the Clippers with 35 points (12-21 FG, 6-11 3PT, 5-6 FT), four rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Damian Lillard posted a double-double of 20 points and game-high 12 dimes, Jusuf Nurkic recorded a double-double of 20 points and team-high 12 boards, while Enes Kanter chipped in with 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Portland failed to create a gap in the opening three quarters but they exploded for 40 points in the final 12 minutes and allowed just 20 points in return to secure a convincing victory.
.@dame_lillard finished with 20 points, 12 assists last night.
*insert dime emoji here* pic.twitter.com/MIE2RX13kS
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 13, 2019
Moe Harkless (knee) is questionable Saturday against the Spurs, while Seth Curry (upper respiratory) is questionable to face San Antonio.
The Trail Blazers have the top 10 offense in the NBA that averages 114.0 points per contest (8th), while their defense is the 13th in the league as it allows 110.5 points per game. Portland’s rebounding is in top 5 as they are recording 47.7 boards per game (3rd), while they are way worse when it comes to assists per contest with 22.8 dishes a night (24th). Portland is 13th in field goal percentage as they have 46.5 percent from the floor and 7th from downtown with 35.9 percentage, while they are 17th in the NBA with 11.0 three-pointers made per game.
San Antonio Spurs secured the sixth straight win after defeating Dallas on the road
San Antonio didn’t open February well as they suffered seven losses in eight games but responded with six consecutive victories including the most recent one over the Dallas Mavericks on the road. The Spurs improved to the 39-29 record and are in the 7th place in the Western Conference with seven wins behind the conference leaders Golden State Warriors and three wins behind the Southwest Division rivals Houston Rockets. San Antonio has an excellent opportunity to make the playoffs as they are six wins ahead of the Sacramento Kings, who are in the 9th position right now, but it will be hard for the Spurs to secure one of the top four places.
DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs in a 112-105 win over the Mavericks with 33 points (11-19 FG, 11-11 FT), six assists, four rebounds, and game-high four steals; LaMarcus Aldridge added 28 points and game-high seven boards, Derrick White had 23 points, game-high seven dishes, and three thefts, while Davis Bertans contributed with 11 points and six rebounds off the bench. San Antonio wasn’t very good from downtown, making only 36.4 percent of their shots from the perimeter, but they had 52.4 percent from the floor and didn’t miss a single free throw (18-18). On the other hand, Dallas had trouble from the foul line, making only 15 of their 26 attempts (57.7%).
28 PTS | 7 REB | 3 AST pic.twitter.com/dMCQdDnNQt
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 13, 2019
Rudy Gay (illness) is expected to return to action for the Spurs’ Friday-Saturday, back-to-back set this weekend after missing the last two games.
The Spurs have the 16th offense in the NBA that averages 112.0 points per contest, while their defense is the 15th in the league as it allows 110.9 points per game. San Antonio’s rebounding is below average as they are recording 44.5 boards per game (22nd), while they are slightly better when it comes to assists per contest with 24.4 dishes a night (16th). San Antonio is 2nd in field goal percentage as they have 47.8 percent from the floor and 1st from downtown with 39.9 percentage, while they are 25th in the NBA with 10.0 three-pointers made per game.
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven vs. Western Conference rivals
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games playing the second of back-to-back
- 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall
- 16-7 ATS in their last 23 games played at home
- 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games vs. an opponent with a winning percentage above .600
The Winner Prediction
San Antonio won five out of the previous ten H2H encounters including two of the last four, while the Spurs were victorious in six of the past seven meetings at the AT&T Center. Home team is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five duels and the Trail Blazers are 3-9 ATS in the previous 12 meetings in San Antonio. It’s clear that the home side has an advantage in this rivalry and that’s why I am going with San Antonio to get a victory and close the gap between them and Portland in the standings. The Spurs won each of their last home games and Portland has only five victories in San Antonio in this decade and I don’t think they’ll get their sixth on Saturday.
The Pick: San Antonio Spurs -2 (-110)