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San Antonio Spurs at Boston Celtics Game Preview and Prediction

The inter-conference foes will meet at the TD Garden on Sunday when the San Antonio Spurs take on the Boston Celtics, hoping to avoid the third consecutive defeat, while the hosts are playing the second game of back-to-back set following their meeting with Charlotte on Saturday. San Antonio has been a better rival in the recent H2H duels as they won six of the last seven encounters including the opening game of this season’s series, so Boston will be looking to get revenge in this one. NBA: Sunday, March 24, 2019, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, 7:30 PM ET

San Antonio Spurs fell short to Houston despite a strong performance in the third quarter

San Antonio was in an excellent form of nine consecutive wins but they lost the next two games to the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets. The Spurs now dropped to the 42-31 record and are currently sitting in the 8th position in the Western Conference with seven wins behind the conference leaders Golden State Warriors and seven wins more than the Sacramento Kings who are in the 9th place at the moment. San Antonio is with one foot in the playoffs but they have two games more than the Kings; however, that shouldn’t be a problem as the Spurs have a favorable schedule in the next couple of weeks.

Bryn Forbes led the Spurs in a 111-105 loss to the Rockets with 20 points and five rebounds; Derrick White added 18 points, eight boards, and a pair of steals, while DeMar DeRozan contributed with 16 points, eight rebounds, and game-high eight dimes. San Antonio stayed close until the final quarter when Houston took control and the visitors simply couldn’t cope with red-hot James Harden who tied career-high 61 points.

The Spurs have the 16th offense in the NBA that averages 111.7 points per contest, while their defense is 13th in the league as it allows 110.3 points per game. San Antonio’s rebounding is below average as they are recording 44.6 boards per game (21st), while they are better when it comes to assists per contest with 24.5 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 39.7 percentage, while they are 25th in the NBA with 9.9 three-pointers made per game.

Boston Celtics failed to beat Philadelphia in a close encounter

Boston was in a fine form of five wins in six games but they suffered a couple of defeats to the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers and they are still alive in the top four race in the East only because Indiana is not playing well recently. The Celtics dropped to the 43-29 record and are in the 5th place in the Eastern Conference with a win behind the Pacers but with the game in hand, so it’s going to be interesting to see two upcoming matchups with Indiana. Boston is a win away from clinching the playoffs and they will have two chances in two nights as they are facing the Charlotte Hornets before San Antonio Spurs.

Kyrie Irvin led the Celtics in a 118-115 loss to the Sixers with 36 points, team-high nine rebounds, and four assists; Al Horford had 22 points, six boards, and team-high five dimes, while Terry Rozier chipped in with 20 points and six rebounds off the bench. Boston had an opportunity to win this game but Joel Embiid had a key block on Kyrie Irving with 35 seconds remaining, and Jimmy Butler scored 15 of his 22 points in the final quarter to help his team defeat the Celtics.

Al Horford (knee) will not play on Saturday against the Hornets but he should be good enough to face San Antonio on Sunday, while Gordon Hayward (concussion) will return to the court after missing the previous three games.

The Celtics have the 12th offense in the NBA that averages 112.7 points per contest, while their defense is 7th as it allows 107.7 points per game. Boston’s rebounding is below average as they are recording 44.6 boards per game (22nd), while they are way better when it comes to assists per contest with 26.4 dishes a night (6th). Boston is 12th in field goal percentage as they have 46.5 percent from the floor and 6th from downtown with 36.4 percentage, while they are 5th in the NBA with 12.7 three-pointers made per game.

Trends:

San Antonio:

  • 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight games overall
  • 4-1 ATS in their last five vs. Eastern Conference rivals
  • 5-2 ATS in their last seven games played on Sunday

Boston:

  • 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall
  • 0-4 ATS in their last four games played at home
  • 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games playing without rest
  • 2-7-1 ATS in their last ten vs. Western Conference rivals

The Winner Prediction

San Antonio won nine out of the previous ten H2H encounters including the last two, while the Spurs were victorious in six of the past seven meetings at the TD Garden. The Spurs are 8-2 ATS in the last ten duels and they are 12-3-1 ATS in the previous 16 meetings in Boston, and considering that the Celtics are playing the second game of the back-to-back set, I am going with the visitors in this one. Boston is struggling against San Antonio in recent years and although they will have Horford and Hayward in this game, I am sure they will be tired, especially late in the tilt, and the Spurs have enough experience to exploit that and cover the +2 spread.

The Pick: San Antonio Spurs +2 (-110)

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