Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals takes place on Thursday as the San Antonio Spurs take their 2-0 series lead to Oklahoma to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game is scheduled for a 9:00 pm start time and it will be televised live on TNT. Currently the odds have Oklahoma City favored by 3.5 points with the total sitting at 206 points for the contest.
Free Analysis: So far, the Spurs have been at their best more than the Thunder, cranking it up for 39 fourth-quarter points in a come-from-behind Game 1 victory and then shooting 63 percent from the field and 64 percent from 3-point range while building their biggest lead in Game 2. How efficient has San Antonio’s offense been? Crunch these numbers: After they were limited to 62 points through three quarters of Game 1, the Spurs have shot 58.5 percent since and averaged nearly 32 points in each of the last five quarters. Point guard Tony Parker scored 34 points on 16-of-21 shooting in Game 2 and directed an attack that was unstoppable in stretches. San Antonio hit eight of nine shots in the second quarter to put the Thunder on their heels and blew the game open in the third quarter by burying nine of 11 attempts, including five consecutive 3-pointers. Sixth man Manu Ginobili has back-to-back 20-point games for only the third time this season and rookie Kawhi Leonard posted his first double-double since March 25. San Antonio has scored 106.7 ppg, while allowing just 93.9 ppg during their 20 game win streak. The Spurs are an incredible 16-3-1 against the spread in their last 20 games, and the Spurs have won ten of their last eleven games against the Thunder. Having been unable to slow down the San Antonio Spurs' juggernaut, the Oklahoma City Thunder will hope that returning to their home arena will swing the momentum. Oklahoma City received a combined 88 points from its Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, yet still found itself staring at a 22-point deficit midway through the third quarter. The Thunder did get within six points in the fourth quarter, but they cannot match San Antonio basket-for-basket when three members of the staring five combine for 13 points. Three-time scoring champ Durant scored 31 points, but he took only 10 shots after scoring 12 first-quarter points. Conversely, forward Serge Ibaka and backup guard Derek Fisher each heaved up 11 shots. Point guards Westbrook and Harden combined for zero turnovers and Oklahoma City had just 10 total, showing the ease in which the Spurs are manufacturing points out of their set offense. San Antonio is a rare underdog and they have excelled in the role, going 8-3 ATS in their past 11 tries as a dog. Interestingly, the OVER is 8-2 the past 10 games where the Spurs were underdogs, but the number opened high at 5Dimes yesterday. Oklahoma City battles the Spurs, currently with a 50-16 mark (42-20-4 ATS). The OVER/UNDER records, important for totals bettors, are 31-35 for the Thunder and 39-26-1 for the Spurs.
Free Pick: After seeing game 2 the obvious way to look would be to the Over, but I will head the other way here. Despite all the points that San Antonio has put up during their win streak, they do not want to run with this Thunder team. The Spurs allowed 111 points in their last game and 98 points in game 1 an that is unlike this team as they allowed just 88.8 ppg in their first 8 playoff games this year. I expect the Spurs to tighten it up a bit at the defensive end in this one. For the Thunder they have played good defense at home this year, allowing just 95.5 ppg at home overall and just 90.5 ppg at home in the playoffs. This team can not be happy about allowing 120 sand 101 points in the first 2 games of this series. Thunder home games have averaged 200 ppg, while their home playoff games have averaged just 191 ppg. I expect a bit more defense in this one than in games 1 and 2 as this game is played in the 190's.
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