NBA Playoff Predictions 2012: San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Clippers

San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers
Sunday, 5/20/12, 10:30 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  San Antonio -6.5
Current Betting Line:  San Antonio -7.5
Opening Total:  190
Current Total:  190
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The San Antonio Spurs are a win away from advancing to the 2012 Western Conference finals

San Antonio is just a win away from advancing to the Western Conference finals, as the team overcame a 22-point first-quarter deficit to capture a 96-86 win over Los Angeles as five-point road favorites in Game 3.  “We understood the energy in the building was going to be high,” commented Spurs forward Tim Duncan about withstanding the early charge of the Clippers.  He is averaging 16.8 points and grabbing 8.3 rebounds during the 2012 NBA playoffs.  San Antonio is 22-13 ATS on the road, and the “over” is 25-11 in that situation.

The Spurs are getting solid production out of point guard Tony Parker, averaging 17.3 points and 8.7 assists in the first three games of this series, but he’s shooting just 35.4 percent from the floor.  San Antonio’s current 17-game win streak is the NBA’s longest continued into the playoffs since the 2004 campaign.  The team will likely close things out in this contest, considering its first three victories were by an average of 14.3 points per game.

Los Angeles received a huge 28-point effort from All-Star power forward Blake Griffin, but it still wasn’t enough on Saturday afternoon.  The Clippers were outscored by a 26-8 margin in the third quarter, with point guard Chris Paul showing the effects of a long season.  He is averaging just 9.3 points on 30.8 percent shooting, which includes 10 points on 5 of 17 from the field in the latest 10-point setback.  Los Angeles is 7-3 ATS when playing on Sunday, but have managed to win nine of those games in straight-up fashion.

The Clippers inexperience in the playoffs has really shown at the charity stripe, shooting just 66.5 percent from the free throw line, which is the second-worst mark in the league.  Los Angeles will definitely learn from this experience, especially in playing against an opponent that is rolling through the playoffs.  “Seventeen wins in a row would be nice,” stated Griffin about his jealousy of the Spurs’ current win streak.

Bettors will likely back the Clippers due to their 6-1 ATS mark following a double-digit loss at home, while the Spurs are 15-16 ATS when playing on Sunday the past two-plus seasons.

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