Spurs vs. Clippers Game 3: San Antonio is Streaking in the 2012 NBA Playoffs

San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers
Saturday, 5/19/12, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  San Antonio -5
Current Betting Line:  San Antonio -5
Opening Total:  194
Current Total:  190.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The San Antonio Spurs look primed to take a 3-0 series lead against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday afternoon

San Antonio has opened up its best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series against the Los Angeles Clippers with two impressive double-digit victories, including a 105-88 win as 10.5-point home favorites in Game 2 on Thursday night.  The Spurs have won 16 straight games dating back to the regular season, but the locker room is focused on what lies ahead.  “It is not important to look at that,” stated Spurs points guard Tony Parker.  “We know that Game 3 is going to be very hard.”  He is averaging 18.8 points and 7.0 assists during the playoffs, and comes off a 22-point performance last time out.  San Antonio is 5-3 ATS as a road favorite of 3.5 to 6 points, while the “over” is 6-2 in that situation.

The Spurs are averaging a league-best 103.7 points during the 2012 NBA playoffs, with 42.0 points coming from the bench.  San Antonio has been tremendous from beyond the arc in this series, connecting on 23 3-point shots in the first two games.  The team was 22-11 on the road during the regular season, including a 15-9 mark versus Western Conference foes.

Los Angeles will need a better performance out of point guard Chris Paul if it looks to avoid getting swept in this series, as he committed a career-high eight turnovers in Game 2.  The Clippers start is averaging 6.5 assists in this series, which is much lower than the 9.1 assists that he dished out during the regular season.  “The next game is our Game 7,” stated Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro about this afternoon’s affair.  Los Angeles is 6-9 ATS as a home underdog of 3.5 to 6 points over the last two-plus seasons, but none of those contests came during the 2011-12 campaign.

The Clippers were absolutely manhandled in the paint in Game 2, getting outscored by a 50-18 margin, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the series.  Los Angeles has dropped all six of its playoff series in franchise history after dropping the opening game.  All-Star power forward Blake Griffin led the squad with 20 points in the latest loss, but will need to increase his productivity if Paul continues to struggle on the perimeter.

Bettors will likely back the Clippers due to their 4-0-1 ATS mark as a home underdog, while the Spurs are 9-12 ATS in playoff games over the last two-plus seasons.

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