San Antonio Spurs vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The San Antonio Spurs travel to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio, for a Friday night NBA showdown versus the Cleveland Cavaliers beginning at 7:30 pm EST. Currently, the Spurs are favored by 2.5-points, up from 1.5 at the opening, while the total stands at 216.5-points, down from 218.5.

The Spurs won their 2nd-straight as they went on a furious rally versus the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night to pick up a 7-point win to go 2-1 on their current 5-game road trip. The team fell down by 18-points at the half only to outscore the home team by a 66-41 margin in the 2nd-half en route to their 21st win of the season. The team boasted 6 double-digit scorer with Jakob Poeltl leading the way with a double-double (20 points, 16 rebounds). DeMar DeRozan did not suit up for the 4th-straight game due to personal reasons and is also questionable for this contest. Nonetheless, the Spurs continue to get it done versus the spread racking up a 3-1 record in their last 4 games.

The Cavaliers halted a 4-game losing streak when they took out the Boston Celtics Wednesday night by 7-points at home thanks to 20+ point performances from Collin Sexton (29 points) along with Darius Garland (25 points) on efficient shooting nights. In all, Cleveland shot 54% in the contest while hitting 10 treys (2 each by Sexton and Garland) as the team moved to 15-25 on the season, only 2.5-games behind the Indiana Pacers for 3rd in the Central division. Most importantly, the team was able to halt a 3-game streak to where they posted less than 100 points. Furthermore, the defense held the struggling Celtics to 26% shooting from deep while also forcing 12 turnovers as the team covered for the 1st time in 4 games as 7.5-point dogs.

Cleveland will take the floor seeking their 3rd-straight win over the Spurs; However, it should be mentioned that the Cavaliers have dropped 3 of 5 outright versus San Antonio at home. Each of these teams has split the spread in their last 10 meetings with the Spurs covering in 3 of 5 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Spurs rally for 2nd-straight road win

The Spurs got off to a sloppy start versus the Bulls posting just 17 points in the opening period while following this up with 23 in the 2nd. However, Poeltl sparked the team in the 2nd-half while reserve Patty Mills along with Derrick White, despite less than stellar shooting nights, combined for 5 treys as the Spurs were able to rally for a huge win. Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker IV, along with Dejounte Murray also posted double-digits for San Antonio as the team created some breathing room within the Southwest division from the Dallas Mavericks, who are only 1.5-game behind for 1st.

With DeRozan currently out of the lineup, San Antonio has found ways to step up on both ends of the floor lately, particularly on the defensive end as they have given up less than 100 points in each of their last 2 outings. This after surrendering 134 points to begin their 5-game road trip on March 14th. However, they must continue to keep this momentum going as they now face a Cleveland squad that recently lifted themselves from a disastrous shooting skid by posting 117 points versus the Celtics. In fact, the Cavaliers are averaging 124 points in their last 3 versus the Spurs, including posting 132 in March of last year.

San Antonio allowed 46% shooting in this contest along with 13 treys in addition to 7 double-digit scorers. On the other hand, the Spurs converted on 44% of their shots while connecting on 10 3-pointers as Murray finished with 17 while Rudy Gay came off the bench to post 19 and 9 rebounds. Mills went just 3-6 on this night for 7 points, Johnson went 2-3 FG for 6, while White ended with 17 points in the 3-point overtime loss at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Cavaliers back on track with win

Cleveland won its 3 home games in 4 outings after they were victorious over Boston Wednesday night as Sexton posted his 2nd-straight 20+ point performance (8th in 10 games) while Garland was also able to erect himself from a shooting skid with 25 points on 9-16 shooting. Important to note that each are shooting 45% from the floor (or better) on the year in addition to making 38% of their shots from long-range this season. Their offense was certainly much more fluent in this contest, particularly after a horrible stretch of games where they posted just 96 points in 4-games prior.

Important to note that Larry Nance, Jr. has come on as of late posting double-digits in 3 of his last 4 starts, including recording a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds versus the Celtics. The center also finished with a double-double in the team’s last matchup versus the Spurs going 7-13 from the field in addition to making 3 of 5 shots from deep for 19 points and 10 boards. Sexton, despite committing 7 turnovers, shot 8-19 FG along with a dismal 1-5 3FG to lead the way with 26 points. Cedi Osman, who has struggled mightily as of late, had a huge game finishing 4-8 from long-range for 19 points in addition to dishing out 6 assists in the overtime win.

The Cavaliers are averaging around 114 points in their last 4 home games while holding opponents to 109 points during this time. Furthermore, Cleveland put up an average of 98 points in 4 home games versus San Antonio prior to breaking out with 132 in March of last year.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

While DeRozan remains on hiatus for the Spurs, the team has continued their solid play as they have consistently utilized their young, talented nucleus to remain in the top spot in the division.  The Cavaliers were able to get back on the winning track in their most recent outing; However, continue to struggle on both ends of the floor.  The Spurs have done well for themselves at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in recent meetings and I expect them to get it done in this matchup as well.

Prediction:
San Antonio Spurs -2.5

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The under is 5-1 in the last 6 games for San Antonio in addition to being the call in 6 of the last 10 for the Cavaliers.  Furthermore, it has been the result in 2 of the last 3 between these 2 squads in Cleveland.  Aside from the play from Sexton, the home team has been very inconsistent on the offensive end all year while the Spurs, despite their winning ways, continue to be shorthanded without their star guard in the lineup.  Expect the road team to put in just enough work on both ends to make this a low-scoring, yet exciting affair.

Prediction:
Under 216.5