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Heat at Spurs: What bettors need to know

Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (-1.5, 198.5)

The top two teams in the NBA meet up Sunday when the Miami Heat visit the San Antonio Spurs. The contest is huge in terms of the battle for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Miami currently has a two-game edge over San Antonio and would hold a commanding lead if it completes a sweep of the season series. The Heat have won 28 of their past 29 games while San Antonio has won six of its last seven.

The contest could be a prelude to June’s NBA Finals as both squads are the class of their respective conferences. San Antonio holds a 2 1/2-game edge over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference and has a 32-4 home mark. Miami recently had a 27-game winning streak halted and has won 14 of its last 15 road games. The Heat bounced back from a loss to the Chicago Bulls by downing the New Orleans Hornets on Friday. The Spurs downed the Clippers on Friday behind Tim Duncan’s decisive three-point play with 2.2 seconds remaining. Miami won the first meeting 105-100 on Nov. 29 when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sent Duncan, and guards Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green back to San Antonio for rest.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sun Sports (Miami), Fox Sports Southwest (San Antonio), NBATV

ABOUT THE HEAT (57-15): Forward LeBron James put his outside shooting on display in the victory over New Orleans, knocking down seven 3-pointers – one shy of his career high. James made six consecutive 3-pointers in the first half and finished 7-of-10 from behind the arc while scoring 36 points. “I hadn’t done that probably since high school or the early years with Cleveland,” James said afterward. “I felt good. Just tried to keep the Heat wave going.” King James suffered a hamstring injury early in the game, but played though it. He will not suit up Sunday. Guard Dwyane Wade, who is dealing with ankle injury, will also sit.

ABOUT THE SPURS (55-17): Duncan scored a season-best 34 points against the Clippers and continues to play like someone much younger. The 36-year-old Duncan also grabbed 11 rebounds against the Clippers for his 31st double-double of the season and is averaging 17.6 points and 10 rebounds. “He’s done the work to put himself in the position to have games like this and to have the season that’s he had,” Popovich said afterward. “You couldn’t be more proud of the guy on what he did out there.” Point guard Tony Parker had 24 points against the Clippers and is averaging 21.8 points in four games since returning from an ankle injury.

TRENDS:


* Spurs are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games.
* Over is 8-1 in Heat’s last nine vs. Western Conference foes.
* Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last four Sunday games.
* Spurs are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.
 
BUZZER BEATERS
 
1. The Heat is 2-22 when playing in San Antonio.

2. Ginobili injured his hamstring against the Clippers and will miss the Miami contest.

3. Miami PG Mario Chalmers (ankle) sat out the New Orleans game and is questionable to play against the Spurs.

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