San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat (-6, 203.5)
The San Antonio Spurs have built up the best road record in the NBA at 9-1. The Miami Heat have yet to lose at home. Something has to give when the Heat host the Spurs on Thursday. San Antonio has won the first five of its six-game road trip and was able to give stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker plenty of rest in a blowout of the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. Miami has been waiting around since Saturday.
The Heat have won four straight overall and are leading the NBA in scoring at 104.8 points. LeBron James has been fantastic, but Miami has also benefited from the addition of Ray Allen, who has scored 17 points in each of the last two games and is averaging 12.8 off the bench. The Spurs have their own dynamic scoring threat off the bench in Manu Ginobili and are only slightly behind Miami in scoring at 102.6 points.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE SPURS (13-3, 10-5-1 ATS): San Antonio did not have any player log more than 32 minutes in Wednesday’s 110-89 victory at Orlando and needed Duncan for only 27. The former MVP has gotten off to his best start in years and is contributing on both ends. He had five blocks to go along with 15 points against the Magic. The Spurs have been able to put up big point totals thanks to Parker’s penetration and a host of 3-point shooters. Ginobili went 6-of-9 from beyond the arc on Wednesday and Danny Green, Gary Neal and Matt Bonner are all capable of getting hot from 3-point range.
ABOUT THE HEAT (10-3, 6-7 ATS): Miami can shoot 3-pointers too, with Allen and Mario Chalmers streaking out on the wings, but is also able to play just about any style thanks to James. The reigning MVP continues to round out his game as both a scorer and a distributor. He scored 30 points and the Heat exploded in the last two minutes to avoid a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Dwyane Wade, who has been battling a foot injury, will benefit the most from the four-day break Miami has had between games. Wade has played in the last two games but struggled to 6-of-15 shooting and committed four turnovers against the Cavaliers.
* Under is 10-2 in the last 12 meetings in Miami.
* Favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
* Under is 19-4 in the last 23 meetings.
* Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
1. Miami F Shane Battier (knee) is doubtful for Thursday after missing practice this week.
2. The Heat have taken two straight in the series, including a 120-98 home win in the lone meeting last season. James scored 33 in that matchup.
3. The Spurs have done the bulk of their damage on the road trip without F Kawhi Leonard (knee) and G-F Stephen Jackson (finger). Both will be out on Thursday.
Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors (+1.5, 200)
The Golden State Warriors have surged into contention at the top of the Pacific Division thanks to five wins in seven games and some rapid improvement from their young players. One opponent the Warriors have not been able to solve has been the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets have taken two meetings from Golden State already this season, including a 107-101 overtime setback at ORACLE Arena on Nov. 10.
Denver had its four-game winning streak snapped at Utah on Monday - the beginning of a stretch of eight of nine on the road. The Nuggets had built that winning streak on defense, holding the four opponents to an average of 90.3 points - including a 102-91 win over the Warriors on Friday. Golden State struggled to contain Ty Lawson and Andre Iguodala in that contest but bounced back the following night as rookie Harrison Barnes and second-year swingman Klay Thompson stepped up against Minnesota.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (8-7, 10-5 ATS): After a 4-6 start that had Denver struggling to put things together on both ends of the floor during the same game, the Nuggets seemed to gel during the four-game winning streak. They went over 100 points three times during the run while also holding each of the four opponents under the century mark. Denver could not keep that up on Monday, when it suffered a 105-103 loss at Utah. Iguodala drew a pair of technical fouls and was ejected in the third quarter and the Nuggets struggled to contain the Jazz on the interior.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (8-6, 8-5-1 ATS): Golden State does not have the pieces to exploit Denver’s deficiency on the interior due to Andrew Bogut’s slow recovery from an ankle injury. But the Warriors are becoming one of the stronger perimeter teams with Barnes and Thompson joining Stephen Curry as reliable scoring threats. Barnes struggled through the worst game of his rookie campaign at Denver on Friday, recording a season-low four points on 1-of-5 shooting while struggling with foul trouble against Iguodala and company. Barnes bounced back against the Timberwolves, recording his third double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Golden State.
* Nuggets are 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings.
* Over is 15-5 in the last 20 meetings in Golden State.
1. Denver has won in four of its last six trips to ORACLE Arena. Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried each recorded a double-double in the Nov. 10 win.
2. Curry was held to six points in the last game against Denver.
3. Gallinari has recorded 20 or more field goal attempts in only two games this season - both against the Warriors. He shot a combined 16-for-42 (38 percent) in those two games.