WEDNESDAY NBA TIP SHEET

San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets

Game 5 – 10.00am (AEST), Wednesday, May 10

Likely Line-ups:

Rockets – Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson, Clint Capela, Patrick Beverley, James Harden

Spurs – Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Danny Green, Dejounte Murray

History: The Spurs have won 106 regular-season games to the Rockets’ 83, but the Rockets hold an 12-8 advantage in playoffs games. The Spurs won 3 regular-season games to the Rockets’ 1 this season. Their last playoffs series was in the 1995 Conference Finals, which Houston won 4-2. This series is locked 2-all heading into Game 5.

Form: The Spurs went 61-21 during the regular season, finishing second in the Western Conference. They downed the Grizzlies 4-2 in a tougher-than-expected first-round series, dropping consecutive games in Memphis before closing it out with wins in Games 5 and 6. The third-placed Rockets went 55-27 in the regular season, and brushed the Thunder aside 4-1 in the first round. The Rockets routed the Spurs 126-99 in the San Antonio series opener, but the Spurs bounced back with a 121-96 win at home and a 103-92 victory in Houston. The Rockets levelled with a resounding 125-104 victory in Game 4 at home.

Stats: The Spurs have won 11 of their last 15 against the Rockets, including 6 of the last 8 in San Antonio. Eight of the Spurs’ 10 games in these playoffs have been decided by 7+. The Rockets have lost their last 6 games in which they’ve been held to less than 105 points; the Spurs have lost their last 7 games in which they’ve conceded more than 103 points. The Spurs went 31-10 at home in the regular season and are 4-1 in the playoffs; they have won 10 of their last 14 at AT&T Center. The Rockets went 25-16 away during the regular season and are 2-2 in the playoffs; they have won only 4 of their last 9 away from Houston.

Final Thoughts: A fascinating series took another twist when Houston recovered from back-to-back defeat to rout the Spurs by 21 points in Game 4; led by another stellar James Harden performance, they got out to a big early lead and were never headed. But Harden was far from a one-man band this time, and if Trevor Ariza and bench star Eric Gordon can provide similar support again, the Rockets could head back home with the opportunity to wrap up a conference finals berth. The Spurs’ offence was solid enough in Game 4, but they had no answer to the Rockets’ perimeter shooting, while in-form Kawhi Leonard was shut down effectively. The Spurs have to be favoured at home though, and with every game in this series decided by 11+ points, lean towards the hosts covering the 5.5 start.                                                   

Crow’s Tip: San Antonio Spurs -5-5 @ $1.96

TOP TIPS

Match

Crow’s Tip

San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets

Under 214.5 @ $1.93

San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets

San Antonio Spurs 1-10 @ $?

San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets

3rd Quarter Point Spread – Spurs -1.5 @ $1.95

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