There hasn’t been a ton of drama in this year’s NBA playoffs so hopefully the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets will provide us with some – specifically a Game 7. They are tied 2-2 in the Western Conference semifinals with the series headed back to San Antonio on Tuesday night. The Spurs will have the home field advantage but it might not do any good since the Rockets have had a good postseason. And, by far, it’s been a great series to watch. So, will the NBA odds stay in favor of San Antonio. Let’s take a closer look at the game preview.
Houston at San Antonio NBA Playoffs Odds & Game 5 Preview
Why Bet On Houston?
The Rockets tied things up with a 125-104 home blowout win on Sunday – all four games in this series have been decided by double digits. James Harden led Houston 28 points, 12 assists, five rebounds, two steals and four 3-pointers. Harden had a total of five assists in Game 3, a tally he matched in the first quarter tonight as the Rockets roared out to a 12-point lead. He banged knees with Patty Mills in the third quarter and was in obvious pain, grabbing the outside of his left knee, but it didn’t cost him any time.
Ryan Anderson served as the Rockets’ default center for long stretches during Game 4, finishing with 13 points on 5-of- 11 shooting, three 3-pointers, four rebounds and one turnover. Anderson came off the bench to start the second half, as the Rockets went small with Nene (groin) leaving in the first quarter. He played 32 minutes and made a handful of timely buckets, while holding his own against LaMarcus Aldridge defensively. Eric Gordon started the second half of Sunday’s game, finishing with 22 points on 8-of- 13 shooting, including a 6-of- 9 mark from downtown.
Gordon, Anderson and Louis Williams combined for 48 points on 19-of-39 shooting Sunday, a far cry from their 11 points on 3-of- 18 shooting Friday. The Rockets also had 13 fast-break points in the first 12 minutes, more than they had in Game 3 and matching their Game 2 total.
“We told them we really won’t get to where we want to go if you guys don’t be aggressive,” said Harden. “Make or miss, I don’t care. Rare night that all those guys struggled in Game 3; today was a lot better. You’ve got to keep that momentum up. Be aggressive.”
It’s not clear if Nene will play Tuesday. He played only 1 minute, 43 seconds before suffering the groin injury and was to have an MRI. Nene entered Sunday’s game against the Spurs averaging 10.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game during the playoffs.
Why Bet On San Antonio?
Kawhi Leonard had 16 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block, one 3-pointer and three turnovers in 30 minutes during Sunday’s loss. It was Kawhi's fewest points scored this postseason. The playing time was also a postseason-low, which was the product of the lopsided score — Houston led by 15 points after three quarters and never looked back.
Jonathon Simmons scored a team-high 17 points in 23 minutes off the bench on Sunday, making 6-of- 12 FGs and 3-of- 4 FTs with four rebounds, two steals and one assist. Simmons kept the Spurs afloat for stretches in the second half, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and using his physicality to great effect at both ends.
Danny Green was invisible during the Spurs’ defeat. going 1-of- 4 from the field for three points, three rebounds, two blocks and one steal in 26 minutes. Green has made at least one 3-pointer in 70 games since 2012, which is second-most in the league behind LeBron James during that span. That impressive stat doesn’t reflect his disappointing play this postseason, however — he came in averaging 7.3 points, 1.6 threes, 2.9 rebounds and 0.4 steals, which are all his lowest marks since 2010-11.
“They did a great job, and our defense was pretty defective,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I thought they drove it with purpose, found people, and we started the game really without an edge and getting beat in transition again, like we did in Game 1.”
In the first quarter alone, the Spurs surrendered just as many points in transition as all of Game 2 and more than they gave up in all of Game 3 (seven points in transition). In Game 1, San Antonio allowed 28 points in transition. In falling by 21 points in Game 4, San Antonio — for the first time since the 2001 Western Conference finals against the Lakers — has dropped multiple games by 20 points or more in a single postseason series.
Houston at San Antonio NBA Playoffs Pick: San Antonio Spurs
No team has won back-to- back games in this series yet and I expect that continue. Spurs cover.