San Antonio at Houston NBA Playoffs Odds & Game 3 Prediction

Posted by Peter Brennan on Thursday,May 4, 2017 2:58, EST in

I hate the cliché that a win can be costly, but it sure appears that’s the case for the San Antonio Spurs regarding their Game 2 victory over the Rockets as Tony Parker is likely done for the rest of at least this series as it heads to Houston on Friday. The series is headed to Houston for Game 3 on Friday night. Who has the better chance of winning the game?

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San Antonio at Houston NBA Playoffs Odds & Game 3 Prediction

When: Friday, May 5, 9:30 PM ET
Where: Toyota Center, Houston
TV: ESPN
Radio: San Antonio / Houston
Stream Option: NBA.tv
NBA Odds: Rockets -4

Why Bet On San Antonio?

As of this writing, there’s no word on the severity of the injury to Spurs point guard and future Hall of Famer Tony Parker, but it’s not going to be good. Parker suffered a left leg injury with 8:43 left in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s Game 2 on a driving floater over Patrick Beverley with the Spurs leading the Rockets 97-83. Parker immediately clutched at his left knee after the shot and collapsed to the court, where he lay motionless for several minutes.

Earlier in the contest, Parker became the ninth player in NBA postseason history to reach 4,000 career points. Parker and LeBron James are now the league’s only players to have scored 4,000 points and dished 1,000 assists in the postseason. He was to have an MRI, but even coach Gregg Popovich said: “It’s not good.” Patty Mills would likely start if Parker misses any time, Manu Ginobili would gain extra ball-handling duties, and Dejounte Murray could be pushed into the rotation.

That injury overshadowed San Antonio’s 121-96 win after playing so poorly in Game 1. Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 34 points on 13-of- 16 FGs and 5-of- 5 FTs during the Spurs’ Game 2 win with eight assists and seven rebounds. Leonard tied his postseason-high for a half with 20 points in the first two quarters. He turned the ball over just twice in 38 minutes and played great defense on James Harden.

Pau Gasol moved into the Spurs’ starting lineup during Game 2, pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds with six points on 3-of- 11 shooting, three assists, four blocks and one steal. Gasol took over for David Lee tonight in his first start since Jan. 17. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 15 points on 14 field goal attempts on Wednesday, making six of his tries with eight rebounds, two blocks and one turnover in 30 minutes.

Danny Green showed up on Wednesday, making 5-of- 7 shots with two 3-pointers for 12 points. He did nothing in Game 1.

Why Bet On Houston?

The Rockets got the split they wanted and now might have the series advantage with the Parker injury. In Wednesday’s Game 2 loss, Harden shot 3-of- 17 from the field, making two 3-pointers with 10 assists, seven rebounds, two steals and four turnovers in 34 minutes. The 3-for- 17 was Harden’s worst field goal percentage (17.6) in a postseason game in his career (minimum 10 attempts).

Harden tweaked a hip too, according to coach Mike D’Antoni, who insisted that he’s not worried.

“[Harden] is fine,” he said, adding that the MVP candidate’s health is the “least of my worries.” San Antonio found success by rotating Leonard and Green against Harden defensively. Harden didn’t go to the free throw line the entire first half and got only two whistles all night, both on 3-point attempts. Harden was 2-of- 9 from beyond the 3-point line and 1-of- 8 in the restricted area.

“I just missed shots,” said Harden. “I missed shots. I didn’t convert my layups. We knew they were going to come out with some aggressiveness in Game 2.”

The Spurs broke open the game at the start of the fourth quarter by employing a small lineup that practically turned the Rockets upside down. The Spurs were also quicker to loose balls, challenged the Rockets’ shots faster, moved the ball both vertically and horizontally around the court, etc. On the bright side, the Rockets managed to play Game 2 at their preferred pace and style even as many of their most capable players missed shots.

Houston’s Ryan Anderson made his first seven shots on Wednesday, finishing 7-of-9 for 18 points with eight rebounds. Anderson landed hard on his left wrist in the third quarter, requiring a brief exit, but he soon returned and looked no worse for the wear.

San Antonio at Houston NBA Playoffs Betting Pick: Houston Rockets

As long as Harden is 100 percent, Houston should cover Game 3 with Parker surely out.