It's a potential playoff preview on Tuesday night in the Western Conference when Memphis hosts San Antonio for the final time in the 2014-15 regular season. Grizzlies are 2-point NBA odds favorites.
Spurs Down 2 Stars Again
San Antonio remains the +350 favorite at sportsbooks to repeat as the Western Conference champion despite a 19-13 mark that's only seventh in the West. The Spurs also have won just three of their past 10 games, but they haven't had their full assortment of players yet this season. That won't change on Tuesday night.
Starting point guard Tony Parker and small forward Kawhi Leonard both already have been ruled out against Memphis. Leonard, averaging 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, has missed seven straight games with a torn ligament in his hand. Leonard won't need surgery -- at least not right now -- and could be back later this week, but the Spurs are like the Patriots of the NBA in that they don't reveal much information. Parker, averaging 16.2 points and 5.2 assists, has missed the past two with a hamstring injury.
The Spurs have largely been going with a three-guard starting lineup of Cory Joseph, Marco Belinelli and Danny Green with those two out alongside frontcourt players Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter. The team did get good news from Sunday's 110-106 win over Houston. That not only snapped a six-game skid to the Rockets but saw valuable backup point guard Patty Mills make his season debut off shoulder surgery. Mills, who probably could have gotten more money on the market as a free agent this past summer if he didn't want to re-sign with San Antonio, had eight points in 20 minutes. He had six points during a key 15-0 run fourth-quarter run for San Antonio. His "activity was contagious," according to Duncan. The Spurs used their 20th different lineup of the year in Sunday's game.
San Antonio is 9-8 against the NBA betting spread this season on the road and 6-11 'over/under.'
Randolph Might Return for Grizz
Memphis ended a season-high four-game losing streak -- three at home where the Grizzlies used to never lose -- with a 103-95 win in Miami on Saturday. Mike Conley had 24 points and Marc Gasol 22 points and 10 rebounds as Memphis never trailed. It was Gasol's 17th 20-point game this season, which matches his previous career high for a full year. The Grizz didn't have to deal with the Heat's Chris Bosh, who was out again with an injury.
The Grizzlies have played their past four games without probably their second-best player, power forward Zach Randolph. He has been dealing with a knee injury and Jon Leuer starting in his place. Randolph did some shooting Monday at practice and is questionable for Tuesday. He's averaging 16.1 points and 11.4 rebounds.
Memphis is 7-9 ATS this season at home and 10-5-1 'over/under' there on NBA odds.
The teams have split, each winning on the road. On Dec. 5 in Memphis, the Grizzlies were 1-point favorites on NBA odds and lost 107-101 to end their 22-game regular-season home winning streak. Duncan had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to become the second-oldest player in league history (Karl Malone) with a triple-double. It was Duncan's first since Nov. 30, 2010. The Spurs were 14-for-25 from 3-point range. Parker left the game in the third quarter with his hamstring injury. Gasol had 28 points and 12 rebounds, but Randolph just 10 points.
On Dec. 17 in San Antonio the Spurs were 3-point favorites at sportsbooks and lost 117-116 in triple overtime in one of the games of the season thus far. It ended Memphis' nine-game losing streak to the Spurs including playoffs. Gasol had 26 points, including a lucky banked-in 3-pointer to tie it at the end of regulation. Randolph was a monster in that one with 21 points and 21 rebounds. It was the second of a back-to-back as well for Memphis, which led the Spurs by 23 at one point, after ending Golden State's 16-game winning streak the night before. Green had 25 points for the Spurs, and Duncan 23 points and 16 rebounds, including a last-second lucky bounce jumper in double OT to force a third extra period. It was the Spurs' first triple-overtime game since a win over the Hawks on March 20, 1984. Leonard and Parker missed the Grizzlies loss. So did Memphis starting guard Tony Allen.
NBA Free Picks: Grizzlies -2 and 'over' 194 points is our NBA picks for tonight's game. The Spurs are 0-4 ATS on NBA odds in their past four after a win. The 'over' is 5-0 in San Antonio's and Memphis' past five after a win. The 'over' has hit in the past six meetings.