The Spurs look to complete a three-game East Coast road trip at 3-0 when they visit Washington on Wednesday night in what could be an NBA Finals preview. The Spurs are -3.5 with a total of 202 .
Spurs' Duncan Makes History
I previewed San Antonio's game Monday at the Knicks here at SBR and recommended giving the 7.5 points to New York as long as the Spurs played all their key players. It was the second of a back-to-back for San Antonio and Coach Gregg Popovich often likes to rest a veteran or two in that situation on the road. He apparently wanted to give Manu Ginobili the night off, but Ginobili talked him out of it. The Spurs won 94-84.
"I thought we had come to a conclusion. Manu said we hadn't," Popovich said. Ginobili played 17 minutes off the bench.
Future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in winning his 954th career game with the Spurs. That's an NBA record for a player with one team. The mark was 953 by former Jazz point guard John Stockton. Duncan pretty clearly is going to get to 1,000. LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 points and six rebounds and Kawhi Leonard 18 points and 14 rebounds. The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Leonard also played stellar defense on Carmelo Anthony, who was only 4-for-17 from the field. The Spurs held the Knicks to 36.0 percent shooting overall.
The Spurs (3-1) don't play Thursday, so presumably all the key guys will be in there vs. the Wizards. San Antonio is 3-1 against the spread on NBA odds and 1-3 'over/under.'
Wizards, Beal To Wait For Next Summer
Washington was hoping to extend excellent young shooting guard Bradley Beal by Monday's rookie deadline to do so, but the sides couldn't agree. The teams will re-engage next summer. Beal, the third overall pick in the 2012 draft, is averaging 25.3 points per game. There's little chance that Beal leaves as he would only be a restricted free agent next summer. Not signing him now leaves the Wizards with plenty of salary-cap room in an attempt to lure Thunder superstar and impending unrestricted Kevin Durant back home.
Beal (25.3 ppg) and John Wall (22.0 ppg) form the highest-scoring backcourt in the NBA at 47.3 points per game. I think it's the best in the league, just barely ahead of Golden State's duo of MVP Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The only other backcourt players each averaging at least 20 points are Portland's Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
The Wizards (2-1) enter off a puzzling 117-110 home loss over the Knicks on Saturday; Washington was 29-12 at home in 2014-15. Carmelo torched the Wizards -- largely Otto Porter and Jared Dudley -- for 37 points, hitting 11-for-18 from the field. Beal had 26 points and Wall 25 as the Wizards failed to start 3-0 for the first time since 2005-06. Drew Gooden played 24 minutes off the bench, recording a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds).
Washington might have gotten jobbed in that game. With the Wizards trailing 111-110 with 23.9 seconds remaining, Knicks guard Langston Galloway appeared to have his hand, and then his foot, go out of bounds after he caught an in-bounds pass and was stripped by Wall. But Galloway was awarded a timeout even though he perhaps never had possession. The NBA said it was the right call.
The Wizards are 1-2 ATS on NBA picks at 2-1 O/U.
San Antonio beat visiting Washington 101-92 on Jan. 3 despite both Tony Parker and Leonard being out injured. Duncan was limited to four points, but Parker's former backup, Cory Joseph, stepped up with 19 points. Tiago Splitter, now with Atlanta, added 16 as the Spurs shot 55.1 percent from the field. It was San Antonio's 14th straight home win in the series. Wall and Beal led the Wizards with 15 points each. On Jan. 13 in D.C., the Wizards ended a 17-game losing streak overall to the Spurs with a 101-93 victory. Wall had 25 points and eight assists. Kevin Seraphin had 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench. San Antonio was led by Parker's 14 points as the Spurs hit only 39.6 percent. Leonard missed that game as well.
NBA Picks: Take the Spurs and go 'over' the total at BetOnline. San Antonio is 8-0 ATS in its past eight vs. the Eastern Conference. The Wizards are 1-4 ATS in their past five vs. the Western Conference. The 'over' is 13-3 in Washington's past 16 at home.