San Antonio Spurs at Atlanta Hawks Preview
The San Antonio Spurs returned home and a lot of their problems seemed to fade away as well, but they’ll see if they can sustain that success on the road as they face off against the Atlanta Hawks tonight.
The Spurs are 36-29 on the season and have won their last three against the Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets. They are 4-6 in their last 10 games and currently sit at eighth in the Western Conference and are just a half-game away from the seventh-place Los Angeles Clippers. The Atlanta Hawks are 22-43 this season, are 4-6 in their last 10 and lost their most recent game. While they aren’t officially ruled out of the playoffs, the Hawks would have a hard time making it as they are currently eight games behind the eighth-place Charlotte Hornets.
The Hawks and Spurs have not met since October 10, with the Hawks winning 130-127. Atlanta was led by Taurean Prince’s 25 points, while Rudy Gay had 28 for the Spurs.
Time: 7:30pm ET
Arena: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
Channel: FSSW-SA, FSSE-ATL
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
PG: Derrick White
SG: Bryn Forbes
SF: DeMar DeRozan
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Jakob Poeltl
The San Antonio Spurs’ road trip left them needing some wins badly to stay in playoff position and a homestand at the AT&T Center seemed to supply exactly that as they won three straight games over some pretty stiff competition. Their defense seemed to improve, which had been their biggest issue on the road, and tomorrow will prove whether they can continue that success on the road.
“We know that we can beat anybody in our league,” Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan said. “We’ve got to have this same intensity, the way we play defense, talk, how we play offensively, on the road. That’s kind of been our biggest struggle.”
While the Spurs won their matchup with the Denver Nuggets on Monday, they nearly let a big early lead get away. They came out of the gates on fire, outscoring the Nuggets 36-17 in the opening quarter and they had a 16-point lead entering the fourth. Denver outscored San Antonio 34-19 and had a few opportunities to score a game-winning shot, especially after Rudy Gay missed two critical late free throws with just a one-point lead, but San Antonio hung on to complete the home sweep.
DeRozan finished with 24 points, seven assists, and six rebounds, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points and nine rebounds. Derrick White has continued his strong play of late with 11 points and nine assists, and he seems to be the glue that holds the Spurs’ defense together. Rudy Gay, who has been coming off the bench with Jakob Poeltl starting, had 14 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes.
Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineup
PG: Trae Young
SG: Kevin Huerter
SF: Kent Bazemore
PF: Alex Len
C: Dewayne Dedmon
After a high-scoring home-and-home series with the Chicago Bulls concluded with each team winning one game, the Hawks went down to the wire on Monday night in a 113-114 loss to the Miami Heat. It was a close game through all four quarters. It was all tied up entering the fourth quarter, and after two Kent Bazemore free throws got the Hawks within a point of the Heat with nine seconds remaining, the Hawks were unable to intentionally foul to prolong the game.
Veteran forward Vince Carter had a big night off the bench with 21 points and was unstoppable beyond the arch. After the game, Carter talked about showing his young teammates the type of mentality it takes to prepare for the playoffs, even if the Hawks are longshots to make it to the postseason.
“I enjoy playing and competing, and in my mind, it’s just a playoff mentality,” Carter said. “Whether we make it or not, I’m just giving our guys an idea about the preparation and the focus it takes at this time of the season.”
Kent Bazemore had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Hawks and they also got double-digit contributions from Dewayne Dedmon, Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and DeAndre Bembry.
San Antonio Spurs at Atlanta Hawks Betting Odds
The Spurs are 6.5-point favorites to win tonight’s game on the road. The road has not been kind to the Spurs this season. Aside from their Rodeo Road Trip where they went 1-7, they are 11-22 on the season.
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