Fri, Mar 31, 3:02pm by Staff Writer
The run to the finals is well and truly on for the contenders in the Western Conference. The Spurs take on the Thunder and a rampant Russell Westbrook, while the action doesn’t stop as the Dubs go up against the Rockets for the second time in a week. Check out our preview of the weekend hardcourt action as we give you our best bets at www.australiangambling.lv
Spurs @ Thunder
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City – Saturday 1st April, 11.00am AEDT
TV: Live on ESPN
This game is all about the individual battles. It’s Kawhi Leonard versus Russell Westbrook. Leonard has made a charge for end of season MVP honours, and Westbrook is closing in on Oscar Robertson’s record of 41 triple doubles in a season.
After going down to the Warriors on Thursday (AEDT), the Spurs go from one title fight at home to a heavyweight match-up with OKC. The Spurs will want to lay down a marker, as the gap with the Dubs has blown out to 3.5 games. Westbrook will be looking to kick the Spurs while they are down.
Spurs guard Manu Ginobili was quick to play down the loss, instead chalking it up as a learning experience. “We knew who we were playing. One of the best teams of the last few years. It was not going to be easy. We knew it was going to be tough.”
Leonard had 19 points against the Dubs and LeMarcus Aldridge backed up with 17 points. There were contributions from all the Spurs bench, and expect them to bounce back against the Thunder.
It was a big week for Westbrook and the Thunder as he recorded his 38th triple-double of the season. Westbrook demolished the Magic with 57 points, the most in a triple-double in NBA history.
This will be a tight game and the Thunder or the Spurs won’t give an inch. This will come down to the fourth quarter stretch, and I’m tipping the Spurs to bounce back with a close win before the playoffs.
BEST BET: Spurs to win at $1.89
Rockets @ Warriors
Oracle Arena, Oakland – Saturday 1st April, 1.30pm AEDT
TV: Live on ESPN
It’s the weekend for individual battles as Steph Curry battles James Harden as the Warriors clash with the Rockets. Ominously for the rest of the league, the Dubs have clicked and put together a nine-game winning streak, that includes wins over the major players Spurs, Rockets and Thunder.
Curry scored 29 points as the Dubs bounced back from a 22-point deficit to get just their second win in San Antonio in 35 attempts. The Dubs were also buoyed by the news that Kevin Durant could return before the end of the regular season.
Curry has been in impressive for over the last few weeks posting 32 points the last time the Dubs overcame the Rockets on Wednesday. All-Star guard Klay Thompson has been equally as impressive putting together 23 points against the Spurs. The general consensus around the league is that the Splash Brothers are back. You can imagine how dangerous they will be with Durant for help in the playoffs.
The Rockets, led by Harden, have been making waves in the Western Conference, with an impressive five-game winning streak before being knocked off by the Dubs. Harden has been duelling with Westbrook for MVP honours and should be on court despite dealing with a jammed wrist.
The Rockets have a tricky game against the Trailblazers in Portland before heading to Oakland Arena.
With Curry is back to his MVP form and Klay Thompson has found his range from beyond the arc, this game should be straight forward for the Dubs. The Rockets struggled to match the Warriors the last time these two teams met and it shouldn’t be any different this time around.
BEST BET: Warriors to win by more than 6 – $1.95
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