NBA Playoff Game Prediction
Who Will Win Tonight’s NBA Game
By Dan Favale
San Antonio Spurs (-7) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (+7)
Two of the four games played between the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder have been determined by at least 10 points, hence the large spread. Though one of those contests, Game 4, only saw the game get away from the losing side, San Antonio, late in the fourth quarter, Game 5 could be a bit different—because it’s the Spurs who are playing at home.
The Thunder beat them there once, becoming just the second team this year to do so, and that’s going to stick with the Spurs. They aren’t going to forget how Game 2 ended, amid a frenzy of missed calls, suboptimal execution down the stretch and a sloggish beginning that put them in a hole they ultimately could not erase. Add in the loss they just suffered in Oklahoma City during Game 4, when they spent the entire night within striking distance, only to fall off the radar in the waning minutes as Kevin Durant caught fire, and this is a night they will look to own.
And, subsequently, you should expect them to own it.
This series is close, and it’s going to remain close. But individual games are a different story. The series score doesn’t need to reflect invidual scores. You can have a seven game series that lacks pivotal moments on the micro scale, and this semifinals matchup is the ideal candidate to be one of those sets.
Of course, there’s also the fact that the Spurs are just scary good at home and now seeking two losses worth of revenge. They won’t be outscored by Kevin Durant alone in the fourth quarter again; both Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldrige won’t miss all of their shot attempts in the final frame again, either. This game should be different. It’s going to be different.
Rather than talk yourself into a nail biter just because this is a Game 4 of a series knotted up at two wins apiece, go with what you know. And we most definitely know that, with the exception of just a couple nights, the Spurs have been prone to handing out blowout losses in San Antonio.
The Pick: Spurs (-7)
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