Two teams surprisingly looking to make up a lot of ground on their division leaders will square off Thursday night when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Los Angeles Clippers in their first game back from the All-Star break. The Spurs have won four of the past five meetings with the Clippers both straight-up and against the spread but suffered the lone loss in the last one on January 31, falling 105-85 as a five-point home favorite.
After sweeping Los Angeles in the 2012 NBA playoffs, San Antonio has continued its series success for the most part, going 6-4 SU and 5-5 ATS in the last 10 meetings, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
But the most recent game between the teams was the worst loss ever for the Spurs against the Clippers, as Blake Griffin led the big winners with a game-high 31 points plus 13 rebounds. San Antonio has since won four of five SU to go along with a 2-3 mark ATS at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.
Following that record victory at the AT&T Center, the Clippers dropped four in a row both SU and ATS and also lost Griffin to an elbow injury that has him sidelined until at least March. They did bounce back from their four-game skid right before the break, winning and covering two straight to stay within 8.5 games of the Pacific Division-leading Golden State Warriors.
Los Angeles won the division last year and made a bit of a statement in defeating the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets by an average of 16 points in its last two games but still trails both in the Western Conference playoff race.
Meanwhile, the Spurs are the four-time defending Southwest Division champs and won the league title last season, yet they find themselves fourth out of five teams in the division and seventh in the conference. The Clippers are a half-game ahead of them as the sixth seed in the West but will be hard-pressed to catch the Warriors, who own the NBA’s best record.
San Antonio is in better shape within its division, sitting two wins behind the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets and five games back of the Memphis Grizzlies.