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29.02.2024

Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs Game Preview and Pick: Dort Gets Dialed in From Deep

The San Antonio Spurs went into the All-Star break in the loss column and have remained there since returning from the break. With their loss on Tuesday night, the Spurs have dropped five straight games, and while they get to return home for the first time in the second half of the season, they are tasked with playing a Thunder team that hasn’t lost a game since February 10th.

One of the biggest reasons the Spurs have continued to sink even further below .500 has been their defense. Specifically, their perimeter defense, so with that, I think a player like Lu Dort could be in for a big night.

Game Preview

While the Spurs are nowhere near the same position as the Thunder, at the very least, this matchup brings us the second meeting between Victor Wembenyama and Chet Holmgren. The two of them have flip-flopped in the Rookie of the Year race quite a few times this season, and when they last met, Wembenyama was able to record more points (24), rebounds (12), and blocks (4) than Holmgren, but Chet would get the last laugh since OKC would win that game 140-114.

As you can tell by that final score, the Spurs struggle quite a bit on the defensive end of the floor. Since the All-Star break, San Antonio ranks 24th in the league in points allowed per 100 possessions in non-garbage time (119.1), per Cleaning the Glass. To take a step further, over their last ten games, in which they are 1-9, opponents are shooting 50.9% from the field.

San Antonio allowed 114 points to the Timberwolves in their most recent loss, and while that was the lowest point total they’ve allowed since returning from the break, it still was not enough to find the win column. It is also worth noting that Minnesota has not yet gotten it going on offense in the second half of the season, but the OKC Thunder certainly have, as they rank 3rd in points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time since the break, per Cleaning the Glass.

Oklahoma City is riding a six-game winning streak at the moment, and their most recent win over the Rockets was the first time they scored fewer than 123 points during the win streak. In more of a slow-paced, defensive battle, the Thunder still got another huge scoring game from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has scored at least 30 points in six straight games.

Pick for the Game

One of the biggest reasons the Spurs allow alarming point totals on a nightly basis is their inability to defend the three. With opponents shooting 39.7% from beyond the arc over the past ten games, the Spurs rank 27th in that statistical category, and they are the perfect team to allow Lu Dort to get back on track after he struggled against Houston.

Dort’s three-point prop is currently set at 1.5, and I’ll be taking the over for my play in this one. While in-state OKC fans won’t be able to bet this due to Oklahoma sports betting legislation, all other bettors are getting great value here, as Dort has gone over this total in nine of his last 15 games, including five of his last six.

Even after going 1-5 from three against Houston, Dort is still shooting 46.4% from three on an average of 5.6 attempts per game over his last ten games. Above the break is where the Spurs have really struggled to limit shooters, as they’ve allowed the 3rd highest three-point percentage from that spot over the last 15 games (39.7%). That’s perfect for Dort since he’s shooting 40.2% from that spot of the floor this season, on an average of 3.3 attempts per game.

Recap

  • Lu Dort Over 1.5 Threes (-115) on Caesars

*odds subject to change

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