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Best In The West: Spurs Host Thunder

Tony Parker is questionable for Wednesday's game against the Thunder.

Tony Parker is questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Thunder.

The San Antonio Spurs host the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night in a game that will see the winning side come away with the best record in the Western Conference.

Tip-off at the AT&T Center is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET.

At the midway point of the season, San Antonio (32-9, 17-6 home) currently sits atop the Western Conference, one-half game ahead of Oklahoma City (32-10, 13-7 road).

The Spurs are experiencing a typically Spurs-like season, quietly putting together one of the best records in the league while not really drawing much attention.

Greg Popovich’s side easily dispatched the league-worst Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, picking up a 10th win in 12 games. That stretch has seen the Spurs remain on pace to better a franchise-record 63 wins, set during the 2005-06 campaign.

But the Spurs are hesitant to eye up the record.

Speaking with Spurs Nation, Manu Ginobli said: “I don’t have the feeling we’re doing so well [as] teams in the past that won 60, 62 [games].

“The record is not a true reflection of what you are at this point. But it’s surprising we’re at this level now.”

The Spurs will get a perfect opportunity to see what level they’re at when they host the Thunder, a team that has already beaten the Texas side twice this season.

Oklahoma City was expected to once again contend for the Western Conference crown, being made favorites within the conference ahead of the season. But the fact that the Thunder continues to contend in the wake of Russell Westbrook’s knee injury could be considered a surprise.

Since Westbrook went down on Christmas Day, the Thunder has gone 9-5, but somehow manages to stick around at the top of the conference standings.

The Thunder got a huge win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. The 105-97 victory saw Scott Brooks’ side take sole-possession of the Northwest Division lead, leaving the Blazers a game back.

Kevin Durant scored 46 points in the game to lead the Thunder to victory. It was the fourth highest total in the NBA this season. The seven-year forward owns the three highest scoring outputs too.

Since Westbrook left the lineup, Durant has been on a tear. In 14 games he has averaged 36.5 points per contest, and failed to top the 30-point mark just twice. Meanwhile, he’s breached the 40-point mark four times.

Kevin_Durant_scoringUnderstandably, the NBA’s leading scorer is now well and truly in the Most Valuable Player conversation.

The Spurs then will need to find a way to stop the Thunder’s machine gun scorer.

An already tough task could be made tougher if Tony Parker is missing from the lineup. Parker missed Sunday’s win over the Bucks with a right shin contusion and is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game.

The Spurs will also be without Danny Green (hand) and Tiago Splitter (shoulder) while Matt Bonner, who suffered a broken nose last Friday, is expected to play with a protective mask.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs odds for 01/22/2014

Despite having lost twice to the Thunder already this season, San Antonio opens the game as a home favorite.

San Antonio enters the game with five wins in its last six home games. Oklahoma City takes to the court having won four straight and five of the last six. The team’s win over the Houston Rockets on Thursday snapped a three-game road losing streak.

Recent history has been kind to the Spurs. Before losing to the Thunder at the AT&T Center on December 21, the Spurs had won six straight at home against Oklahoma City. Overall, the Spurs have won 18 of the last 22 meetings between the sides in the Alamo City.

The spread opened at 5.5 and has already climbed to 6. That could see a sharp drop if Parker is ruled out of the game though.

Both San Antonio (21-20-0 ATS) and Oklahoma City (24-18-0 ATS) have been successful against the spread this season although the Spurs are 10-13-0 ATS when playing at home.

However, San Antonio is 13-7-2 ATS in its last 22 home games against the Thunder.

The over/under opened at 209 but has dropped to 207 at the time of publication.

The Spurs (24-17-0) have favored the over this season while the Thunder (20-22-0) has favored the under. The total has gone under in five of the last six meetings between the sides.

After Wednesday’s game, the two sides will meet once more in the regular season, with the Thunder hosting the Spurs on April 3.

20140121_NBA_West_standingsFor a full list of today’s NBA odds, click here.

For updated NBA futures odds, click here.

For updated NBA team prop bets, click here.

For updated NBA player prop bets, click here.

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