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Spurs Resume Road Trip, Visit Clippers

3-point champion Marco Belinelli and the Spurs will look to derail the Clippers.

3-point champion Marco Belinelli and the Spurs will look to derail the Clippers.

After a brief pause for the All-Star break, the San Antonio Spurs resume their Rodeo Road Trip Tuesday, heading to Hollywood for a showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Tip-off at Staples Center is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET.

Away from the Alamo City for nine games, San Antonio (38-15, 20-7 road) finished the first portion of this year’s Rodeo Road Trip 4-2 before sending Tony Parker and Marco Belinelli to New Orleans for All-Star festivities.

Parker had a reserved All-Star Game, playing just 11 minutes, much to the delight of Gregg Popovich one might think. Belinelli made more of a splash, becoming the first Spur to win the 3-point contest.

Now it’s time for things to get serious as the Spurs look to use the next 29 games to gain ground on the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder – currently four games to the good – and preparing for another deep postseason run.

It starts Tuesday with a third and final regular season meeting against the Clippers (37-18, 23-4 home).

The Spurs have split a pair with Doc Rivers’ side this season, each winning comfortably on its home court. A 115-92 defeat in Los Angeles on December 16 marks San Antonio’s only loss against a Pacific Division opponent this season, a division which the Spurs are 8-1 against.

Blake Griffin and Chris Paul came up big in that last meeting in Los Angeles, combining for 50 points and 17 rebounds. Tim Duncan had 17 points and 11 boards in a losing effort.

San Antonio exacted some revenge a few weeks later, earning a 116-92 victory at AT&T Center on January 4.

All 13 Spurs scored in that game, Tiago Splitter leading the way with 22 while Duncan had another double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds).

Both teams will enter the rubber match shorthanded thanks to the injury bug that has plagued both all season.

The Spurs continue to be without Kawhi Leonard (hand) while Manu Ginobli (hamstring) and Splitter (calf) are listed as day-to-day.

Los Angeles announced on Monday that J.J. Redick (hip) would miss Tuesday’s game against the Spurs, and probably Friday’s road trip to the Memphis Grizzlies. Redick has missed the last four, and 25 games in total.

But Rivers doesn’t expect the Clippers to make any bold moves as the trade deadline (Feb. 20) hurdles closer.

The Clippers are simply happy to have Chris Paul back.

With Paul back in the lineup, the Los Angeles side picked up wins over the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers prior to the All-Star break.

Paul then tallied 11 points and 13 assists off the bench in Sunday’s All-Star Game, with fellow-Clipper Blake Griffin being the recipient of more than a few of those passes. Griffin, who scored 38 points in the exhibition game, came within four points of tying Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time record for points in an All-Star Game.

But like the Spurs, the Clippers now have their sights set firmly on the business end of the season. With 27 games left on the ledger, Rivers and his crew will look to leapfrog the Spurs and chase the Thunder for the Western Conference’s top spot.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Clippers odds for 02/18/2014

One of the NBA’s best teams at home, the Clippers open as the favorite in this one.

San Antonio, winners of 13-of-16 against the Clippers in Los Angeles, will look to buck bookmakers’ expectations though.

The Spurs have won 20 of the last 25 head-to-head meetings between the two sides, and will look to finish this regular season 2-1 against the Clippers.

The spread opened at 5 but has already dropped to 4.5 and could see more movement before the teams take to the hardwood later tonight.

San Antonio (25-28-0 ATS) has struggled against the spread recently, covering just five times in their last 16 games. The Clippers (31-24-0 ATS) have gone 3-5-0 ATS in their last five.

In the head-to-head matchup, each team covered the spread at home. However, the Clippers are 5-2-0 ATS in their last seven meetings with the Spurs.

The total opened at 211.

Both San Antonio (31-22-0) and Los Angeles (30-23-2) have favored the over this season. The total went over in each of the previous meetings this year.

The total has also gone over in four of San Antonio’s last six road games against the Clippers.

20140217_NBA_West_standingsFor a full list of today’s NBA odds, click here.

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