Without Tony Parker, San Antonio defended their position at the top of the NBA’s Western Conference. With the Frenchman back, who knows how far they can go now. Parker scored 22 points on his return on Friday to lead the Spurs to an overtime win over Utah but that marked the start of six successive games against opponents with winning records. The second instalment brings a trip to Houston on Sunday night, with the Rockets looking to avoid a season sweep to their Texan rivals.
San Antonio have averaged over 123 points per game over their last three - just what they’ll need to take the game to Houston, whose defence at home has improved markedly. Their spell of five successive ties at the Toyota Center has delivered four wins. The Spurs are -1.5 on the handicap but it’s worth on a punt on going over the total points line of 212.5.
It’s worst versus first when the omnipotent Miami Heat visit the woeful Charlotte Bobcats. Although the reigning champions have won 25 straight, they’ve had to overcome double-digit deficits in their last three games – a reminder that they will not merely coast to breaking the record of 33 consecutive victories.
Charlotte were victim number two of their streak, but since then the Bobcats have gone 5-16. Miami have another simple task on Monday against Orlando so they may be tempted to rest their starters once they have victory secured. But even then, back them on the handicap of -17 at 1.91.
Best bet: Go over the total points line of 212.5 in Houston-San Antonio at 1.91