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December 20, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: Spurs at Clippers

Image

Steve Mitchell / AP

The San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan (21) walks off the court after Game 7 of the NBA basketball championship against the Miami Heat, early Friday morning , June 21, 2013, in Miami. The Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to win their second straight NBA championship.

2014 NCAA Tournament

Which top-ranked team would you bet to win the national championship?
Florida 9-to-2 — 36.0%
Wichita State 12-to-1 — 16.3%
Syracuse 8-to-1 — 15.1%
Arizona 12-to-1 — 15.1%
Duke 8-to-1 — 10.5%
San Diego State 60-to-1 — 7.0%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

I’ve returned to a whole new Play of the Day landscape.

Taylor Bern and Ray Brewer have taken their fictional starting bankrolls of $10,000 in vastly different directions since my last turn in the rotation all the way back on Super Bowl Sunday.

I’m no longer in last, but I’ve got a lot more ground to make up to get to the top in the competition where we make a daily pick using the South Point odds. Better start now.

San Antonio Spurs plus-5 at Los Angeles Clippers: $220 to win $200

For a team with the third best record in the NBA, the Spurs are garnering an abnormal amount of negativity. The naysayers were out in regards to San Antonio during the 2014 All Star break.

Too old, they say repeating the same empty phrase that rang out at this time last year before the Spurs won the Western Conference and came within seconds of taking a fifth championship under coach Gregg Popovich. The statistic of the Spurs holding a 1-8 record against the NBA’s other seven best teams this season is mentioned twice as often as ageless wonder Tim Duncan continuing to average a double-double as a 37-year-old.

What’s often glossed over is how they’ve regularly pummeled opponents, despite four of their top six players — Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter — battling injuries. All four are expected back in uniform at Staples Center tonight for the first time since a Jan. 4 meeting against the Clippers where the Spurs breezed to a 116-92 victory.

Los Angeles is the team with a bigger injury concern coming out of the break as Chris Paul still eases his way to 100 percent.

The Spurs haven’t taken this many points against the Clippers in 18 years. The closest was last season when San Antonio was plus-4 at Los Angeles. The final score? Spurs 116, Clippers 90.

San Antonio will deliver a message tonight to anyone doubting its ability to match up with the NBA’s best teams.

Standings: Bern (10-6, $10,720), Keefer (4-7, $8,517.50), Brewer (5-8-2, $8,010)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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