Charlotte Hornets at San Antonio Spurs – NBA March 22

Charlotte Hornets (20-21, 8-13) at San Antonio Spurs (22-17, 10-10)

  • Time: 5:30 PST – 7:30 CST – 8:30 EST
  • Place: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
  • TV: Fox Sports Southeast, FSSW

Opening Tip:

The Charlotte Hornets go into San Antonio for the fourth game of their five-game road trip after losing the first three by an average of 21 points per game. The Hornets are struggling with the news that likely Rookie of the Year – to this point – LaMelo Ball is likely out for the season with a broken right wrist.

The Spurs finished their current five-game road trip with a 3-2 record as they won the middle three bracketed by an opening loss at Philadelphia and a 120-113 decision at Milwaukee on Thursday night.

San Antonio took a 122-110 win over the Hornets in Charlotte on Feb. 14 when Dejounte Murray led the Spurs with 26 points and Derrick White added 25. Terry Rozier led the Hornets with 33 points and seven boards while Ball went for 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Key Injuries:

Charlotte

  • LaMelo Ball (wrist),- OUT
  • Cody Zeller (shoulder) – OUT
  • Terry Rozier (hip) – PROBABLE

San Antonio

  • Lamarcus Aldridge – Out (personal)

Vs. The Spread:

Hornets:

  • Charlotte checks in at 2-4 ATS in it’s last 6 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Charlotte’s last 6 games
  • The Hornets are 3-17 SU in their last 20 games vs. the Spurs

Spurs:

  • San Antonio is 5-1 ATS in it’s last 6 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 4 of the Spurs’ last 6 vs. Charlotte
  • The total has also been UNDER in 6 of San Antonio’s last 8 home games

Last Time Out:

The Hornets were dealt a a 125-98 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday at Staples Center. Miles Bridges led the Hornets’ attack with 21 points while Gordon Hayward added 17. The Hornets shot only 38.6 percent from the field as they made 15 threes. The Clippers led by as many as 31 points and outscored Charlotte 56-30 in the paint.

Lonnie Walker IV checked in with a career-high of 31 points as he had 13 field goals and five triples, but San Antonio dropped a 120-113 decision at Milwaukee on Saturday night. The Spurs had jumped to a 14-point lead midway through the second quarter before the Bucks closed on a 23-6 run to take a 57-50 lead at the break.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Charlotte Hornets +5½ (-115) +180 O 224 (-110)
San Antonio Spurs -5½ (-105) -210 U 224 (-110)

Advantage, Charlotte:

Charlotte Hornets LogoWithout LaMelo Ball’s 15.9 points and 6.7 assists per game, the Hornets are certain to struggle, but the question is may be from which positions. Devonte’ Graham will likely take over the point although Terry Rozier, who is not 100 percent will likely take back over the point, at certain stages of games He is shooting 53.6 percent from the floor and scoring 20.1 points per game. Gordon Hayward leads Charlotte at a 20.3 points per game clip. Defensively, the game plan is generally to attack the Spurs in the paint and maybe morso with Lamarcus Aldridge out although center Jakob Poeltl’s 59 blocks are seventh in the NBA.

Key Hornets Stat:

The Hornets are going to have to get even more from Miles Bridges (9.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg) from the bench with Ball sidelined. He had a four-game double-double streak earlier in the year and had 21 points vs. the Clippers on Saturday.

X-Factor:

Everything feels directed at the loss of Ball and really it is. Charlotte was averaging 15.6 turnovers per game before he went down. At this point, Graham, Rozier and company have to handle it cleanly. Interestingly, the second and third most turnovers come out of P.J. Washington (80) and Gordon Hayward (77) in the post.

Advantage, San Antonio:

San Antonio Spurs LogoThe Spurs generally so not turn the ball over as they are tops in the NBA with only 11.3 per game. The team has over a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ration as Derrick White, Dejounte Murray and DeMar DeRozen share and handle the ball at a high peak of efficiency. DeRozen (20.3 ppg, 7.5 apg)  leads San Antonio in scoring and shoots at a 49.1 percent clip and is also the leading assist man as well. The matchup and how the Hornets try to defend him is at the top of tonight’s game plan.

Key Spurs Stat:

Dejounte Murray’s 6.9 rebounds per game ranks eighth and Keldon Johnson’s 6.5 boards ranks ninth among NBA guards. With Aldridge out, these guards have to continue to step up on the boards on both ends of the floor as Aldridge has played in only three games since Feb.1.

X-Factor:

Keldon Johnson (14.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg) has fit into the starting lineup seamlessly as he has been in double digits in six of his last seven and has averaged 18.o points in his last three. He is also why the Spurs are efficient on offense with 74 assists vs. 46 turnover through these 39 games.

Winner: Spurs (-5½) 115, Hornets 106

The Bets
San Antonio Spurs -5½
-105
Spurs Moneyline
-210
UNDER 224
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.