San Antonio Spurs vs. New York Knicks
Tip-off: Thursday, January 3, 2013 – 7:30 PM ET
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Mainly due to a poor defense, the New York Knicks have lost three of their last four games. Even when Amare Stoudemire’s return is gaining some attention, YouWager experts consider the Knicks may have to have more on their side tonight night as they host the sizzling San Antonio Spurs, one of the NBA’s best offensive teams.
New York (21-10) still own an outstanding 12-3 home record, but all three losses have come in their last five games at Madison Square Garden. Earlier this week, Stoudemire made his season debut there against the Portland Trailblazers and Carmelo Anthony tied a season high with 45 points after sitting out the previous two games, but the Knicks couldn’t overcome a 19-point deficit in a 105-100 defeat.
Anthony hasn’t been suiting up due to a hyperextended left knee. The 30 year-old Stoudemire, who averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds last season, was playing for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in October.
Even when Stoudemire is known for his offensive strength, he won’t be able to solve his team’s recent defensive difficulties. The Knicks allowed 96.1 points per game during its 18-5 start to the season, but it has given up 100 or more in each defeat during its current 3-5 stretch.
New York is trying to avoid its first three-game losing streak of the season, and their last two rivals have gone a combined 26 of 63 (41.3 percent) from 3-point range. The Spurs come into tonight’s game shooting 47.5 percent from beyond the arc during a season-best seven-game win streak.
San Antonio (26-8) is shooting 53.4 percent from the field and averaging 111.7 points in that run, which continued with a 117-110 victory versus the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday. The Spurs scored 69 points in the first half for the second time in five days after doing it when they faced the Houston Rockets on Friday.
Tim Duncan opened yesterday’s game by knocking down three jumpers in the first three minutes and finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and six assists as San Antonio shot better than 50 percent for the fourth game in a row.
The Knicks beat San Antonio even though Anthony shot 3 of 12 and scored nine points — 20.2 below his career-best season average. According to the NBA online betting records, New York hasn’t won back-to-back games in this series since the 2002-03 season.