After the shortest off-season ever, the NBA is back! The daily preview breaks down a Western Conference duel between LA Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.

NBA Tips – San Antonio Spurs V Los Angeles Lakers

12:30 (AEDT), Thu 31st Dec @ AT&T Center, San Antonio

History: Played 230: Lakers 119 V Spurs 111

Last meeting: February 4, 2020: Lakers 129 d Spurs 102 at Staples Center

Final Thoughts: It’s been a mixed start to LA Lakers’ title defence, while San Antonio Spurs are aiming to build on a bright beginning to their campaign.

The Lakers are 2-2, bookending consecutive landslide wins over the Mavericks and Timberwolves with losses to the Clippers and Blazers. They led Portland at three-quarter time but had few answers for Damian Lillard in the final term. LeBron James had 29 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists but the Blazers stymied Anthony Davis’ offence.

The 2-1 Spurs won their first two games, DeMar DeRozan-inspired victories over the Grizzlies (131-119) and Raptors (119-114). But they are coming off their first loss, going down 98-95 in New Orleans. DeRozan is averaging 21 points, 5.7 rebounds and 9 assists. Dejounte Murray posted a triple-double against the Raptors amid an excellent start to the season, while Keldon Johnson has been a revelation.

The Lakers won all three encounters with the Spurs last season, with LeBron averaging 30 points, 7.3 rebounds and 12 assists.

The Spurs have proven they can’t be taken lightly – they’ve been superb defensively. But the Lakers will be keyed up to avoid back-to-back losses and should get up in a close one.

Tip: Margin – Lakers 1-10


Brooklyn Nets V Atlanta HawksMargin – Nets 11-20
Boston Celtics V Memphis GrizzliesResult – Celtics
Miami Heat V Milwaukee BucksMargin – Bucks 1-10
Dallas Mavericks V Charlotte HornetsResult – Mavericks
LA Clippers V Portland Trail BlazersResult – Clippers