Game: Atlanta Hawks @ Phoenix Suns
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Odds: Hawks +1.5, Suns -1.5
After a dismal span in which they lost 12 of 14 games, the Phoenix Suns have found their form again. The Suns have won six of their last seven games and will host the Atlanta Hawks tonight. What’s even more impressive is that the Suns have turned things around without leading scorer Devin Booker.
Due to a groin injury, Booker has missed 21 of the team’s last 22 games, including the last 18 in a row.
Not having Booker contributed to the Suns’ slump, but they have been able to recover largely due to playing seven straight games at home. Tonight is the seventh of those home games.
During their recent home stand, Phoenix has defeated the Brooklyn Nets and Memphis Grizzlies, two of the better teams in the NBA. On Monday night, the Suns defeated the Toronto Raptors at home 114-106.
Mikal Bridges was the Suns leading scorer in the win over Toronto. Bridges shot 12-of-19 from the floor and finished with 29 points. He hit three three-pointers, dished out six assists, and also had three steals. It was the second straight game in which Bridges scored 20 or more points and it was the eighth time in his previous 11 games Bridges reached the 20 point mark.
A fifth-year pro, Bridges has been a valuable asset for Phoenix in the absence of Booker. Bridges is averaging a career-best 16.8 points per game this season. Bridges is much more confident in the Suns offense and it shows. Teammate Chris Paul had 19 points and nine assists while Deandre Ayton had 22 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Toronto.
Atlanta has lost four of its previous five games, including the first game of a five-game road trip on Monday night. The Hawks lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 129-125. Star guard Trae Young missed the game against Portland due to a painful right ankle, but he is expected to play on Wednesday. Young has five double-doubles in his last six games, including four straight. Additionally, he has scored at least 30 points in each of his previous two games.
With Young out, Dejounte Murray stepped up and scored a career-high 40 points against Portland. Murray made 5-of-8 three-point attempts, had eight rebounds, and seven assists. Young’s running mate now has scored 20 or more points in eight of his last nine games.
The Trail Blazers made 54.4 percent of their shots, including 19-of-40 from behind the arc, while leading for the majority of the game because the Hawks were unable to stop Damian Lillard who had 42 points for Portland.
This is the first meeting between the Hawks and Suns this season. Atlanta has won six of the last nine in the series. The Hawks have not fared well in Phoenix. Atlanta is just 1-6 SU in the last seven games against the Suns on the road. The Hawks are 6-3 ATS in their last nine games.
In addition to winning six of the last seven, the Suns are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games and 5-1 ATS in their last six at home.
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