Game: Boston Celtics @ Phoenix Suns
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Odds: Celtics -1.5, Suns +1.5
The top two teams in each conference meet in Phoenix tonight. The Boston Celtics, who have the most (20) wins in the NBA, will face the Suns (16-8) tonight in a matchup that could be a preview of the NBA Finals. The Suns may have All-Star point guard Chris Paul. Then again, they may not.
Paul has missed 14 games since suffering a heel injury on November 7 against Philadelphia. Paul was reportedly close to making a comeback, according to Phoenix coach Monty Williams, but he sat out Monday night’s 130-111 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Paul is listed as questionable for tonight’s game. He has played 10 games this season and is averaging 9.5 points, 9.4 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.
Williams is hopeful the Suns will have Paul soon. It appears the veteran guard is regaining confidence in his foot. It is still not clear whether or not he would play tonight. Suns F Torrey Craig is also questionable with a groin injury. Craig has missed the Suns’ last three games.
Boston has won seven of its previous eight games. The most recent victory for Boston came on Monday in Toronto, 116-110. In that game, the Celtics played without center Al Horford (back) and guard Malcolm Brogdon (sickness), but Jayson Tatum had 31 points and 12 rebounds and Jaylen Brown added 22 points and eight boards. It was the 12th double-double for Tatum this season. For Brown, it was the 15th straight game in which he scored at least 20 points.
With Horford out of the lineup, Blake Griffin saw more playing time. Griffin played 32 minutes and scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
In the first quarter of the Suns’ loss to Dallas on Monday night, they were held to just 15 points. It was the Suns’ lowest point total in a quarter this season. Suns guard Devin Booker scored just 11 points against Dallas on 4-of-13 shooting. In the four games prior to the defeat, he scored an average of 39 points per game. This season, Booker is averaging 28.4 points per game.
Phoenix has won seven of its last nine games overall. The Suns are also 7-1 SU in their last eight games at home. In addition to being 7-1 SU in their last eight games, the Celtics have won 16 of their last 18. Boston is 10-5 SU in its last 15 games against Phoenix, but the Celtics are just 5-10 ATS in those 15 games.
The total has gone Over in four of Boston’s last six games, however, all five of the Celtics’ last five road games have gone Under the total. Six of the last seven Celtics’ trips to Phoenix have resulted in the game total going Under.
The Celtics continue to lead the NBA in scoring averaging 120.8 points per game. They rank first in three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage. Boston is No. 2 in overall field goal percentage. Phoenix is also a top-10 offense averaging 116.7 points a game, which ranks seventh in the league.
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