Game: Brooklyn Nets @ Phoenix Suns
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Nets +7, Suns -7
Brooklyn has faded to sixth place in the Eastern Conference and things aren’t looking any better in the near future. Tonight, the Nets limp into Phoenix to take on the team with the NBA’s best record. The Suns are 40-9 and have won ten straight games. Brooklyn, on the other hand, will have a bench full of injured players and has a losing streak currently at four games.
This will be Game 2 of the Nets’ current five-game West Coast road trip. They are 0-1 so far with a loss to Golden State, which happens to have the second-best record in the NBA. After Phoenix, the Nets will play at Utah, Sacramento, and Denver. That means the Nets will play four playoff-bound teams on the road without several key players.
Leading scorer Kevin Durant continues to be out with a knee injury. Paul Millsap is out indefinitely as is Joe Harris. LaMarcus Aldridge is out for tonight and James Harden is listed as questionable. That is not encouraging for Nets fans. The only positive for Brooklyn is that the game is on the road which means Kyrie Irving will be in the lineup. Irving scored 32 points and dished out seven assists in the recent loss to Golden State.
Another plus for Brooklyn is its recent record against Phoenix. The Nets have actually won 10 of the last 13 games against the Suns. The two teams have played once this season. Phoenix won 113-107 in Brooklyn. The Nets were a 1.5-point favorite. Durant led the Nets with 39 points. Devin Booker scored 30 for the Suns.
Playing Phoenix at home at the Footprint Center will be another challenge for Brooklyn. The Suns are 21-5 in home games this season. Booker is the Suns’ leading scorer averaging 25.1 points per game. With Deandre Ayton out of the lineup, Bismack Biyombo has stepped in and is averaging 11.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Ayton remains out tonight and will miss his eighth straight game with an ankle injury.
If Harden plays, the Nets have some hope. Brooklyn is 26-7 when Harden and Irving play together. In the last game he played, Harden had a triple-double with 33 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. What the Nets haven’t done well all season is cover the spread. Brooklyn is just 5-12 ATS in its last 17 games and 19-29-1 ATS for the season. Interestingly, Brooklyn is 14-10 ATS on the road this season and the Nets have covered nine of the last 13 games against Phoenix.
The Suns are 6-3 ATS in their last nine games, but they are just 1-5 ATS the last six times they have played Brooklyn at home. Five of the Suns’ last seven games have seen the total go Under. The total has gone Under in five of Brooklyn’s last eight games. The Suns-Nets game in November went way Under the total of 226.