Game: Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Grizzlies +8.5, Sun -8.5
The Suns will be looking to recover from a rare loss as they dropped a 116-107 decision to Golden State on Christmas Day. Phoenix is now 26-6 with its leading scorer Devin Booker back in the lineup. Plus, the Suns are at home where they are 15-3 this season. Phoenix will take on Memphis which played on Sunday beating Sacramento 127-102 to break a three-game losing streak.
The big news for the Grizzlies is that leading scorer Ja Morant is back in the lineup after missing a month with a knee sprain. Memphis played well without Morant. He will raise the Grizzlies ceiling now as they face the No. 2 team in the West. Morant will have to raise that ceiling especially since Memphis is playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
Phoenix has lost back-to-back games just once this season. That was at the very beginning of the year. The Suns lost to the Lakers and Portland on back-to-back nights way back in October. If you remember, Phoenix started the season 1-3. They are 25-3 since.
With or without Booker, the Suns have been great. Since his return on Dec. 19, Booker has averaged 20.8 points per game and Phoenix is 3-1 in four games. The Suns are also relatively healthy compared to the rest of the league. Abdel Nader is out tonight with a knee injury and only two Suns – Jae Crowder and Elfrid Payton – will miss tonight due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The Grizzlies will be missing five players due to COVID-19. Dillon Brooks, Jarrett Culver, Ziaire Williams, De’Anthony Melton, and Yves Pons are all out for tonight. Brooks is the Grizzlies’ second-leading scorer averaging 19.3 points a game. Melton also averages in double figures (10.5 ppg). Desmond Bane (16.7 ppg) will help pick up the slack. Bane led all scorers with 28 points in the win over Sacramento on Sunday.
Phoenix is 4-2 ATS in its last six games this season. For the year, the Suns are 17-15 ATS and they are just 9-9 ATS at home. Memphis is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games. The Grizzlies are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games on the road and 10-5 ATS on the road this season. Memphis has played five back-to-backs so far this season. Playing with no rest on the second night of a back-to-back, the Grizzlies are 3-2 ATS.
Memphis tends to play at a slower pace on the second night of a back-to-back. So far this season, in five such games, the Under is 4-1. The Suns’ trend Under (17-15) for the season and that is the case in the Suns-Grizzlies series. In the last eight games between these two teams, the Under has hit in seven of them. Playing Memphis at home, the Under has cashed in six of the Suns’ last seven such games at the Footprint Center.