Game: Miami Heat @ Phoenix Suns
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Odds: Heat -1.5, Suns +1.5
Without Devin Booker, the Phoenix Suns are struggling mightily and will be hoping to snap a four-game losing streak when they host the Miami Heat on Friday night. Phoenix is 2-8 without Booker this season, and the Suns will be without him for another three weeks or more. He left the game the Suns’ Christmas Day game four minutes in with a groin injury. Booker had just missed the three games prior and re-aggravated the injury.
With Booker missing the last five games, the Suns have now lost 12 of their last 16 games to fall into eighth place in the Western Conference with a 20-19 record. The Suns have already lost more games than they did in the entire 2021-22 season. Phoenix finished last year with an NBA-best 64-18 record.
The Suns are back home after a 1-5 road trip that ended with a 90-88 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. Phoenix recorded its lowest point total of the season two nights before the loss to the Cavs in a 102-83 loss to the New York Knicks. In the loss to Cleveland, the Cavs’ Evan Mobley made a game-winning 14-footer. Phoenix’s Mikal Bridges missed a last-second field goal.
Phoenix made it to the Western Conference finals last season and the NBA Finals two seasons ago. With only two games remaining, until the season’s halfway point, the Suns are hanging on to a playoff spot as they appear to be ineffective without Booker. The three-time All-Star guard is scoring 27.1 points per game on average, which is a career-high and making 67 3-pointers. The Suns will also be without Cameron Payne and Cameron Johnson tonight. Jae Crowder hasn’t played all season.
Miami shares a 20-19 record with the Suns. The Heat won four straight games in mid-December, but have split their last eight games. The Heat haven’t looked like a title threat thus far this season, despite reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last year. Miami lost to Los Angeles 112-109 on Wednesday to a Lakers team without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Like Phoenix, Miami is in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
The Heat are 2-2 going into the fifth and final game of their current five-game road trip. C Bam Adebayo has been outstanding as of late. He has scored 30 points or more in each of the last three games. He scored 32 points on Saturday against the Utah Jazz, 31 points on Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers, and 30 points against the Lakers. Adebayo has seven 30-point performances this season.
Jimmy Butler had a season-low nine points against the Clippers two nights before to his 27-point performance against the Lakers. On November 14, the Heat defeated the visiting Suns 113-112. Adebayo had 30 points and 10 rebounds in that game. Booker led Phoenix with 25 points.
Miami is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games and 14-6 SU in its last 20 against the Suns. The Heat is also 6-2 SU in their last eight on the road. The Suns are 2-12 ATS in the last 14 games against Miami when playing at home.
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