Game: Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Odds: Suns +12, Warriors -12
The Phoenix Suns travel to face the Golden State Warriors tonight in San Francisco in an effort to extend a winning streak while also snapping a losing streak. In a matchup between the Western Conference regular-season and NBA postseason champions from a year ago, Phoenix beat Golden State at home twice this season, 134-105 and 130-119, to exact double the revenge for their disappointing May. Since last season, the Suns have defeated the Warriors three times in a row.
However, the Suns have had a difficult go of it as of late. Phoenix was once 15-6 SU before their recent decline. They are now 20-21 after losing nine of ten games, including the last six straight. Phoenix hasn’t scored 100 points in any of its last four games playing without the likes of Cam Johnson, Cameron Payne, Devin Booker, and Jae Crowder, who has been out all season.
In their most recent game, a 14-point home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, the Suns were held to just 98 points. Veteran guard Chris Paul joined his teammates on the sidelines on Sunday with a hip injury. Paul is listed as out for tonight’s game, the first of a seven-day, four-game road trip.
Deandre Ayton, who is listed as questionable but is likely to play tonight, insisted that the Suns are capable of greater and better things with or without Paul. The bigger problem is not having Booker, the team’s leading scorer, in the lineup.
To further compound the Suns’ problems, Phoenix might find itself the unwelcome guests on the night that Stephen Curry is back in the starting lineup for Golden State. The Warriors’ star has missed Golden State’s last 11 games due to a dislocated left shoulder. He had 50 points in the team’s most recent defeat at Phoenix in November. The Warriors have given his potential return for the nationally televised game the “probable” label because he was able to practice over the past two days.
The Warriors should not have high expectations for a player returning from an extended absence. They discovered that in their previous game, a 115-101 home loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday. Andrew Wiggins returned for Golden State against the Magic after missing 15 games due to an adductor strain and an illness. Andre Iguodala made his season debut after a full season of hip rehabilitation. In 31 minutes, Wiggins and Iguodala combined to score 12 points.
It would be a special night if Curry could participate. Damion Lee, his brother-in-law, will be recognized by the Warriors before the game in a ceremony where he will receive his championship ring for 2022. Following four seasons with Golden State, Lee, who is married to Curry’s sister Sydel, joined the Suns as a free agent this offseason. His 3-point field goal percentage is currently the highest in the NBA (48.0).
Phoenix is 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in its last six games. The Suns are 6-3 SU in their last nine against Golden State. The Warriors are 5-2 SU in their last seven games and 16-3 SU in their last 19 at home.
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