NBA Game Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns

Dec 29, 2021

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Game: Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns  

Time: 9:00 p.m. ET 

Odds: Thunder +14.5, Phoenix -14.5 

Total: 216.5 

The Phoenix Suns welcome Oklahoma City to the Footprint Center where Phoenix lost last night for the second time in a row. That’s something that doesn’t happen very often. The Suns gave up a last-second layup to Memphis guard Ja Morant and lost 114-113. That came after a Christmas Day loss to Golden State. As a result of the two losses, the Suns no longer own the best record in the NBA. 

Beating Oklahoma City will be a challenge as the Suns will play without C Deandre Ayton. The 7-footer entered the league’s health and safety protocols and will be out indefinitely. With Ayton out, JaVale McGee will get more minutes and the Suns will likely play even faster than they do already. Phoenix is third in the NBA in pace right now and they rank No. 3 in points per game averaging 111.7. 

That pace has led the total to go Over in six of the last seven Suns games overall. That includes the last five games played at home at the Footprint Center. The last three straight Phoenix games have gone Over the total and that includes a game against the Thunder on Dec. 23. The Suns won 113-101 going Over the total of 213.5. 

It’s a similar story for Oklahoma City which has also seen the total go Over in its last three straight games. The Thunder have been playing their best basketball of the season recently. OKC has won four of its last six games with wins over the Clippers, Grizzlies, Nuggets, and Pelicans. They did lose to the Kings 117-111 last night and have six players listed on the injury report as questionable all due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.  

While Oklahoma City is just 12-21 on the season, they have the third-best record in the NBA against the spread. The Thunder is 21-12 ATS this season. That includes a 10-6 ATS mark on the road. One of those road covers was against Phoenix as a 15-point underdog. OKC had covered in six straight games before the loss to the Kings last night. The Thunder was a 5.5-point underdog and lost by six. 

Phoenix struggles to cover especially at home. The Suns are 9-10 ATS at home this season. In head-to-head matchups against the Thunder, the Suns have covered the spread just two times in the last ten meetings. OKC is 6-2 ATS in the last eight games against the Suns in Phoenix. 

Each team’s leading scorer is coming off a 30-point-plus performance. Shia Gilgeous-Alexander of Oklahoma City scored 33 points in last night’s loss to Sacramento. He also dished out five assists. Devin Booker shot 10-of-20 from the floor and scored 30 points in the Suns’ loss to Memphis on Monday night.  

The last time the Thunder played a back-to-back they lost both games. On Dec. 1, they lost to Houston and followed that up one night later with a loss to Memphis setting an NBA record in the process. The Thunder lost by 73 points.