Golden State Warriors vs Phoenix Suns

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Phoenix Suns will host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. This will be the last NBA game played before the All-Star break. The Warriors and Suns have met once so far this season, with Phoenix winning at home 114-93 as a two-point favorite on January 28.

The Suns have the second-best record in the Western Conference at 23-11. Phoenix won its last game 114-104 against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday as a 1.5 point favorite. Golden State is 19-17, ninth in the conference. The Warriors played Wednesday night and lost to the Portland Trailblazers 108-106 as a one-point favorite.

Golden State playing second game in two days

The Golden State Warriors will be playing their second game in two days and their third straight road game after losing to Portland on Wednesday night. Steph Curry led the Warriors with 35 points in the loss to Portland, but Damian Lillard, who finished with 22 points for Portland, made the go-ahead three-point shot that gave the Trailblazers the victory. Before facing the Trailblazers, the Warriors lost to the Lakers 117-91 as a three-point dog.

On the season, Golden State is 12th, averaging 114 ppg, shooting 46.5% from the floor, which is 15th, and sixth shooting 37.8% from three-point range. Defensively Golden State is 21st, holding the competition to 112.8 ppg. Steph Curry kept the Warriors in playoff contention averaging 29.7 ppg, third in the league while shooting 47.8% from the floor, 41.1% from three-point range, and 93.4% from the charity stripe. Andrew Wiggins is second on the team with 17.1 ppg, and Kelly Oubre Jr, who was acquired from the Phoenix Suns in the offseason, has added 15.5 ppg. Oubre did not play on Wednesday against Portland and is questionable for Thursday against the Suns.

In Golden State’s 21 point loss to the Suns back in January, the Warriors only shot 38.4% (33-99) from the floor, 28.9% (11-38) from three-point range, and only got to the line to attempt eight free-throws while making six. The Warriors were outrebounded in that game 59 to 53 but did win the offensive rebounding battle 12 to 9. Steph Curry had a team-high 27 points on 10 of 20 shooting from the floor in that game.

Suns Surging in the Western Conference

The Phoenix Suns won for the 12th time in 14 games with Tuesday’s win over the Lakers. The Suns received a balanced scoring effort, with Dario Saric scoring a team-high 21 points off the bench. Mikal Bridges added 19 points, while Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton scored 17 points in the victory. As a team, the Suns shot 49.4% (38-77) from the field, 55.2% (16-29) from three-point range, and 88% (22 of 25) from the free-throw line.

For the season, the Suns are now averaging 113.4 ppg, which is 13th in the Association. They are shooting 48.3% from the floor, which ranks seventh, and ninth shooting 37.9%. Defensively the Suns and holding their opponents to 107.4 ppg, which is fourth. Devin Booker has missed four games this season and leads the Suns with 25.2 ppg. Chris Paul is second in scoring with 16.2 points and a team-best 9.0 assists per game, followed by Deandre Ayton with 14.6 points and 11.4 rebounds per game, along with Mikal Bridges with 13.9 ppg.

In the first head-to-head meeting against the Warriors in January, the Suns shot 46.6% (41-88) from the floor, 34.4% (11-32) from three-point range, and 91.3% (21-23) from the free-throw line. Bridges led the Suns with 20 points in that victory.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Phoenix Suns have hit their stride. After winning 11 of their first 20 games, which was solid but not great, the Suns have now won 12 of their last 14 games, with their average margin of victory in those games being 15 points. Golden State has a tough game against Portland on ESPN, Wednesday night, which will draw plenty of attention with the showdown between Steph Curry and Dame Lilliard. Playing the hottest team in the NBA the very next day on the road is going to certainly be a challenge, especially with Kelly Oubre and Draymond Green’s availability on a back-to-back in question. With this being the last game before the long All-Star break, don’t expect the Suns to sleepwalk here. They had a full day to prepare, and their star player Devin Booker will be highly motivated to go up against Steph Curry after being snubbed for the All-Star game.

Take the Suns to pull off a convincing victory heading into the break.

Prediction:
Phoenix Suns -5

Want another opinion on this pick?

Visit WinnersAndWhiners.com

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The total has fallen under in each of the Warriors’ last four games when playing on the second day of a back-to-back.  Phoenix is the sixth-best team in the NBA according to Hollinger Stats- Defensive Efficiency ratings. The Suns also play at the second-slowest pace and have played to the under in four of their last five games against winning teams.

The first time these teams meet this season, the total was posted at 220 points, and they combined for just 207 points. Ten of the last 11 head-to-head meetings between Golden State and Phoenix have now gone under, and I will take that side on Thursday.

Prediction:
Under 224