Suns, Clippers hook up
March 10, 2014
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Phoenix Suns (36-26) at Los Angeles Clippers (44-20)
Sportsbook.ag Tip-off: Monday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Los Angeles -10, Total: 220
The Clippers look to extend their seven-game winning streak when they host the high-powered offense of the Suns.
Phoenix has played above expectations this season, and has won three of their past five games (4-1 ATS), including a stunning win over the 6-point favorite Thunder on Thursday night. But the Suns were not able to keep up at Golden State on Sunday, losing 113-107 to the Warriors while allowing them to shoot 52.9% FG, marking their sixth straight opponent that has made at least half of its shots against Phoenix. This doesn't bode well facing an L.A. team that has made at least 51% FG in five of its seven straight wins (6-1 ATS). But the Clippers had a scare on Saturday night against the 15-point underdog Hawks, squeaking by with a 109-108 victory at home. On the road the season, the Suns have managed a 14-14 SU record, but have the NBA's best road ATS mark at 20-8 (71%).
Meanwhile, the Clippers have the league's third-best home record at 26-5 SU, but are just 16-15 ATS at Staples Center. The first two games of this season series have already been played, with one in each city and the road team winning both SU and ATS. Phoenix rolled to a 107-88 rout as eight-point underdogs on Dec. 30, before Los Angeles overcame an 11-point halftime deficit on Tuesday to defeat the host Suns 104-96. Over the past three seasons, these teams have split 10 games between each other (5-5 SU and ATS) with the Under going 8-2. Phoenix is an impressive 17-8 ATS (68%) after an SU loss this season, but the Clippers are 18-8 ATS (69%) after an ATS loss this season. Both teams have suffered from plenty injuries, with SGs Eric Bledsoe (knee) and Leandro Barbosa (hand) both out indefinitely for the Suns. For Los Angeles, SG Jamal Crawford (calf) is expected to miss this game, SF Jared Dudley (back) is questionable, and SG J.J. Redick (hip) remains out indefinitely.
Phoenix is one of the top offenses in the NBA and is ranked sixth in the league in scoring with 105.5 PPG. The club has continued to pour it on lately and is averaging an incredible 115.2 PPG on 50.9% FG over its past five games. As is the case with most West Coast teams, the defense does not match the offensive firepower, and is sixth-worst in the league in defense, allowing 102.9 PPG to their opponents. SG Goran Dragic (20.5 PPG, 6.2 APG, 1.3 SPG) has been this team’s leader all season and scored 24 points (8-of-14 FG) with six assists in the loss to the Warriors on Sunday night. He has scored only 10.4 PPG (43% FG) with 5.0 APG over 19 career games (8 starts) in this matchup, but has netted 20.0 PPG (52% FG) and 8.5 APG in the two meetings this season.
SG Gerald Green (15.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG) has averaged 29.0 PPG (59% threes), 5.5 RPG and 1.8 SPG over four games this month, including a career-high 41 points against the Thunder on Thursday. He has had strong games against the Clippers this season, averaging 19.0 PPG (9-of-18 threes), 5.0 RPG and 2.5 SPG. PF Markieff Morris (13.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG) has scored 18+ points in seven of his past 10 games, averaging 17.7 PPG (54% FG) and 4.8 RPG during these 10 games. Morris has also scored 8.9 PPG (36% FG) while grabbing 6.9 RPG in 22.6 MPG over nine career games (2 starts) against Los Angeles.
The Clippers have taken over as the top scoring offense in the league, getting 107.8 PPG this season on 47.5% FG (5th in NBA). They scored 142 points on Thursday against the Lakers, a high total for the league this season, and are averaging 116.0 PPG on 50.7% FG (41.7% threes) during their seven-game win streak. Defensively they have been solid as well, allowing just 93.4 PPG (42.2% FG, 30.6% threes) in their past five contests and giving up only 100.7 PPG (15th in NBA) on 44.3% FG (6th in league) and a league-best 32.8% threes for the season. PG Chris Paul (18.6 PPG, 11.0 APG, 4.4 RPG, 2.4 SPG) has a double-double in his past two games and has at least two steals in nine of his last 11 games played. His 12.5 PPG (32% FG), 8.0 APG, 3.5 RPG and 1.5 SPG averages in two games this season are well below his 19.6 PPG (45% FG), 9.7 APG, 4.1 RPG and 2.4 SPG over 27 career games against Phoenix.
PF Blake Griffin (24.2 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.1 SPG) has scored 20+ points in 22 straight games (27.4 PPG) and has been one of the most consistent performers in the league all season long. Over 14 career games against the Suns, he has put up 19.6 PPG (51% FG) with 8.8 RPG and 3.3 APG. C DeAndre Jordan (10.3 PPG, 13.9 RPG) is the league leader in both rebounds and shooting (66.3% FG) while ranking fourth in blocks (2.4 BPG). He has scored only 6.0 PPG against Phoenix this season, but has grabbed 18.0 RPG while getting 2.0 BPG over the two meetings.
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