The Los Angeles Lakers take a three-game winning streak into the Valley of the Sun to face the perplexing Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. Tip-off for the November 22 clash at Footprint Center is 10:00 p.m. (ET), with TNT televising the game.
The Lakers and the Suns are meeting for the first time this season. The Suns swept last year’s four-game series and have won five of the last six meetings. All five of Phoenix’s victories were by double digits. The Lakers lead the all-time series 146-113.
Phoenix is a significant favorite at -7.5. The over/under is 229.5. The Suns are -250, and the Lakers are +230 on the moneyline.
About Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers (5-10) are on a season-high three-game winning streak. All three of their victories were at Crypto.com Arena, where they are 5-5 this season.
Two of the Lakers’ wins came against two of the worst teams in the league— the Pistons and Spurs. The other came against a Brooklyn squad that was playing the second game of a back-to-back and without Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons.
Anthony Davis is playing at the best he has in three seasons and has been dominant over the last three games on both ends of the floor. Davis has produced 30-16-2 in each of those contests, averaging 35.0 points along with 17.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.7 blocks while shooting 61.7% from the field.
Lonny Walker IV, Austin Reaves, Russell Westbrook, and Thomas Bryant have also played well recently. Bryant’s return has been a huge boom for the Lakers as he gives them a true big off the bench.
Los Angeles’ biggest problem all season has been their shooting, particularly from the perimeter. However, the Lakers have been better in both categories, as they are shooting nearly 50% from the field and over 36% from beyond the arc over their last five contests. The Lakers are also rebounding, defending, and protecting the ball better during this stretch.
The Lakers have some injury concerns heading into tonight’s game. LeBron James’ (thigh) status remains up in the air though it appears he is going to miss his fifth straight game with the Lakers continuing to take a cautious approach. Juan Toscano-Anderson (back) is also questionable, while Max Christie (health & safety) remains out.
About Phoenix Suns
After starting the season 6-1, the Suns have gone through some ups and downs. The Suns do love playing at the Footprint Center.
Phoenix started its four-game homestand on a positive start with a 116-95 victory over New York on Sunday. With the victory, the Suns improved to 10-6 and 8-1 at home.
Cameron Payne continued his splendid play since stepping into the starting lineup for Chris Paul and led all five starters in double-figure against the Knicks with 21 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists.
It was Payne’s fourth 20-point and four-assist performance in six starts this year. He averages 20.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 caroms, and 1.0 steal with a shooting slash line .457/.455/.897 with the first unit.
Injuries have played a big part in the Suns’ difficulties lately. The Suns have split their six games they have played without Chris Paul (foot) and Cameron Johnson (meniscus), both of whom remain out for the foreseeable future. Landry Shamet (concussion) will sit out his sixth straight contest due to a concussion.
Phoenix has been better offensively during this stretch, but its defense has been a major issue. The Suns average 119.5 points and 15 3-pointers while shooting 47.0% from the field and 40.5% from the 3-point line over the last six games.
The Suns allowed 115.3 points and 13.3 3-pointers on 48.7% shooting from the field and 41.9% from beyond the arc during this period.
Take the Suns here. Phoenix is the better team and is playing at home, where the Suns have steamrolled everyone, including during this recent stretch.
The Suns outscore their opponents by 13 points per game at home, and seven of their games have been decided by at least nine points. A big reason for these outcomes is that the Suns hold their opponents to 44% from the field and 31% from the 3-point line at the Footprint Center.
The Lakers are horrendous on the road. They have lost each of their five games away from home by nine or more points. The defense has a huge problem as they permit eight more points a contest on the road than at Crypto.com Arena.
Free Pick: Phoenix Suns -7.5