The Phoenix Suns matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans in a battle between the two top teams in the Western Conference with a difference of a half a game. The game is set to start at 8:30 p.m. EST at Smoothie King Center.
The Suns are coming off a 125-98 decimation by the Boston Celtics after a 130-111 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. This is their third loss in their last four games, and look to get back on track. The Suns were at the top of the world after their nine game win streak, but ever since they have looked bleak.
The Pelicans are on a five game win streak leading up to this game, and they are looking to extend it to six. This has all been without Brandon Ingram who has been out due to a toe injury. With a 16-8 record, and a Suns 16-9 record that follows, winning this game would really help them pull away.
How Phoenix Can Win:
The Suns need Chris Paul to get back to the player he was last season. Even healthy, Paul has had some decent games, but he needs to shoot better consistently. On top of that, the entire team needs to shoot better. In their last game against the Celtics, they shot 39.8% from the field. The fate of the game relies on Booker. When he’s on fire, the rest of the team follows. He has averaged just 14 points in his last two games, and that doesn’t cut it against a team as hot as the Pelicans.
How New Orleans Can Win:
Zion Williamson is playing absolutely out of his mind and has been the biggest factor of this win streak. He is going to have to continue his dominance to gain the 1.5 game advantage over the Suns. The Pelicans have been near the top of the league in scoring and rebounding and have done a fantastic job limiting turnovers. The key is to play the game as they usually do and try not to make too many mistakes.
Prediction: New Orleans Pelicans 123, Phoenix Suns 113
The home away splits are too bold in this one. New Orleans is 10-3 at home, while Phoenix is 4-6 away. With the Pelicans being the hot team of the two, I think they have enough to win this game.