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Game Preview: Phoenix Suns look for sweep in LA with win over Clippers

The day after a thrilling overtime victory against the Lakers Phoenix is back in action against the other STAPLES Center resident for a preseason matchup on ESPN.

Oh Blake.
Oh Blake.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

When: Wednesday October 22, 2014 7:30 PM local time (10:30 EST)

Where: STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

Watch/Listen: TV: ESPN Radio: KTAR 620AM/98.7FM


Last Meeting:

4/2/2014: Clippers 112, Suns 108

Phoenix led the Clippers by 17 points late in the third quarter before a colossal collapse sealed their fate. Los Angeles ended up outscoring the Suns 34-17 in the fourth quarter on their way to a 112-108 win. It was a costly loss for the Suns, coming with just seven games remaining in a playoff chase. Letting this one get away has to rank pretty high on the scale of missed opportunities as the Suns barely missed the postseason.

The Suns had eight players score in the game. Each of the eight was in double figures and all were between 10 and 16 points. Balance. Jared Dudley was a +19 for the Clippers. Just goes to illustrate that plus/minus results can be just as useless as well, Jared Dudley was last season. Dudley is no longer a Clipper, having been banished traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Team Bios:

Phoenix Suns: 4-1 (preseason)

Points per game: 104.8     Points allowed: 94.0

While the Suns have maintained consistency with Miles Plumlee, Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic starting at their respective positions in all five preseason games, the forward spots have been platooned by a combination of Markieff and Marcus Morris, Anthony Tolliver and P.J. Tucker. These last two preseason games will provide coach Hornacek his last chances to tinker with the rotations.

After a lopsided blowout victory against the leftovers of the Spurs roster, which prompted an apology from Suns owner Robert Sarver, fans at the STAPLES Center got their money's worth last night. Isaiah Thomas nailed a buzzer-beating jump shot to tie the game at the end of regulation and the Suns pulled away in overtime for a 114-108 victory over the Lakers. Thomas had his best game of the preseason, scoring 26 points and converting on 12 of 13 free throws.

Still no Alex Len.

Los Angeles Clippers: 1-5 (preseason)

Points per game: 99.7       Points allowed: 109.8

Like the Suns, the Clippers played a game last night. Unlike the Suns, the Clippers got boat raced. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul rested for Los Angeles in a 125-107 loss to the Golden St. Warriors. Jared Cunningham led the Clippers with 23 points. New acquisition Spencer Hawes started alongside center DeAndre Jordan in the game.

While Jared Dudley is no longer a Clipper, Suns fans can delight in the opportunity to catch fan fave Hedo Turkolgu in action tonight.

What to Look for:

It's the preseason, who knows? It appears these teams have taken a different approach to their preseason method.

The Suns seem to be using these practice games to evaluate different lineups and rotations. The team is very deep and the competition for minutes is very real.

The Clippers are mostly sleepwalking through these obligatory matches. They have returned their core and are counting on internal improvement and small tweaks to take the next step.

Who plays tonight and how much? Paul and Griffin both sat last night, so they should be rested. The national stage would seem like a good platform for them to make an appearance in this game. Phoenix went deep to their bench last night, so there shouldn't be a fatigue issue for them, either. Then again, it's preseason, so who knows what minute restrictions might be in place.

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