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Game Preview: Suns ride into Minnesota as the hottest team in the NBA

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (9-3) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (4-8)

When: 6:00 PM AZ Time

Where: Target Center (Minneapolis, MN)

Watch: Bally Sports AZ

Listen: 98.7 FM

Line: PHX -3.5


After the Suns win and Clippers loss last night, the Suns are officially the hottest team in the NBA. Matching their total from the bubble winning eight straight games, tonight, they’ll look to match what they did in the Playoffs last year when they were able to win nine straight games.

This will be the first matchup of three this season between these two teams, after the Suns took last year’s season series 2-1.

Stat to know: The Suns just won two road games by 25+ points for the first time in franchise history and they have arguably been their best all around games this season. The offense has looked in rhythm, with constant ball movement and the defense is starting to look like last year’s once again.

Chris Paul is a a huge reason for that, the Point God is now leading the league in steals per game with 2.8, after tallying seven last night, his most since 2017. Not to mention, he is also leading the league in assists per game with 10.4. Some people said this man was washed but he has shown no indications of slowing down yet.

Phoenix is also leading the NBA in team shooting percentage at 47.7%. All the early woes that this team went through and all the doubts cast in fans’ minds have seemingly been put to bed.

With Deandre Ayton most likely being out once again tonight (though he’s been upgraded to ‘questionable’ by the team), it was encouraging to see JaVale McGee put up his best performance as a Sun last night. He finished the night with 19 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 9-12 shooting in only 24 minutes.

The main storyline of this winning streak has been how admirably the big men have stepped in with the absence of Ayton. That being said, the Suns will have their hands full tonight while trying to guard Karl-Anthony Towns (Happy Birthday!), and it will probably be the most intriguing matchup of the night.


Starting Lineups

Suns

  • Chris Paul
  • Devin Booker
  • Mikal Bridges
  • Jae Crowder
  • JaVale McGee

Timberwolves

  • Patrick Beverley
  • D’Angelo Russell
  • Anthony Edwards
  • Jarred Vanderbilt
  • Karl-Anthony Towns

Injury Report

Suns

Deandre Ayton (knee bruise) - QUESTIONABLE

Abdel Nader (knee soreness) - PROBABLE

Timberwolves

Naz Reid (right foot soreness) - QUESTIONABLE


Timberwolves Report

The Timberwolves have lost seven of their last eight after starting the season 3-1. They are pretty much the inverse of what the Suns have been. Their last win was a blowout win against the Lakers on Friday, a game in which their young stars came to play.

The Wolves remind me of the Suns a few years ago, where they have a lot of young talent and they could win any game due to that young talent. KAT, Anthony Edwards or D’Angelo Russell can all drop 40 points any day of the week, but their inexperience and losing culture has impeded them from winning as of now.

Edwards is leading them in scoring, averaging 24.1 ppg and has looked like a future superstar this season. KAT is having a great season as well, averaging 22.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg and 3.4 apg. Russell is leading them in assists averaging 5.6 apg, but his shooting has been horrendous early on, shooting 39% from the field.

The Wolve took a game from the Suns last year with both KAT and Edwards dropping 40+, and don’t be surprised if that happens again. But based on how both teams have been playing as of late, I’m expecting a Suns win tonight.


Prediction

117-103 Suns win after leading for almost the entire game.