When: Friday, 8:00 PM AZ time (Mountain)
Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ
Listen: 98.7 FM
The Phoenix Suns needed some rest after the end of their historic winning streak, and they’ve gotten it. Having played only one game since Dec. 4, the Suns should be nicely recharged for tonight’s contest against the middle-of-the-pack Boston Celtics.
Probable Starting Lineups:
Suns: Devin Booker, Frank Kaminsky, Abdel Nader, and Dario Saric are all listed as out.
Celtics: Jaylen Brown is out. Jabari Parker and Bruno Fernando are both listed as day-to-day.
The Celtics enter tonight’s game off a tough loss to the Clippers. A horrible second quarter where they were outscored 39-23 proved too much for them to overcome in the second half.
They are a solid defensive club with the #9 ranked defense by points surrendered per 100 possessions, but they have a below average offense made even less potent without Jaylen Brown, who is averaging 21 points on 57% true shooting on the 13 games he has played this season. In his absence, they’ll rely very heavily on Jayson Tatum and Dennis Schroder to carry the scoring load. The Celtics are the definition of an average team.
After finally having their amazing 18 game winning streak snapped by the Golden State Warriors a few days ago, the Suns quickly got back to their winning ways with a victory over the Spurs Dec. 6. Lacking Booker, as they will be tonight, the Suns turned to Chris Paul to score the ball and he was able to answer by scoring 21 points on 9/18 shooting. Jae Crowder also had a hot night hitting 4 threes. The Suns will need Paul to step up again tonight, with at least a couple of other guys hitting with regularity to make up for the dynamic offensive force they’ll be lacking with Booker on the sideline.
The Suns are simply a better team than the Celtics are, even without Booker. The Suns are rested up, at home, and ready to take care of business against a team that they clearly outclass. CP3 has another good game as a scorer, Mikal Bridges bounces back from his quiet offensive night against the Spurs to hit some big shots, and the Suns win 109-99.