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Game Preview: Suns host Clippers on TNT

The Suns will look to get revenge after a blowout loss in their last meeting against the Clippers.

NBA: Playoffs-Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (29-8) @ Los Angeles Clippers (19-19)

When: 8:00 PM AZ Time

Where: Footprint Center — Phoenix, AZ

Watch: TNT — Bally Sports Arizona

Listen: 98.7 FM


The last time these two teams met, the Phoenix Suns were without Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton in Los Angeles, and it showed. The Clippers won convincingly by the score of 111 to 95 led by 24 points from Marcus Morris. Paul George was also notably out that game for the Clippers.

Los Angeles will be without PG13 yet again for this matchup while the Suns will be minus Ayton, McGee, Crowder, and Shamet. The Clippers are also down quite a few notable role players such as Zubac, Kennard, Hartenstein, and possibly Batum. Both teams will keep a close eye on the injury report for updates as we get closer to tipoff.

In other news, the Suns decided to keep big man Bismack Biyombo for the remainder of the season. He made quite the impression in his two-game stint before securing a roster spot, and hopefully the carries over into tonight’s game where they’ll need him again.

Projected Lineups

Phoenix

  • Chris Paul
  • Devin Booker
  • Mikal Bridges
  • Cam Johnson
  • Jalen Smith

Los Angeles

  • Reggie Jackson
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Terance Mann
  • Marcus Morris
  • Serge Ibaka

Injury Report

Phoenix

The good news is Ayton, McGee, and Crowder all cleared protocols. The bad news is they’re going to sit them out a game to get their legs back, which is probably for the best.

  • Deandre Ayton — OUT (conditioning)
  • Jae Crowder — OUT (conditioning)
  • JaVale McGee — OUT (conditioning)
  • Abdel Nader — OUT (Knee, H&S protocols)
  • Landry Shamet — OUT (H&S protocols)
  • Frank Kaminsky — OUT (knee)
  • Dario Saric — OUT (ACL)

Los Angeles

  • Paul George — OUT (elbow)
  • Luke Kennard — OUT (H&S protocols)
  • Nic Batum — Questionable (ankle)
  • Brandon Boston Jr. — Probable (conditioning)
  • Ivica Zubac — OUT (H&S protocols)
  • Isaiah Hartenstein — OUT (ankle)

What to Watch

The bigs. Will the Bismack revenge tour continue?

Bismack Biyombo has been stellar in his two games with the Suns, filling in as the backup center for Jalen Smith while Ayton and McGee are out. Jalen Smith has been outstanding as well, so keep an eye on the minutes at center from those two with one last opportunity available with Ayton, McGee, and Crowder all out.

Depth battle. Which role players rise to the occasion?

Both teams will be shorthanded, so it’s imperative for players to step up and take their play up a notch. For Phoenix, the two centers are the main focal points along with the Cams.

For the Clippers, their trio of guards in Jackson, Bledsoe, and Mann will need to provide a majority of their offense if they want to secure a win. Amir Coffey has also been a staple in the Clippers rotation of late, so Phoenix will need to not lose sight of him. Containing Marcus Morris after what he did in their last meeting should also be atop their priority list defensively.

Cam Johnson’s streak(s).

Johnson has now made 2+ threes in 20 straight games, which is a franchise record and the longest active streak in the NBA. He has also scored in double figures for 17 straight contests, so he’ll look to extend both of those streaks tonight at the Footprint Center.

Prediction

Suns win 110-101