Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ
When: 7 p.m. AZ time
Watch: Bally Sports AZ
Listen: 98.7 FM
DraftKings betting lines: Suns -7 with a moneyline of -275, O/U 231
Suns: Cam Payne, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Torrey Craig, Deandre Ayton
Jazz: Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson, Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk, Jarred Vanderbilt
For Phoenix, Cam Johnson (knee), Jae Crowder (not with team) are both still OUT, while Chris Paul (heel) is likely the same. Landry Shamet (concussion) has been hopeful that this could be his return game after missing the last seven games.
For Utah, Rudy Gay (finger) and Johnny Juzang (wrist) are both OUT, while the statuses of Mike Conley (leg) and Leandro Bolmaro (concussion) are unclear ahead of tip.
Here’s an example of two teams headed in opposite directions colliding for a chance to earn separation in the West standings. Since the 134-133 defeat the Suns suffered at the hands of the Jazz just eight days ago, the Suns have gone 3-0 while the Jazz have gone 0-3 (2-6 over the last eight), and both come into Saturday night having played tough contests on Friday night.
Deandre Ayton had a near triple-double (17/10/8) in the last meeting, and comes into Saturday with the momentum of a 28 & 12 game last night with 2 blocks. With Utah lacking a true center aside from rookie Walker Kessler, who only plays 15 minutes per game, the matchup gives Ayton a chance to continue that momentum.
Suns gave up 134 points in the most recent meeting, and Monty Williams talked soon after about how that number is unbecoming of the Suns and the standard they’ve set for themselves. Since then, they’ve given up an average of 100.7 points, and never more than 105. Look for them to continue that point of emphasis.
As for the Jazz, Clarkson is the weapon to watch as he’s scored 28.3 points per game over his last seven matchups against the Suns. Markkanen has led the team in scoring over the whole season at 22.0 points on 53/37/83 shooting, and he scored 38 on 18 shots in the last meeting between the two.
If one thing is true about the Suns at this stage in their franchise’s history, it’s that they’ve earned our trust in a lot of areas. For example, if they go into a fourth quarter with a lead, you can trust that they’ll maintain it nine times out of ten. Or if Chris Paul is out, you can trust Cam Payne to come in and keep the ship on course.
And above all else with this particular instance, you can trust them to bounce back from tough losses and get revenge. Here’s hoping they do tonight.
“We owe them,” Suns center Deandre Ayton with a smile, of tonight’s rematch.