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Preview: Suns seek 11th straight win, host Kyrie Irving and Nets

This is a Kyrie game for Brooklyn, so can Phoenix do enough to limit him on their way to 11?

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Brooklyn Nets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (40-9; 21-5 at home) vs Brooklyn Nets (29-20; 17-7 on road)

When: 8:00 p.m. AZ time

Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ

Watch: TNT

Listen: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM


Phoenix Suns Report:

Another game, another lengthy injury report for Phoenix. Deandre Ayton (ankle), Jae Crowder (wrist), and Cam Payne (wrist) all remain out, but they’re now joined by Landry Shamet (ankle), who was injured in Sunday’s win over San Antonio.

Expect the twins — Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson — to continue their strong play, with more star contributions from Devin Booker — averaging 29.3 points per game in his last three against Brooklyn — and Chris Paul — 6.7 assists per game over that same stretch vs Brooklyn.

Brooklyn likes to play smaller brands of basketball, so this may provide a good opportunity to try some more minutes with Ish Wainright at the 5, after he excelled there against the Spurs and played the entire fourth quarter during the come-from-behind win.

6:00 p.m. gameday update:


Brooklyn Nets Report:

The Nets have underachieved in head coach Steve Nash’s second season, starting 29-20 and in current possession of the 6th seed in the East. Among their stars, there have been plenty of injuries — Kevin Durant’s knee, James Harden’s hamstring, Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status, and Joe Harris’s ankle — and they’ve dealt with rough player fits in general, like the conclusion the team came to about finding Paul Millsap, who signed in the offseason, a new home where he could have a bigger role.

Brooklyn’s riding their own streak — four straight losses. For the most part, they’ve been scoring well enough to win your typical NBA game (111.3 points per game over their losing streak), but the defense just hasn’t been there for Nash’s squad, partially stemming from underqualified guys being forced into minutes like two-way rookie Kessler Edwards starting each of the last 10 games, averaging 32 minutes.

As long as they’re able to keep Irving — the only Brooklyn star set to play — from an absurd number like 40 points or 15 assists and are able to bring it on both ends, the Suns should put themselves in good shape to overcome the Nets. Olympic Bronze medal-winner Patty Mills also poses a pretty big threat from the guard position on Brooklyn’s side.

6:30 p.m. gameday update:


Prediction:

Suns are overdue for a blowout. They’ll get it here against the Nets 124-103.