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Game Preview: Suns host Warriors in Chris Paul’s first return to the Valley

Chris Paul makes his return to the desert for the first time tonight as the Suns look to extend their win streak to five.

Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Who: Phoenix Suns (8-6) vs. Golden State Warriors (7-8)

When: Wednesday, Nov. 22 — at 8:00 p.m. AZ time

Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ

Watch: ESPN

Listen: 98.7 FM


The Phoenix Suns are in the midst of a four-game winning streak. It’s no coincidence that this streak began after Devin Booker returned from injury.

The Suns are 13-1 in the regular season games that both Durant and Booker play in, with the lone loss coming to the Spurs earlier this season.

Next up? Another battle against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, who they opened the season against in a 108-104 victory.

This marks the return of the “Point God” Chris Paul to Phoenix, after spending three memorable seasons with the Suns. 64 wins, and NBA Finals run, All-Star appearances, and much more.

His ability to lead the team in the clutch made for some thrilling moments that should not be taken for granted. It was time to move on, but that doesn’t mean we forget his impact on this franchise. Tip of the cap to CP3.

Tonight also marks the return of Suns legend Dario Saric to Phoenix. He has carved out a nice role for the Dubs, providing spacing and passing from the five spot.

The Warriors just snapped a six-game losing streak with their win over the Rockets on Monday. Still no Draymond Green for Golden State as he serves his suspension for his altercation against the Wolves.

Probable Starters

PHOENIX

  • Devin Booker
  • Grayson Allen
  • Eric Gordon
  • Kevin Durant
  • Jusuf Nurkic

GOLDEN STATE

  • Chris Paul
  • Steph Curry
  • Klay Thompson
  • Andrew Wiggins
  • Kevon Looney

Injury Report

Suns: Yuta Watanabe (left quad contusion) is OUT. Bradley Beal (low back spasms), and Damion Lee (right meniscus surgery) are both OUT.

Warriors: Draymond Green (choking Gobert) is OUT. Gary Payton II (foot) is QUESTIONABLE.

Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

KEYS TO VICTORY

  • Slow “The Others” Down

Curry is having an otherworldly season yet again, averaging 30+ points on a 68.5 TS%.

Phoenix will have to find a way to slow him down, but more importantly, make sure others don’t get hot. Steph will get his. It’s the rest of the crew they need to worry about.

I’ll take a 40-point Steph masterclass in a Suns win. That only happens if the defensive rotations are on point.

  • Outrebound, Outhustle

Draymond Green is suspended for this one, and the Warriors will be forced to go smaller at times with Looney and Saric as their only traditional bigs in their rotation. Phoenix will have to win on the glass and use the size advantage to their favor and control the interior.

I’m looking at Josh Okogie, Nassir Little, KBD, Nurkic, etc., to do the little things to give Phoenix an edge.

  • Strong Start

The second of a back-to-back is always tough, especially for a team as reliant on two players as Phoenix is. Getting off to a strong start will be all the more important against a Warriors team that can get hot at any moment.

The last thing you want to do is give them confidence early and then try to exhaust your energy in making a comeback. That’s when the fatigue settles in. Lock in early and avoid the uphill battle.

In-Season Tournament - Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

PREDICTION

Suns win another one. 5 straight. Won’t be easy, but they get it done in the clutch.

117-111.

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