Trail Blazers (41-29, 22-13 road) at Suns (48-21, 26-9 home)
- Time: 7PM PST – 9PM CST – 10PM EST
- Place: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, AZ
- TV: NBC Sports Northwest | Bally Sports Arizona | MLB Extra Innings
Portland has won five in a row and nine out of ten as the Blazers are easily the hottest team in the Association as of now. The streak has been a key in them being able to move to a tie for fifth in the Western Conference with Dallas as they both have three games remaining.
Phoenix has lost two in a row at the Lakers and Golden State, so coming home will be a key in establishing their confidence as it will allow the Suns a legitimate shot at Utah as they trail by 1.5 games with three remaining.
The Suns have taken both wins over the Trail Blazers so far this season as they won 127-121 in Portland on March 11 as a 132-100 rendering of the Blazers in the Valley of the Sun back on Feb. 22.
Phoenix has won 4 out of the last 5 games in the series and are 31-11 on one-day rest. Portland is 9-7 on the second game of a back-to-back.
Last Time Out
The Trail Blazers used 30 points from Damian Lillard and 26 from CJ McCollum to take a 105-98 win over the short-handed Jazz in Salt Lake City. Portland led 84-71 late in the third quarter and extended to 97-81 with just over four minutes remaining. Carmelo Anthony had 18 for the Blazers.
Golden State defeated Phoenix, 122-116, in San Francisco on Tuesday night as the Warriors handed the Suns their third loss in four games. Jae Crowder hit four triples in the first quarter to help Phoenix to a 38-29 lead after one period. Devin Booker had 24 points in the third quarter to combat the hot-shooting Warriors as the game went into a back-and-forth affair in the fourth quarter before the Warriors finally took the lead with 1:07 remaining and pulled out the win.
- Portland Trail Blazers – Nassir Little (back) – OUT
- Phoenix Suns – Cameron Johnson (wrist), Abdel Nader (knee) – OUT
Vs. The Spread
Trail Blazers (35-34, ATS):
- Portland is 7-3 ATS in it’s last 10 games
- The Trail Blazers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games vs. the Suns
- Portland is 6-1 ATS in it’s last 7 road games
Suns (41-27-1, ATS):
- The total has gone OVER in the last 7 Suns’ games
- The OVER has also been the play in 4 of the last 5 Suns-Blazers games
- The Suns are 13-1 SU in their last 14 home games
In winning nine out of 10 and 5 in a row, the Trail Blazers have played tough on the defensive end and shared the ball, and scored efficiently on offense. They have the rest NET rating in the league (+15.1) as going into last night’s win in Utah, the 124.9 on offense and 110.2 on defense (8th/NBA). Lillard and McCollum combine for 51.7 points per game, so a high scoring output by both guards will be a key for the Blazers in trying to beat Phoenix for the first time this season. The Suns’ defense is for real as it stops the three at only 35.6 percent (5th/NBA) as it allowed only 11.7 makes from distance (7th/NBA).
Key Trail Blazers Stat:
Defensively, Portland has played it’s best of the year in these last 10-games. They have held four of the last five opponents to 41.6 percent or less in winning five in a row. Maybe the most impressive stat in the string was holding Utah to 12-of-40 from three-points range last night as the Jazz make 16.7 triples per game to lead the league. Portland also has outrebounded three of their last five opponents, including a 63-40 margin against San Antonio three games ago.
Trail Blazers Fact:
Norman Powell struggled with a season-low seven points in 38 minutes last night in Utah. He have averaged 17.2 points per game since coming over from Toronto and had averaged 20.6 points over the five games before last night’s win over the Jazz. Powell’s shooting prowess makes defenses spread and loosen on Lillard and McCollum as this is one reason that offensively the Blazers will be even more dangerous in the tournament.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Trail Blazers||+4.5 (-110)||+165||O 235.5 (-110)|
|Suns||-4.5 (-110)||-190||U 235.5 (-110)|
Attacking Portland inside with the athleticism of a Deandre Ayton (14.4 ppg, 62.7%-FG) or Jusuf Nurkic is a good idea to start the game as it will free up Chris Paul (16.3 ppg, 39%-3) and Devin Booker (25.6 ppg, 48.6%-FG) on the perimeter to work for threes. Phoenix will also find the matchups that involve Mikal Bridges (13.4 ppg, 64%-2) on the perimeter where he can slash or take his man into the paint and use his athleticism and post-up skills. Portland’s defense allows opponents to shoot 54 percent (22nd/NBA) in the lane and the mid-range which gives Phoenix a big advantage.
Key Suns Stat:
Paul’s ball-handling has been stellar once again is it is the catalyst of an offense that averages a 12.7 turnovers per contest (4th/NBA). Paul averages 31.5 minutes per game with 8.9 assists vs. 2.3 turnovers.
Phoenix has to get its legs under itself once again on defense as opponents have averaged 50.3 percent from the floor in the last five games as they have gotten outscored on average, 120.6-118.2. Portland leads the NBA in assists per game at 21.2, so disruption defensively on the perimeter would be in favor of the Suns as they have forced 13.2 turnover per game in the last five.
Winner: Phoenix (-4.5) 124, Portland 117