Phoenix Suns (45-37) at Los Angeles Clippers (44-38)
Game Info: Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 10:30 p.m. EST (crypto.com Arena)
Betting Odds: Suns (-2.5) / Over/Under (226.5)
Pick: Suns (-2.5)
Let's head out west to the crypto.com Arena to take a deeper look at game 3 of the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs when the Phoenix Suns take on the Los Angeles Clippers.
After being stunned in game 1, the Suns were able to bounce back on their home court to tie the series up 1-1 against the Clippers. Although they got key contributions from their whole starting 5 in that game, their defense was the key in delivering the vital win. They were able to plug the gaps and allow only 50 points in the second half of game 2, which gave them the opportunity to pull away late. Now, heading out on the road to play the next 2 in the crypto.com Arena, the Suns will need to make sure that they carry over the form that they have going for them on the defensive end if they want a shot at stealing home court advantage back. Kawhi Leonard is most likely going to get his own against any defensive setup that the Suns will throw at him, but if the Suns can stifle their secondary options, they will be in the driver's seat all night long.
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Los Angeles accomplished what they would have sought out to do when playing the first 2 games on the road without Paul George as a huge underdog. They were able to steal home court from the Suns in game 1 and will now try to capitalize on the opportunity that they have set up for themselves heading into games 3 and 4 on their home floor. Even though they were not able to take the commanding 2-0 lead after falling by a score of 123-109 a few nights ago, the Clippers will be thrilled that they were able to get Russell Westbrook in a groove finally. He was able to score 28 points on 16 shots and added in 5 and 5 in the assists and rebounding category. With George out for game 3 as well, Los Angeles will put a ton of pressure on Westbrook to deliver a similar performance in order to give Leonard a break on the offensive end when he is being doubled teamed in crunch time.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- The Suns are 30-22-1 ATS when playing as the favorite
- Los Angeles is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games
- The Clippers are 4-6 ATS as the home underdog
This is quite an interesting matchup, especially now that the Clippers are without Paul George at the helm with Leonard. Nevertheless, I believe the Suns got their bogey game off their back in the first game of the series and will now dominate the rest of the series moving forward. From a talent perspective, the Suns are much more skilled than the Clippers are, and when it all is laid out on the floor in clutch moments, I give the Suns the massive edge in major categories. Give me the Suns to take the 2-1 series lead in an emphatic fashion!
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