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Phoenix Suns (15-15) vs. Charlotte Hornets (7-22) game preview & prediction

Dec 27, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) shakes hands with Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel after leaving the game against the Houston Rockets during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns will look to get back above the .500 mark against the 7-22 Charlotte Hornets tonight inside the Footprint Center. With Bradley Beal ready to go, the Suns will have their big three in action for just the third time this season. Meanwhile, the Hornets, who hold a 3-11 record on the road, are currently battling through a nine-game losing streak. With the 1/3 mark passed in the 2023-2024 season, the Hornets have won only one game by more than three points, and it came against the Washington Wizards during opening week. Since then, all four of their wins have come by a deficit three points or fewer.

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Considering the Suns do have their big three healthy and are coming off a promising win over Houston a few days ago, they hold their largest favorite odds of the season at -1300.

Injury report

The Suns will be without Nassir Little (left knee soreness), Josh Okogie (right ankle sprain), and Damion Lee (right meniscus surgery).

Whereas the Hornets will be extremely short handed as LaMelo Ball (right ankle) and Gordon Hayward (left calf) are out. Additionally, Frank Ntilikina (left tibia), and Mark Williams (low back contusion) will not be available.

Game outlook

Against the Rockets on Wednesday, the Suns committed 18 turnovers. However, they were able to mask these mistakes with a tremendous shooting night as they had five players finish in double digits. As a team, Phoenix shot 57.3% from the field.

Now, with another deadly shooter in the form of Bradley Beal being added to the lineup, expect this hot shooting continue. The Hornets are allowing 121 points per game this season, ranking them 5th worst in the NBA. They also hold the worst perimeter defense as teams are shooting at a 39.1% rate from beyond the arc against Charlotte.

While it is unlikely that Beal will see his full set of minutes on the court, the circumstances are perfect for the Suns to get back above the .500 mark and start their six-game homestand on a high note. 

Local Game Information

Start Time: 7:00 p.m. MST

Location: Footprint Center

TV Channel: 3TV/AZ Family

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, La Mejor 106.5 FM

Stream: Suns Live (click for more info)

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