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Who Will Win the Battle of Stars in Los Angeles? Suns at Clippers Game Preview and Prediction

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The Phoenix Suns (19-17, 9th in Western Conference) begin a three-game road trip tonight in Los Angeles against the Clippers (22-13, 4th in Western Conference) for their second head-to-head matchup this season. Both teams are on the second night of a back-to-back coming off of losses last night, yet will both have almost their full rotations and star players available tonight. Phoenix and LA just played last Wednesday in Phoenix and the Clippers came out on top with a 131-122 victory, as they shot over 50% from three. The Suns will look to avenge this loss tonight in what is only their sixth game with all of the Big 3 healthy.

Local Game Information

Start Time: 8:30 p.m. MST

Location: Crypto.com Arena

TV Channel: 3TV/AZ Family

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, La Mejor 106.5 FM

Stream: Suns Live (click for more info)

Betting Odds

Line: LAC -5.5

O/U: 228.5

Injury Report

Phoenix Suns: Kevin Durant (right hamstring strain) AVAILABLE | Eric Gordon (right knee soreness) AVAILABLE | Udoka Azubuike (illness) OUT | Nassir Little (left knee tendinitis) OUT | Bol Bol (right ankle sprain) OUT | Damion Lee (right meniscus surgery) OUT

Los Angeles Clippers: Moussa Diabate (right hand metacarpal fracture) OUT

Starters (Projected)

Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Grayson Allen, Kevin Durant, Jusuf Nurkić

Los Angeles ClippersJames Harden, Terance Mann, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Ivica Zubac

Five Keys to Game for Suns

  1. Play full 48-minute game
  2. Find balance of Big 3 and getting role players involved
  3. Not allowing easy looks from three
  4. Utilize having Eric Gordon back
  5. Bradley Beal bouncing back from last night

Prediction

Suns 116 – Clippers 113

The Suns found a good rhythm at the end of their last game against the Clippers, and I expect them to capitalize on that tonight. This game will likely be close, or the Suns could come out flat once again and let the Clippers run away with it. However, I expect Phoenix to get in order tonight recognizing that they need to prove how good they can be against a good team. Bradley Beal will have something to prove after a poor performance last night, and overall it should be an exciting star-studded battle.

Last Time Out

Last night, the Phoenix Suns (19-17) fell 121-115 to the Memphis Grizzlies (13-23) to conclude a six-game homestand, in which they went 4-2. The Suns went up against a Ja Morant-less Memphis Grizzlies team with Kevin Durant back healthy after he missed three games with a right hamstring strain. In only the fourth full game played with the team’s Big 3, Phoenix got off to a hot start, then let Memphis back into it in the first half before ending the half strong. They then came out of halftime looking to build off of this, going on a big run late in the quarter to extend the lead to as much as 13. Everything collapsed in the fourth quarter, which fans have become accustomed to, as Memphis opened the quarter on a 14-1 run and ended up outscoring Phoenix 35-18 in the final period. Devin Booker led Phoenix with 24 points, eight assists and two steals, but only got up two shot attempts in the fourth quarter. Kevin Durant had 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in his return. Jusuf Nurkić had a near 20-20 game with 18 points and 19 rebounds.

The Los Angeles Clippers (22-13) had a five-game win streak snapped to Los Angeles Lakers (18-19) last night with a 106-103 loss. This game came down to the final second as Norman Powell’s three-point attempt went in and out at the buzzer. Paul George and Ivica Zubac contributed 22 points apiece, while Zubac also had 19 rebounds. Kawhi Leonard had 15 points, while James HHarden had 15 points and nine assists. The Lakers shsot over 50% from the field (42-82), while the Clippers shot under 40% (36-91) from the floor.

Flashback: Last Meeting (Jan. 3, 2023)

Suns fight back from 23-point deficit, fall 131-122 to Clippers

Team Matchup Notes

Here are some stats, notes and everything else to know about the Suns and Clippers before their second matchup of the season (via Suns)

 Each team’s stats (via Suns):

Preview: Teams Almost Completely Healthy

Suns and Clippers Likely to Be Pretty Much Completely Healthy for Tonight’s Matchup

Preview: Is Time Waning in on the Suns’ Big 3?

How Much Longer Should Suns’ Fans be Patient with the Team’s Big 3?

Preview: Frank Vogel Not Happy with Loss Last Night

Frank Vogel Did Not Sugarcoat Suns’ 121-115 Loss to Grizzlies

Preview: James Harden Loves Playing Against Suns

Arizona State Legend James Harden Loves Playing Against The Phoenix Suns

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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