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Nurkić-less Suns look to start new streak in Orlando: Suns at Magic preview and prediction

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The Phoenix Suns (26-19, 6th in Western Conference) play their third matchup of a seven-game road trip tonight against the Orlando Magic (23-22, 8th in Eastern Conference) in the teams’ second meeting this season. These two teams played in Phoenix on New Year’s Eve, as the Suns defeated the Magic 112-107 behind 31 points from Kevin Durant.

The Suns enter tonight after blowing a 17-point lead to the Indiana Pacers Friday and falling 133-131 despite a season-high 62 points from Devin Booker. This game snapped a seven-game win streak for the Suns. The Magic, who started off the season on fire, have lost four of their last five games and have been struggling overall since their strong beginning to the season. They last fell 107-106 to the Memphis Grizzlies Friday night despite 27 points from Paolo Banchero.

Phoenix will be missing Jusuf Nurkić for the first time this season due to injury. Bradley Beal (nasal fracture) is available.

Local Game Information

Start Time: 4:00 p.m. MST

Location: Kia Center

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: PHX -2.5

O/U: 226.5

Injury Report

Phoenix Suns: Bradley Beal (nasal fracture) AVAILABLE | Jusuf Nurkić (left thumb sprain) OUT | Bol Bol (right foot sprain) OUT | Damion Lee (right meniscus surgery) OUT

Orlando Magic: Gary Harris (right calf strain) OUT

Starters

Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Grayson Allen, Kevin Durant, Drew Eubanks

Orlando MagicMarkelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Wendell Carter Jr.

Five Keys to Game for Suns

  1. Need help from role players
  2. Building off leads
  3. Slowing down Paolo Banchero
  4. How will they perform down low without Jusuf Nurkić?
  5. Not allowing points in the paint

Prediction

Suns 110 – Magic 103

The Suns might have some shortcomings this game without Nurkić, but the Big 3 has been in such a groove as of late it shouldn’t matter too much. It was very obvious what Phoenix did wrong last game in terms of turnovers, allowed points in the paint and allowed offensive rebounds, so they should be able to correct these mistakes tonight. We will see how healthy Bradley Beal really is, but if he’s 80% or better, the Suns should pull off the win tonight against a struggling Magic team.

Flashback: Last Meeting (Dec. 31, 2023)

Suns’ big 3 shine in 112-107 win over Orlando Magic

Team Matchup Notes

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

Each team’s stats (via Suns):

Preview: Team injury reports

Statuses of Bradley Beal and Jusuf Nurkić revealed ahead of matchup at Magic

Preview: Key stories from loss to Pacers

4th Quarter Woes and Controversial Calls Fuel Loss to Indiana Pacers

Devin Booker breaks Gainbridge Fieldhouse scoring record in loss to Pacers

Jusuf Nurkić not happy with officiating following Suns loss to Pacers

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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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