The budding rivalry between the New Orleans Saints and the Phoenix Suns will continue this Sunday in the desert. The Saints lead the regular-season series, 2-1, so will they improve on that with a win? Or, will the Suns get the victory at home?
Catch this game live on Sunday, December 18, at 10 AM, Manila time
Away: New Orleans Pelicans (18-10/6-7 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: CJ McCollum
- SG: Trey Murphy III
- SF: Herbert Jones
- PF: Zion Williamson
- C: Jonas Valanciunas
The Pelicans are hoping that another meeting with the Suns would be the cure to their malaise. After winning seven games in a row, which included back-to-back wins over Phoenix, the Pels have gone 0-2 straight up, losing to the Utah Jazz in consecutive fashion, both in Salt Lake City. New Orleans beat the Suns on Dec. 10 (128-117) and again on Dec. 12 (129-124 OT) both at home before running into the Jazz.
The high-scoring Pelicans are averaging 117.4 points per game this season which is fifth-best in the NBA, but have seemingly been better when they share the floor with Phoenix. In three meetings with the Suns this season, New Orleans has put up an average of 122.7 points on 51.5 FG% to go with a 61.5 TS%.
The Pelicans are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games against a team with a winning record.
Home: Phoenix Suns (17-12/12-3 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Torrey Craig
- C: Bismack Biyombo
The Suns finally stopped the bleeding of a five-game losing skid with a 111-95 win on Friday over the Los Angeles Clippers to also a four-game road trip with a W. Mikal Bridges recovered from a horrendous-shooting night in a previous game and scored 27 points on 11/18 shooting against the Clippers. When the Suns beat New Orleans at home back in October, 124-111, Bridges scored 27 points.
But it was really the defense that carried the Suns versus the Clippers, having limited Los Angeles down to just 37.8 FG% while forcing 16 turnovers. This season, Suns opponents have the seventh-highest turnover rate (14.1 %). They will have to stop New Orleans, however, without Cameron Payne and Deandre Ayton, who are both nursing injuries. Both players also did not play in the win over the Clippers.
The Suns are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games at home versus New Orleans.
Spread: The Suns (-3.5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (229.5) hits the Under.