The Phoenix Suns are on the cusp of reaching the NBA Finals, and need just one win over the next three games to book their first slot since Charles Barkley was still in town. Can they close out at home against the Clippers, or will Paul George pull out a miracle without Kawhi Leonard?
Catch this game live on Tuesday, June 29 at 9:00 AM.
Home Team: Phoenix Suns (3-1, 2-0 at home)
Project Starting 5
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: DeAndre Ayton
Chris Paul came up big late in Game 4, which was an extremely tight 84-80 win. He helped keep the Clippers in the lead with a key rebound toward the end of the game, and finished with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists.
Devin Booker led the team with 25 points, but he and Paul combined for a horrible 14 of 44 from the field. That was negated a bit, though, by yet another solid double-double from DeAndre Ayton – who finished with 19 points, 22 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and 4 blocks.
However, it’s always a gamble when your best players shoot terribly, and Phoenix will look to shoot the ball better in Game 5. The Clippers are more than capable of scoring points in bunches, and you can’t expect them to shoot just as badly two games in a row.
Phoenix are 34-25-2 ATS after a win, and 33-20-1 ATS after a day’s rest.
Away Team: LA Clippers (1-3, 0-2 away)
Projected Starting 5
- PG: Patrick Beverley
- SG: Reggie Jackson
- SF: Paul George
- PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
- C: Ivica Zubac
The end of Game 4 showed us all where the Clippers really miss Kawhi Leonard, who will continue to sit out of the series with a knee injury suffered against the Utah Jazz.
Leonard is one of the game’s best and most efficient closers, and his array of deadly midrange jumpers comes in super handy when the long ball isn’t falling for the whole team. Without a closer of his caliber, the Clippers simply couldn’t muster enough offense in an ugly game.
Paul George led the Clippers with 23 points and 16 rebounds but shot 5 of 20 and 12 of 18 from the free throw line. Reggie Jackson, who has been super reliable up until this point, scored 20 but shot 8 of 24.
In this win-or-go-home situation, the Clippers will want to look at attacking the Suns from the tip. There are no quick fixes for bad free-throw shooting, either, as the Clippers shot a measly 21 of 32 (65.6 FT%) from the line. Considering that the game was decided by 4 points, they need to do better with their free opportunities.
The Clippers are 19-13 ATS after a loss and 5-6 ATS as road underdogs.
Spread: I think the Suns will be inspired by their home fans and will bring the win home and cover the -5 spread.
Over/Under: I don’t think the two teams are going to shoot as badly, and so would go with the over 214.5