The Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns are neck and neck in the race to the top of the Western Conference standings with just half a game separating the two teams. This Sunday, we are going to see both teams go at each other for the third time this season, with their current regular-season series split at 1-1.
Catch this game live on Sunday, December 26, at 6 AM, Manila time.
Away: Golden State Warriors (28-6/10-4 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Stephen Curry
- SG: Gary Payton II
- SF: Otto Porter Jr.
- PF: Draymond Green
- C: Kevon Looney
The Warriors are cruising once again, as they have won back-to-back contests to set themselves up nicely for Round 3 of their regular-season series against Phoenix. Golden State won the last time these two teams met back on Dec. 4 at home, 118-96. Unsurprisingly, Stephen Curry spearheaded the Warriors with 23 points on the strength of a 6/11 shooting from behind the arc, but they also won thanks to the 19 and 17 points Gary Payton II and Juan Toscano-Anderson off the bench, respectively.
The Warriors also controlled the pace by dominating the glass, 51-38. However, the Warriors into Sunday’s game likely without the likes of Jordan Poole, Andre Iguodala, and Andrew Wiggins due to COVID-related issues. But based on Golden State’s 113-104 home win Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Warriors will just be fine, especially if Curry continues to be hot. The two-time league MVP went off for 46 points while Payton added 22. In two games this season against the Suns, Payton leads the Warriors with a 28.6 net rating. As a team, the Warriors are 7-6-1 ATS as a road team this season.
Home: Phoenix Suns (26-5/15-2 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: Deandre Ayton
The first two games between the Warriors both didn’t see Devin Booker play his usual heavy minutes. Booker exited in the second quarter of the first meeting with Golden State due to a hamstring injury that also forced him to miss the rematch days later. The Suns did win the first showdown, though, 104-96, behind their exceptional defense that held Golden State to only 41.9 FG% and coaxed 22 turnovers off the Warriors. Mikal Bridges deserved a statue for the terrific defensive job he did on Curry in that game.
Curry can’t be totally stopped, but Bridges and the Suns can make the Warriors star work harder for his shots, especially with Golden State missing Poole and Wiggins – two players who are excellent floor stretchers for Curry. Going back to Booker, he’s definitely itching to play the Warriors on a healthy status at last. He had 30 points in the Suns’ 113-101 win Friday at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Also watch out for Deandre Ayton, who is averaging 23.5 points on 51.4 FG% against the Suns this season. Phoenix is 3-1 ATS in its last four games at home.
Spread: The Suns are just a different animal this season. The Warriors need all hands on deck against Phoenix, but they unfortunately don’t have all their best weapons for this contest. Looking to take the Suns (-7) to cover.
Over/Under: This game could take the form of the first two meetings in terms of scoring, so I’m going with the Under (215) here.