Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#569 Los Angeles Lakers -3 vs.
#570 Phoenix Suns 219
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 9:05pm EST
Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#569 Los Angeles
#570 Phoenix
7-2
6-3
34-46-2
36-46
33-49
38-44
111
107
113
116

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The Los Angeles Lakers will travel to Talking Stick Resort Arena on Tuesday evening for a Western Conference clash versus the rising Phoenix Suns.

The Lakers are trying to get back on the winning track after having their seven-game winning streak snapped over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Suns have been one of the best early-season stories in a loaded Western Conference. Despite losing starting center and former No. 1-overall pick DeAndre Ayton to a 25-game suspension, the Suns come in tied for third place in the West standings after winning six of their first nine games.

Lakers snap winning streak vs. Raptors

The Lakers snapped a seven-game winning streak on Sunday with a 113-104 loss to the shorthanded Toronto Raptors, who were without Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. Anthony Davis scored 27 points while LeBron James had 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 15 assists in a losing effort for the Lakers. On the bright side for Los Angeles, forward Kyle Kuzma broke out of his season-long shooting slump with 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting in 24 minutes.

Often viewed as the missing piece to this Lakers’ offense, Kuzma suffered a foot injury while with Team USA that cost him the offseason and the first few weeks of the NBA regular season. Since working his way back, Kuzma has struggled to find his role in the Lakers’ new-look offense. In five games, he’s scoring 10.7 points while shooting 39.6 percent from the field and only 20.0 percent from downtown on six attempts per game. Kuzma has been working as the first option off the bench and is trying to impact the game defensively when his shot isn’t falling.

While the Lakers are off to a strong 7-2 start, the organization has to be concerned with Davis’ ailing shoulder. Davis has been dealing with an injured shoulder since getting caught on the rim during a dunk attempt in the Lakers’ second game of the season. He’s played in six games since but tweaked the injury again in Sunday’s loss to the Raptors. He’s officially listed as probable for Tuesday’s game in Phoenix but could miss time at some point this year to nurse his shoulder back to full health.

Davis has been among the newcomers that have helped anchor a Lakers’ defense that ranks second in the league with a 98.1 rating. Los Angeles comes in scoring 105.5 points per 100 possessions on offense, which leaves them with a +7.4 net rating (3rd in the NBA) through nine games.

Baynes stepping up for Suns

The Suns pulled off another impressive victory on Sunday, taking down Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets 131-112. Devin Booker finished with 27 points while Ricky Rubio added 22 points and 12 assists for the Suns, who shot 19-for-42 from 3-point range and turned the ball over only seven times in the win. Kelly Oubre Jr. had 18 points while center Aron Baynes chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds in just 18 minutes while battling foul trouble.

In eight games since the suspension, Baynes has filled in admirably in the absence of Ayton. In fact, he’s been so good in Ayton’s absence that it might cause some problems upon the former No.1-overall pick’s return. In previous stints with San Antonio and Boston, Baynes has proven to be a winning player and what he’s done so far this season has been nothing short of spectacular. Renown for his toughness, Baynes’ skills on both ends of the floor often go underappreciated. The 32-year-old center is averaging a career-best 15.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 58.9 percent from the floor and a whopping 47.4 percent from 3-point range on more than four attempts per contest.

Baynes has also been a major part of the Suns’ renaissance on the defensive end of the floor. Entering Tuesday, Phoenix ranked 11th in the league in defensive rating (103.7), which marks a significant improvement from a year ago. They also come in fourth in offensive rating (110.9) and net rating (+7.2) through the first nine games of the season.

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The Suns have been a great early-season story but they aren’t ready to contend with the Lakers here. Los Angeles should be focused after ending their winning streak against an undermanned Raptors team this weekend and I would expect them to take some of that frustration out on the Suns. Los Angeles has covered the spread in four of the last five meetings in this series and four of their last five games on the road in Phoenix. Look for the Lakers to overwhelm Phoenix with their size and physicality and take Los Angeles to cover the spread on the road in this battle between Western Conference playoff hopefuls on Tuesday night.

Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers -4.5

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The Lakers have held four of their opponents under 100 points already this season and they’ve given up 101 points or less in four of their five home games this season. Los Angeles ranks in the bottom half of the league in pace and they are second to only the Utah Jazz in defensive rating. Meanwhile, Phoenix has slowed down the pace a bit and ramped up their efforts on the defensive end of the floor as well. Take this game to stay under the projected total on Tuesday evening.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.