Portland Trail Blazers (32-26; 28-25-5 ATS; 25-33 O/U) vs. Phoenix Suns (18-41; 27-30-2 ATS; 28-31 O/U)
The struggling Phoenix Suns will host the Portland Trail Blazers in a Western Conference clash Saturday night from the Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Trail Blazers notched a 123-117 win against Golden State in their final game before the break, and take on Utah on Friday night. The Suns lost 107-97 to Utah in their latest action and host the Clippers on Friday night. Portland leads the season-series 3-0.
Trail Blazers Aim for Season-Series Sweep of Suns
The Portland Trail Blazers will be hunting for the four game season-series sweep over the Suns in this contest. They crushed the Suns 124-76 in their regular season opener, and Damian Lillard played well in all three wins. Lillard tallied 31 points on 11 for 19 shooting in the latest meeting against Phoenix. The 27-year old point guard is having a red-hot month of February, averaging 32 points, increasing his season average to 26.1 points per game. Lillard is averaging 27.6 points in three games against the Suns this season. CJ McCollum played well in the Trail Blazers 123-117 home win against Golden State in the last game before the break, sinking 29 points. The 26-year old shooting guard is up to 21.7 points per game, and he leads Portland with a terrific 42% clip from three-point range.
The Trail Blazers own a 6-4 record in their last ten games and they have recorded a victory in three out of their last four games. They sit in seventh place in the Western Conference, and hold a narrow 1.5 game cushion ahead of the ninth-place Clippers. Portland possesses a 15-15 road record and they are now averaging 105 points per game, ranking them 17th overall. They are limiting opponents to 103.9 points, placing them ninth in the NBA.
Suns Look to Salvage One Win Against Portland
The Phoenix Suns will attempt to salvage at least one win against Portland this season after dropping the first three games. They were competitive in the latest two meetings which included a 118-111 road loss last month. Suns’ top scorer Devin Booker had a big night in the previous meeting against Portland, accumulating 43 points on 14 for 29 shooting. The 21-year old shooting guard has shot 40% or lower in six out of his last eight games, and he is currently averaging 24.2 points on 43% shooting. Booker is averaging 29.7 points in three games against Portland this season. Elfrid Payton is playing well since coming over in a trade from the Magic, averaging 20.3 points in three games. The 23-year old point guard was a solid acquisition as he is averaging 13.5 points on a stellar 52% field goal efficiency.
The Suns have been the worst team in the NBA as of late, losing seven straight and 13 out of their last 14 games heading into Friday’s action as their defensive play continues to flounder. They have dropped nine of their 30 home games, and are currently averaging 103.9 points per game, ranking them 19th in the NBA. Phoenix is allowing an NBA-worst 112.8 points per game.
The Portland Trail Blazers are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a winning percentage below .400.
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against a team with a straight up losing record.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
The Phoenix Suns are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against Western Conference opponents.
I am taking the Trail Blazers in this matchup. The Suns’ defense continues to struggle in a big way as they are surrendering an average of 116.5 points in their last ten games, and they are up against a strong Portland offense. The Trail Blazers rank third in the NBA with a 38% clip from beyond the arc, and they are averaging a sizzling 118.6 points in their three games against the Suns this season. Furthermore, the Suns are also having a tough time in the offensive end, scoring 97 or fewer points in five out of their last seven games.