San Antonio (36-6) at Phoenix (13-30)
When: Thursday, January 21st 2016
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
Time: 10:35 ET | TV: TNT
Two teams going in opposite directions meet Thursday night in Phoenix as the Suns host the San Antonio Spurs on TNT. The Suns sit just four games ahead of the last-place Lakers in the Western Conference and have lost 14 of their last 15 games. Tuesday’s 97-94 loss at home to Indiana was Phoenix’s fifth in a row after an unsuccessful three-game road trip. A bright spot in the game was rookie Devon Booker. The 19-year-old Kentucky product scored a season-high 32 points to become the third-youngest player ever to reach 30 after LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Booker averages only 8.7 points a game, but has scored in double-digits in eight of his last nine games. Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek used small forward P.J. Tucker for 45 minutes in Tuesday’s loss, in large part because backup T.J. Warren did not put up enough effort in his three minutes. Tucker ended up with his best effort since New Year’s Eve with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Warren was averaging over 22 minutes a game before his benching. Alex Len had six points and 12 rebounds in 21 minutes on Tuesday after missing the previous three games with a hand injury.
San Antonio hasn’t lost since Christmas Day and will be looking to win their 12th straight contest. The Spurs are running way with the Southwest Division and are trying to catch the Golden State Warriors for the top spot in the Conference. San Antonio is starting a three-game road trip that will conclude on Monday night with a date at Golden State. “We’re thinking about the next game,” Spurs guard Danny Green told reporters. “We take it one game at a time. Golden State is not our next game. So we don’t really worry about what other teams are doing.” The Spurs have played just three road games since Christmas, but have won each of them by an average of 20.7 points. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points in Sunday’s home win over Dallas and has scored 20 or more three times in the last four games. Tony Parker scored just two points in 25 minutes and left the game with hip soreness. He is listed as questionable for tonight’s game. The Spurs have beaten Phoenix five-straight times and won the first two meetings this year by a combined 47 points.
The Spurs will obviously win this game, but I think the Suns will play hard and keep this one relatively close. There are nights when NBA players kind of take the night off, and this could be one of those nights with Golden State looming. I’ll take the points.
Pick: Suns +14