Phoenix Suns v LA Clippers Preview

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Phoenix Suns v LA Clippers Preview

Fresh off a disappointing overtime loss in Portland, the Phoenix Suns head to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Sunday night. Monty Williams’ men are 1-1 after an astonishing comeback against the Dallas Mavericks in their season opener.

Meanwhile, the Clippers are showing why many have predicted them to come out of the West, winning their opening two games albeit in close fashion. They’ll come into this contest on the second night of a back-to-back, having defeated pacific rivals the Sacramento Kings 111-109 on Saturday.

The Phoenix Suns face an early litmus test with a challenging matchup against a prominent Western Conference contender on Sunday.

Fanduel Sportsbook Odds

Los Angeles Clippers (-130), Phoenix Suns (+110)

Margin Spread: 2

Over/Under Total Points Line: 219

*Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Expected Starting Lineups

Los Angeles Clippers: Reggie Jackson, Norman Powell, Paul George, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac

Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson*, Deandre Ayton

Injury Report

Clippers: Not yet submitted

Suns: Cameron Johnson (questionable), Landry Shamet (probable), Jae Crowder (not with team)

Johnson has battled injury over the first two games, with a right hip contusion making him doubtful for this one. If the 26-year-old doesn’t get up, expect to see Torrey Craig in the starting power-forward role, or Williams could reward the good form of Damion Lee.

Phoenix have drawn the unexpected short straw to a degree, with Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard set to return having missed last night’s win over the Kings due to load management. It’s expected he’ll again come off the bench and play between 18-22 minutes.

Kawhi Leonard should return to face the Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Key Matchup – Superstar Battle

While Leonard may be inhibited from his full capacity, the Clippers other star, Paul George, has proven he’s back to his best. After a quiet outing against the Los Angeles Lakers in game one, George responded with 40 points, six rebounds and six assists to drag his team over the line against the Kings.

On the Suns side, Devin Booker couldn’t have been much more impressive so far with 28 and 33-point performances. The reliance on him offensively is a genuine worry for Phoenix, and it’s hard to envisage them winning without another efficient night from their best player.

The Clippers are one of the deepest teams in the league and, despite what we saw against the Kings, don’t necessarily need a big scoring display from George. If he does outscore Booker in that head-to-head matchup, then it probably won’t bode well for the Suns chances overall.

Prediction 

Neither side has been overly impressive to date, and the Suns should theoretically be advantaged by the Clippers back-to-back. However, it’s hard to pinpoint where Phoenix are actually better on paper though — perhaps the starting lineup but that’s based on Leonard coming off the bench and could be mitigated further by the absence of Johnson.

Final Score – Clippers win 110-105

Valley of the Suns

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