Phoenix Suns (61-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (55-32)
June 24, 2021 9:00 pm EDT
The Line: Los Angeles Clippers +1.5; Over/Under: -218.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The series shifts to the Staples Center as the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers duke it out in a pivotal Game 3 on Thursday night.
The Phoenix Suns will be aiming to take a commanding 3-0 series lead after outlasting the Clippers in a thrilling 104-103 win in Game 2 on Tuesday night. Cameron Payne led the team in scoring with 29 points and nine assists on 12 of 24 shooting, DeAndre Ayton added a double-double of 24 points with 14 rebounds on 12 of 15 shooting while Devin Booker chipped in with 20 points and five assists. As a team, the Suns shot 50 percent from the field and just six of 26 from the 3-point line as they took the early lead and looked to be in control for most of the game until the Clippers rallied late to take the lead, before snatching victory with a clutch alley-oop play from Ayton with just 0.7 seconds left on the clock. Booker had a rough shooting night as he shot just five of 16 from the field with seven turnovers, but Payne picked up the slack as he shot 12 of 24 from the field with zero turnovers in 37 minutes of action.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers will be absolutely kicking themselves after falling painfully short to the Suns in a heartbreaking loss at the buzzer on Tuesday night. Paul George led the team with 26 points, six rebounds and six assists, Reggie Jackson added 19 points with three assists while Ivica Zubac chipped in with 14 points and 11 rebounds. As a team, the Clippers shot just 45 percent from the field and 13 of 34 from the 3-point line, but their effort on defense kept them in the contest right till the last second of the game where the Suns escaped on an alley-oop set play. Marcus Morris had another poor showing as he scored just seven points on three of 11 shooting while George shot just one of eight from the 3-point line and five of 10 from the free throw line.
Looking at the betting trends, the Suns are 42-15-1 ATS in their last 58 games against a team with a winning record, 4-0 ATS in their last four road games and 8-1 ATS in their last nine games overall. The Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against a team with a winning record, 4-0 ATS in their last four home games and 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall.
Head to head, the under is 6-2 in the last eight meetings in Los Angeles, the Suns are 1-9 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Los Angeles and the Suns are 6-15 ATS in the last 21 meetings overall.
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The Clippers just had to win at least one of the first two games of the series as things will only get tougher for them once Chris Paul returns to the starting lineup for the Suns. George was slow to get going all night and it cost them in the end as he missed two key free throws late that could’ve changed this entire series. Meanwhile, the Suns must be feeling pretty good about themselves as they were able to hold onto home-court advantage without the help of their veteran leader Chris Paul and what is more impressive is that it has been a real team effort with Ayton and Payne stepping up big on Tuesday. The news is that Paul is expected to return for this game which is a massive boost for the Suns who currently hold all the momentum and I think that could be the difference in a close game. The Clippers know they missed out on a real chance in Game 2, so you’ll know they will come out swinging here, but I’m sticking with the Suns to stay hot with another win in this one behind a big game from Paul.