NBA Tips & Preview – Lakers @ Suns

The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips as the league-leading Phoenix Suns host an LA Lakers side chasing back-to-back wins for the first time since early-January.

12:00 (AEDT), Mon 14th Mar @ Footprint Center

History: Played 325: Lakers 186 V Suns 139

Last meeting: December 21, 2021: Suns 108 d Lakers 90 at Staples Center

Final Thoughts: The potential Western Conference Finals showdown between Phoenix Suns and LA Lakers predicted in the pre-season seems near-impossible now. But there’s a strong chance the NBA-leading Suns will again face the play-in tournament-bound Lakers in the First Round.

The 53-14 Suns already have the West’s top seed wrapped up. But they have split their last eight games and are coming off a 117-112 home loss to the Raptors. Cameron Payne (24 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast) was Phoenix’s best, but the team is missing the influence of Chris Paul – out for at least another month with a thumb injury. Cameron Johnson (quad) is also out of this clash.

Devin Booker is two games into his return from a spell in health and safety protocols. The Suns will be looking to the three-time All-Star to take control

The 29-37 Lakers are ninth in the West and have won just three of their last 12. But LeBron James is still attempting to carrying the beleaguered heavyweights on his back with Anthony Davis injured and Russell Westbrook misfiring.

Just six days after LeBron’s 56 points underpinned a 124-116 win over the Warriors, the Lakers bounced back from two straight road losses with a crunch 122-109 victory against the Wizards with James dropping 50 points. James, Malik Monk and Talen Horton-Tucker are all listed as questionable today.

Phoenix have won eight of their last 11 against the Lakers, including last season’s 4-2 First Round series result. The Suns have also won both encounters between the high-profile teams this season – both in LA. Chris Paul (23 pts, 14 ast) spearheaded a 115-105 victory in the first week of the campaign, while Devin Booker (24 pts, 9 reb, 7 ast) starred in a 108-90 cruise in December as LeBron James’ efforts (34 pts, 7 reb) went unrewarded.

The Suns are 28-8 at home (16-20 ATS), despite losing three of their last six at Footprint Center. The Lakers are just 9-21 on the road (13-17 ATS), losing their last nine straight away games.

Overwhelming reliant on a huge performance from LeBron, the Lakers are $3.90 outsiders here. Eight of the Lakers’ last 12 losses have come by eight points or less but Booker and Deandre Ayton should power the Suns to a comfortable win against a battling Lakers defence.

Best Bet: Margin – Suns 11+ @ $2.20

Same Game Multi: Handicap – Suns -8.5; Total – Under 227.5; Cameron Payne Points – Over 16.5 @ $9.28