Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Where to watch: BSSW-SA, BSAZ
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Suns -5
BetMGM: Suns -4.5
Caesars: Suns -5
Suns: 33-9 (1st place, Western Conference)
Spurs: 16-27 (12th place, Western Conference)
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Suns - Spurs preview, analysis and prediction
The Phoenix Suns accomplished what needed to be done ahead of Monday’s matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, and I like them to cover on the second night of a back-to-back with decent travel ahead of them.
The Suns are coming off a 135-108 win at the Detroit Pistons on Sunday in which was an easy day for the Phoenix starters, given all situations involved. Devin Booker had 30 points in 30 minutes, Chris Paul played only 27 minutes, and Mikal Bridges was a plus-20 in 30 minutes.
Phoenix played 11 players and won comfortably against the Pistons knowing the back-to-back was on the horizon. Normally the Suns would be praised after playing only eight minutes and making all three shots, but the Phoenix big man left after playing just eight minutes with a sprained ankle.
Good news is the Suns didn’t need him, but his status for Monday’s tilt with the Spurs is up in the air at the time of publishing. Don’t be shocked if Ayton isn’t available, which hopefully isn’t a long-term issue considering he just returned from being in COVID protocol.
"I was just hitting shots and the guys were getting me the ball in good places," said Booker, from Grand Rapids. "I never got to see the Pistons play in person very often — I grew up about two hours west of here — so I love coming here to play what was my favorite team growing up."
The Suns scored 39 points in two different quarters against the lowly Pistons. We thought they would be able to keep it close given Phoenix’s inconsistent play as of late, but it helped when Cade Cunningham was ejected in the third quarter for waving to family and friends. Yeah, that was dumb.
But the Suns continue to be a well-oiled machine, especially on the road with a 15-4 mark and 58-38 straight up away from Phoenix over the past three seasons. Phoenix is 10-1 against the spread this season when playing six games or fewer in a span of 14 days.
The Spurs ended a five-game losing streak Saturday with a 101-94 win against the Los Angeles Clippers. Notably, Spurs guard Derrick White returned from COVID protocol to score 19 points off the bench in 25 minutes to restore San Antonio’s young, fun backcourt of White and Dejounte Murray (18 points).
San Antonio has been very good against the spread over Pacific Division teams, going 7-4, and the Spurs are 11-7 ATS this season off a home game. Straight up, the Spurs are 8-10 and in theory should take advantage of a tired Suns team.
But after not playing many minutes on Sunday, I like the Suns to keep the machine rolling. Even with Ayton out, the Suns played great ball with Jalen Smith, JaVale McGee and Bismack Biyombo patrolling the paint. Phoenix won’t miss a beat and will get another victory. Suns by 12
The Suns are 4-0 ATS in their last four against a team with a winning percentage below .400.
The Suns are 4-0 ATS in their last four against teams with a losing record overall.
The Spurs are 6-0 ATS in their last six against teams with a .600 winning percentage or better.
The Suns are 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings in San Antonio.
Projected starting lineup
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Deandre Ayton
PG: Dejounte Murray
SG: Derrick White
SF: Doug McDermott
PF: Keldon Johnson
C: Jakob Poeltl
Suns: Deandre Ayton (ankle, questionable)
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