The Suns close the season with games against the Nuggets and Jazz. Phoenix knows it can't let this one at home against the Rockets slip away if it wants to finish fourth.
The Phoenix Suns are 5-0-1 against the spread in their last six home dates, and remain in a close battle for the West’s fourth position. Alvin Gentry’s club hosts a Sunday meeting with the Houston Rockets, who will look to extend a three-game winning streak despite not being playoff bound.
Amare Stoudemire had 24 points and 15 rebounds in Friday’s 96-91 defeat for Phoenix as a four-point road dog against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Suns big man hit 10-of-19 from the field, and added a season-high four blocks.
Suns forward Grant Hill missed a free throw with four seconds left to give Thunder backers an ATS cover. The Duke alum had one turnover, which ended a two-game streak with none.
The combined 187 points plunged ‘under’ the ‘total’ of 219. Hill and his mates held Oklahoma City to 39.8 percent shooting.
Sign up to win prizes in SBR Contests!
Steve Nash had 12 of the Suns’ 16 assists, and put up 11 points for a second-straight double-double. The seven-time All-Star leads the league in assists (11.0 APG) and free-throw shooting (93.5 percent).
The ‘under’ is 20-18-1 in 39 home games for Phoenix. Nash and Company average a league-high 112.3 PPG at US Airways Center, where they hit 40.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Phoenix is 28-14-1 ATS in 43 games with one day of rest. The ‘over’ is 19-23-1.
The Rockets defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, 97-90, and covered ATS as three-point home favorites in Friday’s win. Houston drained 8-of-23 from three-point land, and 13-of-15 at the charity stripe.
Aaron Brooks put up a team-high 23 points for the Rockets, and added four assists. The former first-round draft pick leads Houston in scoring (19.7 PPG) and assists (5.3 APG).
Both squads united for 43.6 percent shooting en route to the duel’s 187 combined points ducking ‘under’ its 198-point ‘total.’
Trevor Ariza and Luis Scola each had nine boards for Houston, who was out-rebounded, 44-39. Ariza added a team-high eight assists.
Scola’s squad is 18-21 ATS in 39 road games. The ‘over’ is 20-19.
Houston is 0-5 ATS in its last five meetings with Phoenix. The ‘over’ is 4-1.
The Suns outlasted the Rockets, 115-111, as 3 ½-point road dogs in a Jan. 31 trip to “Clutch City.” Phoenix let a 60-48 halftime lead burn away, and allowed the Rockets to send the game into overtime tied, 100-100.
Extra minutes were needed for the 226 combined points to fly north of the 218-point ‘total.’ Houston was held to 37.7 percent shooting, while the Suns hit 48.2 percent.
Carl Landry scored 16 points off the bench for Houston, who traded the power forward in February to the Sacramento Kings.
Kevin Martin, acquired by the Rockets in exchange for Landry, struggled against the Suns in a Feb. 5 meeting while with Sacramento. The six-year shooting guard hit 2-of-9 from the field, and equaled his second-lowest scoring performance with five points.
This matchup tips at 9 p.m. (ET), and is available for viewing on NBA League Pass.
Houston will have no rest before a Monday meeting at Sacramento, and finishes the season at home with a Wednesday visit from the New Orleans Hornets.
Phoenix (51-28) will be idle until a Tuesday home game with the Denver Nuggets (52-27) that begins a season-ending back-to-back. The Suns then travel to meet the Utah Jazz (52-28), who are presently a half-game ahead of them in the West.