Lakers Primed to Win Third Already Over Suns

Jay Pryce

Friday, November 17, 2017 2:06 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 2:06 PM UTC

The Suns travel to Staples Center to face the Lakers on Friday (10:30 p.m. ET) on no rest and after matching a franchise record in most points allowed (142) during a loss to the Rockets last time out. Expect another Swiss cheese effort.

Free NBA Pick: Over 226Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers (-6.5)

The Lakers topped the Suns 100-93 at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Monday night as 1-point underdogs. It’s the second time this season L.A. has won outright in Phoenix catching points. The Lakers eked out 132-130 win as 3-point pups on Oct. 20. The season series shifts to Staples Center, where L.A. has dropped three of the last four when laying points in the matchup.


Walton Laments Lack of 3’s, Suns D Best Medicine

The Lakers’ biggest weakness is their lack of perimeter shooting. They are particularly poor from behind the arc, draining just 28.8 percent, worst in the NBA. This makes it difficult for the unit to space the floor and create effective open looks elsewhere, with defenses daring L.A. to shoot from deep. The personnel is in place (Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, etc.), but the execution is not. Walton ordered his players to shoot more 3-pointers before and after practice on Thursday. Walton addresses the team’s shooting woes and his call for more deep-shot practice in this postgame interview following the team’s 115-109 home loss to the 76ers on Wednesday:

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Luke Walton reflects on tonight's game and comments on the #Lakers efforts to contain Joel Embiid.

— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) November 16, 2017

The Suns are the best candidate to fix a team’s shooting woes. They allow a league-high 115.1 points per game and yield 38.2 percent treys to opponents (24th). L.A., in fact, has made 10 or more 3-pointers in a game just three times all year. Two of the efforts came against the Suns.

Dating back to last season, L.A. is 5-2 SU and ATS in its last seven as a home favorite. Walton’s men average 111.4 points on 48.2 percent shooting per game.

 Suns Match Unwanted Record

The Suns allowed 142 points to the Rockets Thursday night, tying a franchise record for most yielded in a non-overtime game in more than 20 years. Not to beat a dead horse, but Houston converted 21 of 44 3-pointers (.477) and recorded a .594 effective field-goal rate. The Rockets scored 21.5 points more than expected. In today’s high-octane NBA, this is a bad situation to follow up. Since 2014, NBA road underdogs coming off a game where they allowed their opponent to surpass their team total by more than 20 points are a dismal 22-40-1 ATS next time out. They fail to hit the number (6.3) by 3.6 points per game. 

Phoenix is 3-17 SU and 7-13 ATS in its last 20 road games. In 12 contests with a total of 218 or higher, it has gifted 114 points or more to the home team in all but one. Opponents average 122.5 points on 47.6 percent shooting in this spot. The Suns have no time to fix their defensive woes playing in back-to-back nights. Look for the Lakers to push 120 points with the Suns staying within range. Pick ‘over’ for your best bet. Be patient on the number, however. Oddsmakers opened the game 226 points with early adjustments dropping it a half point. Watch the SBR NBA oddsboard to see if it slips into even more favorable territory. 

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