Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns will look to stay on fire when they play host to LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.
Phoenix is in third place in the Pacific Division, but just two victories behind the Lakers and Clippers. Charlotte sits atop the Southeast Division standings, percentage points in front of reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami.
Will Booker and the Suns take care of business at home to cash in as the sportsbook betting favorite? Could the gifted ball lead Charlotte to another surprising online betting upset in what has already been a season full of them for the Hornets?
Check out the NBA Odds for this mid-week matchup when they go live.
Charlotte Hornets (14-16) at Phoenix Suns (20-10)
When: Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, at 9 p.m. ET
Where: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, AZ
Hornets Looking To Bounce Back
The Hornets have dropped two of three after being humbled by Utah 132-110 on Monday night. Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball each scored a team-high 21 points for Charlotte in the loss while Malik Monk added 20 points.
“I feel like we just all got tired,” Ball said. “We didn’t put four quarters together, we put three together.”
Charlotte (14-16) was down by one point entering the fourth quarter but was outscored 41-20 in the final period as Utah went bonkers from beyond the arc. Hayward exited the game in the fourth quarter with a wrist injury.
“We could not score,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “And we could not set our defense. That’s the challenge with the young group is when you’re not scoring, can you come back and still have the same intensity?”
Charlotte has alternated wins and losses over its last six games while going 5-5 SU and 5-4-1 ATS over its last 10 games. The Hornets average 110.9 points per game (20th) on 45.9% shooting from the field (18th) and 38.1% from 3-point distance (8th). Defensively, Charlotte allows 112.0 points per game (15th) on 46.4% shooting from the field (14th) and 37.3% from beyond the arc (19th).
Suns Increasingly Dangerous
There’s no other way to say it. Phoenix looks dangerous in the Western Conference with a capital D. The Suns have won three straight and nine of 10 overall, including a 132-100 blowout win over Portland on Monday night.
Devin Booker scored a game-high 34 points and Deandre Ayton added 19 points in the win. Afterward, the Suns’ players and head coach Monty Williams commented on whether Booker deserves to be named an All-Star for the second consecutive season.
“There’s no doubt about it,” Williams said. “Nobody can debate Book’s not an All-Star, end of story.”
“You see what he does game in and game out: leads us to wins,” forward Mikal Bridges said. “He deserves it — that’s all I have to say.”
The 32-point win was the Suns’ largest margin of victory.
“Everyone’s locked in,” Booker said.
Phoenix has scored at least 128 points in three straight games. The Suns have covered the spread in each of its last nine victories.
Phoenix is putting up 113.2 points per game (15th) on 48.1 percent shooting from the field (7th) and 38.0 percent from beyond the arc (9th). The Suns are limiting the opposition to 107.5 points per game (4th) on 45.8 percent shooting from the field (9th) and 34.5 percent from three-point distance (2nd).
Analysis and Prediction
Let me start by saying that Charlotte hit a grand slam home run by picking LaMelo Ball with the third overall pick in the draft. The versatile rookie is averaging 14.6 points, 6.1 boards, and 6.1 assists per game this season and is only going to be better moving forward.
Having said that, the Hornets just don’t stand a chance of beating a Phoenix Suns team that is locked in and has found its new identity thanks mostly to the leadership of Chris Paul. Charlotte is 4-1 ATS over its last five games, but Phoenix has gone 8-1 ATS in its last nine home games and 12-2 ATS in its last 14 games overall.
I like the Suns to take care of business at home as Devin Booker and CP3 lead the way to victory.
Pick: Phoenix 122, Charlotte 108
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