The Phoenix Suns (19-44) will try to end a six-game home losing streak when they clash with the Oklahoma City Thunder (36-27) at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Action begins at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, March 2, 2018, and it can be seen on Fox SportsNet Oklahoma.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns Free Preview
The Thunder barely escaped the Dallas Mavericks in their last outing, 111-110. Russell Westbrook was the game’s leading scorer with 30 points on 11-for-25 shooting. The Thunder, who came into the game averaging an offensive rebounding percentage of 28.1, had a phenomenal mark of 40.4, while the Mavericks had a free throw rate of 0.099 (below their season average of 0.170).
In the Suns’ last matchup, they topped the Memphis Grizzlies, 110-102. With 34 points on 12-for-29 shooting, Devin Booker was the game’s leading scorer. Phoenix dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had an absurd free throw rate of 0.337 (above their season average of 0.212) and a turnover percentage of 13.8 (worse than their season average of 13.2). For those same stats, Memphis recorded marks of 0.264 and 16.8, respectively.
It could be an error-filled game for the Phoenix offense. Phoenix ranks 23rd in the NBA in ball protection (turnover percentage of 14.6 percent), while the disruptive defense of Oklahoma City forces the second-most turnovers in the league (15.3 percent). Moreover, the Thunder could control the offensive glass in this contest as they rank first in the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage at 28.3 percent. The Suns, meanwhile, rank 23rd at corralling defensive rebounds with a defensive rebounding percentage of 76.5 percent.
Of Oklahoma City’s 63 games, 34 have finished under the O/U total, while 32 of Phoenix’s 63 games have finished under the projected point total. The Thunder hold the clear advantage straight up (SU) (36-27 vs. 19-44), but the Suns have the better against the spread (ATS) record (29-32-2 vs. 24-38-1).
Booker has taken his game to another level over the last five games for Phoenix, averaging 28.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined for 214 points in that game, which was under the projected point total of 221.5. The Suns won 114-100, covering as 8.5-point underdogs. The Suns played a perfect game. They had an absurdly low turnover percentage of 6.7 and a free throw rate of 0.216. The Thunder put up marks of 10.4 and 0.140, respectively, for those same stats. Despite the loss, Westbrook put up a triple-double with 26 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction
Free Prediction: SU Winner – Thunder, ATS Winner – Thunder, O/U – Under
- The Thunder rank third in rebounds allowed per game (41.4) while the Suns rank 28th (45.6).
- Oklahoma City ranks eighth in points allowed in the paint per game (42.9) while Phoenix ranks 26th (47.4).
- Oklahoma City averages 15.2 second chance points per game, which ranks first in the league. Phoenix ranks 22nd in second chance points allowed per game (13.2).
- Oklahoma City is 26th in the NBA with 21.2 assists per game while Phoenix is 28th with 21.0 assists per game.
- On the road, Oklahoma City is 12-20 ATS with 17 unders and 15 overs.
- At home, Phoenix is 12-19-1 ATS with 16 unders, 15 overs and 1 push.
- When holding opponents below 100 points, Phoenix is 6-2 and Oklahoma City is 18-5.
- The Suns are 15-26 when they reach 100 points, while the Thunder are 32-13.
- The Thunder rank seventh in blocks allowed per game (4.5) while the Suns rank 26th (5.7).
- Oklahoma City ranks first in steals per game (9.0) while Phoenix ranks 28th (6.8).
- The Thunder rank first in points off turnovers per game (18.6) while the Suns rank 27th in points off turnovers allowed per game (18.7).
- The Suns average 27.6 three pointers per game, which ranks 20th in the league. The Thunder rank 23rd in three pointers allowed per game (30.6).
- Oklahoma City averages 14.6 fast break points per game, which ranks fourth in the NBA. Phoenix ranks 29th in fast break points allowed per game (14.6).
- Phoenix is 3-2 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Oklahoma City is 1-4 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Suns’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 4.8, down from 8.6 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Thunder have scored an average of 106.8 points per game (0.4 above their season average) and allowed an average of 109.6 points per game (6.1 above their season average).