Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Predictions, Starting Lineups (12/5/23)

It is day two of the knockout rounds for the NBA’s new In-Season Tournament, and we are locked in on our Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers predictions. Check out our Suns vs. Lakers betting picks and current odds below, too!

Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction

If yesterday’s games were any indication of what we are going to see tonight, then expect another intense, playoff-like bout tonight between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. Which team will move on to the semi-finals of the In-Season Tournament knockout rounds?

In this spot, Phoenix has viability, even though it is on the road in a hostile environment against a Lakers team that is 8-2 on their home floor so far this season. Why?

For one, the Suns are one of the best teams in the NBA when Devin Booker is on the floor; they are 9-2 this season with him playing and 12-8 overall. As a team, the Suns boast a shooting split of 49/42/84 when Booker is playing, which would immediately make them the most effective shooting offense in the league. And 11 games is a pretty big sample size, too.

In the games that Booker has been available, the Suns have a net rating of +5.8, which is good enough to place them sixth in the NBA in that stat if that was maintained (Booker was healthy) for the season thus far.

Further, Phoenix has won eight of its past ten games, with the only two losses coming on the road against Toronto (Booker injured his ankle) and at home versus Denver (Booker was out.) Not counting the Raptors game, when Booker hurt his ankle early in the third quarter, the Suns have won eight consecutive games when he has played.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are 6-4 in their past ten games, 3-3 in their past six, and 2-2 in their past four; however, the past four games, in particular, have been concerning. Los Angeles was able to grab wins on the road against Detroit, the worst team (2-18) in the league, and at home versus the Rockets, the worst road team (0-8) in the league, but in the two games the Lakers played competitive teams, they were slaughtered.

The Lakers dropped double-digit games to Oklahoma City (23 points) and Philadelphia (44 points), and it is clear that there has been some tension with this team. First, there was LeBron James’ postgame comments after the loss to the Sixers and then the Ime Udoka incident in the Rockets game. This team is not in their most stable state at the moment.

During this stretch, the Lakers have a -7.8 net rating, which is only worse than these teams: Charlotte, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, San Antonio, and Washington. Yikes. We are surprisingly getting points backing the Suns in this spot, and we will gladly take them.

Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction: Suns +1.5 (-110)

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Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Best Odds

 

 

The Los Angeles Lakers are slight 1.5-point home favorites against the red-hot Phoenix Suns in the quarterfinals of the In-Season Tournament knockout rounds. Los Angeles has Moneyline odds of -122, while the Suns are +102 to win the game straight up. The point total for this matchup has hovered around 229.5 points, with -110 odds on both the Over and the Under.

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Eric Gordon
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Josh Okogie
PF: Kevin Durant
C: Jusuf Nurkic

Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup

PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Max Christie
SF: Taurean Prince
PF: LeBron James
C: Anthony Davis

Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Injuries

Surprisingly, it has not been Anthony Davis or LeBron James who has missed substantial time for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. James (calf) is questionable but will likely give this game a go, while Davis (groin/hip) is listed as probable. Further, Gabe Vincent (knee) is out, and Jarred Vanderbilt (heel) and Rui Hachimura should be able to play.

For the Suns, Eric Gordon is a game-time decision for this bout, while Bradley Beal (back) and Damion Lee (knee) are both ruled out.

 

 

Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Key Matchups

Two of the greatest offensive weapons in NBA history face off tonight for our key matchup. See our breakdown for Kevin Durant versus LeBron James below!

Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James

We had to go five years without seeing Kevin Durant and LeBron James play against each other, and that finally ended at the beginning of this season; the Lakers won that game by five points, despite Durant’s best effort (39 points and 11 rebounds.) A similar result happened a few weeks later when the Lakers beat Phoenix and Durant (38 points) by three points.

However, there was a key player missing from those games: Devin Booker. Now, Booker is back in the lineup, which will not give Los Angeles the defensive latitude to send double-teams at Durant and focus all of its attention on him. Does this mean that Durant has an advantage?

Durant has a clear advantage here. He has put up 39 and 38 points, respectively, on 49% shooting from the field and 46% from deep, despite being the obvious focus of the Lakers’ defense. With Booker back in the lineup, Durant will get cleaner shots and be even more efficient than he already has. Advantage: KD.

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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