The Phoenix Suns and the Charlotte Hornets will both be gunning for a victory on 3/26/2017 at 1:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
Phoenix Suns vs Charlotte Hornets
When: 3/26/2017 1:05 PM
|703||Phoenix Suns||-12 (-110)||215 (-110)||550
TV: 1:05 PM
PREDICTION: CHARLOTTE , PHOENIX
Oddsmakers currently have the CHARLOTTE listed as -12 point favorites versus the PHOENIX, while the game’s total is sitting at 215.
Charlotte might be the unluckiest team in the NBA.
The Hornets, who remain in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, three games out of eighth and final playoff spot with just 12 games left, are coming off a 112-105 loss to the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
A loss was pretty much expected, even though the Cavs had dropped three straight coming into that game.
Next up on Sunday are the Phoenix Suns (22-51), who are in a battle with the Los Angeles Lakers to stay out of the Western Conference cellar. And the Suns have lost seven in a row.
Charlotte’s fast start to the season is just a faded memory. Any chance of making the postseason depends on tightening the defense and a little bit of luck.
On paper, Sunday’s matinee looked like a good opportunity for the Hornets to make some hay and gain some ground in the East.
But on paper, there’s one number that stands out: 70. As in 70 points scored by the Suns’ Devin Booker in a 130-120 loss to Boston on Friday.
For a team with a plethora of defensive liabilities, that last thing coach Steve Clifford’s squad needs to see is an opponent who just had the 10th highest scoring game in league history. LeBron James just went for 32 points, leaving the Hornets in disarray.
“We just made too many mistakes,” Clifford told The Charlotte Observer. “That’s it. Period. (We struggled with) rotations, mistakes and things that you have to be able to do to beat a team like that. … We had plays we had to make there at the end (and) we didn’t make them. They did.”
And now comes along the 20-year-old from Kentucky, who scored 28 of his 70 points in the fourth quarter and 18 in the final 3:46 as his team called timeouts and committed fouls to stop the clock.
“It’s a zone. It’s kind of hard to explain,” Booker said. “I’ve been in those zones before, but never to this extent. It’s hard to explain.”
The 70 points were the most ever scored against the Celtics, the most points ever scored in either of Boston’s side-by-side buildings and tied for the 10th most points in NBA history.
The performance left many in shock, including his teammate Tyson Chandler.
“I was proud of him at 50, but Jesus, 70?” Chandler told The Arizona Republic. “I told him, I said, ‘Listen, you’re 20 years old and you had your name being chanted in the Garden. You turned the Garden around.'”
Booker joined Wilt Chamberlain (six times), Kobe Bryant, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor and David Robinson as the only 70-point scorers in league history — and he shattered Tom Chambers’ 27-year-old (to the day) club record of 60.
Booker, whose previous career high was 39, went 21 of 40 from the floor, 4 of 11 from 3-point range and 24 of 26 on free throws. Oh yeah, he also had eight rebounds and six assists.
It’s hard to believe that Booker was in a slump just a few days ago. Phoenix lost to Brooklyn on Thursday and Booker had made just 13 of 55 shots from the field in three games.
But now he’s on fire and just in time to help the Suns play spoiler against the Hornets. Clifford and his staff don’t have much time to devise a way to slow Booker down.
At least one player said the Hornets have the ability to shut down the young star.
“Cliff and his staff do a tremendous job putting together a game plan for us,” forward Marvin Williams told reporters. “They watch a ton of film. They’re always prepared. They always have us prepared.
“It’s on us as players to go out there and execute the game plan. We’ve had some rough times this season, that will happen sometimes throughout the course of a season, but as of late we’ve been playing really well. We’ve got to continue to do that.”