Is Chris Paul Playing? Chris Paul will not play for the Suns who host the Nuggets for Game 4 of the Western Conference second-round. The game is expected to tip-off at 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, May 7th, 2023.
Despite the absence of Paul, the Suns come into Game 4 a 2.5 point favorite, with many expecting them to tie up the series at 2-2.
Devin Booker and Kevin Durant combined for 86 points in Game 3, leading the Suns to a crucial victory in the Western Conference semifinals. Booker’s remarkable 47-point performance, matching his playoff career high, propelled the Suns to a 121-114 home win. Durant contributed 39 points but struggled with his shooting efficiency. The Suns need additional support from their teammates as they aim to even the series against the top-seeded Denver Nuggets.
Booker’s dominance continued as he scored 45 or more points for the third time in just eight postseason games. His exceptional play, particularly in the first half, set the tone for the Suns and allowed them to build a 15-point lead at halftime. Phoenix point guard Chris Paul was sidelined due to a groin injury in Game 3 and will miss Game 4 as well. The Suns’ intensity was fueled by the understanding that falling behind 3-0 against the Nuggets would be a precarious situation.
While Durant’s scoring came largely from the free-throw line, he acknowledged his frustration with his shooting struggles and expressed the need to overcome them. The Nuggets, led by Jamal Murray’s 32-point outing and Nikola Jokic’s triple-double, aim to bounce back and secure a home-court clinching scenario in Game 5. The Suns’ defense will be focused on limiting Booker, who has been averaging 36.9 points per game in the playoffs. Murray also aims to improve his fourth-quarter performance and be more composed in crucial situations.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
The Suns need more than just a “strong” performance from Booker and Durant if they want to succeed in the long run. Game 3 made it clear that they must be spectacular and combine for 75+ points to have a legitimate chance of winning. Although they are capable of achieving that feat against the average Nuggets defense, I wouldn’t bet on it happening again.
The Nuggets’ secondary contributors, such as Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr., showed promise in Game 3 by being willing to take shots and staying aggressive. If they continue to play that way, they will outperform the supporting cast of the Suns.
Considering the Nuggets’ strong record of 18-12 against the spread after a loss and the favorable situation for Phoenix, similar to Game 3, I’ll take the points and bet on the top-seeded team in the Western Conference. But remember, it’s important to keep in mind that sports betting always involves a degree of risk, and there’s no guarantee that the Nuggets will be able to stop the Suns from replicating their Game 3 performance. As always, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision based on the available data.
Spread: Suns -2.5
Moneyline: Suns -136, Nuggets +116
Pick: Nuggets +2.5
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