basketball | nba

New York Knicks vs. Phoenix Suns Pick & Prediction MAY 7TH 2021

FinishedTV: BSN | MSGUS Airways Center Phoenix

559New York Knicks
560Phoenix Suns

OP
219
-8
CU
218o -110
-6.5 -110
ML
220
-260
Partials
1 2 3 4
33 30 25 17
30 26 34 38
Score
105
128
Recap
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After a grueling three-game road swing in four days, the Phoenix Suns return home Friday night to play the New York Knicks in a pivotal game for both teams.

Phoenix (47-19) is one game behind the first-place Utah Jazz (48-18) in the Western Conference standings with only six games remaining.

New York (37-29) has yet to clinch a playoff berth. The Knicks have put themselves in a good position at No. 4 in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of the Atlanta Hawks heading into NBA play Thursday. The Knicks have gone 12-2 in their last 14 games.

Phoenix had the arduous task of playing the Hawks on the road Wednesday, less than 24 hours after they were in Ohio defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in overtime. The Suns looked sluggish on defense in the 135-103 loss to Atlanta.

"It's not a recipe for a lot of energy, I can tell you that," Suns coach Monty Williams said after the loss to the Hawks.

"(Atlanta) got off to a really good start and we fought like heck until I pulled the plug. ... Not anything real deep about (the game)."

They started their road trip Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder and pulled off a 123-120 victory.

Phoenix's loss to Atlanta, coupled with the Jazz defeating the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, put the Suns a game behind at the top of the conference standings.

"We're coming down that final stretch, but I think this is the most important stretch for us to be playing high-level basketball, so you have to put the excuses aside," Suns guard Devin Booker said.

The Knicks recently had a nine-game winning streak snapped by Phoenix in New York, 118-110 on April 26. The Knicks then won three consecutive games before losing at the Denver Nuggets 113-97 on Wednesday.

"We didn't come ready to play; I'm throwing this one in the trash,'' said the Knicks' Julius Randle, the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for April, who scored 14 points with eight rebounds against the Nuggets.

The Knicks, who also have just six regular-season games remaining, might be in fourth place, but they were just two games ahead of No. 7 Miami at the start of NBA play Thursday. The top six seeds avoid the play-in tournament.

"Definitely a throwaway game but the team feels it,'' Knicks center Nerlens Noel said. "The locker room wasn't the same. Guys' energy postgame wasn't there.''

The Knicks received some promising news off the court Wednesday.

Luca Vildoza, a top playmaking guard in Europe, agreed in principle to a four-year, $13.6 million deal with the team ahead of free agency this summer, ESPN reported.

The Argentine guard is currently with Baskonia in the Spanish ACB League. The 6-foot-3 standout was named MVP of the 2020 Spanish ACB finals, leading his team to the title.

A member of the Argentina national team, Vildoza averaged 10.3 points on 42.1 percent shooting in 25.2 minutes per game in Euroleague play this year.

--Field Level Media

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GAMES

Last 10

W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • Atlanta L 103 - 89
  • @Atlanta L 96 - 113
  • @Atlanta L 94 - 105
  • Atlanta W 92 - 101
  • Atlanta L 107 - 105
  • Boston W 92 - 96
  • Charlotte W 109 - 118
  • San Antonio W 98 - 102
  • @L.A. Lakers L 99 - 101
  • @L.A. Clippers W 106 - 100
W 80% L 20%
8 2
  • @Denver W 116 - 102
  • Denver W 98 - 123
  • Denver W 105 - 122
  • @L.A. Lakers W 113 - 100
  • L.A. Lakers W 85 - 115
  • @L.A. Lakers W 100 - 92
  • @L.A. Lakers L 95 - 109
  • L.A. Lakers L 109 - 102
  • L.A. Lakers W 90 - 99
  • @San Antonio W 123 - 121

Last Meetings

  • Knicks @ Suns 105-128
  • Suns @ Knicks 118-110
  • Knicks @ Suns 96-107
  • Suns @ Knicks 128-110
  • Knicks @ Suns 107-85
  • Suns @ Knicks 107-120
  • Suns @ Knicks 107-105
  • Knicks @ Suns 111-113
  • Knicks @ Suns 128-97
  • Suns @ Knicks 84-102

Last Injuries

Phoenix Suns

  • Ty-Shon Alexander

    Illness
    Ques Wed | questionable

    Alexander is ailing from an illness, and it is uncertain if he will be active for Game 2 of the Western Conference second round against the Nuggets.

  • Chris Paul

    Shoulder
    Prob Tues | probable

    Paul has suffered a right shoulder contusion, but he is expected to take the court for Game 5 of the Western Conference first round against the Lakers.

New York Knicks vs. Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker scored a season-high 41 points Wednesday night, including nine straight on three consecutive 3-pointers spanning the second and third quarters that gave the Phoenix Suns the lead for good in a 107-96 win over the visiting New York Knicks in a battle of the two worst teams in the NBA.

The Suns (15-51) have won three straight, one shy of their season high, to drop 1 1/2 games behind the Knicks (13-52) in the "race" for the worst record in the NBA. The teams with the three worst records will all have a 14-percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft Lottery on May 14.

With their last two wins, the Suns have completed season sweeps of two decidedly different opponents. On Monday, Phoenix shocked the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks 114-105 to cap a series that began with a 116-114 win in Milwaukee back on Nov. 23.

The 41 points exceeded Booker's previous season-high of 38 points, set three times, and marked his first 40-point effort since he collected 40 points against the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 26, 2018.

Kelly Oubre Jr. added 18 points Wednesday night for the Suns, who also received double-digit scoring performances from Tyler Johnson (14 points), Deandre Ayton (10 points) and Richaun Holmes (10 points).

DeAndre Jordan had a double-double (17 points, 14 rebounds) for the Knicks, who have gone 3-5 since a single-season, franchise-record 18-game losing streak from Jan. 7 through Feb. 13. Noah Vonleh, Damyean Dotson and Dennis Smith Jr. all had 15 points apiece while Allonzo Trier added 12 points.

The Knicks raced out to a 15-6 lead in the first quarter and led for most of the first half before Booker's 3-pointer with 40 seconds left in the second quarter put the Suns ahead 49-47. Booker opened the second half with a 3-pointer and drained another shot from beyond the arc 71 seconds in to extend Phoenix's lead to eight points.

Another Booker 3-pointer a little less than three minutes into the period gave the Suns their first double-digit lead. The Knicks scored the next eight points before Booker's jumper began a quarter-ending 21-7 run.

The Suns extended the lead to 22 points on a Booker 3-pointer with 6:10 left before the Knicks ended the game on a 20-9 run.

--Field Level Media