Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns Pick & Prediction JANUARY 8th 2024

The Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers will look to leave a pair of disappointing defeats behind them when the Western Conference rivals meet Monday at Los Angeles.

Despite a 121-115 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in which they faded late, the Suns still have been playing better, with five victories in their past seven games following a disappointing 3-9 stretch.

Now Phoenix hits the road in search of a little revenge after they fell 131-122 to the Clippers at home Wednesday.

In the loss to the Grizzlies, the Suns received 24 points and eight assists from Devin Booker, while Jusuf Nurkic had 18 points and 19 rebounds. Kevin Durant even delivered 23 points and 10 rebounds but Phoenix blew an 11-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter.

Booker had just three points on 1-of-2 shooting in the fourth quarter.

“I’ve got to make sure he gets more involved than just two shots in the fourth,” Suns head coach Frank Vogel said.

Bradley Beal has been a key contributor to the Suns’ improved play after missing 24 of the first 30 games with injuries. Beal played his fifth consecutive game Sunday, scoring 12 points with six rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes.

“We didn’t play well enough for 48 minutes, honestly,” Vogel said. “We started the game strong. We came in at halftime saying that we didn’t play our best basketball and were happy to have a five-point lead. But we didn’t deserve a win tonight.”

Suns veteran guard, and former Clipper, Eric Gordon missed his second consecutive game Sunday with right knee soreness.

The Clippers struggled in the early part of the season, just like the Suns, but losses have been few and far between of late, even while dropping a 106-103 decision to the Lakers on Sunday.

The Clippers rallied back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter but could not find the finishing touch as their five-game losing streak came to an end.

The Clippers shot 39.6 percent from the floor, their worst in a game since shooting that same percentage in a Nov. 8 loss to the Brooklyn Nets during James Harden’s second game with the team.

Paul George and Ivica Zubac each had 22 points, with Zubac adding 19 rebounds. Kawhi Leonard and James Harden each scored 15 points, but Leonard missed much of the final three minutes after he reached his minutes restriction on the first night of a back-to-back.

“We just turned it over too much and we took some bad shots on offense that were heavily contested,” Zubac said after his second-best rebounding game of the season. “We’ll be better. We’ll watch the film and see where we made mistakes but we have another one tomorrow.”

Leonard left the floor with 2:47 remaining and the Clippers down 98-95. He returned for the final 17 seconds but the Lakers sealed the victory on three late free throws. Norman Powell nearly tied the game at the buzzer, but his running 3-pointer went off the rim.

The loss was the first for the Clippers with Leonard on the floor since Nov. 30. Including Sunday, they are 14-3 since then.

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping