Chemistry Problems?

Although they are atop the highly competitive Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns have struggled to find their stride and been described as suffering from chemistry problems. That certainly was not evident their last time out.

The high-powered Suns look to carry some momentum from their latest victory and try to continue their dominance over the stumbling Indiana Pacers Wednesday at US Airways Center.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Phoenix -11 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 225 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 67% of bets for this game have been placed on Phoenix -11 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

After a disappointing 118-113 home loss to New Orleans on Saturday, Phoenix (24-10) crushed Northwest Division-leading Denver 137-115 on Monday.

Before Monday's shootaround, Suns general manager Steve Kerr gave his team a motivational talk, and the Suns responded with one of their most complete games of the season. Phoenix scored 78 first-half points, and matched the franchise record with 20 3-pointers - one shy of the NBA record set by Toronto on March 13, 2005.

"A good effort," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "A lot of good things happened and we just have to keep going forward and keep building and keep playing the way we play."

Phoenix has won five of its last six games, and owns a 1 1/2-game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers in the Pacific Division, and a half-game lead over San Antonio in the West.

Shawn Marion scored a season-high 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting, grabbed 14 rebounds and matched his career high with six blocked shots on Friday. Marion, who matched a career high with five 3-pointers against the Nuggets, had only six points on 2-of-9 shooting on Saturday.

Marcus Banks made a career-high seven 3s - in eight attempts - en route to a season-high 23 points on Monday. Banks has fallen out of favor with D'Antoni on numerous occasions, but has earned his way into the rotation with his recent play. In the last two games, Banks has scored 34 points on 10-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc after playing in just three of the Suns' previous 13 contests.

"All I can do is sit over there and wait until my name's called,'' Banks said. "When it comes, I'm going to go 110 percent and give them my all and just take care of business out there.''

The Suns defeated the Pacers 121-117 on Dec. 4, and have won five straight games over Indiana by an average of 13.6 points.

Amare Stoudemire, who is averaging a team-high 22.0 points, had a season-high 42 on 15-of-24 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds in the win over Indiana in December.

Two-time MVP Steve Nash had 18 points and 17 assists against the Pacers earlier this season, and is averaging 22.4 points on 67.2 percent shooting and 11.4 assists during the winning streak over Indiana.

The Pacers (16-20) are coming off their most-lopsided defeat of the season, a 111-89 loss to Utah on Tuesday. Indiana turned the ball over a season-high 26 times against the Jazz and fell behind by as much as 28 points in the first half.

The Pacers, who were two games above .500 on Dec. 22, have dropped seven of their last eight games.

"We are going through a tough stretch right now and guys have got to persevere," Mike Dunleavy said.

Jamaal Tinsley had 13 points on Tuesday in his return to the Pacers' lineup after missing Indiana's previous five games with a hamstring injury.

Jermaine O'Neal scored only nine points against Utah after sitting out practice Monday because of his painful left knee. O'Neal had a season-high 30 points and 11 boards in the loss to the Suns earlier this season.

The Pacers, who have lost six straight road games, opened a season-high five-game road drip with a 112-96 loss to the Lakers on Sunday.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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