Nothing Stopping Them
The Phoenix Suns have struggled through some chemistry problems this season, but that hasn't stopped them from claiming the Western Conference's best record.
The Suns will have a good chance to widen the gap as they try to continue their dominance of the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday when the clubs meet at the Bradley Center.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Phoenix –7.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 215.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 88% of bets for this game have been placed on Phoenix –7.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
Phoenix (29-12) has had its ups and downs this season, including an uncharacteristic 3-5 stretch in December and an ugly 97-90 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last Tuesday.
Since that defeat, however, the Suns are averaging 112.3 points and shooting 51.2 percent from the field during a three-game win streak which has moved them to the top spot in the West, one-half game ahead of second-place New Orleans.
"We've been playing the way we like to play, offensively and defensively," said Raja Bell, who was 5-for-10 from 3-point range and had 20 points in Phoenix's 116-92 win over New Jersey on Sunday night.
"That's what we need to be doing. We need to be focusing on more than just winning and losing. We have to start doing things the right way and playing the way we need to play - then the wins will come."
More importantly for point guard Steve Nash, the Suns appear to have put any chemistry issues behind them.
"I don't judge us on how many shots we make," Nash said. "It's just a matter of how much energy we bring. We played with consistent energy the last three games. That's important. The only way we can get better as a team is if we have that consistent energy."
Phoenix has had no problem finding the right energy to beat Milwaukee (16-25) lately. The Suns have won 29 of 33 meetings in the series since March 28, 1991, including 12 of 16 in Milwaukee. They extended their home win streak against the Bucks to 20 games with a 122-114 victory on Jan. 12.
Phoenix is also 15-2 against teams from the Eastern Conference this season, while Milwaukee fell to 5-13 against Western Conference opponents after Monday's 106-92 loss at New Orleans.
Michael Redd scored 17 of his team-high 19 points in the first half as the Bucks took a four-point lead into intermission. Redd, though, missed all seven of his field-goal attempts in the second half as the Bucks were outscored 56-38 after the break.
"We were missing open shots," Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "To survive and win games, when you're open ... you need to make shots. As simple as it sounds, that's something we didn't do in the second half."
The Bucks had a similar breakdown against the Suns last week. They led by seven at halftime before Nash led Phoenix's comeback, scoring 26 of his season-high 35 points in the final two quarters.
Milwaukee's Andrew Bogut had a season-high 29 points and added 11 rebounds while shooting 14-for-16 from the field in that game. He's averaging 20.2 points and 11.2 rebounds while shooting 59.8 percent during a streak of six consecutive double-doubles.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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