Hot Sixers Take on Suns

The Phoenix Suns have already played the top two teams in the Eastern Conference on their current road trip, and they're about to face off against one of the hottest.

The Suns will be trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season on Friday when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Phoenix –2.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 218.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 89% of bets for this game have been placed on Phoenix –2.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Phoenix (47-24) lost 117-97 to the NBA-leading Boston Celtics on Wednesday, two days after a 110-105 loss in Detroit. The game against the Pistons, who are in second place in the East, opened a four-game road trip that ends Saturday in New Jersey.

"It's a toss-up," Phoenix guard Steve Nash said when asked to compare Boston and Detroit. "Both terrific teams; two of the favorites, that's for sure."

Amare Stoudemire scored 32 points on Wednesday for the Suns, who currently hold the sixth seed in the West, but trail conference-leading New Orleans by just 2 1/2 games. Phoenix had won seven in a row before dropping consecutive games for the fifth time this season, including a 21-turnover effort Wednesday.

"In order to come out of the East, they're going to have to go to through each other, no doubt about that," said Shaquille O'Neal, who had 16 points and seven rebounds against the Celtics. "Both those teams' experience, a veteran team like that, you have to play damn near perfect basketball, especially at their place and tonight we didn't do that. Just way, way too many turnovers."

Phoenix fell to 22-6 against the Eastern Conference this season and failed to score in triple figures for the first time in eight contests.

Things won't get much easier for the Suns in the third game on their trip. Philadelphia (37-35) was just 18-30 on Feb. 4, but has gone 19-5 since to surge into sixth place in the East, a half-game behind fifth-place Washington.

"We've got one more game against them so we've got to go out and get that game," guard Lou Williams said of chasing the Wizards. "Right now, we're focusing on how we're playing and we're playing great basketball and we want to continue to do that."

The 76ers have gone 11-2 this month, ensuring their best March since posting a 13-3 mark in 1984, and have won 12 of their last 13 at home.

"We're just trying to continue to play the way we've been playing," coach Maurice Cheeks said.

The Sixers put their fast-paced game on display in Wednesday's 121-99 rout of Chicago, posting their second-highest point total of the season. Andre Miller had a season-high 18 assists, three shy of the franchise record held by Cheeks (1982) and Wilt Chamberlain (1968), and Philadelphia set a Wachovia Center record with 36 assists.

"These young guys can get up and down, so it makes my job easier just to throw the ball ahead and let them make a play," Miller said.

Williams scored 23 points off the bench, and Andre Iguodala had 21 points for his seventh 20-point performance in eight games.

The Suns have already gotten a look at the Sixers' uptempo style as Philadelphia won 119-114 in Phoenix on March 1. Iguodala scored 32 points and Miller had 25 and 12 assists.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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