NBA Las Vegas Betting Odds: Phoenix Suns vs Sacramento Kings
Friday, March 08, 2013
by Tomas Lopez
The Phoenix Suns may need to ask for volunteers for their depleted frontcourt on Friday when they visit the Sacramento Kings, who have plenty of their own problems. The Kings are last in the Western Conference with 21 wins and sit one game behind the Suns, who are coming off a 27-point home loss to Toronto. Phoenix will be without center Marcin Gortat, who suffered a season-ending foot injury against the Raptors. Suns center Jermaine O’Neal remains out while attending to his ailing 13-year-old daughter.
Sacramento isn’t dealing with any health issues, but the frustration level is clearly rising. The Kings have lost nine of their last 11 games, and star forward DeMarcus Cousins was benched for much of the team’s 87-83 loss to Golden State on Wednesday. Cousins had five points on 2-of-10 shooting in less than 21 minutes, and he’s averaging 9.8 points while shooting 30.9 percent over the past five games. The Kings have lost five in a row against the Suns, including the first two meetings this season.
Phoenix Suns (21-40): Phoenix is 8-12 since replacing Alvin Gentry with interim head coach Lindsey Hunter, who made his debut in a 106-96 win over Sacramento on Jan. 23. Guard Goran Dragic has led the Suns to a 4-4 record since the All-Star break while averaging 14.4 points, 10.1 assists and 2.13 steals during that stretch. Twins Marcus and Markieff Morris figure to see a boost in playing time with Gortat out, and the Suns are eager to see more from the two forwards. Marcus Morris is averaging 13 points over the last three games, and Markieff has scored eight or more points in five of the six games since the Suns acquired his brother.
Sacramento Kings (21-42): Coach Keith Smart sat Cousins and point guard Isaiah Thomas for extended stretches against Golden State, and it’s unclear how much either of them will play against the Suns. Thomas is averaging 10.7 points and 3.5 assists, but he played just 20 minutes on Wednesday as Smart opted for recently acquired Toney Douglas down the stretch. Forward Jason Thompson has kept his spot in the rotation, and he’s scored 17 or more points in each of the last three games. Sacramento has made 10 or more 3-pointers in six of the last eight games, and John Salmons has made 23 of his last 40 shots from beyond the arc.
1. The Suns have won 17 of the last 21 games in the series against the Kings.
2. Sacramento is 7-31 when scoring under 100 points.
3. The Suns are 4-7 on the road under Hunter after going 3-17 away from home before the coaching change.
NBA Basketball Prediction: Kings 102, Suns 93.
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