Phoenix Suns: 3 bold predictions for Game 4 vs. Clippers

The 2023 NBA Playoffs are officially off and running as they have produced some big moments. With some series already having three games in the books, the next one will be crucial. With the Phoenix Suns set to face the Los Angeles Clippers on the road on Saturday, it is time for our Suns Game 4 bold predictions.

Phoenix is having one of the most intriguing seasons in the league. In February, the team traded two key young players, Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson, to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for 13-time All-Star Kevin Durant. The veteran would end up playing just eight regular season games with Phoenix after he suffered an injury.

The Suns would finish with a 45-37 record and the No. 4 seed in the West. While they still secured home-court advantage in the first round, they failed to reach the 64-win mark from the previous year.

On the other side of the matchup, the Clippers finished 44-38 which was good for the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference. This represented a two-win improvement from 2021-22, which was enough to make Los Angeles return to the postseason.

In Game 1, the Clippers stole home-court advantage with a 115-110 result at the Footprint Center. The Suns then tied the series 1-1 with a 123-109 victory. On Thursday, Phoenix took a 2-1 series lead with a 129-124 win at the Arena.

With hopes of opening a 3-1 lead, the Suns should have another big challenge ahead of them. With that being said, here are three bold predictions for the Phoenix Suns for Game 4 of their first-round series versus the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

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3. Suns hold Russell Westbrook to less than 20 points on at most 45% shooting

There is no secret that Kawhi Leonard is Los Angeles’ key player in the postseason, especially without Paul George until the end of the first round at the very least.

In the regular season, Leonard put up 23.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists plus 1.4 steals a night. He shot 51.2% from the field, 41.6% from the 3-point line and 87.1% from the charity stripe.

In two games in the series, he recorded 34.5 points, 6.5 boards and 6.0 assists with 2.0 steals, the best mark on the team. He made 54.5% of his field goals, 60% of his 3-pointers and 88.2% of his free throws.

The problem is that Leonard missed Game 3 with a knee injury. As of now, it is unclear whether he will return on Saturday to face the Suns.

Fortunately for the Clippers, Russell Westbrook has emerged as an important offensive threat in the past two games. Following his poor shooting performance in Game 1, the veteran is scoring 29 points while hitting 51.3% of his field-goal attempts, 50% of his shots beyond the arc and 92.9% of his free throws.

To avoid a potential comeback from the Clippers, the Suns must contain Westbrook. The bold prediction is that Phoenix will hold the 2016-17 MVP to less than 20 points on at most 45% shooting.

2. Both Devin Booker and Kevin Durant have 30-point performances

As for the Suns, they will need everything they can get from Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. Both players had big seasons despite dealing with injuries and have already had their moments in this series.

Booker recorded a career-high 27.8 points, 5.5 assists and 4.5 boards plus a steal a contest in the regular season. His shooting splits were 49.4% from the field, 35.1% from long distance and 85.5% from the free-throw line.

Splitting time with the Nets and Suns, Durant averaged 29.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists. He made history by becoming the first player in the NBA to shoot 55-40-90 in a season.

In the playoffs, Booker and Durant lead the Suns in scoring with 36.3 and 26.7 points per game, respectively. Durant was a rebound away from a triple-double in Game 1 with 27 points and 11 assists. Booker had 45 points on 62% shooting in Game 3.

The bold prediction is that the duo will go off again on Saturday. Expect Booker and Durant to have 30-point performances on solid efficiency. Should that happen, Phoenix will be in a good position to win this one.

1. Suns win in dramatic fashion, open 3-1 lead

With Booker and Durant playing some of the best basketball of their careers this year plus Leonard’s injury, it is difficult to ignore the talent on Phoenix’s side.

According to FanDuel, the Suns are the favorites to win Game 4 despite playing on the road. Currently, the spread is -5. For comparison, the spread was just -2.5 in the previous outing before Leonard’s absence was announced.

Although Westbrook and Norman Powell have been giving the Clippers some hope, they might not be able to overcome Booker and Durant with Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul as part of the supporting cast.

Los Angeles will have its big moments, but the bold prediction is that Phoenix will end up winning Game 4 in dramatic fashion. This way, the Suns will open a 3-1 lead and return home with a solid chance of closing the series out in front of their fans.

The post Phoenix Suns: 3 bold predictions for Game 4 vs. Clippers appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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