Update: Due to the delay with Heat-Hawks, Suns-Pelicans will now tip at 10:00 p.m. ET instead of 9:30 p.m. ET.
After pulling off a second-half comeback in Game 2, the New Orleans Pelicans will head home to the Smoothie King Center for a pivotal Game 3 against the Phoenix Suns. The Suns received some bad news Wednesday that star Devin Booker would be out 2-3 weeks with a Grade 1 hamstring injury. The Pelicans will look to ride the momentum from Game 2 and hold home court while the Suns try to win without their star player.
The Suns are a 1.5-point favorite on the road according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with moneyline odds at -125. The Pelicans come in a +105 on the moneyline, and the total is at 216.
Suns vs. Pelicans, 10:00 p.m. ET (originally 9:30 p.m. ET)
Pick ATS: Suns -1.5
When Booker went down in Game 2, the momentum shifted and Brandon Ingram took over, scoring 26 of his 37 points in the second half. Ingram has come into his own since the play-in tournament, and has continued to deliver in this series. The Pelicans have also received big performances from their role players Herbert Jones, Larry Nance Jr, and Trey Murphy III. Those players generally play better at home, so expect them to keep it up.
The Suns were caught off guard without the Booker in Game 2, but they won’t be again. Even without the 25-year-old shooting guard, the Suns are still one of the deepest teams in the NBA. Chris Paul was magical closing out Game 1, finishing with 30 points. He will need a similar performance to win this one. Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, and Deandre Ayton will need to have big scoring performances as well, after combing for just 40 points in Game 2. The team went 8-6 this season without Booker in the lineup. Look for the Suns to win and cover on the road here to reclaim homecourt advantage in the series.
Over/Under: Over 216
The Suns averaged 109.0 points per game this season without Booker in the lineup this season. The Pelicans averaged about 111.0 points per game at home this season. The Suns will need to turn up the defensive intensity in this one with Booker out to have a chance. That pressure will limit New Orleans’ opportunities, but both teams should still be around those two averages in this one. Take the over, but not by much.
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