The Phoenix Suns changed the complexion of the Western Conference Finals with one single in-bounds play. A lob to Deandre Ayton with 0.9 seconds left turned a loss into a win and a 2-0 lead in the series.

With Phoenix looking to once again advance in four, this time over Los Angeles, let’s jump into the four best Game 3 Suns vs. Clippers betting picks and prop bet predictions.

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The Clippers had every chance to put the Suns away late, but Paul George missed two critical free throws with Los Angeles holding a one-point lead, eventually setting up the Ayton slam. Now, the Clips enter Game 3 down two games in the series for the third straight time this postseason.

Obviously, knowing they have overcome this deficit twice already will give the Clippers great confidence, but they will have to do so this time without the help of Kawhi Leonard, who will miss again with a knee strain. Phoenix receives reinforcements, as Chris Paul looks to be cleared of COVID-19 protocols. He should be available to start tonight’s game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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Suns vs. Clippers Player Prop Bet Predictions (Game 3)

Best Bets
Mikal Bridges Over 1.5 Made Threes (DraftKings Sportsbook -127)
Ivica Zubac Over 10.5 Rebounds (FanDuel Sportsbook
Reggie Jackson Over 3.5 Assists (DraftKings Sportsbook -150)
Deandre Ayton Under 29.5 Total Points, Rebounds & Assists (DraftKings Sportsbook -110)
Cameron Johnson Over 8.5 Points (FanDuel Sportsbook -122)

1. Marcus Morris Over 1.5 Made Threes (DraftKings Sportsbook -113)

Morris was one of the most deadly 3-point shooters in the NBA this season, ranking in the top five for all qualified players in shooting percentage from beyond the arc. He shot 47.3% from long range during the regular season, making 2.5 threes per game on 5.2 attempts. He was quiet in the first two games of this series, but that could change tonight at the Staples Center, as Morris was a 54.2% 3-point shooter at home this season, which was easily the best mark in the West, making 2.8 threes per game.

Morris is a 48% long range shooter on one day of rest this season, making 2.7 threes per outing.

He has also upped his shooting from deep since the All-Star Break, averaging 2.6 makes per game at 48.1%. The Clippers know how important his 3-point success is to their team success, as Morris makes 2.9 threes per game at 53.1% in wins, compared to just 1.6 makes per game at 33.7% in losses.

Morris attempted just two shots from distance in Game 2 the other night. The other two times he took two or fewer threes in a game this postseason, he responded by going 5-6 and 4-8 from long range in the Clips’ next game.

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2. Ivica Zubac Over 7.5 Rebounds (DraftKings Sportsbook +100)

Zubac saw his minutes rise from 18 in Game 1 to 34 in Game 2, a direct result of the Clippers needing to account more for Deandre Ayton after his dominant 20-point, 9-assist effort in the series opener.

Ayton still dominated Game 2, but Zubac is still the clear choice big man for Los Angeles and should continue to see major court time, as his backup, DeMarcus Cousins, played just four minutes and was responsible for allowing the winning dunk by Ayton with poor defensive positioning on the in-bounds. With his 16-minute bump in Game 2, Zubac was able to pull down 11 boards, five more than any other Clippers player, despite the Suns shooting 50.0% from the field in the game.

Zubac averaged 7.2 rebounds per game during the regular season in just 22.3 minutes per game, so he should have little trouble collecting the eight needed here with considerable more time on the floor. In fact, Zubac played 30+ minutes 12 times this season and tallied at least seven rebounds in each of those games. He attained the eight needed here or more in 10 of those 12 outings, averaging 9.8 rebounds per game across those 12 efforts.

3. Devin Booker Over 28.5 Points (FanDuel Sportsbook -112)

Much attention will surely be centered around Chris Paul’s return this evening, but Devin Booker is still the focal point of this Suns offense. Ayton and Cameron Payne starred in Game 2, saving Booker from a 20-point outing on just 5-16 shooting from the field. But, history dictates that Booker, who went off for a 40-point triple-double in Game 1, will not be held down for long.

Paul’s return should allow Booker to work off the ball more and create more open looks for him tonight. In his 16 other games after scoring 20 points or less since the start of 2021, Booker has scored right on his 25.6 point per game regular season average. However, in 11 regular season games after shooting below 40.0% from the field, D-Book averaged 27 points per game.

Booker was a better scorer on the road this season and has scored 28+ points in three of his five road games this postseason (six of 12 games overall). Without Leonard in the lineup for the Clippers, and Paul drawing defensive attention, look for Booker to have more exploitable matchups tonight to help him sail beyond this point total.

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4. Chris Paul Under 9.5 Assists (FanDuel Sportsbook -154)

As mentioned above, Paul will be the center of media attention up to and throughout tonight’s game, making his return from COVID-19 protocols.

The Clippers will have to figure out how to keep him in check, along with Booker and Ayton, who have both given Los Angeles fits thus far.

After watching Payne go for 11 points and nine assists in Game 1 and 29 points and nine assists in Game 2 as Paul’s replacement, the elder statesman should find plenty of room to roam in his return.

However, we believe the Clippers are going to want to see Paul’s shooting touch after the layoff before paying him close mind defensively. He won’t likely see as much help defense coming his way early until he starts making open jumpers and driving layups.

This is going to shrink the amount of gametime Paul has to dish out double digits in assists and crack our prop bet. Further, there are no guarantees that Paul, who is 36 years old now, will even be able to give the 31 minutes of court time he averaged this season after his COVID-19 related layoff. With Payne’s success in mind, Paul could end up in the 24-minute range tonight, making 10 assists an extremely difficult goal to attain.

On three or more days of rest this season, CP3 averaged just six assists per game. The Phoenix point guard averaged less than nine assists per game in the regular season and has not averaged double digits in assists since the 2015-16 season as a member of the Clippers

His three regular season games against the Clippers produced just 6.3 assists per game, including just three dimes in his one game against them at the Staples Center, further condemning any belief that he can reach 10+ tonight.

In a low stakes game for Phoenix, look for the Suns to use Game 3 as an opportunity to get Paul’s game legs back under him without risking his health more than necessary if the game gets out of hand either way.

We just don’t see him getting enough court time to tally 10 assists in this one.

 

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