The Phoenix Suns are one win away from reaching the NBA Finals and have a chance to book their trip tonight on their home court. The Suns earned a 3-1 series lead with a hard-fought Game 4 victory at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Saturday night. Phoenix won 84-80, the lowest point total for a winning team in any NBA game this season.

Let’s jump into a potential series-deciding Game 5 between Los Angeles and Phoenix with five bold Clippers vs. Suns betting picks.

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Points were hard to come by on both ends of the court as the two teams combined to shoot just 58-169 (34.3%) from the field and a dismal 9-51 (17.6%) from 3-point range. The Clippers never led in the game, yet trailed by only two points with 1.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter before Chris Paul buried two free throws to put things out of reach.

Clippers vs. Suns Best Betting Picks

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)

Devin Booker fouled out, but still led all scorers with 25 points. The Suns star ditched the mask he donned for his nose injury in Game 3 midway through Game 4 as his shooting struggles continued, ending in an 8-22 night from the field, including 0-5 from long range. Booker, Paul, Reggie Jackson, and Paul George, the four stars in the game, combined to shoot 27-88 (30.7%) from the floor, including just 3-26 from downtown (11.5%).

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1. Mikal Bridges Over 1.5 Made Threes (DraftKings Sportsbook -127)

Bridges has become an irreplaceable piece of the Suns’ plan of attack in this series.

The Game 3 loss was the only game in which he featured for fewer than 35 minutes, playing 39 minutes in Game 4. He is a plus defender who ripped down 13 boards in Game 4 and has turned the ball over just once in this entire series. He will surely see major minutes again tonight, as keeping George and Jackson in check has become the key to this series for Phoenix. Bridges hit multiple threes in Games 1 and 3 and attempted at least five from deep in each of the first three games. With Paul and Booker both struggling mightily with their shot, the plan tonight should be for them to get into the lane for higher percentage looks.

Doing so will invariably open up shots on the wings and Bridges should be the beneficiary of several open looks from long range. He averaged more than two made threes in both playoff series so far for the Suns, making at least two triples in six of his seven playoff home games. Bridges made two or more 3-pointers in 10 of his final 12 regular season games (83.3%), doing so in 37 of 72 overall (51.4%).

The young forward averaged two made threes per game in Phoenix wins this season, shooting 48.8% from deep in those outings. Having made 2+ from beyond the arc in each of the final two regular season meetings with the Clippers, as well, Bridges should be primed for another big night from deep tonight in Game 5.

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2. Ivica Zubac Over 10.5 Rebounds (FanDuel Sportsbook -102)

This is a train worth riding until it makes a stop. After an 11-rebound outburst in Game 2 of this series in 34 minutes of action, Zubac’s rebound total was bumped to 7.5 for Game 3. He topped that number in the first quarter en route to 16 boards in 33 minutes. This caused oddsmakers to push his rebound prop number up to 9.5 for Game 4, which he easily eclipsed once again with 14 rebounds in 40 minutes. His energy on the glass and running the court, coupled with his seven-foot frame make him an invaluable asset for the Clippers who have struggled to contain Deandre Ayton throughout this series. Zubac will play major minutes once again tonight.

There is little reason to believe he shouldn’t notch 11+ boards to cash this once again inflated total. The Clippers starting center has grabbed seven or more rebounds in all 14 games in which he logged 30+ minutes this season, pulling down eight or more in 12 of those and averaging right around tonight’s number of 10.5 rebounds in that sample space of 14 games. With his knack for staying out of foul trouble (just eight personal fouls committed in this series), Zubac is a safe bet to see enough court time to cash this prop once again.

3. Reggie Jackson Over 3.5 Assists (DraftKings Sportsbook -150)

Reggie Jackson has proven himself one of the main options on the offensive end for the Clippers since Kawhi Leonard went down.

He has logged 37+ minutes in five of the last six games, finding the ball in his hands on more and more offensive possessions. He had double digits in assists in Game 6 to close out the Jazz before posting more modest helper numbers in this series.

However, Phoenix will likely focus its defensive approach on forcing anyone but George and Jackson to beat them. This should create open looks for the other Clippers once George and Jackson pass out of pressure. That will likely mean some quick assists for our guy, as the Clippers are still the league’s fifth best field goal percentage team (48.2%) and best 3-point field goal percentage team (41.1%), despite their recent struggles. Jackson tallied the four or more needed dimes in eight of his nine regular season games when playing 33 or more minutes, a playing-time number he is sure to hit tonight.

Look for the 31-year-old to find 4+ assists again tonight, something he did in three of his five 33+ minute playoff games leading up to this series.

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4. Deandre Ayton Under 29.5 Total Points, Rebounds & Assists (DraftKings Sportsbook -110)

This might be a tough one to accept for those who watched Game 4 where Deandre Ayton played 41 minutes, posting a 19-point, 22-rebound, three-assist statline. However, for as dominant as the young center has been at points in this series, that type of game just is not the norm and will be a tough effort to replicate tonight.

Leading up to this series, Ayton had played five of his previous six games to a lower combined points-rebounds-assists total than the 29.5 this prop allows. Just 24 of his 69 regular season games saw him reach 30+ combined P-R-A, as well (34.8%). Ayton averaged 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game in the regular season, for a sum of just 26.3.

Doubters will point out that the big man played nearly five minutes less per game during the regular season than here in the playoffs, which is true. However, even with the boost in playing time and the high profile performances, the fact remains that the 22-year-old still totals 28.9 points, rebounds, and assists in the postseason, a total below this props posted number.

Ayton is coming off 41 minutes of play in Game 4, just the fifth time he has topped 40 minutes all season. In the four subsequent games he’s hit this total, he averaged 27.5 combined points-rebounds-assists. He had 22 rebounds in Game 4, as mentioned, which was his highest total of the season. He had nine other games with 16+ rebounds and averaged just 26.8 combined points, rebounds, and assists in his next outing.

5. Cameron Johnson Over 8.5 Points (FanDuel Sportsbook -122)

Cam Johnson lost some playing time in Game 4 with Abdul Nader’s return from injury, but we don’t think it is time to sound the alarm for the young forward just yet and will take some free value induced by his low scoring output Saturday night.

Johnson played just 17 minutes the other night, nine less than his 26-minute average in the first three games of the series. However, on a night when no one else could make a shot, Johnson went 2-4 from the field and chipped in four rebounds, the most boards of any Phoenix substitute and more than Booker and Paul, as well.

The Suns’ bench went 3-6 from long range, with Johnson owning one of those makes, while the starters combined to shoot just 1-14 from deep. Off a heavy minutes output for the starters Saturday and with tonight’s game being basically a free-roll for Phoenix, this might be a golden opportunity for Coach Monty Williams to get his bench guys some more minutes.

Johnson averaged double-digit points at home this season and his 6’8” frame provides excellent length in the Suns’ quest to minimize Paul George’s effect on the game offensively. Johnson, a 41.7% shooter from 3-point range in the Playoffs, is another guy who stands to benefit if Paul and Booker attempt to get in the lane more tonight to offset their struggling shooting forms.

Notably, he entered Game 4 the other night shooting a combined 14-20 (70.0%) from the field in this series, tallying 11+ points in all three previous games. Williams knows this series is taxing for George and should throw lots of bodies at him throughout in hopes of wearing him down before the crucial final minutes of the game. Johnson should play a big role for the team off the bench once again and have plenty of time to notch nine or more points tonight.

 

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