The Suns lost a tough one to Golden State Sunday night and have the difficult task of facing the Clippers in Los Angeles Monday on the second night of a back-to-back set on the road.
The good news for the Suns? Phoenix and Los Angeles have split the first two of their four meetings this season, with the road team winning each. The Clippers won three of the four tilts last season.
Here are five things to watch for during #SunsAtClippers.
Preventing a Clippers’ Run
The Clippers are an explosive team, as the Suns saw less than a week ago at US Airways Center when they fell to Los Angeles 104-96.
The Clippers shot lights out from the field in the third quarter making 15-of-20 field goals and 4-of-5 three-pointers as Matt Barnes led the way with 18 points in the quarter on 7-of-7 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.
Certainly, the Suns will need to prevent a similar effort from the Clippers tonight.
The Suns are in the midst of their 15th of 18 back-to-back sets this season; they are 7-8 in the first game and 7-7 in the second game (14-14 overall) with four sweeps.
When Channing Frye is extending the floor and being aggressive on offense, the Suns are a difficult team to beat.
Over the last 33 games, Frye has scored 10+ 22 times, 20+ five times and 30+ once, and is averaging 12.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and shooting .436 FG% and .389 3FG% over this 33-game span.
If Frye can get hot against the Clippers, it should allow the Suns to get out in transition and force Los Angeles into fewer double teams.
The Suns are 17-5 this season when both Marcus and Markieff Morris each score 10+ points in the same game. Even better, the Suns are 12-4 when either scores 20 or more.
The twin’s chemistry is evident on the court. In fact, they’re able to find one another in scoring position quite often relative to their teammates as 47.1 percent of Marcus’ assists this season have been to Markieff, and 34.3 percent of Markieff’s assists this season have been to Marcus .
The duo shot just 7-of-19 from the floor against the Warriors, so if they can catch fire against the Clippers it certainly bodes well for the Suns’ chances.
On the Run
The Suns are at their best when they are running and gunning.
Phoenix ranks 1st in the NBA with 19.0 fast break points per game; since 1996-97, this season tops 18.5 fast break points in 2004-05 for the Suns’ highest. The Suns have scored at least 20 fast break points in 30 of the first 61 games of the season. In 2012-13, Phoenix scored 20+ fast break points 12 times all season.
If the Suns are effective in transition, they’ll make things tough on the Clippers.
The season is winding down! Don’t miss your chance to catch arguably the “best story in the NBA” in action right here at US Airways Center! Head on over to Suns.com’s Ticket Central to get your tickets now!