Clippers vs. Suns: Trends Suggest Backing Suns

Jacob McKenna previews Thursday's Western Conference tilt between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns.

Clippers vs. Suns Odds

Clippers Odds +1.5
Suns Odds -1.5
Over/Under 223.5
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Los Angeles Clippers will make the short journey to Phoenix on Thursday to take on the Suns in a Western Conference matchup.

After grabbing a win against Sacramento on Tuesday the Suns own a 32-27 record, good enough for the No. 4 seed in the West. The Clippers find themselves not too far behind, also coming into this matchup off a win and with a 32-28 record.

The Western Conference has been as competitive as ever with just 1.5 games separating the fourth and 10th seeds. That makes every matchup from here on out a crucial one.

Here are the odds and a prediction for the Los Angeles Clippers vs Phoenix Suns matchup.

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Los Angeles Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers have had an up-and-down February, going 3-3.

LA’s most recent game was a big win at home against the Warriors. In that matchup, we saw the Clippers shoot an incredible 47% from behind the arc and 53% from the floor overall, a sign this offense is clicking and could be finding a groove.

However, what has hindered Los Angeles from soaring up the Western Conference standings has been its play on the defensive end of the floor, something a team with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George normally does not have to worry about.

Since January 1st, the Clippers have posted a 117.3 Defensive Rating. That rating ranks 21st in the NBA in that span and is more than a 7.0-point increase from the team’s Defensive Rating of 110.0 in the 38 games prior.

Production on that end of the floor has tanked because the Clippers are allowing their opponents to shoot 40.7% from behind the arc since 2023 began, a percentage that ranks 30th in the NBA. LA will need to clean things up on the defensive end if it wants to stay competitive in this one.

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns made arguably the biggest move of the year at the trade deadline, sending Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, Cam Johnson and a handful of draft picks to Brooklyn for Kevin Durant.

That trade did raise some questions about how Phoenix would perform in the short term as Durant is still sidelined with a knee injury, but the Suns have also had some key players return to the lineup.

Devin Booker returned from a groin injury on February 7th and since his return the Suns have played great basketball. Phoenix is 3-0 with Booker back on the floor, and it appears he has not skipped a beat as he is averaging 24.0 points per game on 49% shooting in just 26 minutes.

The defensive end of the floor is where Phoenix has shined as of late. According to, the Suns are holding opponents to 45% shooting overall and just 32.8% from behind the arc since Booker’s return. That has led to Phoenix posting a 109.2 Defensive Rating in that time.

The Suns may have lost some perimeter offense and defense in the Durant trade, and although Durant has yet to step on the floor, this team looks like one that can compete for the Western Conference title now that Booker is healthy again.

Clippers-Suns Pick

The Clippers have made up for their lack of defensive production with great play on the offensive end of the floor, but I think the Suns’ defense will get the job done and allow Phoenix to keep this game close.

Los Angeles has struggled defensively as the road team all season long. has the Clippers listed with a 115.6 Defensive Rating while on the road. Norman Powell will be out for this matchup, so it will be much more difficult to make up for that decrease in defensive production on the offensive end.

Additionally, according to TeamRankings, the Clippers own a 16-18 Against the Spread record against Western Conference opponents. Meanwhile, the Suns are 21-14 ATS against the West.

I’ll take the better defensive team in this one and back Phoenix.

Pick: Suns -1.5 (-110)