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NBA Betting – Suns and Thunder Battle for Fifth Spot

Written by Gaby Varji   
Monday, 22 February 2010 21:16

NBA Betting OddsPhoenix Suns (34-23) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (33-21)

In the midst of a nine game winning streak, the Thunder will host a Phoenix team that has won eight of its last 10 games. Readers of BSN Sports know the Suns have struggled on the road with a 14-16 record but have won five of their last six away from Arizona. In the only meeting between the teams, Oklahoma City came away with a close 117-113 win in Phoenix on the back of Kevin Durant’s 38 points.  

Primetime Performers

Suns: Amare Stoudemire survived the trade deadline and will be looked upon to provide the brunt of the scoring after putting up 35 points in the last meeting. The team leader in points, rebounds and blocks, Stoudemire is active, athletic and will provide a matchup problem as the Thunder have no player on their roster that can guard him.

 

Thunder: Oklahoma City only goes as far as Kevin Durant’s shooting will take them. The team leader in all scoring categories, he is second in the league by averaging 29.8 points per game; trailing Lebron James by 0.2 points. Before doing sports betting know that the third year swingman out of Texas, has 27 straight games with more than 25 points and over 30 in fifteen of his last 19, it is safe to bet that he will put up another big number. One thing that gets overlooked is his ability to crash the boards. At 6’9”, he is leading the team with 7.5 rebounds a game. 

X-Factors

Suns: Steve Nash is leading the league with 11.1 assists per game and has double digit totals in nine of Phoenix’s last 10 games including 17 against the Kings on Sunday. Scoring 17.7 a game, he is a double threat who could have a big game against a young Thunder team. He is the only player in the league shooting over 50 percent from the floor, 40 from three-point and 90 from the line, a feat six players in history have accomplished, and one he has already done three times. 

Thunder: After finishing a rebound short of a triple-double on Saturday in New York, Russell Westbrook completed the feat on Sunday in Minnesota. The second year point-guard has averaged 19.6 points, 9.7 assists, 7.7 boards and 2.3 steals in seven games this month and will be counted on to put up similar numbers against one of the best in the league. He is also the secondary scorer for the Thunder, averaging 16.4 points on the season. 

The Matchup

With only three players who average double-digit scoring, the key to beating the Thunder is stopping Durant; every team knows it, but few can do it. In 54 games, he has been held under 20 points just five times including two blowouts where he played less than 25 minutes. An expert sports handicapper will know the Suns like to run and score but this athletic Thunder team is capable of big offensive numbers and should keep up with this aging Phoenix team easily. 

Pick: Thunder

 
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