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In what could amount to be the most pivotal game of the Western Conference Finals, the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers will meet on Tuesday night in NBA playoff betting action.
Los Angeles Lakers (-1) @ Phoenix Suns
Tuesday May 25th, 2010
9:00 ET, US Airways Arena
Los Angeles Notes: You just know that G Kobe Bryant is going to be in the ears of his teammates after a Game 3 loss to the Suns two nights ago. Bryant did everything possible, as he scored 36 points, had 11 assists, and pulled down nine rebounds on the night. However, his team's inside game and its defense were absolutely woeful. C Andrew Bynum probably shouldn't be involved in this series any longer, as he only played eight minutes in Game 3 and committed four fouls. F Lamar Odom had a pair of big games in Tinseltown but didn't ultimately come up with the right stuff on Sunday when he shot 4/14 from the floor and tallied just ten points. Jackson will have to be careful about letting his team become three-happy, as taking 32 triples as the Lakers did in Game 3 probably won't cut it again, particularly if they plan on converting just 28.1 percent of those shots as they did that night. F Pau Gasol has had three great games in this series, averaging 24.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, but unless he is going to get plenty of help from some other big men, LA could be in some trouble.
Phoenix Notes: The Suns ran, and ran, and continued to run some more against the Lakers on Sunday night, but it was the defense that finally showed at least a bit of a pulse that trimmed this series deficit in half. LA "only" shot 48.3 percent from the floor, which was by far its worst percentage of the Western Conference Finals. Forcing 17 turnovers was critical, because it kept the tempo of the game up. Phoenix held an 18-3 advantage in fast break points in the game, a stat that it usually dominates. Speaking of domination, what about that effort that F Amare Stoudemire had in Game 3? The big man his 14 of his 22 shots from the field and converted on 14 more free throws to ultimately end up with a playoff high 42 points to go with 11 boards. His partner in crime on the inside helped out as well, as C Robin Lopez scored 20 points. HC Alvin Gentry has to be worried about his bench, though. The unit hit just three shots from the floor in Game 3. C Channing Frye has been particularly miserable, as he is shooting just 1/20 in this series.
Current NBA Betting Odds: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns Game 4
Trends of Note: Phoenix is now 37-18-1 ATS in its L/56 home games. The Suns are also 34-16-1 ATS in their L/51 games overall and are a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS at US Airways Arena since losing to the Trail Blazers in the opening game of the postseason. Phoenix has covered four of its L/5 games as underdogs of less than five points and is 5-1 ATS in its L/6 games following an SU victory. As for the Lakers, they are 6-1 ATS in their L/7 games after scoring at least 100 points in their previous effort. They're also 5-1 ATS in their L/5 Western Conference Finals clashes, and are 4-1 ATS in their L/5 playoff betting affairs as favorites. In respect to the series between these teams, the home side is 8-1 ATS in the L/9 battles, while the favorite has covered four straight spreads.
The Final Word: Kobe and the gang aren't going to want to come back to Phoenix after they leave tonight. Winning Game 4 would be paramount for putting the Suns down once and for all. With the war of words going on between these two teams, giving Phoenix even a shred of hope in this series could be devastating. Expect the Lakers to come out and take care of business on the road, setting up what should be the fifth and final game of this series at Staples Center on Thursday night.
Free Picks: Los Angeles 106 – Phoenix 102