The Phoenix Suns missed a chance to reach .500 and now look to avoid heading into a downward spiral when they visit the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. Phoenix lost to Portland in the opener of a five-game trip and visits to Washington, New York and San Antonio are on the horizon following the matchup with the Nets.
The Suns are adjusting to interim coach Jay Triano and won two straight games after his promotion before falling 114-107 to the Trail Blazers on Saturday. “I thought we played the right way,” Triano told reporters. “I didn’t think we finished our shots down the stretch, but we put ourselves in a position, on the road, to win a game. I give our guys a lot of credit.” Brooklyn has suffered two straight defeats after Sunday’s 124-111 home loss to the Denver Nuggets. Beating the Suns also ranks as high priority for the Nets as a five-game road trip follows Tuesday’s contest.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona-Plus (Phoenix), YES (Brooklyn)
ABOUT THE SUNS (2-4): Phoenix began the season in turmoil with three straight losses before the firing of coach Earl Watson and the banishment of guard Eric Bledsoe after he expressed he didn’t want to remain with the club. The competitiveness has increased and the attitude has approved with the upfront Triano at the helm, and the club is also waiting on standout shooting guard Devin Booker to hit a sustained groove. Booker, who turned 21 on Monday, had his best scoring game (34 points) of the season against Portland for the 21st 30-point outing of his young career.
ABOUT THE NETS (3-4): Backup point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is displaying signs of being a solid contributor by scoring a career-high 22 points in two of the past three games. The 24-year-old Dinwiddie has picked up extra minutes lately with starter D’Angelo Russell dealing with a knee injury and he is averaging 11 points and 5.6 assists after having averages of 7.3 and 3.1, respectively, last season. Russell averaged just 21 minutes over the past two games and was 3-of-12 shooting while scoring 12 points against the Nuggets.
1. The Nets won last season’s two meetings by an average of 23 points and have taken the last four overall matchups.
2. Brooklyn F Quincy Acy (groin) will miss his second straight game while F DaMarre Carroll (ankle) is expected to play after a one-game absence.
3. Phoenix G Mike James is 3-of-18 shooting over the past two games.
PREDICTION: Nets 127, Suns 120