In their first clash of the campaign, the OKC Thunder pulled off an upset against former Thunder star Chris Paul as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Al Horford tallied 21 points each to rally for a 102-97 win over the Phoenix Suns.
Heading into this matchup, the visiting Phoenix Suns are in hot pursuit of pole position in the West, resting at the 2nd spot with an impressive 33-14 record behind them. Meanwhile, the OKC Thunder are well below .500 this season, currently occupying 13th place in the West with a 20-27 record.
Fixture: OKC Thunder vs Phoenix Suns Prediction - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Friday, April 2nd, 2021 10:00 PM ET. (Saturday 7:30 AM IST)
Venue: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, AZ
OKC Thunder Thunder Preview
The OKC Thunder have struggled throughout the season and appear to be heading towards the NBA lottery. Mark Daigneault's side have lost six of their past ten games. There's more trouble for the team as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been sidelined for an extended period and Luguentz Dort has also been ruled out for this contest.
The OKC Thunder will have a tough time matching up with the Phoenix Suns due to their severely depleted roster. On a positive note, the team did manage to win their previous matchup against the Toronto Raptors. Registering their 20th victory of the campaign, the OKC Thunder saw as many as seven players score in double digits, with Svi Mykhailiuk leading the pack with a team-high 22 points.
Key Player – Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
In his five years in the league, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is playing for his third team this season. In seven appearances for the OKC Thunder, the former LA Lakers man is averaging 10.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game.
With the OKC Thunder struggling with injuries, Mykhailiuk has expanded his role in the team. He has tallied a respectable combined total of 38 points in the last two games, scoring 16 points in the loss to the Dallas Mavericks en route to a 22-point performance in the win against the Raptors.
OKC Thunder Predicted Lineup
Point Guard Theo Maledon, Shooting Guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Small Forward Kenrich Williams, Power Forward Isaiah Roby, Center Moses Brown
Phoenix Suns Preview
The Phoenix Suns are getting better and better with each passing game. Monty Williams' men are on a four-game winning streak and will look to keep their hot run alive by taking another win against the shorthanded OKC Thunder squad on Friday.
The Phoenix Suns have won eight of their past ten games, solidifying their grasp on the 2nd spot in the Western Conference. Chris Paul and Devin Booker look primed to take their side to new heights in the upcoming postseason campaign.
The Phoenix Suns are coming off a big win against the new-look Chicago Bulls. The Suns witnessed as many as five players score in double digits to mark their 33rd win of the season.
Key Player - Devin Booker
Devin Booker sizzled with a 45-point outing in the win over the Bulls. He connected on 17 of 24 attempts from the field for a brilliant 70% shooting display from the floor. The Phoenix Suns have a superstar in the making with Booker. He has been on fire from the floor in their recent stretch, dropping above 20 points in his last three appearances on the NBA hardwood.
In 43 games for the Phoenix Suns, Booker is averaging 25.5 points on a terrific 49.5% shooting from the field and 35% shooting accuracy from the deep. In addition to his scoring, Devin is also tallying 4.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
Point Guard Chris Paul, Shooting Guard Devin Booker, Small Forward Mikal Bridges, Power Forward Jae Crowder, Center Deandre Ayton
Thunder vs Suns Match Prediction
For the OKC Thunder to pull off another upset will require nothing short of a miracle. With the team suffering multiple player injuries, the game could turn out to be a lopsided affair. At the other end, the Phoenix Suns are firing on all cylinders of late and will be looking at their competition as easy pickings on the night. Devin Booker has been lighting it up from the floor and could produce another monster outing at home. The Phoenix Suns are the heavy favorites to win this tie.
Where to watch Thunder vs Suns?
The game between the OKC Thunder and the Phoenix Suns will be telecast on Bally Sports Arizona and Bally Sports Oklahoma. Fans can also live stream the game via the NBA League Pass.