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Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans Game 4 Betting Preview

The Western Conference 1st Round playoff series between the New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns is all over the place. The #1 seed Suns got the win in Game 1 as expected but then fell in Game 2 125-114 while also losing leading scorer Devin Booker.

Many people thought Phoenix was on the ropes as the series headed back to the Big Easy, but they looked almost as efficient as ever in getting a 114-111 win and taking a 2-1 series lead.

New Orleans was riding high after the Game 2 win and coming back home with the Suns losing Booker, but Phoenix showed why they have the best record in the NBA.

Instead of the Pelicans being in the driver’s seat, they are now in a must-win situation down 2-1. Oddsmakers still have the Suns just a -2.5 favorite, though.

Paul is the Point God

With Booker out for Game 3 and beyond, Chris Paul will draw most of the attention from the New Orleans defense. The 17-year veteran didn’t seem to mind on Friday night, though, going for 28 points while also dishing out 14 assists.

Paul scored 19 of his points in the 4th quarter, the same amount he had in the final frame in the 110-99 victory in Game 1, as the veteran seems comfortable waiting for things to come to him.

Paul will get his, but the biggest thing to take away from the Game 3 win was Deandre Ayton stepping up in a big way with 28 points and 17 rebounds.

Ayton had largely lost the battle on the post against the Pelicans’ Jonas Valanciunas (25 rebounds in Game 1) through the first two outings but seems ready to step up in Booker’s absence.

Ingram and McCollum Doing Their Part

If New Orleans can find a counter to Paul, they’ll be alright on Sunday night – but that’s a big “if.” Willie Green has to be wondering what more his team can do, as Brandon Ingram dropped 34 on Friday while CJ McCollum added 30.

Ingram had 37 in the Game 2 win, and McCollum has averaged 26 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in this series.

Valanciunas will need to be bigger on the blocks against Ayton for the Pelicans to have a chance at tying this series before it heads back to Phoenix.

He’s averaging 11 points and 16 rebounds in the last three games, but New Orleans used Larry Nance, Jr. at the center position for critical points on Friday. Nance, Jr. could be better, too, going just 1-8 from the floor.

Suns/Pelicans Pick and Prediction

If not for Chris Paul, the Suns are down 1-2 in this series if not 0-3. It’s easy to say that as long as New Orleans stops the hall-of-famer, they are good here, but once again, that’s easier said than done.

That being said, Phoenix barely covered the -2.5 spread on Friday despite monster outings from Paul and Ayton, and New Orleans seems to have a lot of fight in them, so take the Pelicans +2.5.

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