The Phoenix Suns (12-18) and Los Angeles Lakers (17-12) will meet up Friday night in a Western Conference matchup inside the Staples Center

Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers will look to move their home record to 9-0 against Western Conference opponents Friday night

Phoenix will look to snap a three-game losing streak that includes a 101-99 loss to the Atlanta Hawks as one-point home underdogs on Wednesday night.  The Suns managed to go “over” the posted total of 187.5 in that contest, but have gone “under” in four of their last five games.  The team is 7-10 on the road this year, which includes a dismal 3-9 mark versus Western Conference opponents.  Phoenix is 10-11 ATS as an underdog this year.

The Suns will meet up with the Lakers for two games in three days, looking to exact revenge from a 99-83 loss in the first series meeting this year as 7.5-point road underdogs on Jan. 10.  Including this affair, Phoenix has played 14 of its last 20 games away from the US Airways Center.  The team has shown great improvement on the defensive end from a franchise perspective, holding opponents to 44.9 percent shooting, which is the ninth-lowest in the franchise’s 44-year history.

Los Angeles has won two games in a row and pushed its February record to 3-3 with an 86-78 victory over the Atlanta Hawks as 5.5-point home favorites.  The Lakers are 12-2 at home this season, which includes a perfect 8-0 mark versus Western Conference opponents.  Defense has been the name of the game under first-year head coach Mike Brown, with the team holding opponents to just 90.4 points scoring, which is 5.0 points fewer than the 2010-11 campaign.  Los Angeles is 3-0 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points.

The Lakers are 18-7 all-time against the Suns when playing inside the Staples Center, including a 7-3 mark during regular-season games.  Los Angeles is still being led offensively by star guard Kobe Bryant, who is leading the NBA in scoring 28.7 points per game, but has struggled in the first half of the team’s last three games.  The All-Star has managed to hit just 21.7 percent of his shot attempts in that situation.  Los Angeles has won nine of the last 10 games in this series inside Friday night’s venue.

Bettors will likely back the Lakers due to their 7-3 ATS mark versus losing road teams, while the Suns are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games as a road underdog of 5.0 to 10.5 points.

Recommendation: Los Angeles Lakers -8

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