Looking for the definition of a trap game? The Phoenix Suns beat the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday in one of the biggest early-season NBA games in years to tie a franchise record with a 17th straight victory. Alas, the Suns lost leading scorer Devin Booker in that game to a hamstring injury, and he will not play tonight against the visiting Detroit Pistons, who are on a seven-game winning streak. Did we mention the Suns play again vs. the Warriors on Friday? Phoenix is -12 vs. the Pistons, a spread that already has dropped a point. Click here for model picks.
Booker left Tuesday's spectacular game against the Warriors in the second quarter with a hamstring injury, and that the Suns still won 104-96 was very impressive. They capped off the month of November with a 16-0 record, the most wins in a month without a loss in franchise history. With a win tonight, the Suns would move to 19-3 on the season, matching the franchise record for best record through the first 22 games of a season (2004-05 season). No Suns team has won 18 games in a row.
While Booker's injury isn't serious, he will not play Thursday or surely Friday, either. He averages 23.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists and hadn't missed a game this year. Phoenix was 3-2 without him last season. Landry Shamet should start in Booker's place, but that weakens a bench already without Frank Kaminsky and Abdul Nader.
Detroit is one of the NBA's worst teams again at 4-17 and on that seven-game skid, but rookie Cade Cunningham is starting to play like the No. 1 overall pick he was in this year's draft. On Sunday, he had a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double in a loss at the Lakers and on Tuesday in Portland, he had a career-high 26 points on 10-for-13 shooting. Cunningham is now a +250 second-favorite at Caesars Sportsbook to win NBA Rookie of the Year behind Cleveland's Evan Mobley (+230).
Since 2015-16, Detroit holds a 10-2 record against the Suns. The teams split last season. The losing team has been held under 100 points in 15 of the last 25 in the series.
This writer backed the Pistons because of the letdown/trap likelihood and no Booker.
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