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Takeaways From Devin Booker, Suns Shining In Bubble

The seeding schedules are winding down in the NBA bubble, but there are still playoff spots up for grabs. The Dallas Mavericks have secured the No. 7 seed in the West, putting them on a collision course with the No. 2 seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the first round, but the Phoenix Suns are still in the hunt for a chance at the postseason. The Mavs may rest some key players in this matchup in order to prepare for the playoffs, which start on Monday, as the Suns attempt to keep their postseason hopes — and perfect bubble record — alive.

This game has a lot of implications for the play-in game in the West for the final playoff spot, so here’s everything you need to know about Thursday’s Mavericks-Suns matchup.

How to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Aug. 13 | 4 p.m. ET
  • Location: Disney Wide World of Sports — Orlando, Florida
  • TV: TNT
  • Odds: Suns -9 | O/U: 236.5


Mavericks: Despite all the opportunity in the world to move up the Western Conference standings, the Mavericks started out their seeding schedule going 0-2, including a loss to the Suns. There was still hope that they could avoid a first-round matchup with the Clippers if they had won their previous game against the Trail Blazers, but a 61-point performance from Damian Lillard squashed that dream. Now all Dallas can do is prepare as best it can to play the dominant Clippers in the first round. Since there’s nothing else to play for in terms of seeding for the Mavs, it wouldn’t be surprising if some key players sat out for load management purposes. On the 11 a.m. injury report, Kristaps Porzingis was listed as doubtful, while Seth Curry, Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith were all probable. Luka Doncic wasn’t on the report, so he could be playing in this game. 

Suns: After shocking the world and going undefeated up to this point in the bubble, Phoenix is in prime position to make the play-in game for the final playoff spot in the West. The Suns will be playing with all the motivation in the world, as a win coupled with either a loss by the Blazers or Grizzlies would give them the No. 9 spot in the West, thus qualifying them for the play-in game. A loss to the Mavs will eliminate them from the postseason, putting an end to an inspiring run in the bubble. Devin Booker has been absolutely electric leading this team with his scoring, while Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Payne have provided Booker with the long-awaited help he’s desperately needed since being drafted there five years ago. 

Game prediction

Assuming the Mavericks take it easy in this game, the Suns should win this one without a problem. We might see Doncic, Curry and other key players in the first half, but once the second half rolls around Mavs coach Rick Carlisle could lean heavily on his bench to finish out the game. Phoenix, meanwhile, will be going all out for the entirety of the game to secure a win to keep them in the running for the postseason. Pick: Suns -9


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