Less than two weeks ago, the Phoenix Suns spoiled Steve Nash’s return to his former team, as they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers.
On Tuesday night, Nash will look for a measure of revenge when L.A. hosts Phoenix. The game is set to tip off at 10:30 p.m. eastern time. Viewers can watch a live stream online by purchasing NBA League Pass Broadband.
The Suns won the second matchup of the season between the two. They dominated the final quarter, outscoring the Lakers by 16 points in the fourth. No Lakers player scored 20 points. Kobe Bryant led the team with 17.
L.A. is also attempting to bounce back from a loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday. LeBron James set a team record by scoring 30 points in his fifth straight game.
In the Lakers last loss, Nash and Dwight Howard made headlines by getting into an argument in the third quarter. Nash was upset that Howard didn’t react properly when the point guard got double-teamed.
After the game, Nash expressed his frustrations about Howard’s inability to adapt to the Lakers offense.
"We'd like to get him in the pick and roll more," Nash told Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register. "I think that's how he was really good in Orlando. He'd pick and he'd dive and they'd swing and put it in to him, so he could get deeper catches and the help side has a more difficult time coming to him.”
If the L.A. wants any chance of making the playoffs, Howard is going to have to develop a better chemistry with Nash. The team is still four games under .500 and 3.5 games behind the Houston Rockets for the final postseason spot.
Despite the loss in the last matchup to the Suns, though, Los Angeles might be able to pick up a win, even without a great performance by the All-Star center. Phoenix has the worst record in the Western Conference, with just one win in February.
Even without Pau Gasol, the Lakers frontline will have a major advantage over that of the Suns. L.A. is the third-best rebounding team in the NBA, while the Suns are just 24th.
The Lakers are expected to pick up the victory at Staples Center. The consensus betting line has L.A. as nine-point favorites at Staples Center.
Prediction: Los Angeles 106, Phoenix 99