The NBA In-Season Tournament's down to the quarterfinal rounds to determine the final four teams in play for a trip to Las Vegas for the NBA Cup. The New Orleans Pelicans (12-10) and Indiana Pacers (11-8) already secured their spots with wins over the Sacramento Kings (11-8) and Boston Celtics (15-5), respectively. Tonight, the Los Angeles Lakers (12-9) and Phoenix Suns (12-8) meet to decide who faces the Pelicans in the west semifinals.
The Lakers swept all four of their Group A games. First, they beat the Suns 122-119 before earning wins over the Memphis Grizzlies (134-107), Portland Trailblazers (107-95), and Utah Jazz (131-99). Thanks to a 4-0 record and a tournament-best +74 point differential, Los Angeles earned the top seed in the West quarterfinals.
Phoenix's loss to the Lakers in their first Group A game put the Suns on the back foot to start but they came back in a big way. A 131-128 win over Utah thanks to Kevin Durant's clutch shooting preceded a 120-107 win over Portland and a 110-89 victory over Memphis. The Minnesota Timberwolves also finished group play at 3-1 but the Suns earned the No. 4 seed in the tournament thanks to a better point differential.
The winner of tonight's West quarterfinal game will play the Pelicans on Thursday for a spot in the tournament final on Saturday.
Lakers vs. Suns predictions
Sportsbook Wire: Suns 117, Lakers 113
Ryan Dodson writes, "The Lakers have won 4 in a row against the Suns, including 2 early season meetings thus far. These teams aren’t that far apart, and the Suns are chomping at the bit for revenge. Also, Booker missed the first two meetings. He’ll make the difference here."
Action Network: Suns +1.5
Fetle Gebreziabher says, "The Suns are 8-2 in their last 10 games, and the Lakers have yet to play against both Durant and Booker since Durant arrived in Phonix last season. L.A. will need to pull out all the stops to contain the duo that averages 58.9 points per game — something that's easier said than done."
Pickswise: Suns win, over 228.5 points
Ben Dezell writes, "In both Suns previous losses against the Lakers, the Suns held a sizable fourth quarter lead and have controlled the game throughout, just to see the Lakers go on a late run and win the game. The presence of Booker should help the Suns close out the Lakers in the fourth quarter and hold on to advance on the road. I’ll take Suns to win this game against the Los Angeles Lakers."
Covers: Suns win
Jon Metler says, "A healthy Booker, paired with Kevin Durant, might be a good enough reason to jump on the Suns in this game. However, it’s actually what the role players bring on the defensive side of the ball that has me backing the Suns in this matchup. In their previous meeting, Keita Bates-Diop was starting for the Suns, but now they're back to using Josh Okogie in the starting lineup."
Lakers vs. Suns lines, betting odds
Spread: Lakers (-1.5)
Moneyline: Lakers (-120); Suns (+100)
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns starting lineups
Here are the projected lineups for Wednesday's regular season game, according to RotoWire:
Los Angeles Lakers:
Lakers vs. Suns injury news
G Bradley Beal
Estimated to return Dec. 12
G Eric Gordon
Estimated to return Dec. 31
Los Angeles Lakers:
C Anthony Davis
F LeBron James
Estimated to return Dec. 7
How to watch Lakers vs. Suns, TV Channel, streaming info
Game day: Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023
Game time: 10:00 p.m., ET
TV channel: TNT
Location: Los Angeles, California
Arena: crypto.com Arena
Live stream: Watch on Fubo; TNT app
NBA League Pass: The most live games plus NBA TV. Free trial
How to watch: Catch NBA action with Fubo
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lakers vs. Suns: Predictions for In-Season Tournament quarterfinal