Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction: Will Warriors Break Suns 18 Game Winning Streak?

NBA expert Jonathan Macri is here with his prediction and picks for the Friday night matchups between the Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns and Brooklyn Nets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves.
Jonathan Macri |
Fri, December 3, 12:07 PM EST | 4 min read
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Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction: Will Warriors Break Suns 18 Game Winning Streak?

When: Friday, December 3, 10:00 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: ESPN

Spread: Warriors -7

Total: 216.5

Click Here For Warriors vs Suns Odds

Warriors vs. Suns Prediction

On Tuesday night, the early NBA game of the year ended up as something of a dud. Yes, the final score was single digits, but this was never even a two-possession game in the final three minutes, with the Suns pulling away from the Warriors despite the loss of Devin Booker midway through this game.

It didn’t matter; Phoenix showed the mettle that has helped it secure the longest winning streak in franchise history, which was extended to 18 after a gritty home win over the Pistons last night. Specifically, their defense was otherworldly, none more so than that of Mikal Bridges on MVP front-runner Steph Curry.Curry took 21 shots in this game and made just four. It was the lowest field goal percentage of his career in a game in which he took at least 20 shots. It contributed to why the Warriors were outscored by 17 points in the 36 minutes he played.

To say that would be his worst on/off differential of the year is a bit of an understatement. Before this, he only had two games this season in which his team was outscored during his minutes, and those were a minus-1 against Charlotte and a minus-2 against the Clippers, and both of those came in the season’s first two weeks. Curry is the NBA’s on/off leader by a country mile, with a plus-268 even after this performance. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the only other player over plus-200 (plus-201, to be exact), and then after that, it’s the man who was guarding Curry all night: Mikal Bridges, at plus-188.

Mikal isn’t going anywhere, but it’s worth noting that Curry followed up those previous duds with nights of plus-14 and plus-17. Throw in the fact that he’s followed up every game in which he’s shot 33 percent or worse from deep with a 38 percent shooting performance or better. His previous three worst 3-point shooting performances (25.0 percent, 23.1 percent, and 16.7 percent) were also directly followed by three of his best (61.5 percent, 64.3 percent, and 54.5 percent).

All this is to say that a bounce back from Steph is in store. The Suns also won’t have Devin Booker for this game, and without him at home against the lowly Pistons, they won by just 11 in a game that was tight down the stretch. That was last night, so they also won’t have the benefit of rest.

All good things must come to an end, and Phoenix’s 18-game winning streak will conclude tonight. So give the points at home.

Warriors vs. Suns Pick

Brooklyn Nets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: NBA League Pass

Nets vs Timberwolves Odds

This season has featured its fair share of surprises, with the Wizards, Cavs, and Hornets all outpacing expectations while teams like the Nuggets, Blazer, and Lakers have all disappointed.

All due respect to that lot, is there any bigger shocker than the Minnesota Timberwolves? It’s not just that they’re 11-11; it’s the fact that they have a net rating that is thisclose to the top 10 teams in the league, at positive 1.2, just a hair behind the Sixers at positive 1.2. They are 7-2 in their last nine games, and over that limited sample size, they sport the NBA’s seventh-best offense and – are you sitting down? – the fifth-best defense in basketball.

It’s also not like they don’t have quality wins in recent weeks, with a 43-point demolition of the Grizzlies, a nice home win over the Heat, and a grueling victory in Philadelphia just last week. So they have every right to think they are a member of the NBA’s growing middle class, with a real shot at an outright playoff birth.

They are also about to step up in weight class. The Brooklyn Nets haven’t been great of late, following up a home loss to the Suns with a tight win over the inconsistent Knicks. They’re also depleted, with no Joe Harris to support a rotation that is suddenly lacking in shooters.

But Kevin Durant is playing like the best player in basketball, and James Harden is finally looking more like himself. This might be a more challenging call if the Wolves were 100 percent, but Karl-Anthony Towns is questionable after suffering a nasty fall on Wednesday night. At the same time, both Anthony Edwards and defensive wizard Jarred Vanderbilt are battling illnesses.

For as surprising as they’ve been, the Wolves still have six double-digit losses. They’ve only played one of the league’s five elite teams on the road, and that resulted in a 13-point loss to Golden State. This will be another 10-plus point loss. So give the points with confidence.

Nets vs. Timberwolves Pick

Jonathan Macri
@JCMacriNBA

Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.

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