After splitting the first two games in Phoenix the Suns and Trail Blazers arrive in Portland tonight for Game 3.
The first two games of this series have gone very differently. With leading scorer Brandon Roy out indefinitely the Blazers were an 8.5-point underdog in Game 1, but shocked the Suns in a 105-100 win. Andre Miller carried the Blazers with a game-high 31 points and eight assists, while Marcus Camby ruled the glass with 17 rebounds.
Steve Nash had a solid showing for Phoenix with 25 points and nine assists, but Amar’e Stoudemire wasn’t a big factor with 18 points on 8-of-19 shooting and eight rebounds.
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The Suns struck back quickly in Game 2, routing the Blazers 119-90 as an 8.5-point favorite. Jason Richardson shot 11-of-16 to lead Phoenix with 29 points and Grant Hill turned back the clock with 20 points on 10-of-11 shooting and eight rebounds. Nash only put up 13 points, but chipped in as a playmaker with 16 assists.
While the Suns offense took off in the Game 2 the Trail Blazers slumped. Hill took over the defensive assignment on Miller in place of Richardson and limited him to 12 points. Martell Webster led Portland in scoring with only 16 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had only 11 points, down from 22 in Game 1.
After the different outcomes in the first two games of the series the odds have changed dramatically as the series shifts to Portland. The oddsmakers have listed Game 3 as a pickem.
Also on tap tonight is Game 3 between Cleveland and Chicago and the Lakers and Oklahoma City.
The Cavaliers own a 2-0 series lead after thrashing Chicago at home in the first two games of the series. Will the change of venue change the Bulls fate in Game 3? The Bulls did defeat the Cavs that last time they met up at the United Center, but LeBron James didn’t play in that game so it may not be repeated tonight. Cleveland is a 3.5-point favorite tonight after winning the first two games of the series by double digits.
The Lakers are also up 2-0 in their series with the Thunder, but they haven’t been crushing Oklahoma City like Cleveland has Chicago. In Game 2 the Lakers won 95-92 behind 39 points from Kobe Bryant, but failed to cover the 5.5-point spread. The Thunder’s only win against the Lakers this season came at home back in March and they’re a 3.5-point favorite.
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Odds Shark Staff Mon, May 23, 9:21am