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Phoenix will be looking to win consecutive games when it travels to Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon. The Suns had lost three straight games prior to their win over Orlando on Thursday. Oklahoma City had its three-game winning streak snapped in a 128-111 loss at Toronto its last time out.
Phoenix was ice-cold from the end of December to the middle of January, losing 12 out of 14 games. The Suns have been playing winning basketball since then, with their only real rough stretch coming during a three-game skid last week. They lost to three elite opponents in Sacramento, Golden State and Milwaukee before bouncing back with a 116-113 win against Orlando on Thursday. The Suns are in fourth place in the Western Conference standings, sitting 1.5 games ahead of Los Angeles. They are going to be without big man Deandre Ayton, who suffered a groin injury in the win over Orlando.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 18, 2023
He is going to miss his first game since Jan. 23, giving Jock Landale, Bismack Biyombo and Darius Bazley a chance to get extra minutes. Ayton is averaging 18.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, so he is a big absence in the lineup. However, guard Cameron Payne, who missed nearly two full months of action, is shooting 53.1% in his last 32 shots. He is averaging 15.5 points per game and is coming off an 18-point outing. Star Kevin Durant is set to miss his sixth straight game after suffering a sprained ankle on March 8. Phoenix has been disappointing offensively, ranked No. 20 in points per game (113.3). It is facing an Oklahoma City defense that is No. 20, allowing 116.3 points per contest.
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