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Phoenix Suns vs Boston Celtics NBA Picks and Predictions for Thursday, March 14

Phoenix Suns vs Boston Celtics game preview, picks, and predictions for Thursday, March 14, 2024 at 7:30pm et.

Suns vs Celtics:

When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, March 14, 2024
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Celtics earned a 117-107 road victory against the Phoenix Suns last Saturday, but the Suns will have a much different look for the rematch Thursday in Boston.

Guard Devin Booker didn’t play in the loss to Boston because of an ankle injury, but he returned Monday and scored 27 points to help Phoenix beat host Cleveland 117-111. Booker added a team-high seven assists along with six rebounds.

“Even if you miss one game and come back the next it feels like the first game of the season,” Booker said. “Just happy to be out there with the guys. I hate not being out there with them. I can only do so much from the bench. Try to lead and talk from there, but I love being out on the court.”

Booker, who is averaging 27.5 points per game, injured his ankle March 2 against Houston when he stepped on teammate Royce O’Neale’s ankle while he was trying to guard Houston’s Fred VanVleet. The injury caused Booker to miss four games, and Phoenix went 2-2 during that stretch. The Suns are 32-19 this season when Booker plays.

“(My ankle) kind of went both ways,” Booker said. “Inverted and then a little out, which I never had before. Most of the pain was on the inside, but it healed quick. I trust my body, I trust our training staff and just took every step to make sure I could speed up the process as fast as possible.”

Kevin Durant tossed in a game-high 37 points against Cleveland, 19 of which came in the third quarter. He scored 45 in the loss to Boston.

“It’s good to have (Booker) out there,” Durant said. “His communication has been on point as always. The intangibles he brings to the game — that’s what we missed the most. Obviously his talent, it’s easy to take that for granted sometimes. We missed that, but his intangibles … talking, being there on the defensive side of the ball, playing physical.”

Boston has been dealing with injury issues as well. Jaylen Brown (sacroiliac strain), Al Horford (toe sprain) and Kristaps Porzingis (hamstring strain) all sat out Tuesday’s 123-107 win at Utah. Porzingis has missed the last three games.

Luke Kornet, Xavier Tillman and Oshae Brissett all received extra minutes against Utah. Boston was also without guard Jrue Holiday for Monday night’s 121-99 win at Portland.

“The fact that the last couple games everybody is stepping up, it’s just what we’re trying to build where we have an environment in the locker room, a culture of like it doesn’t matter who’s in, guys are ready to play at all times,” Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said.

“The professionalism that those guys have, they’re just constantly ready and I have no hesitancy putting any one of those guys in because of the work they do, and it was reflected over these (last) two games. That’s kind of what we’re trying to fight for is that depth. It’s been fun to watch.”

Boston, an NBA-best 29-3 at home this season, will look to extend its winning streak to four after a 3-2 road trip. The Suns are 17-13 on the road.

–Field Level Media

NBA Picks and Predictions:

For this Suns vs Celtics Thursday night Basketball game, I’m taking the Celtics First Quarter -130.

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