The Phoenix Suns are currently on a five-game losing streak and now head to Los Angeles to play Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the Clippers Saturday afternoon. However, those five losses have come down to the wire. In three of those losses, the Suns have had a layup in the final minute to tie or take the lead, only to see the ball not fall in the basket. And it hasn't been just one player. Shannon Brown, Michael Beasley, Goran Dragic -- they all have had their turn at layups at the end. Jermaine O'Neal ended up taking a potential game winner.
Phoenix plays a hot Clippers team that has won four straight and sits atop the Pacific Division at 12-6. However, just a season ago, the Suns took three of four games.
Phoenix could be sending a new lineup out against the Clippers. With forward Michael Beasley currently struggling, head coach Alvin Gentry said that a lineup change could be coming and that it was "more than likely" that Beasley would get moved to the bench and "could possibly be" that the change could happen today.
How that would affect the rotation will be determined, but it likely would mean that Jared Dudley would be moved into the starting lineup at small forward, where he started down the stretch last season when Grant Hill went on the shelf with his knee injury.
Phoenix is not completely healthy. P.J. Tucker sprained a knee against the Mavericks and Jermaine O'Neal was poked in the eye. Their availability is not yet known for today's game.
Gametime: 1:30 PM
Radio: Arizona Sports 620
Key stat: ball movement
In the first half of their game against the Mavericks, the Suns shot the ball 33 percent when they passed the ball once or twice in a possession. When they passed the ball three or more times? 68 percent. Isolation basketball is not good for the Suns. Alvin Gentry made the breakdown -- if you are open for a shot shoot it, if you are not, pass it.
Players to watch: Shannon Brown and Jamal Crawford in the fourth quarter
The Clippers and Suns have two of the league's top "closers." LA's Jamal Crawford and Phoenix's Shannon Brown are in the top five in fourth quarter scoring. Crawford is number one, scoring 7.9 points down the stretch. Brown is fifth with 6.1.
The fun matchup of the afternoon: Blake Griffin and Markieff Morris
Both players are athletic, athletic, athletic. Morris is playing some solid ball as a starter. He picked up a career-high 17 rebounds in his last game and was playing center down the stretch during the Suns' rally that fell short on Thursday.
Player you won't see: Grant Hill
The Aaron Nelson magic ended for Hill when he left town. He still has not appeared in a game for the Clippers this season.