Valanciunas and the Pelicans visit Phoenix to start playoffs
New Orleans Pelicans (36-46, eighth in the Western Conference) vs. Phoenix Suns (64-18, first in the Western Conference)
Phoenix; Sunday, 9 p.m. EDT
WESTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND: Suns host first series matchup
BOTTOM LINE: The Phoenix Suns host the New Orleans Pelicans to open the Western Conference first round. Phoenix went 3-1 against New Orleans during the regular season. The Suns won the last regular season matchup 131-115 on March 16. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27 points, and Herbert Jones led the Pelicans with 22 points.
The Suns have gone 39-13 against Western Conference teams. Phoenix scores 114.8 points while outscoring opponents by 7.5 points per game.
The Pelicans are 25-27 against Western Conference opponents. New Orleans has an 18-32 record against teams over .500.
TOP PERFORMERS: Chris Paul is averaging 14.7 points, 10.8 assists and 1.9 steals for the Suns. Booker is averaging 34.3 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 52.2% over the past 10 games for Phoenix.
Jonas Valanciunas is shooting 54.4% and averaging 17.8 points for the Pelicans. CJ McCollum is averaging 2.5 made 3-pointers over the last 10 games for New Orleans.
LAST 10 GAMES: Suns: 6-4, averaging 114.6 points, 43.3 rebounds, 27.6 assists, 8.6 steals and 4.2 blocks per game while shooting 47.7% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 113.6 points per game.
Pelicans: 7-3, averaging 114.7 points, 42.1 rebounds, 24.6 assists, 10.0 steals and 3.5 blocks per game while shooting 47.0% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 113.3 points.
INJURIES: Suns: Dario Saric: out (knee), Jae Crowder: day to day (ankle).
Pelicans: Kira Lewis Jr.: out for season (knee), Zion Williamson: out (foot).