Suns’ Deandre Ayton (ankle) upgraded to questionable vs. Timberwolves

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Suns center Deandre Ayton on losses - 'I'm not used to the no fight in us'

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (left ankle sprain) has been upgraded to questionable for Friday night’s road game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Chris Paul (hip) and Landry Shamet (hip) are out.

Jae Crowder (personal), Devin Booker (groin), Cameron Payne (foot), and Cameron Johnson (knee) remain out indefinitely. Halfway through the 2022-23 season, Phoenix is 21-22 and ranks seventh in the Western Conference.

According to notable NBA betting sites, the Suns have the 11th-best odds to win the championship. A few sportsbooks are giving the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers better odds.

Ayton has missed six games this season. Through 37 starts, fifth-year center is averaging 17.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, and a career-high 2.0 assists per game. He’s also shooting 59.2% from the floor and 33.3% beyond the arc.

On Dec. 28, in the Suns’ 127-102 loss versus the Washington Wizards, Ayton recorded a season-high 31 points in 37 minutes of action. He finished 14-of-22 (63.6%) shooting from the field and knocked down one 3-pointer.

Suns guards Chris Paul (hip) and Landry Shamet (hip) are out, center Deandre Ayton (ankle) is questionable against Timberwolves on Friday

For the Timberwolves’ injury report, Kyle Anderson (illness), Taurean Prince (ankle), and Anthony Edwards (hip) are all listed as questionable. Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) and Jordan McLaughlin (calf) remain out indefinitely.

Phoenix has won just two of its last 10 games. The Suns’ 125-113 win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday eliminated their six-game losing streak. However, they’re 1-5 in their past six road games.

Moreover, Phoenix is 5-1 ATS in its previous six matchups against Minnesota. And the team has won its last six meetings versus the Timberwolves. But the Wolves have also failed to cover the spread in their past nine contests played on a Friday.

As for Minnesota, the struggling team is not playing any better than Phoenix. Of course, the Timberwolves are 4-6 in their last 10 contests. Though, at least Minnesota is 4-1 in its past five games. To add to these betting trends, the Wolves have covered the spread in their previous five matchups versus Western Conference opponents.

Furthermore, the Suns won the first two meetings of the season series. They defeated Minnesota 116-107 on Nov. 1 and 129-117 eight days later. Phoenix is 7-15 away, 16-11 as a favorite, and 4-11 as an underdog.

On the other side, the Timberwolves are 12-9 at home, 13-9 as a favorite, 7-13 as an underdog, and 20-22 overall. Sportsbooks have not yet released the betting lines for Friday night’s game. Nonetheless, per ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, Minnesota has a 64.6% chance of defeating the Suns.