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Game of the Year candidates are, by design, rare. The best teams can only play one another so many times, after all, as no NBA teams play each other more than four times across the entire regular season. That is what makes this week such a rare and precious thing for the league. The two best teams in the NBA -- the 18-2 Golden State Warriors and 17-3 Phoenix Suns -- aren't just going to play one another once. Between now and Friday, they're going to face off twice. 

The first of those two battles is Tuesday night, when Phoenix will put its 16-game winning streak on the line in its home building when those Warriors come to town. A brief two-day hiatus will follow before they battle again on Friday, and when the dust settles, we'll have not only a new favorite for the Western Conference crown, but perhaps the NBA title as well. This will be just the fifth game in NBA history in which the teams have a combined .875 winning percentage, per ESPN, and the first in league history in which both teams have won more than 85 percent of their games and are on at least a seven-game winning streak. Here's how you can tune into the clash of the titans.

Viewing information

  • Date: Tuesday, Nov. 30 | 10 p.m. ET
  • Location: Footprint Center -- Phoenix, Arizona
  • TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT  
  • Odds: PHO -135; GS + 115 | Over/Under: 222.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors

Storylines

Suns: Phoenix is already in rarefied air with this winning streak. Beating 16 straight opponents is nothing to sneeze at, but escaping this two-game set with the Warriors is what will put the Suns on the path to a truly historic streak. One more win would tie their franchise record for consecutive wins; they can set a new mark if they reach 18 in a row.

If Phoenix manages to win both meetings along with the Pistons game in between, it will become just the eighth team in NBA history to win 19 straight. The schedule eases up a bit from there, as the Suns won't play another game against an opponent currently seeded in the top three in their conference until … their Christmas date with the Warriors. 

In other words, getting past Golden State is going to give the Suns a chance at one of the great winning streaks in NBA history. The Warriors know all about those. They themselves were the last team to win at least 20 in a row when they did so to kick off the 2015-16 season. They got to 24 in a row that season, 28 if you count the four games they won at the end of the previous campaign. Phoenix isn't quite in that territory yet, but beating the Warriors twice this week starts the conversation. 

Warriors: The Suns are chasing NBA history. The Warriors are chasing their own history. They have won 90 percent of their games thus far this season. Winning 90 percent of their games over the course of a full season would give them a record of roughly 74-8. Such regular-season dominance seemed impossible as recently as a few years ago. The 2015-16 Warriors showed us otherwise with an incredible 73-9 season. Thus far, nobody has really entertained the possibility that they could match that record this season. Two wins against the Suns might change that. 

The Warriors know just how hard it is to sustain such dominance across an entire regular season. It takes more than stellar play. It takes near-perfect health and luck as well. There's no guarantee that the Warriors get either. They haven't even had the health component yet with Klay Thompson still out. After their experience in the 2016 playoffs, they might not even want to go for regular-season history. But every marker of regular-season dominance suggests that these Warriors are more than your average November juggernaut. They've absolutely decimated their opponents with a plus-13.6 net rating. They're deeper than the 2015-16 team and rank higher on defense as well. Comparisons between those two Warriors teams aren't fair yet. In a few days, they might be. 

Prediction, Picks

This is probably a cop out, but don't overthink this one. The Warriors and Suns play twice this week. Each team gets to host the other once. At the level these teams are playing at, both should likely be favored in their own building. Neither has displayed any discernible regular-season weakness for the other to exploit in this setting, and both will likely need the tape from these battles to find holes they can exploit in later postseason matchups. For now, just take the home team and enjoy the ride. 


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