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Suns to rest core four Friday vs. Lakers

Phoenix will rest Kevin Durant, Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker and Chris Paul on Friday night vs. LeBron James and L.A.

The Phoenix Suns look on during the game against the Denver Nuggets on April 6, 2023 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.  Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are locked into the 4th seed in the Western Conference Playoffs heading into the end of the regular season. As a result, the Suns are expected to rest Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul on Friday night vs. the Los Angeles Lakers, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Update — The Suns made the news official and won’t play their four top players against the Lakers.

The Suns aren’t moving up or down in the standings at 45-35 on the season. There are a few teams Phoenix can face in the 4-5 matchup in the first round. The Lakers are among those teams. The other three are the New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, all of whom are separated by a game in the standings with two contests left. If you’re the Suns, you aren’t worrying so much about first-round matchups.

The Suns are 12.5 point underdogs on DraftKings Sportsbook against the Lakers on Friday. Expect Cameron Payne, Josh Okogie, Terrence Ross, Torrey Craig and Bismack Biyombo to get the bulk of the minutes and potentially make up the starting lineup. Landry Shamet, Damion Lee and Jock Landale should also see plenty of playing time.