The Phoenix Suns were handed a 113-107 road loss by the Golden State Warriors. The season matchup between the two teams ends in a tie, 2-2. The Warriors remain in 6th while the Suns drop to 8th in the West, thanks in part the Dallas Mavericks' victory over the Indiana Pacers today.
Phoenix got off to a fast start, with Goran Dragic, Gerald Green and PJ Tucker leading the way. The Suns shot 60% from the field and 50% from three in the first quarter to take a 29-22 lead into the second. Goran Dragic registerd 6 points and 4 assists, while PJ Tucker pulled down 5 rebounds to go with his 5 points.
Alex Len as also very active early in his third straight start, as he drew a foul on a dunk attempt (split the free throws) and had a great block that led to a fastbreak score for Phoenix. He definitely made his presence felt on the defensive end as he contested several other shots with his length and energy. He's flashing more and more of his potential each game, folks.
The pace picked up even more in the second quarter, as the Suns struggled to defend the Warriors. Luckily, they were mostly able to keep up with Golden State on the offensive end, as they scored 32 points in the quarter to counter the Warriors' 34. The Warriors got within a point near the end of the half, but Goran Dragic hit two straight threes (the second one with 0.5 seconds left) to give the Suns a 5 point lead heading into the locker room, 61-56.
At the end of the first half, Dragic had 14 points and 6 assists, while Curry tallied 9 points and 3 assists. Gerald Green also had a great half with 14 points. David Lee was the leading scorer for Golden State with 12.
The Warriors came out firing in the third quarter, quickly erasing the Suns' 5 point lead and even going on a run to take a 9 point lead midway through the period. The Suns defense continued to give up open looks from three and Klay Thompson made them pay. Thompson, who had just 5 points at halftime, caught fire and scored 11 in 7 minutes to fuel a 13-2 run. Making things even worse for Phoenix was their struggle to score in the third half.
At the end of the third, Golden State led 94-78. The Suns gave up 38 points on 73% shooting to the Warriors in the third, while shooting just 31% themselves.
The Suns were able to chip into the Warriors' lead slowly but surely in the fourth, with Markieff Morris and Goran Dragic being aggressive on the offensive end. Phoenix eventually tightened up their defense a bit and cut away at the deficit to make it a 6 point game with just under 4 minutes left. The Suns even had the ball down 4 with 15 seconds left, but Goran Dragic stepped on the out of bounds line and gave the ball back to Golden State. Steve Blake missed two free throws (right after Andre Iguodala missed two) but the Suns couldn't capitalize, as Marcus Morris airballed a tough three. The Warriors held on and ended the night with a 113-107 victory.
This was always going to be a tough road game for the Suns against a healthy Warriors team. The game was essentially lost in the third quarter, which was the Warriors' highest scoring quarter of the season. The defense really needs a boost. Fortunately, Eric Bledsoe is returning in the next couple days.
It's going to be a tight race to the postseason.