The Suns once again got down 20+ in the first half (23 after one), cut it to a possession or two (several times in the 4th), then lost in the final minutes when the better team executed.
Golden State beat the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, 120-111.
Tyler Ulis had 20 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds for the Suns, while Devin Booker struggled to 21/5/3. Booker just didn’t have the juice on this night.
Jared Dudley had a season high 19 points, plus 6 assists and 7 rebounds in a yeoman’s effort to help the Suns get back in the game.
Stephen Curry finished with 42 points (23 in the first quarter), plus 11 assists, while Klay Thompson had 22 points.
Out for Golden State: Kevin Durant (knee), Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala (rest)
Out for the Suns: Leandro Barbosa (creaky), Eric Bledsoe (long rest), Brandon Knight (long rest), Tyson Chandler (long rest)
In for Golden State: Patrick McCaw and James Michael McAdoo to the starting lineup with Zaza, Steph and Klay.
In for the Suns: T.J. Warren returns from being sick. Dragan Bender’s ankle looks fine. Everyone else good to go.
The Warriors first shot went to Zaza Pachulia, but after that they got off the mat on a Stephen Curry three and a few more nice shots of good passing.
The Suns tried to keep close, but couldn’t get multiple shots so they were one and done on too many trips.
Curry made his first four threes, just abusing Tyler Ulis off screens from Pachulia and others.
The Warriors also got good effort from McAdoo, twice getting big offensive rebounds to keep Warrior possessions alive for scores.
Quickly, the Warriors were up 19-11 with Curry scoring 16 of those points.
And then 29-13 when Curry made his FIFTH three of the night in only nine minutes of play, giving him 21 of the Warriors 29 points. The only blight on Curry’s shooting record was free throws - making on 2 of 4, versus 5/6 threes and 7/9 overall from the field.
Soon the score got to 35-15 Warriors. The Suns were hurting themselves almost as much as the Curry was. Missed layups, putback dunks, bad passes, everything going wrong.
The quarter ended with the Warriors up 41-18, the last on a crazy three off a loss ball that was a pass but just happened to go in.
The Suns shot 28% in the opening quarter, while the Warriors shot 61.5%.
Not a great start.
The second quarter opened with both Derrick Jones Jr. and Dragan Bender both unable to make point blank layups. Not a great night for Dragan, everything coming up short from every distance.
Booker had a tough night as well, heightened by a major collision with a ref after a steal that caused Booker to knock his head on the court and stay down for a minute or two.
Of course, when Stephen Curry sat down the Warriors lost their way a little bit and let the Suns back into the game.
Bu mid-second quarter, the Suns had cut the 23-point deficit to 9, on the strength of some strong plays from Jared Dudley and Alan Williams.
Even when Stephen Curry returned, the Suns somehow kept the game close. Tyler Ulis overcame his bad start after Derrick Jones Jr. took over defensive duties on Steph. Ulis made a couple of tough shots, and he and Booker helped the Suns cut the Warriors lead to 6.
Warriors up only 6 at half, 58-52
Jared Dudley had a very good all-around first half with 6 points (two big threes), 4 assists and 4 rebounds. Derrick Jones Jr. was all over the place, with 7 points, 4 rebounds and a block.
“Big Sauce” Alan Williams had 6 points and 9 rebounds, recovering his active self on the night he won the 2016-17 Majerle Hustle Award.
For the Warriors, Stephen Curry was superb - 28 points on 10-15 shooting - but Klay Thompson was an unusual 0-6 from three, 2-11 overall for only 6 points. No reason he won’t fix that in the second half.
The Suns cut the lead even further to start the second half, but then missed a few shots and the Warriors activity got them a few scores to push the lead back to 13. McAdoo and McCaw provided some good length on defense and got to the rim on offense.
Once again, the Suns slopped up the game and got it back down to 8 on a great feed from Tyler Ulis to a cutting Derrick Jones Jr. They had multiple chances to make it 6, but couldn’t find the net.
And then later, when they had a chance to cut the lead to five, Booker missed a pair of open threes that had the crowd SO ready to cheer.
And then Curry makes a three off a tipped ball and the lead was soon back to 11.
The Warriors stretched it to 13 when JaVale McGee made a pair of free throws off a questionable foul call.
Warriors up 91-78 after three.
The fourth quarter started just as ugly as the middle quarters, with the Warriors clinging to that 13-point lead.
Did I say the game was ugly? It was definitely was.
Still the Suns got the score within 9 with 6:18 left and then 3 with 4 minutes left.
Only a big-time defensive play by Curry and then Barnes (a bad flop, then what should have been a flagrant but only a common foul), sandwiching a huge three by Curry got the game back to comfortable for Golden State.
Klay Thompson hit some huge shots.