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Game Preview: Suns-Warriors ROUND TWO as Suns look to extend franchise-record streak

Booker-less Phoenix Suns will face their toughest challenge this season as they try to build on their record against Curry and the Warriors

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Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

What: Phoenix Suns (19-3) vs Golden State Warriors (18-3)

When: 8:00 p.m. AZ time

Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA

Watch: ESPN, Bally Sports Arizona

Listen: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM


Just a few days ago, the Phoenix Suns won what was arguably their biggest game of the season. Well, their biggest game of the season at that point. Tonight, they will face their new biggest game of the season so far, against that same team, on the road, on the second night of a back to back, without Devin Booker, all while looking to extend what already is a franchise record breaking 18 win streak.

The Suns will arrive at San Francisco just one night after a historic game against the Detroit Pistons that, if we’re all being honest, should have ended much sooner than it did. After building up a big lead in the first half, they had to once again prove why they are the best team in the clutch to regain some sort of comfort only in the final minutes of the game.

Now, they will face a rested and revenge hungry Golden State Warriors and front runner for MVP Stephen Curry in their home court. Steph will be looking to rebound from what was the worst shooting performance he ever had when shooting 20+ shots while Golden State try to reclaim the spot they have just lost to the Suns atop the NBA standings.

The game has gotten so much hype, it has even usurped a Lakers x Clippers matchup originally planned to be nationally televised by ESPN, as the nation stops to see the two best teams fight it out and see who ends the night with the best record in the league.


Projected Starting Lineups:

Suns:

  • Chris Paul
  • Landry Shamet
  • Mikal Bridges
  • Jae Crowder
  • Deandre Ayton

Warriors:

  • Steph Curry
  • Jordan Poole
  • Andrew Wiggins
  • Draymond Green
  • Kevon Looney

Injury Report:

Suns:

Dario Saric (out), Frank Kaminsky (out), Abdel Nader (out), Devin Booker (out)

Warriors:

Klay Thompson (out), Andre Iguodala (out), James Wiseman (out), Damion Lee (out), Moses Moody (day-to-day)


Suns Report:

Phoenix comes into this one after a game that should not have been as hard fought as it was against the Pistons at home. Nonetheless, the Suns held off the Pistons second half runs and broke their franchise win streak record, leaving behind the seven seconds or less 06-07 team. This in itself is a major accomplishment for this team and should give them an extra level of confidence going into tonight’s game.

They will still have to face the Warriors without Booker though, as Landry Shamet is the likely substitute in the starting line-up. It will be interesting to see what other adjustments Monty makes to the rotation, as he had to rely on Elfrid Payton and Ish Wainright last night. Ish had a decent game in his limited capacity and minutes (1 assist and 1 steal in 4 minutes), but Payton did not (1 rebound and 1 assist, 0-3 FG in almost 10 minutes), and there will not be much room for that against Golden State. Cam Payne, Cam Johnson and Landry Shamet will be key as the team knows they can only survive Booker’s absence with a complete team effort to account for his scoring.

However, all the national Focus will be on CP3, Ayton and Mikal Bridges. CP3 currently leads the league in assists and steals, but he may be asked to do a little bit more in terms of scoring with Booker out. On top of that, he will need to keep up his impressive performances against Curry led teams.

Meanwhile, Ayton will need to show up once again and take advantage of his size against a smaller Warriors squad. And finally, Mikal Bridges will be on the spot trying to stop the best shooter of all time once again. His performance in their last game was so impressive, the national eyes will be looking for a repeat, and another impressive showing will catapult his stock in the early DPOY conversations.


Warriors Report:

The Warriors are looking for revenge, and they got their home crowd behind them tonight. After getting their own 7 game win streak broken by the Suns in their last game, they will be looking to reclaim their spot atop the league rankings against what is now the best team in the league. On top of that, they carry the best home record in the NBA right now at 11-1, having won their last 10.

Stephen Curry in particular will be looking to have a big game. And as much as Mikal is a great defender, there’s no arguing Curry is an all-time great, and that type of player, with the right type of motivation, is dangerous. Add all of that to their rest advantage and you can understand why the national media is suddenly very eager to cover this, as it would come as a surprise to no one if Curry has a massive game tonight.


For more on Suns-Warriors and what’s been so great about the Suns, check out our exclusive interview with Chris Herring of SI.com this week...


Prediction Time:

The Suns are rolling, but after breaking the record and facing one of their toughest games of the Season so far, it may be the time where the streak comes to an end: I predict a close 112-107 loss tonight.