After over a month without losing a game, the Phoenix Suns finally let one go against the Golden State Warriors, losing a 118-96 game and putting an end to the historic and franchise-record breaking 18 game winning streak.
Without Devin Booker and with a poor performance from their bench, especially Cam Payne - who was a game low -30 — the Suns shot only 38% from the field (36% from three) and relied mostly on free throws to keep the game close until the end of the third. DA scored 23 points but grabbed only 6 boards, as the Warriors outrebounded the Suns 60-49.
Steph Curry scored 23 as well, going 6-11 from 3 and led the Warriors balanced effort.
Despite Monty’s attempt at a mystery pre-game, Shamet got the start again, in the absence of Booker. After the first miss by Bridges, the Suns execute well on defense and Ayton gets a big block. Bridges gets a middy, Steph and Shamet exchange threes and then Draymond gets a block on a Shamet drive and Wiggins makes a corner three and the Warriors take the lead.
The teams kept exchanging baskets, blocks and turnovers on a nervous start to the game until DA gets to the line after a failed lob attempt by Crowder and Monty calls his first time-out with 7:02 left in the first and the Warriors up 12-10. After the time-out, Curry was able to shake Shamet and almost drop him for a long three, but DA was able to keep the Suns close.
At the five minute mark, Monty brings Cam Johnson and Ish Wainright in place of Mikal and Crowder, as Curry took a seat. A little after a minute it was Payne’s turn to come in for CP as the Suns kept focusing on DA inside to keep them in range. At 2:33 mark the Warriors were up 21-19 when they called their first time-out and DA led the Suns in scoring with seven, but only on 33.3% FG.
Mikal and Curry came back into the floor, but on the first play Mikal went down with a hand injury while diving after a loose ball. The Suns had to call another TO and Mikal had to leave the floor. Payton and CP3 came in for Shamet and Mikal and the Warriors are able to open a lead to end the quarter up 28-21.
Mikal Bridges has left the game with an apparent hand injury. pic.twitter.com/2hqsTDuKNS— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) December 4, 2021
The warriors start the second with a corner three form Otto Porter followed by a and-one drive from Curry as the Suns appear shaken from the loss of Mikal and a three guard and no Big line-up, going down by 13. DA has to come back for Payne at the 10 minute mark and the Suns immediately respond with a quick 10-2 run, forcing a time-out by Steve Kerr at the 8:28 mark and the Warriors up 36-31.
Warriors get Curry free on the corner out of the time-out, and Cam Johnson responds with a 3 of his own. DA and CP3 each get a trip to the line after that going 3-4 as the Suns are able to cut the lead to 4 before the Warriors find a long three from Juan Toscano-Anderson. Payne comes in for CP3 and miss a couple of shots on what amounted to be a weak offensive half for CP15. The Suns are forced to call a time-out at the 4:19 after another Curry three and the lead going back up to double digits. The good news is that Mikal Bridges was able to come back into the game with a dislocated right pinkie.
Imaging showed no fracture on Mikal Bridges' pinkie, source tells ESPN. https://t.co/LEmXY4CO39— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 4, 2021
After the time-out the Suns came back and Shamet is able to respond to Steph with another 3. After that, they find a way to get the Warriors into the bonus, including one of the classic CP3 rip throughs and keep going to the line for every point until the end of the half, doing a great job on defense and cutting the Warriors lead to 3 as the half closes 51-48.
The half starts with a DA easy miss and then exchanged 2 point shots from CP3 and Wiggins. Curry made his fifth three, and then the Suns got themselves to the line 4 more times, including one after an unsuccessful challenge from Steve Kerr. The Warriors respond with another a trio of threes and forcing a Monty time-out with 8:29 to go as the lead was built back up to 11.
The teams pick-up their defense as the teams exchange more misses than makes until Draymond goes down holding his knee after he contests a Chris Paul lay-up. Steve Kerr calls a time-out to check on him, but he gets back to the floor. Ish Wainright and Cam Payne came in for Shamet and Mikal.
They came out of the time-out with another Ayton lay-up to make it a seven point game, but this is the closes the game ever got after this. The Warriors put together a 8-2 run as before Cam Payne finally makes a couple of shots to end the quarter down 12 as Golden State holds an 80-68 lead. During the end of the third, Shamet went down hard after a drive and felt his wrist. He would leave the game for good. right after that.
The Suns start the fourth trying to make a push, but that effort does not last long, as the Warriors needed only two and a half minutes to push the lead to 15. The team took a little while to realize how out of reach the game was but the Warriors made sure to push the lead to 20 before the 5 minute mark, making it clear for Monty that it was time to empty the bench.
The good news is that Smith was able to find a couple of good minutes, scoring 7 points.
And the streak ends at 18.