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Recap: Suns finish first half of season strong, take down Warriors, 120-98

The Suns won their fourth straight game and will head into the All-Star break with the second-best record in the NBA.

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The Suns bench scored 58 points and led Phoenix to its fourth straight win giving them the second-best record in the NBA heading into the All-Star Break.

Phoenix outscored the Warriors in the paint by a total of 62-to-38, and had 31 assists opposed to the Warriors’ 22. While Golden State made a few runs as expected, the Suns had complete control for most of this game.

Devin Booker was limping through a knee injury early in the game and didn't look like his usual self. Ultimately it didn’t matter due to the excellent bench play and well-balanced attack offensively. That will be something to monitor going into the All-Star Weekend with his participation in the Three-Point Contest and All-Star Game.


First Half

It was a slow start for Phoenix, with six early turnovers and foul trouble taking Deandre Ayton to the bench in the first eight minutes.

It wasn’t the start they wanted, but the bench came in and provided a spark to give them separation to close the first quarter. Abdel Nader came in and made a huge impact on both ends of the floor to ignite the spark.

The rapidly strong close to the quarter by the second unit gave them an 11-point lead heading into the second quarter leading 34-to-23.

The second quarter the Suns bench mob really decided to pour it on, extending the lead to 45-29 in the first four minutes of the period, forcing a Warriors timeout.

Cam Payne played with terrific energy and pace, similar to his play in the bubble.

The Warriors went on a quick run to cut the lead down to 13 before a Cam Payne three got them back on track to close the first half.

Booker banged knees with Juan Toscano-Anderson, and it certainly looked like he didn’t have the same lift or mobility afterwards.

The starters were ultimately bailed out by the bench mob in the first 24 minutes of basketball as the Suns entered the half with a 62-to-51 lead. Despite the injury, Booker led all Suns scorers with 10 first half points.


Second Half

The Suns came out with much sharper execution offensively to kick off the 3rd quarter, building a 16-point lead which led to a Warriors timeout.

The Warriors continued their scrappy play and hung around for most of the third quarter, then Chris Paul went on a quick 5-0 run to build their lead up to 14 before the bench unit checked back in.

Phoenix outscored the Warriors 25-to-22 in the third quarter.

Cam Payne continued to play with excellent pace as soon as he checked in for Chris Paul, making impactful plays on both sides of the floor.

The Suns finally created separation for good late in the fourth, and were able to unload the bench, including Jalen Smith and Jevon Carter.

Strong play from the bench including Dario Saric, Abdel Nader, Cam Payne and Frank Kaminsky aided the Suns to the win despite shaky play from the starters.


Star of the Game

Cameron Payne- 17 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block and was plus-22 in the box score.


Up next: The All-Star Break

Chris Paul will participate in the Skills Competition, Devin Booker in the 3 Point Contest, and each will participate in the All-Star Game as well.

Chris Paul will be on Team LeBron while Devin Booker will play for Team Durant.