It wasn’t too long ago when we lived in a universe in which the Warriors were the crème da la crème in the NBA, living in the league’s penthouse with bottle service. They probably even had a tiger in their room. Conversely, the Phoenix Suns roomed in the basement next to a busted washing machine full of dirty socks and jocks.
This time it’s reversed but Golden State still won the game because while the Suns did their best to bottle up Curry, they let everyone else beat them.
Andrew Wiggins had 38 points on 17-24 shooting, a lot of it around the rim. The Warriors took 15 more shots than the Suns on the night, and the Suns were held to just 18 points in the 4th.
Gotta right the ship, guys.
Suns lose 122-116.
Jae Crowder made his first start since April 21 in Philadelphia and contributed to the early Phoenix high shooting percentage. The Bossman had 12 early points on 2-for-2 from deep as the Suns made 6 of their first 9 shots prior to the first timeout of the game.
The Warriors were firing on all cylinders as well, utilizing crisp passing and finding the open shooter to execute their offense. Golden State assisted on 7 of their first 8 field goals. Steph Curry had 4 points in the first quarter and went 0-5 from beyond the arc.
The Crowder Show continued in the first as he had yet another 4-point play opportunity (he missed the free throw). Jae’s fourth three-pointer of the first quarter pushed the Suns lead to 9.
There was no early hangover following the Lakers loss. Phoenix looked engaged and energized, playing with spunk and focus. They locked in on defense and had 13 first quarter fast break points. The Suns put up 38 first quarter points and led by 9, 38-29, after one.
The Suns hot shooting from deep continued in the second quarter as Torrey Craig hit their 7th three in their first 10 attempts. They finished 10-18 in the first half (55.6%). Crowder was 5-6 from long range.
Frank Kaminsky added quality early minutes once again as he has replaced Dario Saric in Monty Williams’ rotations. The Suns led the Warriors by 16 half way through the second.
Andrew Wiggins kept the Warrior afloat in the first half with his 21 points on 10-13 shooting. Juan Toscano-Anderson provided an increase in defensive intensity, forcing Devin Booker and Chris Paul into difficult shots.
Can't count on Crowder being this hot and Curry being this cold in the 2nd half. Need to get this lead in the 15+ range.— SunsUniTracker© (@SunsUniTracker) May 12, 2021
Phoenix focused their defensive energy on Stephen Curry, throwing double and triple teams his way, daring him to find ways to make those around him successful. Although he ended the first half with just 4 points on 2 for 8 shooting, his ability to pass out allowed Golden State the ability to swing the ball around and find someone who could execute.
The Warriors ended the second quarter on an 18-13 run. Suns up 8 at the half, 66-58.
Halftime: PHX 66, GSW 58— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) May 12, 2021
Crowder: 17 Pts, 5-6 3P
Paul: 11 Pts, 7 Ast
Booker: 9-3-3, 4-8 FG
Wiggins: 21 Pts, 5 Reb, 10-13 FG
Chris Paul opened the second half with a shimmy and wiggle on Steph that should find it’s way onto SportsCenter. It’s not every night you have two Hall of Fame point guards going at each other. Paul’s focus turned to scoring after 7 first half assists, recognizing that his team needed an offensive boost.
CP3 goes at Steph for the bucket pic.twitter.com/rmsZmlxSgT— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 12, 2021
The third felt as if a grind would lie ahead, especially considering Deandre Ayton was doing his best David Blaine impression and disappearing. His lack of effectiveness on the glass was allowing the Warriors to earned second chance points at will. When Andrew Wiggins has 5 offensive rebounds, you know someone wasn't boxing out.
Half ass effort by DA on an inbound pass led to a fast break bucket for Golden State with 6:30 left in the third cut the lead to 5. Ayton’s lackadaisical defense led to a lay-up on the Warriors next possession and the lead was 3.
Steph Curry wasn’t feeling his three, so he made the decision to attack the basket in the third. He drew three separate and-1 fouls to get his scoring started.
Devin Booker responded with jumpers and rim-runners and and-1’s of his own. It was as if he was playing NBA JAM...he’s heating up...he’s on fire!!!
Book starting to heat up pic.twitter.com/5Ta08yw5gr— Bally Sports Arizona (@BallySportSAZ) May 12, 2021
Booker had 22 of the Suns 32 third quarter points including 16 in row at one point, doing all he could to carry the team offensively in the period. He added 5 rebounds in the quarter as well, one shy of Ayton’s total through three. I know, I’m bagging on the big fella. But he is matched up against Kevon Looney. Get it done DA!
The Warriors outscored Phoenix 34-32 in the third, Suns up 6, 98-92.
Monty deployed the three guard lineup of Paul, Payne, and Booker to start the third, extending Booker’s minutes into the early stages of the fourth. Could this be a preview of what we will see in the postseason? Or was Monty riding the hot hand? Would Booker tire and be ineffective in the later stages of the game? Book sat with 8:36.
Wiggins continued to be aggressive, scoring the majority of his points in the paint. A team that averages 45 points in the paint scored 62 tonight.
With 7:45 left in the game, Golden State tied the game at 103. With 6:29 left, and the Suns leading 105-103, enter the Steph. He tied the game on the next possession.
Clutch minutes would determine this game.
The game turned into a three-point contest for a few minutes. Wiggins three. Paul three. Toscano-Anderson three. Jordan Poole three. Warriors up 116-113. Following a Booker turnover, Andrew Wiggins spun in the lane a dropped a bank shot that pushed their run to 8-0 and their lead to 5 with 1:21 left.
Jae hit a big three, but following a Steph Curry 10-foot driving floater and a Chris Paul turnover, the game was all but over.
The Suns lost the battle on the boards 40-36, which lead to a 29-12 second chance point advantage for Golden State. They were outscored 30-18 in the fourth.
Warriors win by 6.
The Suns are coming home for the final time this regular season as they host the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday evening. There are plenty to watch and multiple reasons to root for the Suns. A victory over the Blazers, pending their game tomorrow against the Jazz, could push them down to the #7 seed with 2 games to play.
We’ll see you then, Bright Siders.