Bradley returned to the Suns’ starting lineup, but didn’t have the biggest impact on the box score, scoring 16 points and logging only three assists. But he did give teammate Devin Booker, who went for 32 points, a breather in the second half to help maintain a lead into the fourth quarter was just enough to make his mark on the game.
Suns center Jusuf Nurkic took a shot to the face from Draymond Green in the third quarter which led to Green’s ejection on his fourth flagrant foul this season.
Draymond has been ejected after flagrant foul on Nurkić pic.twitter.com/RmrLU5tdw8— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 13, 2023
Nurk bruised the Warriors all game long, grabbing 13 rebounds and scoring 17 points.
That physical tone set by Nurkic carried over to Jordan Goodwin, who played exceptionally well alongside Booker, bringing stellar defense to stifle the Warriors in the third quarter.
The Suns win pushed their record to 13-10 on the season, and 3-0 against the Warriors.
The Suns got out to a hot start, pulling ahead of the Warriors 7-0, and nothing was more fitting than Beal making the first bucket, draining a wide-open three. With the game most likely heading into a shoot-out, the Warriors closed the gap 10-9.
Extremely great play to get Beal open on his first points back from injury. pic.twitter.com/RANiOLtn1d— Mike Vigil (@protectedpick) December 13, 2023
Josh Okogie hit his first two threes to start the game, but the Suns fell cold, and started to move the ball to the paint. By the 5-minute mark in the first, the Suns were back up by seven, 16-9.
With six points off turnovers, the Suns at times looked to pull away early, but the Warriors managed to tie the game at the end of one, 25-25. Ending the quarter hot from three, the Warriors drained six threes, making it a game.
Booker ended the first quarter with seven points, but it was Jusuf Nurkic keeping the Suns around with seven rebounds and two offensive rebounds while adding three points.
...and I almost forgot. Bol Bol made an entrance!
Bol Bol got a HUGE ovation as he checked into the game for the Suns pic.twitter.com/6hTdpTkRfY— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) December 13, 2023
It was a brutal start to the second quarter for the Suns. Bol Bol remained in the game and for the first three minutes the Suns scored 0 points. Turnover after Turnover turned into a Dario Saric takeover, leading to a timeout by the Suns, down 32-25. And it didn’t get any better. Defensive miscues by the Suns led to wide open threes and Bol Bol getting dunked on. Yet again, another timeout was called, with the Warriors up 40-27 with eight minutes left until half-time.
It wasn’t until Booker returned, that the Suns got back into rhythm. With all the focus on Booker, the Suns settled in from three, hitting three in a row. The Suns caught up with the Warriors, making it a game once again, but still trailed 45-43 with three minutes left until half.
Three 3's in the first half for J.O. pic.twitter.com/pS372wJ4an— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) December 13, 2023
The Warriors headed into the half up by three.
Halftime: GSW 56, PHX 53— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) December 13, 2023
Booker: 13 Pts, 4 Ast, 6-10 FG
Okogie: 10 Pts, 3-4 3P
Metu: 10 Pts, 3-5 3P
Nurkic: 8 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Ast
Beal: 6 Pts, 2-4 FG
Curry: 16 Pts, 3-7 3P
Draymond Green started swinging to start the second half and was ejected from the game.
draymond smacks nurk in the face pic.twitter.com/gVofALDiaT— Cage (@ridiculouscage) December 13, 2023
After Nurkic took a blow to the face from Draymond, the Suns were trying to hang with every blow the Warriors gave them. The Warriors came out hot, but the Suns hung around behind Chimezie Metu's four quick points after the flagrant foul shots were made by Nurkic.
The opportunities were there again this game for the Suns and they were able to keep things very close throughout the third quarter. Metu stepped up huge along with Jordan Goodwin, who looked great alongside Booker, draining a three and coming up with a steal.
Goodwin was complementary next to Booker, with both guards playing physical on both ends of the floor. He helped the Suns take the lead 77-75 with four minutes left to play in the third quarter.
Beal helped the Suns take back the lead 88-87 entering the fourth quarter. It wasn’t the best game to this point for Beal, but the 10 points and three assists wasn’t too bad after missing as many games as he did.
Using that momentum to start the fourth, Beal got great looks but couldn’t capitalize on all of them. The defense from the Warriors watched closely as Beal weaved through the lanes, while Nurkic was continually fed under the rim. Those two need time to become more familiar, but at this moment, to start the fourth, it became good practice.
With eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Suns were up 97-93, containing a good slow pace while Booker got his rest. Booker returned, and turned things up a notch, taking the lead up to seven points with six minutes left in the game.
Booker didn’t stop, as the Warriors struggled to find good looks at the rim. But with :40 seconds left in the game, the Warriors took advantage of the Suns missed shots, closing the gap to three points.
Then the lead was down to one after Eric Gordon was unable to end it with a three.
Luckily, Booker and Beal were able to close the game out by making their free-throws, giving the Suns the victory 119-116.
Suns welcome the Twins to the Foot tomorrow night. See you then!