Down 3-0 in the season series, the Golden State Warriors would come out against the Phoenix Suns and execute at a level that served as a reminder that - regardless of how good an opponent maybe - they can play against whoever in the confines of Chase Center.
The Warriors (36-33) have now won 8 straight home games and are 29-7 at home this season with the 123-112 win over the Suns.
The Suns (37-31) still have a 1.5 game lead over the Warriors for 4th in the West, and own the season head-to-head tiebreaker if both teams finish with the same record.
The Suns would arrive late to the party in this one, with the defense that they saw be adverse to their efforts in winning against Sacramento, carrying over to the Bay.
Their switches would be soft early, communication lacking, and physicality non-existent.
That, plus more, enabled Thompson to shake loose off a multitude of screens and off-ball movement, helping the Warriors strike first, second, and third, setting the tone with a pyrotechnic-like 43-point opening frame.
Thompson would register 19 of those 43, claiming the biggest stake in the Warriors astronomical 165.4 offensive rating in said frame.
The second quarter would see the bench sustain success defensively, and cut into the lead establishing much more flow and controlling more of the pace.
In that frame, they’d allow 32 but would score 37 and incrementally cut into the deficit.
The offensive process for the Suns would also slowly establish itself, even almost a multitude of defensive tactics used to stifle the scoring rhythm of Devin Booker (17 points at the half).
Book with the smooth jumper. pic.twitter.com/RmKNjLuTv0— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 14, 2023
Warriors would finish with a half-court offensive rating of 139.5, even with the Suns holding them to playing in the condensed court 84.3% of their possessions.
On the other hand, the Suns would finish at 97.8 in the half-court, which is alright, but behind the 8-ball when the other team’s scoring at that prolific of a rate.
The Suns would see a tone set by Deandre Ayton in the paint and on the glass, which would be parlayed into a timely mid-quarter 8-0 run.
DA gets it to go down low. pic.twitter.com/36Iq1BmXPs— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 14, 2023
Said run also saw Booker able to escape the half-court defensive crosshairs of the Warriors, and play in space.
Book with the foul and the finish.— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 14, 2023
Three-point play. pic.twitter.com/lxX6ExiRBp
Chris Paul would also get it going, as the Suns were able to register back-to-back 30-point quarters, following their second quarter scoring blitz with a 30-point third, erasing a once 25-point deficit and coming within as close as four.
They’d be down 10 at the end of the third frame and would struggle to find any footing early in the fourth with the reserves in.
A handful of baskets from Jordan Poole saw the Suns defense grow undone in its principles and fundamentals, and that would snowball into just enough to maintain the distance withstood at the end of the third, before ultimately winning the fourth 25-24.
Suns got the Warriors best shot in the forefront and had no answer until the second frame, which ultimately presented with far too steep of a hill to climb, and would fall 112-123.