On Sunday night, the Golden State Warriors (40-24) were able to ride a strong second-half performance and held on for their fourth victory in a row over the visiting Phoenix Suns (36-26).
Golden State was paced by another stellar performance from forward David Lee, who scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the win. Guard Klay Thompson added 22 points on 9-15 shooting from the floor.
The game started at a sprint from the opening tip. Both teams were running up and down the floor, playing into the Suns preferred game plan. Phoenix guard Goran Dragic led the charge and – at one point – put the Suns up 12 points over the Warriors in the second quarter. The Suns were dominating on all sides of the floor by out-rebounding Golden State 22-14 and had a 10-0 fast break point edge by halftime.
The Warriors then came out in the third quarter with a strong defensive effort. Golden State figured out that double teaming Dragic and taking the ball out of his hands gave them the best chance at winning. This defensive scheme turned the game completely around in favor of the Warriors and led to a 25-5 run to end the third quarter.
The scrappy Suns just would not go away, and would cut the 18 point Warrior advantage to just four with less than a minute remaining in the game.
The Warriors would then clamp down on defense. Forward Andre Iguodala hit two free throws, and the Suns were held scoreless on their last three possessions.
After the game, coach Mark Jackson commented that, “the team defended at a high level in the second half, and it took a big time team effort to get the victory.”
All-Star Stephen Curry played through a strained quad injury and was still able to post 18 points and nine assists in a gutty performance.
Gerald Green led the Suns in scoring with 25 points, and Dragic added 24 points and six assists in the losing effort.
The Warriors will look to extend their winning streak when they welcome an old familiar face on Tuesday night – Monta Ellis and the Dallas Mavericks come to Oracle Arena.
Notes: The Warriors have won nine of 11 games since the All-Star break…. Golden State won the turn over battle 20-12 over the Suns…. The Warriors play 11 of their last 18 at home…. This was the 68th straight sell out crowd at Oracle Arena.