For 36 minutes, the Phoenix Suns were beating the Golden State Warriors. They were aggressive in the paint, in scoring, and in taking care of the glass. They were also scrappy and hustling on defense.
But the problem is, there’s 48 minutes in an NBA game, and the Warriors used the last 12 minutes of that to push through with a 117-107 victory against a young and scrappy Suns team that was missing their leading scorer in Devin Booker.
All of the Warriors’ starting five scored in double figures with Klay Thompson leading the way with 25 points. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry chipped in with 21 and 20 respectively.
25 Point Flip
In the first quarter, the Suns led 26-9. The Warriors eventually outscored Phoenix 51-27, a 25-point flip going into the third quarter. The Dubs held the Suns to 6-of-29 from the field and 2-of-9 from deep. In the second quarter, the Warriors shot 63 percent from the field, and attacked the Suns’ lack of transition defense for 27 fast break points.
For every run that the Suns went on, the Warriors remained poised and focused. They kept that same momentum even when they trailed at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth, Golden State strung together some stops, got the buckets they needed and never let go of the lead once they seized it.
The latest color way of Stephen Curry’s signature shoe is named “WOE”. Ironically, he’s had shooting woes ever since he first donned the color way against the Lakers. Remember, Curry went three quarters without scoring a field goal until he caught fire in the fourth to put LA away. Against the Suns, Curry shot an very uncharacteristic 1-of-10 from the field for the first three quarters. Just as he did against the Lakers, Curry got going, scoring most of his 20 in the fourth quarter to help seal the Warriors win.
However, you can't help but notice Curry’s recent strange starts. Including tonight, Curry is a frigid 0-of-10 in three first quarters. He can’t seem to buy a bucket even in the second. The only explanation for Curry’s struggles could be that he tends to struggle and slump right before the All Star break and then explode during the first game back. The Warriors have three games before the midseason break and there’s three chances for Curry to break the mini slump.
Changing The Energy
What helped keep the Warriors engaged enough to win tonight was Durant and Cousins’ bringing much needed energy to the team. The Warriors were out of sync for most of the first quarter. The body language was off. The focus non-existent. Durant initiated the change and the charge while Cousins followed suit.
DeMarcus Cousins on trying to lift the team after a bad start pic.twitter.com/uGltX3DDm4— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 9, 2019
The Warriors return to action at Oracle Sunday as they take on the Miami Heat.