Chalk this one up to the SEGABABA blues.
The Golden State Warriors faced the daunting task of playing the second game of a back-to-back on the road, and it showed in a humbling 114-93 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. The Suns were also playing for the second straight night, but it was clear which team had more energy in this one, especially in the second half.
Steph Curry led the Dubs as best he could, collecting 27 points on 50% shooting and 5-of-10 from deep, but nobody else in a blue jersey could get hot alongside him. Only Andrew Wiggins (16) and Eric Paschall (12) even reached double-figures, and Golden State shot 38% overall and 11-of-38 from three-point range. Outside of that trio, the rest of the team shot 28% from the field, and 3-of-21 from downtown.
The Warriors stayed with Phoenix for the entire first half. The Suns opened the game with seven straight points, and the lead ballooned to 14 at one point in the first quarter, but Curry netted 13 in the period and Wiggins added eight to make sure the big early deficit didn’t stick. The bench mob settled things down in the second quarter with the brand of long, energetic defense we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from them, and by the end of the half Phoenix led by only five.
The third quarter began on an encouraging note, with a brief Curry Flurry that saw him drop eight points in the blink of an eye. Four minutes into the period, we had a one-point ballgame.
The Handle— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 29, 2021
The Creativity pic.twitter.com/eSyJ8hvYxm
But then the Suns rose, and they never set for the rest of the evening. A sloppy foul earned Jae Crowder three free throws, and then Phoenix hit a pair of threes in rapid succession. Suddenly the lead was at 10, and it never really got close again after that. The Dubs clawed it back to single-digits for a few brief moments here and there, but they never put together another sustained comeback run, especially on the offensive end where they couldn’t buy a bucket. The middle of the fourth quarter saw a 17-2 run by the Suns that turned it into a rout.
This game was a bummer, but not one to get too hung up on. We already know this club is inconsistent and that they’re still figuring themselves out, and the third game in four nights is only going to exacerbate any issues.
The good news is that Curry played well, Wiggins was his robotically consistent self, and Paschall broke a three-game slump to deliver his usual heater early in the fourth quarter — which could have made a difference if the score had been closer at the time. Draymond Green and Kevon Looney had some nice defensive moments, and Draymond delivered six assists.
Steph ➡️ Draymond ➡️ Wiseman pic.twitter.com/2YHopoB666— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 29, 2021
But it seemed like nobody could hit a layup all night, and Kelly Oubre even missed a dunk, albeit the defender got a finger on the ball that may have affected the attempt. When the Dubs drove into traffic, they were more likely to turn it over than draw a foul, earning only eight free throw attempts all night. Oubre shot 1-of-11 from the field and missed all five of his threes, with a couple over-aggressive mistakes on the defensive end as well. Draymond was 1-of-7, and James Wiseman was 2-of-9.
Meanwhile, the Suns got pretty much whatever they wanted on offense. Seven of their players scored in double-figures, and big man Frank Kaminsky came two assists shy of a triple-double off the bench, more than making up for getting abused on the defensive end. Phoenix moved the ball, hit enough threes to gain respect, thrived in the paint, and took 23 free throws.
The Suns are currently a winning team at 9-8, similar to the Warriors at 10-9, so it’ll take a more complete performance to beat them. There’s a built-in excuse for this one with the tough scheduling, so after a night off we’ll see how they respond against the 5-14 Detroit Pistons on Saturday.
Let’s finish on a happy note, with this beautiful drive by Kent Bazemore.