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Back to the future: Warriors vs. Suns keys revisited

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How did Golden State do with their keys to victory against Phoenix?

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors could not build on the momentum of their two-game winning streak against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They fell flat against the Phoenix Suns, losing 114-93, and once again falling short of a three-game winning streak.

Let’s see how they did on their pregame keys to victory.

Keep the TOs at bay

The key: Steph Curry and Draymond Green limit the turnovers.

The outcome: Curry and Green combined to have 6 turnovers, which honestly is just fine. However, you’d like to see them get more than 10 assists together.

While the Warriors did a decent job avoiding turnovers, the offense was sloppy all night. The ball movement was absent (they only recorded 21 assists), and they always felt on the verge of turning the ball over.

It could have been worse ... but it could have been a lot better too.

Grading the key: 4.5 out of 10.

Pressure CP3

The key: Put pressure on Chris Paul and force the ball out of his hands.

The outcome: The Warriors played decent defense for much of the game. But it wasn’t high pressure defense, and Paul was able to command the court. He only finished with 13 points and 4 assists, but it’s no surprise that Phoenix outscored Golden State by 27 points in his 27 minutes — and were outscored by the Dubs in the 21 minutes he sat.

Technically speaking the Dubs got the ball out of Paul’s hands, but they never got the game out of his hands, and they really didn’t pressure him much at all.

Grading the key: 3 out of 10.

Role players

The key: Get at least two solid performances from Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr., James Wiseman, and Eric Paschall.

The outcome: The Warriors did pretty well here. Wiggins was the team’s second-best player, netting 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting. And Paschall was the top option of the bench, with 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting.

Oubre kind of negated it by shooting 1-for-11, but hey ... that wasn’t part of the key! Paschall and Wiggins were super solid, and the more they do that, the better the Dubs chances of beating good teams.

Grading the key: 7 out of 10.

1Q energy

The key: Bring first quarter energy after traveling for a back-to-back.

The outcome: You can’t really blame the Warriors for failing here, but it is a big part of why they struggled.

The Dubs fell behind early, with sloppy, inconsistent efforts on both ends of the court. You kind of expect that with a back-to-back, but that doesn’t change how much it impacts the result. It wasn’t really an energy issue as much as a decision-making issue, but making poor decisions often comes from not having the energy to make the right plays.

Whether it’s changing the starting lineup, changing the rotations, or changing the plays, Golden State needs to find an answer for the first quarter question that ails them.

Grading the key: 4.5 out of 10.

Better luck Saturday!