The Golden State Warriors are back where they belong: atop the Western Conference. After briefly relinquishing that spot when they lost by eight points to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, the Warriors regained it against the same Suns team.
And they did it with emphasis.
The Warriors took the lead early, and while they couldn’t run away in the first half, they were still in the driver’s seat for the first 24 minutes. The Suns cut the deficit to just three points at halftime, and that seemed to sound the alarm for the iconic third quarter Warriors.
Golden State came out of the second half gates firing. At one point Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins, and Jordan Poole had back-to-back-to-back threes, turning a close game into a double-digit lead.
And from there it only grew. The defense put the clamps on Phoenix (though it’s worth noting that the Suns were without Devin Booker, who injured his hamstring during Tuesday’s game). The offense went ballistic from distance, making 19 triples while shooting 48.7% from deep. And a cozy lead turned into a big lead turned into Curry not returning for his regularly scheduled fourth quarter minutes.
When the dust settled, it was a thoroughly dominant 118-96 win. It put a firm end to the Suns’ 18-game winning streak, and put the Dubs back on top of the standings, with a glistening 19-3 record.
The Suns again held Curry to a shooting performance that was below his standards (8-for-20 from the field, though 6-for-11 from deep), but the MVP favorite still canned 23 points to go with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Draymond Green was everywhere, with a stat line that embodies his career: 9 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks.
Gary Payton II and Juan Toscano-Anderson, already fan favorites, were nothing short of superstars off the bench, with GP2 netting 19 points and 5 rebounds on 7-for-9 shooting, and JTA finishing with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists on 7-for-8 shooting.
All in all, it was a good day to be a Warriors fan. That’s kind of been the theme of this season.