Phoenix fans were encouraged by the blowout win against the Kings last Monday but were anxious to see what their team could do against a slightly more formidable team in the Golden State Warriors. Golden State’s record is a little misleading. They finally have their team back together after an injury plagued beginning to the season and have lost 3 close games at home – two on last second shots to the Thunder and the Cavaliers and one in overtime to the Spurs.
So while the Warriors don’t have the record most of the good teams in the NBA have, they do have the scorers and the ability to play with the good teams in the league. And this time the roles were reversed for the Suns. The Warriors jumped out to a 20-4 lead and never looked back. At many times in the game they had a 20-point lead and every time the Suns would start coming back, the Warriors would hit a three-point shot to take the wind out of Phoenix’s sails.
Phoenix had cut the lead to 11 with about 4 minutes to go in the third quarter but then Golden State ended the quarter on a run and took a 21-point lead into the fourth quarter. To emphasize just how well the Warriors were playing, Stephen Jackson – who has never had a triple-double in his career – was one assist and two rebounds away from that elusive mark at the end of the third quarter. He ended up reaching the mark late in the fourth quarter and ended with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
If you look at the Suns’ box score, it doesn’t look too bad. They only had 13 turnovers in the game, scored 112 points, all starters but Grant Hill were in double figures. Amar’e Stoudemire and Shaquille O’Neal combined for 20 rebounds and the Suns out-rebounded the Warriors by 7 in the game.
But the quick start for the Warriors killed Phoenix and the inability to rotate in order to cover a three-point shot ended up pushing the game over the edge for the Warriors.
The two teams now head to Phoenix to play each other again on Friday night. What are your thoughts on the game?