Suns again challenge Warriors but fade late
OAKLAND, Calif. — Nobody will argue the Golden State Warriors have a lineup of reliable, superstar scorers. They nearly had a trio of 30-point performers.
Defenders, that’s still to be determined.
"We’re trying to win a championship, you don’t do that simply by outscoring people," coach Steve Kerr said.
Klay Thompson hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 4:31 left and another with 3:13 remaining to score a season-high 30 points, Stephen Curry also had 30 points with five 3s, and the balanced Warriors held off the Phoenix Suns 133-120 on Sunday night.
Kevin Durant added 29 points, nine rebounds and five assists as he Warriors avoided a second home loss at this early stage that would have matched their total of two defeats at Oracle Arena in each of the past two regular seasons.
Thompson shot 11 for 18 also with five 3s and scored 14 of his points in the fourth, while Draymond Green finished with 14 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds as Golden State overcame 16 turnovers for 18 Suns points.
Eric Bledsoe and T.J. Warren scored 20 points apiece to lead six players in double figures for the Suns, who hardly looked sluggish in the second night of a back-to-back.
"You can’t let them shoot 50 percent from the field," Thompson said. "If we want to get where we want to go, we have to pick it up on that side of the ball."
Thompson’s 3-pointer with 6:58 to go tied the score at 106 but Leandro Barbosa answered with a 3 against his former team and Brandon Knight’s free throws with 6:15 remaining made it 111-96 Suns.
Devin Booker added 19 points for Phoenix, while P.J. Tucker kept the Suns in it. His putback with 9:53 left tied it at 101, he made a pair of free throws at 9:18 and a reverse layin with 8:40 to play to make it 104-103. Tucker had eight points and eight rebounds.
The Warriors own their longest winning streak against the Suns at nine games, including 10 in a row at Oracle Arena.
Still, Green insists Golden State must do more on both ends.
"Fans aren’t going to bring energy to a game like this because they’re expecting us to come in and beat them by 30," he said.
Warren had four steals for Phoenix, and the Suns took 90 shots a day after putting up an NBA-high 107 in a home loss to Brooklyn.
Barbosa returned to Oracle for the first time since joining the Suns following two seasons with Golden State, but blamed himself afterward for several mistakes down the stretch.
"I gave the spark for them, the crowd got into the game and it was tough to shut it down," he said.
Golden State showed Barbosa highlights on the big screen during a first-quarter timeout and he watched intently with his hands on his hips near one baseline. He smiled and waved in all directions as fans jumped to their feet for a standing ovation.
"We built up something really special with this team," Barbosa said. "Good memories. We built something unique. You can never forget that."
Steve Nash also attended the game with his family — a reunion of sorts for the guard with his old Suns team as he now works as a player development consultant for Golden State.
The Warriors shot 50 percent or better from the field with at least 30 assists in a fourth straight game, the first time they have done so since 1994.
Suns: C Tyson Chandler rejoined the team but missed his fourth straight game following the death of his mother Tuesday from cancer. He was not in uniform. … The Suns played their third back-to-back already. … Phoenix is 2-7 vs. the Western Conference, 1-5 on the road.
Warriors: Curry’s fifth basket of the game gave him 4,000 career field goals, the ninth player in franchise history to reach the mark. He made 7 of 7 free throws and the Warriors went 27 for 31 from the line. … Durant has at least one block in a career-best 11 straight games. … The Warriors haven’t lost to the Suns since a 107-95 defeat Nov. 9, 2014. … Golden State is 4-1 at home, winning its fourth in a row since a 129-100 beating by the Spurs on opening night. … Durant and Suns coach Earl Watson were teammates with the Seattle SuperSonics and Oklahoma City.
Golden State’s alternate blue "Crossover" jerseys made their home debut and will be worn for select Sunday games and inspired by the 1990s "Run TMC" teams.
Suns: At Denver on Wednesday for the second contest of six straight road games — the Suns’ longest road trip of the season along with another six-gamer from March 19-28.
Warriors: Begin a four-game road trip Wednesday at Toronto.
- Brandon Knight
- Devin Booker
- Draymond Green
- Eric Bledsoe
- FOX Sports Arizona
- FOX Sports Arizona - Suns
- Golden State Warriors
- Kevin Durant
- Klay Thompson
- Leandro Barbosa
- Phoenix Suns
- PJ Tucker
- Stephen Curry
- TJ Warren
- Tyson Chandler