Suns bench burns Warriors in fourth
PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns didn’t do much different to defend the high-flying Golden State Warriors in the second half Sunday night. They just stuck with their effective bench play and let the Klay Thompson-less Warriors get tired and make mistakes in a fourth quarter that saw the Suns outscore them by 20.
Phoenix zoomed past the Warriors to a 107-95 victory on the strength of a 36-16 fourth quarter, leaving the NBA with no unbeaten teams.
Isaiah Thomas scored 15 of his 22 points in the fourth and fellow reserve Gerald Green added 16 of his 19 points in the final quarter, when the Suns surged ahead after trailing by eight through three.
"We knew if we were just solid at the defensive end, they would be turning the ball over because that’s what they’ve been doing this whole season," Thomas said. "Guys were open and they knocked down shots. It started at the defensive end, though."
Stephen Curry scored 28 points but just six in the second half, when he was plagued by missed shots and foul trouble. Curry, who entered tied for the NBA scoring lead, added 10 assists for his fourth double-double of the season.
Draymond Green added 22 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors (5-1), who played without Thompson (sprained right hand) and his 23.8 points per game.
"We just made a lot of stupid plays that gave them life as opposed to putting the nail in the coffin when we had the opportunity to do that," Curry said.
P.J. Tucker’s blocked shot led to Thomas finding Green for a game-tying 3-pointer with 10:14 to play. Then the Suns took a 90-86 on a 3-pointer by Green with 6:07 left.
Marcus Morris drained a 3-pointer with 3:41 remaining to give the Suns a 100-89 lead, and Phoenix was in control for good.
Goran Dragic finished with 19 points and Marcus Morris 17.
"I told our team with our depth, maybe we can wear them out by the end of the game," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said.
Phoenix (4-3) and Golden State were the top two teams in fast-break points entering the game. They got off to a blistering pace on offense, running the court back and forth. The Suns trailed by as many as nine points in the first quarter, with Curry and Draymond Green combining for 20 points in the first 12 minutes.
Dragic had 13 first-quarter points but the Warriors led 30-28 going into the second. He did much of his early scoring against former teammate Leandro Barbosa, who started for Thompson.
Curry scored five points in a matter of seconds when he hit a 3-pointer, then stole the inbounds pass for a layup to give the Warriors their largest lead of the first half, 54-41 with 2:31 to go until halftime.
The Warriors were still up 12, but Curry picked up two quick fouls in the final seconds of the third after scoring only two points in the quarter. He had to exit with four fouls, and Golden State led 79-71 heading into the fourth.
The Suns are 137-88 all-time against the Warriors, the highest win total against any opponent in team history.
Warriors: First-year coach Steve Kerr and Barbosa received warm welcomes from the crowd at the US Airways Center. Kerr is the Suns’ former general manager and Barbosa spent eight seasons with Phoenix, most recently 2013-2014.. Kerr, on his NBA career as player, broadcaster, GM and now coach: "Now my kids don’t care where I’m at every day so I might as well coach." . The Warriors committed 27 turnovers (10 by Curry), giving them a total of 53 in their last two games.
Suns: Coach Jeff Hornacek was called for a technical foul for arguing a non-call against the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut, who challenged Dragic’s drive to the basket with 8:27 to play in the first quarter.
Warriors: Host Spurs on Tuesday.
Suns: Host Brooklyn on Wednesday.