Home Warriors Just as Tough as Road Warriors

November 13, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots the ball against Phoenix Suns center Alex Len (21) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

November 13, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots the ball against Phoenix Suns center Alex Len (21) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Game one of six on the road and the Suns had to face the most talent-heavy team in the league with their first stop.

VS.

1 2 3 4 T
Warriors 28 34 37 34 133
Suns 32 27 33 28 120

Granted, including the game between the two in Phoenix on October 30, the Suns do seem to play to the level of the two-time reigning Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors to a degree that they aren’t able to manage against lesser opponents, but for the second night in a row the Purple Gang from Phoenix hung in until the very end of the game, only to eventually succumb to their opponent in the end.

Led by the bench for most of the way, the Suns were able to stay close with a Warriors team whose sheer firepower can blow teams out in a matter of only a few possessions on most nights. Jared Dudley led all bench scorers with 14 points on 5-9 shooting, including 3-5 from beyond the arc. Impressively, he is now 11-19 in his last three games, all off the bench.

Leandro Barbosa scored 11 while dishing out 4 assists in his return to Golden State after two Championship runs with Golden State, and a title.

Rookies Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss impressed as well playing pivotal 4th quarter minutes as the Suns young guns fought desperately to keep the team in the game and give the starters the best chance possible and pulling out the victory. The two finished with a combined 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assist on 4-6 shooting. Bender was personally part of the catalyst in the second half and finished with a +7 in the +/- column, the highest for any Sun. Chriss fouled out late in the fourth quarter.

In his fourth straight game as a starter, Alex Len struggled to find any defensive consistency, scoring 9 points, but only grabbing 6 rebounds (tied for second on the team with Chriss, behind team-leader P.J. Tucker’s 8), and was unable to block a single shot or grab a steal. He found himself in foul trouble for most of the night as well, finishing with five.

Forget the Splash Bros., the three-headed monster of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant are going to be incredibly tough to beat once their offense gets flowing. The three combined for 89 points, 12 assists, 17 rebounds, and 12 three’s. And much like they each can be individually, at times tonight they were unstoppable as a group shooting a combined 30-56 for 53.6% from the field.

For the first since since Nov. 8, the Suns shot over 50% from the field, finishing at 51.1%. This was also only the third time the Suns finished a game above 50% all season, including opening night when the shot 51.2%.

Up next for the Suns, they play in Denver on Wednesday, November 16, at 7pm.

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November 13, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1, far left) shoots the basketball in front of forward Jared Dudley (3) and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Suns 133-120. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

November 13, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1, far left) shoots the basketball in front of forward Jared Dudley (3) and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Suns 133-120. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Thoughts from the Valley of the Suns

Adam Maynes

Gosh do I want to see the Suns win more. I am sick and tired of losing and of missing the playoffs. Plus, how great would it have been to watch the Suns knock off the Warriors in Oakland??

And yet, I can still take solive in that this is a rebuilding year, that they have a lot of young players that they are developing, and that they are building trust in themselves, and in each other.

I have been particularly impressed in the rookies, especially that Chriss worked his way into the starting power forward spot so early, and even though he fouled out tonight, he still played valiantly in the face of Draymond Green. Dragan Bender played serious fourth quarter minutes tonight as well, which was really nice to see, especially since he he played such a positive role finishing +7, the highest by any Sun.

Am upset win tonight would have been great, but it just wasn’t meant to be. It wa great to see them compete and keep it close, and it was great to see so many players on the bench step up when the starters couldn’t.

On to Denver.

Noah Strackbein

In a game that should have went Phoenix’s way, the Suns proved once again that inexperience got the best of them. With a five point lead and under six minutes remaining, the Phoenix Suns blew a game that looked completely in their control.

With one of the quickest-paced teams in the NBA, key players need to learn their role in a fast offense. Eric Bledsoe looks like he doesn’t know how to spread the ball when the game moves as fast as the Suns play. If Phoenix is going to win, they need to continue playing this quick, but Bledsoe needs to learn how to control the game, even when the tempo is so high.

The Suns have all the talent in the world, and one of the most underrated teams in the NBA. This young squad can be a threat to a lot of teams in the league, but they need to learn how to play their style of game first.

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The Golden State Warriors have now won 9 straight over the Phoenix Suns dating back to January 31, 2015, a franchise record.

What is Phoenix’s longest streak over the Golden State Warriors?

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Answer: 9

2/21/1989 – 139-121

3/23/1989 – 154-124

11/3/1989 – 136-106

2/16/1990 – 135-114

2/18/1990 – 131-113

4/16/1990 – 141-129

4/20/1990 – 123-106

11/7/1990 – 129-119

1/12/1991 – 127-118

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