Warriors look to extend 15-game winning streak over Suns
The Warriors dominated the Suns last season, sweeping the four-game season series by an average score of 122-100 while shooting better than 50 percent in each contest.
The 487 points scored by the Warriors against the Suns were tied for the fourth-most in any matchup last season. Golden State’s 502 points in four games against the Los Angeles Lakers topped that list.
The sweep extended Golden State’s winning streak over Phoenix to 15 games, the Warriors’ longest against a single opponent in franchise history.
The last time the Suns beat the Warriors was on Nov. 9, 2014, which was Steve Kerr’s sixth game as the Golden State coach. Kerr had begun his coaching career 5-0.
Kerr got credit for all four wins last season despite, technically, not coaching one of the games. He stepped aside to allow his veteran players to “coach” the team in the clubs’ first meeting last season, a 129-83 home win in February that did not sit well with several members of the Suns and their coach at the time, Jay Triano.
“You have to do what you have to do to build your own team up,” Triano said to reporters rather curtly after the shellacking. “If he thinks that helps them, I tip my hat.”
Without singling out anyone, Kerr responded harshly a day later to those who criticized him.
“I’ve been quickly reminded today of what an insane world we live in,” he told reporters after social media had piled on, “and how everything now is just a story and constantly judged and picked apart.”
The Suns didn’t have star guard Devin Booker for any of the four head-to-heads last season. He sat the February meeting with a hip injury, then missed the last three contests with a season-ending hand injury.
Booker wasn’t totally recovered from the hand issue during the preseason, sitting out all five Suns games.
He returned to pour in 35 points in the Suns’ season-opening, 121-100 home win over Dallas, before scoring 25 in Saturday’s 119-91 loss at Denver.
Booker won’t be the only somewhat unfamiliar face awaiting the Warriors on Monday. The Suns imported veteran forwards Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson from a Houston Rockets team that took Golden State to the limit before falling in seven games in the Western Conference Finals last May,
The Suns flew to Oakland after Saturday’s loss, beating Golden State to California by a full day. The Warriors saw the Nuggets in Denver on Sunday night, falling 100-98.
The back-to-back is one of just 13 — an all-time franchise-low — the Warriors will have to endure this season.
The Warriors returned home after a tough two-game stretch at Utah and Denver, with both games decided by shots at the buzzer.
Jonas Jerebko stunned his former teammates with a tip-in with three-tenths of a second remaining at Utah on Friday night, providing the Warriors with a 124-123 victory.
The Warriors then were two feet away from sending Sunday’s loss at Denver into overtime before Damian Jones had a layup blocked from behind by the Nuggets’ Juan Hernangomez as time expired.