Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson helped the banged-up Golden State Warriors get back on track their last time out.
The sharpshooting duo has shined against the Phoenix Suns of late.
With David Lee likely to sit again, the visiting Warriors try to continue their recent success against the Suns on Saturday night.
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Two nights after shooting 31.2 percent – its worst mark in nine seasons – in a 91-75 loss to Charlotte, Golden State (30-20) regained its form in Thursday’s 102-87 win over a Chicago team which is among the league’s best defensively.
Curry led the way with 34 points and nine assists, and Thompson scored 22 for his first 20-point display in three weeks. Thompson hit 8 of 16 from the field after shooting 29.4 percent in the previous five games.
"I won’t forget how great of shooters Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry both are," coach Mark Jackson said. "I will never tell them to stop shooting. It won’t happen. That’s somebody else in a suit and tie on the sideline. As long as I’m here they will have the green light. I believe in them, trust them and they have responded."
The Warriors trailed by as many as 16 in the second quarter before stepping on the gas. They shot 48.2 percent, going 11 of 22 from 3-point range.
"We were just trying to stay positive. No point in sulking and pouting. Nobody’s really got time for that during the game," said Curry, averaging 30.0 points while shooting 53.0 percent over the last 10. "We were talking to each other, trying to figure out what was going on, what we needed to do differently, and it worked out."
Golden State managed to pull away despite the absences of Andrew Bogut (shoulder) and Lee (shoulder, hip), who has missed two of the last three games. Lee is expected to remain out through the weekend, but Bogut could return Saturday.
"We are a no-excuse basketball team, so whoever is in uniform it is a great opportunity for them to step up," Jackson said.
After putting up 30 points in a 106-102 loss at Phoenix on Dec. 15, Curry scored 14 to go along with career highs of 16 assists and 13 rebounds in an easy 115-86 win over the Suns on Dec. 27.
Golden State held Phoenix to its fewest points of the season in that game and has taken seven of eight in this series. Thompson is averaging 23.3 points while shooting 56.3 percent in the last four.
"We have a couple more home games (before the All-Star break)," Thompson said. "We have one on the road which is a big test for us against Phoenix, so it’s really important for us to finish strong and get as much momentum as we can."
The Suns (29-20) have followed a season high-tying five-game winning streak with back-to-back losses, 101-92 to Chicago on Tuesday and 122-108 at Houston on Wednesday. Phoenix allowed the Rockets to shoot 54.9 percent, its highest mark surrendered this season.
"We didn’t stop anybody," coach Jeff Hornacek said. "We didn’t stop anybody (Tuesday) night, either. Our defense has not been very good."
Goran Dragic, averaging 25.7 points and shooting 60.7 percent over the past six games, has scored at least 15 in every game since being held to eight points in the Dec. 27 loss to Golden State.
The Warriors have won nine of 11 on the road after opening 6-9. They are 12-1 as the visiting team when giving up 101 points or fewer compared to 3-10 when they don’t.
The Suns are averaging 107.8 points at home to rank near the top of the NBA. However, they’ve scored 97.3 per game in dropping two of three there.