While they haven’t received as much acclaim as the Golden State
Warriors’ star-studded backcourt duo, Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic
have given the Phoenix Suns a formidable 1-2 punch of their
Bledsoe and Dragic try to lead the Suns to a fifth consecutive
win Sunday night when they square off against the visiting
Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Phoenix (13-9) has won eight of 11 after beating Sacramento
116-107 on Friday. Bledsoe and Dragic combined for 57 points on
21-of-30 shooting as the Suns improved to 10-3 when scoring in
“Every game is better,” Dragic, who’s scored 60 in the past two
games, said of playing with Bledsoe. “I know what he’s going to do,
he knows what I’m going to do. We’ve got a good feeling about each
other and that’s really tough for opponents.”
Bledsoe, acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers this summer, is
averaging team highs of 19.2 points and 6.3 assists in his first
full season as a starter. Dragic isn’t far behind at 19.0 and 6.2
“(They’re) a great tag team,” coach Jeff Hornacek said. “…
Both of those guys trust each other. They feed off one another and
are starting to get a pretty good feel of what they can do
The Suns haven’t won five straight since Jan. 12-21, 2011, and
they could have difficulty matching that run with the Warriors
(13-11) coming to town. Golden State has taken six straight in the
series, including three in a row at Phoenix.
Those road wins, though, came by a combined eight points, and
Warriors coach Mark Jackson is expecting another battle Sunday.
“The one thing that jumps out, they play extremely hard at every
position. They get after it, they play with an edge,” he said.
“Obviously they have two guys in Bledsoe and Dragic that can get
anywhere they want on the floor.”
Curry and Thompson, meanwhile, are averaging a combined 44.2
points, giving Golden State the highest-scoring backcourt tandem in
the NBA. However, they were limited to 20 and 15, respectively,
while going a combined 2 of 12 from 3-point range in Friday’s
116-112 loss to Houston.
David Lee had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Harrison Barnes
added 20 and a season-high 12 boards, but the Rockets scored 22
points off 18 Warriors turnovers and held a 27-8 edge in
“We turned the basketball over and that cost us,” Jackson said.
“It was a tough loss for us, but ultimately it was because we
turned the basketball over too much. Can’t do that.”
The Warriors gave up 96.3 points per game in opening 8-3, but
they have since allowed 103.6 during a 5-8 stretch. Golden State is
10-2 when holding opponents to 101 points or fewer compared to 3-9
when it doesn’t.
“It’s coming, we just have to continue to get better. It’s
coming,” backup forward Draymond Green said.
Thompson, shooting 43.9 percent from long distance, leads the
NBA with 79 made 3s. He’s gone just 11 of 37 from beyond the arc
over the last five games, though.
The Warriors are 12-3 when Thompson makes at least three 3s
compared to 1-8 when he’s held to two or fewer. He has averaged
21.5 points while going 13 of 24 from 3-point range in four career
starts against Phoenix. Curry has put up averages of 22.3 points
and 11.3 assists over a three-game stretch in the series.
Dragic, averaging 19.5 points in his last six against Golden
State, matched a career high with 32 in a 111-107 home defeat April