Warriors Scorch Suns to Bounce-Back after Disappointing Loss, Win 123-103.
After a disappointing loss in Denver during the first night of their firs back-to-back of the season, the Golden State Warriors (2-1) flew home to take on the Phoenix Suns (1-1). The Warriors were coming off a game in which they nearly came all the way back to beat the Nuggets but lost after getting blocked on the final possession, but they somehow made that comeback despite shooting the ball worse than they have in three seasons. The Suns are also coming off of a loss to Denver in which they allowed Nikola Jokic to get a perfect triple-double, so both these teams had something to prove. The Golden State Warriors went on to win the game 123-103.
The first quarter got started with an alley-oop to Damian Jones from Stephen Curry, and he threw down another one off a lob from Draymond Green as he scored the first four points for the Warriors. The Suns were scoring too though, and Devin Booker was hot, connecting on a mid range jumper and a three from Curry-range. The Warriors were getting whatever they wanted in transition and on fast breaks, as five of their first six baskets were dunks. Damian Jones threw down another and KD had two nice dunks. The Warriors were playing fast and it forced the Suns to call timeout with 7:34 left in the quarter and the Warriors winning 12-7. The Suns came out of the timeout and went on a 4-0 run before Damian Jones got a tip-in and-1 shot to fall. Jones’ spectacular minutes didn’t totally stop the Suns though, as they managed to come back into the game got within one point, but the Warriors took off again from there. Stephen Curry made a tough push-shot in transition and KD hit his second three of the year which forced a Suns timeout. The timeout was called with 2:48 left in the quarter and the Warriors leading 24-18. The Warriors outscored the Suns in the final minutes thanks to some very solid minutes from Alfonzo McKinnie and a three for the legendary Jonas Jerebko on the last possession of the quarter. Damian Jones and Kevin Durant led the Warriors with nine points apiece while Steph looked to be on his way to a triple-double with four points, three rebounds, and seven assists. TJ Warren had nine points to lead the Suns. After the first quarter, the Warriors led 32-23.
Klay Thompson got the first six points for the Warriors in the second quarter with three deep twos, and Jonas Jerebko scored the first non-Klay basket for the Warriors with another three. The Warriors were still just getting almost anything they wanted, and they pushed the lead to 14 by the time the Suns called a timeout with 7:51 left in the half. The Suns weren’t playing poorly on offense, but the Warriors defense was playing really well. Klay Thompson had a nice block and Draymond Green was getting steals left and right. When timeout was called, the Warriors led 46-32. TJ Warren hit a three for the Suns to get them back into it after the timeout, but KD answered back with an elbow jumper, and he hit a fadeaway jumper from the opposite elbow on the next possession. The two teams then went back-and-forth a little bit before Stephen Curry hit his first three of the night. Both offenses stalled after the Curry three, with KD missing layups on back-to-back possessions and Trevor Ariza thinking about Games Six and Seven of the WCF a little too much. Stephen Curry did get a layup to fall, and Devin Booker also made a layup, but the stagnant offenses forced a timeout. The timeout was called with 2:56 remaining in the half and the Warriors winning 58-41. Stephen Curry hit an INCREDIBLE three to get the scoring started after the stoppage, pushing the lead to 20. The Suns made a quick 4-0 run to try and get something going, but the momentum did not change. The Warriors kept their foot on the gas. KD threw down a tomahawk dunk, Klay Thompson locked Devin Booker in a torture chamber, and Quinn Cook drilled a three as time expired. The Warriors led 70-47 heading to halftime.
Kevin Durant led the Warriors in scoring with 15 points, Stephen Curry had 14, and Klay Thompson had 11 points in the quarter to bring his total to 13 points. Damian Jones, Jonas Jerebko, and Alfonzo McKinnie had a great first half, combining for 22 points on 9/10 shooting. The Warriors shot a combined 60.9% (28/46) from the field and 37.5% (6/16) from three while racking up 25 rebounds and 23 assists. Devin Booker and TJ Warren both had 14 points to lead the Sun's, who were shooting a combined 44.4% (20/45) from the field and 25% (4/16) from three. The Warriors only committed seven turnovers in the half, which is astounding compared to their three previous games.
Stephen Curry got the third quarter started with some a free throw, then DeAndre Ayton made two free throws before Kevin Durant made a ridiculous circus shot as the shot clock expired. Devin Booker and Klay Thompson traded threes (Klay’s third three of the season!) before Draymond Green got an and-1 layup to fall off of a steal. The offense stalled for both teams for the next several minutes, but the Warriors defense was still incredible. Devin Booker attempted to iso Klay Thompson once again but came up empty, once again. The Suns eventually called timeout with 7:56 left in the quarter and the Warriors leading 80-55. Trevor Ariza made a three after the timeout to get the game flowing once again, and Damian Jones answered with a nice layup in the paint. Stephen Curry made a corner three after disappearing into the Suns defense like a magician for his third three of the night. The Warriors were aware that they were up by nearly 30 points and were playing like it, trying to get fancy a lot, but it worked out. They didn’t give up much of their lead by the time they called timeout with 2:49 left in the game. Stephen Curry had a nice teardrop layup and Kevin Durant hit a corner three for his second three of the game. When the timeout was called, the Warriors led 93-71. Alfonzo McKinnie made an incredibly high-arcing three out of the timeout for the Warriors, and Steph followed that up with a three of his own. He then hit an absurd heat-check three on the next possession, and he hit ANOTHER heat-check three because there has literally never been a greater shooter to ever walk on the face of the earth. Not a single person. Steph led all scorers with 29 points, and Devin Booker led the Suns with 23. The Warriors wrapped up the third quarter on that incredible run from Steph with a 106-81 lead.
The fourth quarter of this game was garbage time for its entirety, the first of this occurrences for the Warriors all season. The bench played the whole quarter for the Warriors, and they managed to keep the lead at 20 points. The Warriors finished the game shooting a combined 51.1% (45/88) from the floor and 37.8% (14/37) from three. The Suns finished the game shooting 45.3% (39/86) from the field and 27.3% (9/33) from the arc. The Golden State Warriors beat the Phoenix Suns 123-103.
Stephen Curry finished as the game’s leading scorer with 29 points on 11/18 shooting. He made six threes, including four in-a-row to end the third quarter. He has been on fire to start the season, playing better than he did in either of his two MVP seasons. He is proving each game that he is one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Today he set the record for most threes made in a team’s first four game to start a season with 22 (per @EliasSports and @WarriorsPR on Twitter). That record was previously held by, you guessed it, Stephen Curry in 2016 (when he made 402 threes and was the unanimous MVP). He’s the greatest shooter, of any kind, in the history of planet Earth. Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Django, Billy the Kid, Harry Callahan...none of them shot anything better than Stephen Curry shoots a basketball.
Kevin Durant added 22 points, and Klay Thompson added 16. The biggest story of the night (other than Stephen Curry) was the bench. The bench combined to score 38 points, many of which came in real minutes (not the fourth quarter). Damian Jones was spectacular tonight, scoring 13 points and playing No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton off the floor. It was an all-around great night for the Golden State Warriors.
Devin Booker scored 28 points to lead the Suns, but he also got absolutely shut down by Klay Thompson on several possessions. TJ Warren added 27 points on 12/17 shooting, and was very impressive. Deandre Ayton had 20 points and 14 rebounds as he continued to justify his draft position. Trevor Ariza had a pretty bad game, shooting a ghastly 2/12 like it was Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals.
This was a nice bounceback win for the Warriors, who hopefully use the offensive momentum they generated in this game to get on a winning streak.
The Warriors play next on Wednesday, October 24 at home against the Washington Wizards at 7:30 p.m.