Warriors help Phoenix's Chance at Securing the Number One Overall Pick, Win 117-110
After blowing a game to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night, the Golden State Warriors (57-23) flew to Arizona to take on the Phoenix Suns (20-60). The Warriors would be looking to get back on a roll and get their shooters hot with the playoffs starting this upcoming weekend. The Phoenix Suns had the worst record in the entire NBA coming into this game, and would be looking to bounce back after dropping a game to the Pelicans, or they were looking to lose one more game to clinch a 25% chance at the number one overall pick, but we’re keeping that part on the down low and out of sight. The Warriors would still be without Stephen Curry and Pat McCaw, but joining them on the inactive list was Andre Iguodala, who was not injured, but resting. After their loss to the Pelicans on Saturday, the Warriors waived Omri Casspi, who has been out with injury for quite some time, in order to make room on the playoff roster for Quinn Cook. The Warriors went on to win the game 117-100.
Klay Thompson came out of the gates in the first quarter with his guns blazing. He was simply spectacular in the beginning of the first quarter, scoring 14 of the team’s first 19 points. He was 6/7 from the field and it looked like he was in one of those zones that only a shooter as great as him can get in. Despite Klay’s efforts on the offensive end, the team’s defense was lacking, and the Suns were able to leak through and get easy shots at the basket often in the first couple minutes of the quarter. Klay’s incredible shooting forced a Suns timeout with just over six minutes left in the quarter, but after the timeout, Klay was still just as hot. He was connecting on just about every shot he put up, and by the time the Warriors called their first timeout with just over two minutes left in the quarter, Klay was 9/11 for 22 points. Quinn Cook was also hitting some nice shots, and had five points at the time of the timeout. After the timeout by the Warriors, the Suns were guarding Klay so tightly that he couldn’t even receive a pass. The Warriors were able to get some scoring from Kevon Looney and JaVale McGee, who were both playing pretty well in the opening quarter. The defense from the Warriors was not great, and they were letting the Suns grab offensive rebounds as well as get open shots around the hoop. The leading scorer for the Warriors was Klay Thompson, who had 22 points on 9/11 shooting. The Suns were led by Daniel House and Dragan Bender, who both had seven points. After the first quarter, the Warriors led the Suns 33-29.
Draymond Green opened the second quarter with a deep three, and that was the start of a 9-2 run. Shaun Livingston was playing pretty well to begin the second quarter, getting two and-1’s to fall. The Warriors were playing much better on both ends to start the second quarter, and outscored the Suns 14-5 in just over three minutes, forcing a Suns timeout. Just before that timeout, Quinn Cook had an incredible layup in which he put a Troy Daniels in the spin cycle, his points total was up to seven. The Warriors did cool off as the quarter progressed, but they were still doing a decent job of getting the ball in the hoop. Towards the end of the quarter, the defense did falter a little bit as the Suns were able to get some easy baskets, but the defense was pretty good for the majority of the quarter. Klay Thompson was still the leading scorer for the Warriors with 24 points, but he had cooled off a little bit, missing a couple threes. After going scoreless in the opening quarter, Kevin Durant was getting in on the action and had 11 points of his own. Tyler Ulis was the leading scorer for the Suns with 11 points, and the team was doing a good job of getting everyone involved in the offense as 8/9 active players had scored. As a team, the Warriors were shooting 55.6% from the field and 44.4% from three. The Suns were not shooting nearly as well as the Warriors, only shooting 35.3% from the floor and 27.8% from three. As the quarter came to a close, Kevin Durant hit a three on the last possession for the Warriors to send them to halftime with a hearty lead. At the half, the Warriors led the Suns 64-50.
The Warriors opened up the third quarter with some nice shooting, especially from Kevin Durant. KD hit two shots early, including a nice step-back jumper to bring his scoring total to 15 points. Draymond Green also was able to score, and had nine points by the time timeout was called halfway through the quarter. The Suns were shooting the ball well to begin the quarter, and had cut the lead to 10 points. Draymond Green was cooking after the timeout, getting three straight steals and he hit a three, it was one of his most impressive stretches of the year. The Warriors offense took off after that timeout, and they were able to pile on to their lead and extend it to nearly 20 points. Klay Thompson was still the leading scorer with 24 points, but Durant was catching him and had 17 points after the third. Draymond and JaVale McGee joined them in double-figures after an impressive quarter. The most impressive part of the third quarter was the defense from the Warriors, who had seven blocks and eight steals by the time the third quarter ended. After the third, the Warriors led the Suns 91-72.
The Suns started off the fourth quarter with some nice offense, and as they got rolling, cutting into the Warriors lead, that reawakened Klay Thompson and the Warriors offense. Klay got his groove back and scored seven points, three of which came on a three from Curry-range. Shaun Livingston had a nice dunk in the lane to help keep the flow going, and the Warriors had a 20-point lead once again. The rest of the fourth quarter was garbage time and the starters were pulled. In the garbage time, Quinn Cook hit a couple shots, and Nick Young got on the board with a three for his first points of the game. Klay Thompson finished as the leading scorer for the Warriors, finishing with 34 points on 14/23 shooting. Six different Warriors finished with double-digit scoring numbers, and five players on Phoenix were in double-digits. The leading scorer for the Suns was Daniel House, who had 22 points. As a team, the Warriors finished the game shooting 52.2% from the floor and 40.6% from three. The Suns shot a combined 42.4% from the field and 28.6% from three. The Warriors won the game 117-100.
Klay Thompson was obviously had the most impressive game for the Warriors, and he had one of his best scoring outputs of the season, but Kevin Durant also had a really good game, and one aspect of that game really flew under the radar. He only had 17 points, which is low for him, but he did pick up nine assists, which will be huge in the playoffs, especially in the first round where there aren’t as many scoring options. Draymond Green had a solid game, finishing with 14 points, six of which came off of threes. He also had six rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block. It was good to see most of the Warriors get some rolling offensively, and the confidence from tonight’s win should help propel the offense without Stephen Curry in the first round.
The Warriors play their last game of the regular season on Tuesday, April 10, in Utah against the Jazz at 6:00 p.m.