By Shawn Whelchel
Returning to action for the first time since their winning streak came to an abrupt end, the Golden State Warriors resumed their winning ways with a dominating 128-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena on Wednesday.
With three days of rest under their belt, the Warriors had to shake off some first quarter rust, shooting under 40 percent from the field while playing in to the Suns’ strategy of making the contest more of a derby race than a basketball game. The result was a first quarter marathon that saw 50 total shots hoisted up between the two teams, with the Suns assuming a two-point advantage over the Warriors at the end of the first.
But the Warriors would not stay down for long, cleaning up their play on both sides of the ball while dictating the flow of the game in the second quarter to take a 13-point lead heading into the locker room. It would be the last time the Suns were even in contention.
The Warriors started the second half with a scorching offensive display, led by Klay Thompson, who scored 27 of his game-high 43 points in the third quarter. Steph Curry backed up his teammate with a mini-clinic of his own, putting through 13 points of his own to further the Warriors lead. The two Splash Brothers combined for 40 of the Warriors 46 third quarter points, effectively shutting the door on the Suns before the final frame even commenced.
Not to be outdone by their backcourt mates, Golden State’s big-men also got the job done for the Warriors in their dominating third quarter outburst. C Andrew Bogut continued to gobble up boards en-route to his 12-rebound night, while Draymond Green produced his fourth triple-double of the season by the sound of the whistle. He would finish the night with 16 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds.
With no answer for the Warriors dominance on both ends of the court, the Suns were outscored 79-37 during the middle portion of the night’s contest, paving way for what was essentially a victory lap of a fourth quarter.
The Suns would come out shooting, putting up a game-high 38 points in the final quarter, but it would be too little, too late, as the Warriors would put the cap on the beginning of a possible new win-streak.
In a game between the league’s number one -the Warriors- and number three- the Suns- three point shooting teams, it was Golden State who used the deep ball to their advantage, scoring 45 of their points from behind the arc on 15 of 32 shooting. The Suns were uncharacteristically bad from downtown, putting through just 5 of their 22 attempts while trying to play catch up.
With the win, the Warriors were able to keep alive at least one winning streak, as they’ve now won 29 straight games at Oracle Arena. Ominously enough, the Milwaukee Bucks- who were responsible for snapping the Warriors 24 game streak on Saturday- will come to Oracle Arena on Friday to face Golden State for the second time in under a week.