by Jerry Feitelberg
Oakland- The Golden State Warriors needed a strong performance by Klay Thompson to down the young and hungry Phoenix Suns 133-120 Sunday night at the Oracle Arena.The Warriors, who had a hard time beating the Suns in Phoenix on October 30th, had another tough time subduing the Suns coached by Earl Watson.
The Suns fell behind early in the first quarter 12-7. They then went on an 11-0 run and led by seven 30-23 with 1:30 left in the period. The Dubs defense played better, and they closed the gap to two, but the Warriors committed a shooting foul with just 1/2 second left on the clock. The Suns made the two free throws and led by four 32-28.
It was more of the same in the second quarter. The Dubs led by three 62-59 at the end of the first half. Phoenix continued to play well, and the Warriors could not put them away. The Warriors did increase the lead to seven at the end of the third period, but the Suns took it to them and led the Dubs 111-106 with 6:15 left to play. The Warriors woke up on offense and defense. Klay Thompson scored eighteen of his thirty points in the quarter and the Warriors defense, led by Draymond Green, was able to keep the Suns under control. The Dubs win 130-122.
The Warriors were led by Klay Thompson, Steph Curry with 30 points, six assists, and six rebounds. Kevin Durant added twenty-nine, and he had five assists and nine boards. Mr. defense, Draymond Green, had a double-double. He scored fourteen points, eleven assists, and seven rebounds. The Suns had six players in double figures. Eric Bledsoe and T.J.Warren each scored twenty. Devin Booker added nineteen; Jared Dudley had fourteen, Brandon Knight pitched in with 10. Former Warrior, and a very popular player when he was here, Leandro Barbosa knocked down eleven. The Warriors honored their former player with a video tribute during a timeout in the first quarter. The fans gave Barbosa a standing ovation, and he waved back to the crowd.
After the game, coach Steve Kerr said:”We’re trying to win a championship, you don’t do that simply by outscoring people.” “We set a bad tone on defense from the beginning.” “They (the Suns) played a really good game.” “We did not do a good job defensively.Gotta play better.”
The Warriors improve to 8-2, and the Suns fall to 3-8. The Warriors start a four-game eastern trip starting Wednesday in Toronto against the Raptors. Friday night they meet the Boston Celtics then play a back-to-back game Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. If you remembered last year, the Dubs had a very tough victory against the Celtics to keep their winning streak alive. They then went to Milwaukee, and the Bucks beat them snapping their 24-game winning streak. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.