by Jerry Feitelberg
The Warriors played the penultimate game of the 2017-2018 season Sunday night in Phoenix and they played the game to win even though a win or a loss would not affect their status as the number two seed in the Western Conference. Klay Thompson was on fire in the first quarter. If he were any hotter, the Suns would have had to call in the Phoenix Fire Department to cool him off. Klay missed his first shot but then went on a run that saw him score 19 consecutive points. He finished the game with 34, and the Warriors won 117-100. Steve Kerr had this to say about Klay’s performance. “That was fun to watch,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “He had the arena pretty excited. Every time he went up for a shot after that first few, you could hear the anticipation of the crowd. Yeah, he had it rolling.” Said Thompson, “It was good to get in a good rhythm, especially with one game left now [in the regular season], and to have some great momentum going into this playoff stretch.” That’s Thompson’s first 30-point performance since Jan. 17 when he scored 38 in Chicago. “I’m shooting a career high in three-point and field-goal percentage, so for me, that’s more valuable than a few big games,” he said.
Klay ended the first quarter with 22 points, and the Warriors finished the period with a four-point lead 33-29. Golden State kept the pressure on as they had the defense working and led by 18 at one point in the second quarter. They cooled off a bit but finished the first half leading 64-50.
The Warriors, as they have done so many times, this won the third quarter 27-22 and led by 19 heading into the fourth quarter. The Suns, missing six players due to injury, were unable to overcome the deficit and fell to the Warriors 117-100.
Game Notes and Stats- The Warriors were led by Klay Thompson’s 34 points. The Warriors beat the Suns for the 15th consecutive time. The Suns own the worst record in the NBA at 20-61. They have one game left to play, and the players probably will be happy to see the season end. The Suns are in the NBA draft lottery, and they will have more chances to get the number one pick.
Four of the five Warrior starters were in double figures. Draymond Green had 14, Kevin Durant 17, Quinn Cook 14, and Klay 34. JaVale McGee scored 11 in just 9 minutes of playing time, and Shaun Livingston pitched in with 10. Steph Curry, Patrick McCaw, and Andre Iguodala were not available due to injury. The Suns were missing Devin Booker, T.J.Warren, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, and Elfrid Payton. However, five of the Suns finished in double figures. Daniel House had a career-high 22 points, Dragan Bender 14, Alex Len 16, Tyler Ulis 15, and Jared Dudley, coming off the bench, 11.
The Warriors play the Utah Jazz Tuesday night in Salt Lake City. This will be the final game of the season for the Warriors, and they will not know who they will be playing in Round One of the playoffs until Wednesday.