Despite the absence of six key players (Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Cam Johnson…), the Suns got off to the best start thanks to former Warrior Damion Lee. He scored 8 points on 100% shots to allow his team to outscore their opponents 12-0, despite a Klay Thompson shutout in the first quarter (33-26).
Damion Lee and Duane Washington Jr. drove the point home as Golden State, with a returning but rusty Stephen Curry, lacked intensity and toughness.
The Warriors already had nine turnovers, and a new 10-0 Suns took the gap to +17 in front of a stunned Chase Center (53-36)! The Warriors are still able to stop the bleeding before the break (59-44).
Back from the locker room, nothing changed, and Phoenix started on a 5-0 run. The Warriors rallied and their swagger allowed the Suns to relax. Dario Saric and Mikal Bridges were punished from a distance and the gap grew to reach 27 units (92-65)!
While some fans were embarrassed to start booing their players, the better defense and especially the awakening of Jordan Poole, author of 17 points at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth, kept the -hope (100-86).
In the process, Stephen Curry scored a 3-pointer to confirm the momentum of the Warriors but the referees whistled an offensive foul on Andre Iguodala on a mobile screen. Steve Kerr requested a video challenge but the referee’s decision remains unchanged.
Stephen Curry can catch fire to bring Golden State to within six points, the Warriors are too far gone to hope to turn things around. Mikal Bridges and Damion Lee ensure a well-deserved victory for Phoenix. A victory that allowed them to move back into the Warriors in the Western Conference standings.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– The Days are getting shorter but with fangs. The Suns showed up on the Chase Center floor without Devin Booker, Chris Paul, DeAndre Ayton, Cameron Payne, Landry Shamet, and Cameron Johnson! Or six of the seven key players in their rotation. While we might have expected an easy matchup for the Warriors with Stephen Curry and their starting five back, Monty Williams’ men played with more desire, more intensity, and more toughness than their opponent. They simplified their defensive game plan and Golden State’s offense went overboard for 40 minutes.
– The Warriors, their heads under water. After their failure against Orlando, everyone expected the reaction of the Warriors who also recorded the return of Stephen Curry. As against the Magic, they are content with passing the 3-point line and shooting long distance. Out of rhythm, they continued to play upside down to finish the meeting with 17 turnovers, and conceded 20 rebounds to give their opponent 36 points and collect their third straight home loss.
– Damion Lee accepts his championship ring. Returning to San Francisco for the first time since leaving the Warriors this summer, Damion Lee received a standing ovation from the Chase Center and his championship ring from his brother-in-law Stephen Curry. The former Warrior celebrated the occasion by scoring 8 of his 22 points in the first quarter to put the Suns in orbit.
✅ Mikal’s Bridges. Without Chris Paul and Devin Booker, he became the primary running back and created the Suns. That night he excelled in that role, finishing with 26 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and several late game-defining baskets.
✅ Dario Saric – Damion Lee – Duane Washington Jr. 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists for the Croatian. 22 points for the former Warrior. And 21 points and 5 assists for the third leader. All three players have been extremely important to Monty Williams
✅ Clay Thompson. Only Warrior survived the first few minutes, the “Splash Brother” scored 14 of his 29 points in the first quarter and was the only player from Golden State to play all game.
✅⛔ Jordan Poole–Stephen Curry. The two scorers were transparent for 3/4 of the match, before catching fire in the final 15 minutes. Jordan Poole scored 23 of his 25 points there, while Stephen Curry, out of rhythm, scored 16 of his 24 points in the final quarter. He finished the game 5/15 from distance.
⛔ Andrew Wiggins. As against Orlando, the Warriors winger seemed off the pace. His intensity picked up in the final quarter but his 5/15 on shots was a blemish.
Golden State (20-21) : travels to San Antonio on Friday to start a five-game road trip.
Phoenix (21-21): back-to-back trip to Denver tonight.