After take one Wednesday night bombed worse than “Medellin” in Entourage, the Suns will get another crack at those pesky Golden State Warriors Friday night on ESPN.
They can forget about “17-2″ and take solace in the fact that the scoreboard can read “0-0″ when they start to play this time around.
But what could make all the difference for the Suns is that this game will be played in the friendly confines of US Airways Center rather than the unfriendly confines of downtown Oakland, which has meant everything of late in this series. The home team has won eight straight, including six consecutive Suns wins in Phoenix.
The Warriors last scored a win in the Valley on March 18, 2005, when Baron Davis and a guy you may have heard of namedcombined for 52 in a 110-100 victory for the visitors. At least we know that isn’t going to happen again.
Golden State is also a completely different team away from Oakland, going 11-12 while averaging 112.3 at home and 5-22 while scoring just 101.9 per contest on the road. The Warriors are just 1-14 playing in the gyms of teams that began tonight at or above. 500, but the victory came on ESPN last Friday night in New Orleans.
They have beaten the Celtics, Nuggets, Blazers and (if it’s an accomplishment) the Suns at home and have lost to the Grizzlies, Kings, Wizards and Thunder on the road.
On the J-Rich front, the former Warrior endured a porous 2-for-9 shooting night in his only visit to Golden State last year in a blowout loss but rebounded to score the second most points of his career when the Warriors visited Charlotte by putting up 42 against his former team in a Bobcats win.
Richardson led the Suns with 24 on Wednesday but missed 13 of his 22 shots.
Head coach Terry Porter also won’t be able to pretend like he doesn’t know that Kelenna Azubuike can shoot three-pointers after he drilled four of them and scored 25 points on Wednesday. And if the Warriors use another small ball lineup with the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Azubuike guarding Amare, STAT better punish him like he should.
This game is of particular importance because the Suns have lost eight of 12 and will depart on a brutal three-game trip to Detroit, Philly and Cleveland after this one.
If the Suns don’t find a way to break out of their 2-10 national TV slump on Friday and then play that road trip the way they did their last one, we may not recognize the Suns team that returns to the Valley for All-Star festivities.