Phoenix Suns 106, Golden State Warriors 102 -- Squash Bros


PHOENIX – The best shooting backcourt in the league today is certainly Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but the Phoenix Suns’ duo of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic might be the least appreciated. While it was the easy pregame storyline to point to, a little in-game drama did enough to say the two Suns saw it as a statement game.

Or maybe it was just another game, because the duo has been torching opponents over the course of their last five.

The Suns held off the Warriors 106-102, got enough defensive stops down the stretch thanks to P.J. Tucker and Miles Plumlee, then closed it out with free throws to earn their fifth victory in a row.

As it has been during the four-game winning streak leading into Sunday night, the Phoenix backcourt duo set the box score on fire. They combined for 45 points, 12 assists, seven steals and 6-for-9 three-point shooting.

But statement game? For the team trying to prove its start isn’t a fluke, yes, sir.

And as much as Golden State had not answers for the Suns on offense, it was especially impressive that Phoenix’s backcourt stymied Thompson and Curry past what their totals indicated. For an evening, they were the two guys who squashed the Splash Bros.

With Phoenix leading by two points, though, it was P.J. Tucker who didn’t think twice about switching with Bledsoe on Curry to force a fadeaway so tough the Warriors guard landed on his back. Plumlee altered a Thompson layup at the rim a play later, and that was that.

To the questions.

Can turning the ball over early be avoided?

It was, and it put the Suns in control. Phoenix committed two turnovers in the first quarter and had just five in the entire first half. If it weren’t for the Suns allowing Golden State to make a late push in the final 1:30 of the second quarter, Jeff Hornacek’s team could have been leading by double-digits. The Suns had a 59-46 advantage but allowed Curry to score five points as part of a 7-0 run before the break.

But that decent start kept the Suns in control of the game throughout. While Golden State’s defense looked like an abomination, Phoenix set itself up to play from ahead and hold off a rally at home.

How well does Goran Dragic shoot from three?

It started off well for Dragic, who hit his first attempt from deep after Curry failed to chase him all that closely across a on the right wing. He hit his second as well, then nailed an early triple in the second half on the first play the Warriors went to a zone defense.

On a transition play with 5:35 to play in the third, Dragic drifted to the left corner in front of the Golden State bench, drilled it from the corner and barked at the Warriors as he ran back to the bench with the Suns leading 74-65.

Dragic hit all four of his threes on the night, and Phoenix hit 48.1 percent as a team.

Do the Suns do anything to stop Steph Curry or Klay Thompson, or no?

Early on, Curry terribly underthrew two long passes and then off a screen pulled up with a shot that was half bank, half not and definitely not well thought-out. Thompson was simply quiet in the first half and only hit one fadeaway despite being defended by the smaller Dragic. The Slovenian actually played Thompson quite well, and Bledsoe seemed like a tough matchup for Curry to crack.

Curry got hot in the third quarter, scoring 11 after putting in just 10 first-half points and turning the ball over four times. His confidence was found when Bledsoe was subbed out, forcing Dragic to chase him around.

Curry finished with 30 on 8-for-17 shooting, and Thompson hit 7-of-17 shots for 19 points.

  • Bandwagon Fans

    Any room on this bus?

  • SHAZAM

    wow 5 in a row..who would have thunk it..love this team

  • Jeremiah

    Slash Brothers!!

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    Super win for the Suns
    Some different trends I was looking at all pointed to a Warriors victory
    Yet, the Suns still prevailed
    Amazing….This team is really fun to watch

  • http://none Go Phx

    Huge win. This team is definitely making the playoffs. Funnest team to watch in the NBA? Hell yeah! We’re only getting better. A healthy Len could do wonders. This team will be a very tough out in the postseason!

  • Anonymous

    In this years finals, the suns will prevail 4-3 to the Indiana Pacers.

  • Al

    Suns played well. It got a little annoying in the 3rd with some lazy passes and fouls that kept the Dubs in the game. Marcus is developing a smooth fade away shot. Frye has really good games against GS. I just wish he would play like that against every team. I truly hope Phoenix pulls off a trade for Kevin Love by trade deadline (fingers way crossed).
    What do you guys think of this trade:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=q5nspre

    Phoenix trades Okafor and Frye and future 1st round pick to Lakers. Lakers trade Pau to Min. Min trade Love and A.J Price to Suns. (Replace Cunningham for Price. Had to use another player, because Price can’t be traded until the start of 2014.) Suns trade all 4 of their potential 1st round picks for 14 draft.
    Minny finally pairs Rubio with fellow Spaniard, Pau while gaining more young talent immediately in the off season.
    Lakers keep most of their cap space intact for the off season while receiving a stretch four and a 1st rounder for a player they are dying to get rid.

  • SHAZAM

    @ anonymous..you read my mind :) :)

  • Zack B.

    All 4 picks for Love? I think not. Great win though, I stood in the train station, letting trains pass by just to watch the ending. Great defense by PJ at the end, but the Warriors shouldn’t have been that close anyway. New regime, same Suns problems. Still, we grinded it out. Side note: I’m waiting for a triple-double from Bledsoe. It’s very annoying for me to see players flirt with them but not reach them.

  • shooter flatch

    Why are there people still out there wanting to trade Frye? A 7-0 stretch 4 that can give you quality minutes on both sides of the floor, and is big enough to play the 5 when Miles and his low FT percentage is on the bench, isn’t easy find. As great as Love is, he’s 6-8, 6-9 at best. So, who’ll come in for Plumlee? Kravatsov? Careful what you guys wish for.

  • foreveris2long

    It was an exceptional game as the young Suns become more confident every time out it seems. Remember when we had that stretch of blowing games late? Now we are learning from those mistakes.

    Bledsoe and Dragic are creating names for themselves. They fear no one and bring it every night. Gerald Green wasn’t mentioned in the article but he played intelligently aggressive ball tonight. His block of Thompson’s shot was really impressive. Plumlee and PJ were huge down the stretch. I am writing this because I still cannot sleep after the Suns exciting win.

    Four 1st round picks for Love, are you kidding me? I have heard of love for sale but this proposal seems extreme. Love is obviously a good player but no way am I giving away four 1st round picks for him.

  • Melon Man

    Love is not a championship guy. Sure he’ll pull down a ton of defensive rebounds and may go off for a bunch of points but I don’t think he makes the Suns any better.

  • Voqar

    Great game to watch. Would be nice to further cut turnovers and mistakes.

    What’s different about this suns team is they actually play defense so even when they’re making mental blunders on offense they usually don’t get too out of the game.

    Earlier season they played like they thought it was a miracle if they won, now they seem to expect it more and are playing more solidly down the stretch, although…

    …even with previous Suns teams, I have never liked the slow it down and drag out the clock approach at the end of games. It seems to do more harm than good. It’s not and never has been the team’s style of play for the majority of the game, so why switch it up and get out of synch.

    Watching them hold the ball and try to make something happen in the last few seconds of the clock is usually ugly. IMO, they should play their normal offense – which tends to lead to higher quality shots, and let their solid defense hold its own on the other end.

    A lot of teams close the gap on the suns at the very end of games, not so much due to their defense, but because suns go into this slo-mo late clock offense that ends up in a lot of turnovers and horrible shots.

  • JK

    PJ Tucker deserves some NBA All-Defensive recognition for the way he defends other opponents’ best players. He absolutely smothered Curry at the end of the game. Great win by PHX. Excited to see how long we can keep this streak going for!

  • Sunsn7

    Fun to watch but I’m not with the “lets acquire a retread and call ourselves contenders” crowd. I want the Suns to compete for championships from 2015-25, not a fun 6-8 seed team for this year and next.

    Wish Archie Goodwin was getting more in game experience and can understand coach’s dilemma..still.

  • VK1

    Fire Horny and McGenius!!! These guys have no clue on how to tank. Starver is starting to look like owner of the year, can you imagine that.

    I think SUNS7…he had a great post a few days ago, are we playing for now or the future.

    Hopefully we don’t trade for guys like Z-Bo and Gerald Wallace and trying to win it all this yr.

  • Richie

    Are you serious ? ^^ Why the hell would we fire these guys ? Mcdounough is one of the smartest GMs in the league. No one wants to tank. I’m sure when he aqquired Bledsoe and Plumlee , he knew it would be a long season. Its not his fault this team is playing so well.

  • VK1

    Richie…it’s a joke. Those guys are probably coach and GM of the year.

    We Suns fans have short memories. After the first two or three games of the yr we wanted to trade the Morris twins.

    Are we “Igniting the Future” with these guys or we going for a high draft pick, that is my question?

  • Richie

    Its too late to get a high draft pick unless you trade up. A lot of people wanna stop with the trade talk for Love but I like it. Love has made it clear that he doesn’t wanna play for the wolves. Yeah , sure Frye is playing good and hitting 3s but Love can do the same thing. Why not Do Frye, Okafor and 2 first for love. He will give you 20 points and 12 rebounds every night and a backup of Keef will always be good. He can also play the 5. Frye was getting beat up when guarding the centers.

  • john

    I remember being flat out mocked and ridiculed last year for suggesting Love might be interested in the Suns and that they might be a good destination for him. More and more often I’m hearing that idea floating around.

    Also, it’s good to see that the Sarver haters have left/had a change of heart/shut their mouths. It’s crazy how quickly sentiments change when a team wins.