Golden State Warriors 115 , Phoenix Suns 86 — The Curry is hot


The memory of the aptly-dubbed Slash Bros. winning a Dec. 15 battle against the Splash Bros. wasn’t lost on either the Phoenix Suns or Golden State Warriors. But on Friday, it was the latter duo that used it as motivation.

While Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson spashed, slashed and gashed the Suns, Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe looked as if their performance from two weeks ago would happen just by stepping onto the court.

The Suns fell to the Warriors 115-86 in Oracle Arena, and their point guard duo certainly played their worst game of the season. Dragic scored eight points to go with three assists, and Bledsoe had just seven points, no assists and four personal fouls in 19 minutes.

Of course, nothing falls on two mens’ shoulders — and to be fair, Dragic appeared to pull up lame early in the game, prompting the training staff to outfit him with a calf sleeve soon after. Jeff Hornacek’s squad wasn’t getting all the easy looks it did when Golden State visited U.S. Airways Center two weeks ago, and on the flip side, the Warriors got layups at the rim off poor weakside rotations or wide open three-pointers.

To start the third quarter, Curry tossed a spicy dish to David Lee and soon grabbed a rebound and had already notched a triple-double, and he finished with 14 points, 16 assists and 13 boards. Seven minutes later, Hornacek had yanked Dragic and Bledsoe for Dionte Christmas and Ish Smith.

On to answering the questions following the worst loss of the year.

Is Andre Iguodala a difference-maker?

If it didn’t show up in the box score, it seemingly did just by watching the continuity of Golden State. While the Warriors’ defense looked flat out bad a few weeks back, there was a major step forward on Friday in terms of rotations being smooth and reactionary. Iguodala finished with eight points and three rebounds.

Aside from the Suns guard being outplayed, the outright rim-protecting domination by Andrew Bogut and the easy buckets at the hoop scored by David Lee, who went 7-of-10 from the floor, did Phoenix in for good.

The only good news for the Suns was the effort from P.J. Tucker, who had 12 boards and four assists.

Who wins Round 2 between the guards?

Here’s a simple way to sum it up: Curry was a rebound and an assist away from a triple-double at the half, when Golden State led 59-40. Meanwhile, Bledsoe scored five points and played just 12 minutes following a second-quarter benching soon after he entered, forced a shot and then fouled Warriors forward David Lee on a layup at the rim.

In the first half, the only good news was Klay Thompson picking up his third foul and only playing 11 minutes – then again, he had scored 11 points in those 11 minutes.

Bledsoe started the second half with three misses at the cup, prompting Hornacek to roll with Dionte Christmas midway through the third.

Which team can shoot better from deep?

The Suns couldn’t get it going in any way during the first half, but they certainly couldn’t score from beyond the arc. Golden State did an excellent job of recovering and challenging threes, and Phoenix went 1-for-11 in the first half. It wasn’t as if Hornacek’s squad was moving the ball to get solid three-point opportunities, however. The Suns had just four assists to 11 turnovers at halftime.

The Suns finished 4-of-23 (17.4 percent) from deep and 36 percent overall. The Warriors hit 52.9 percent and went 8-for-20 from deep.

  • SHAZAM

    best article on the game kevin and I’ve read them all so far..thanks for telling it like it is

  • vtsunrise

    Glad I missed this one. Looks like the entire team was simply cold. Even a totally embarrassing loss just counts as one “L”.

  • EBJM

    I apologize but I’m going to dump all over Frye here. Fans tend to slight David Lee’s abilities yet he was the guy who pushed Frye out of New York. Both were drafted by New York, Frye at #8 and Lee at #30.

    NINE Warriors grabbed more boards than Frye and a tenth matched him in only six minutes.

    There was a play in the 2nd quarter that summed up why the Suns get killed in the lane. I think it was Curry who drove at Frye who halfheartedly showed on him only to let Lee cut back door for a dunk. Plumlee came all the way over from the other side to contest Lee but he was simply too far away and the whole time Frye just stood there in the lane doing nothing.

    Then there is his shot selection, five from three-point and only four from inside the arc.

    I know everybody is happy with the Suns winning and planning for the future but if they could get a real PF they could compete this year.

    Obviously a healthy Warrior squad are the clear favorites out West followed by the Spurs and Thunder and then Houston and Portland.

    Tucker is doing a fantastic job against top billing. Such a shame to waste a good season because you are one player short from competing with the best or because no one expected you to be competitive.

    I know it is only one game but it was the Warriors who decided to make a statement and that they did emphatically.

  • JD

    Frye was so bad he was even able to turn Bledsoe into a useless drone, who wasn’t even able to get as many assists as Slava.

  • Rengaw

    Frye is so one dimentional that if he isn’t drilling 3′s he isn’t worth having on the floor. I would like to see the twins get more touches.

    Gerald Green is an other player that has little game outside of “Bombs Away”. He and Frye are both such poor passers and decision makers.

    Give me the Plumlees and Tuckers of the world.

    Let’s face it, this game with the Warriors was just plain bad. This was the team that the Suns were suppose to be this year. No hustle on defense, jack up bad shots, don’t move the ball, and throw poor passes. I was surprised Horny didn’t raise a little hell with the way they were playing.

  • john

    Every once in a while, these types of games happen for everyone. I’m not worried. I’ll start to be a little more worried if they do the same thing against philly.

  • Foreveris2long

    I definitely agree with the assessment of Frye EBJM. I also think Bledsoe attempted to do too much in dribbling through double teams. However as John said, it happens and will likely happen again Monday in LA. However these are education games to show the Suns how they have to play to compete with the elite. We did not compete last night. Yep EBJM to be consistently good you need more of a low post threat, presumably from the power forward spot. With that in mind, I am going to watch Kentucky play.

  • Voqar

    That game was absolutely brutal to endure.

    Crappy shot selections (gee, I think I’ll try a soft layup against bogut, seems like a GREAT IDEA – *SWAT*).

    Passing, what’s passing, let’s dribble out the clock repeatedly with the ball in Plumlee’s hands at the 3 point line – that’s good offense – oh, then let’s bench plumlee because clearly it’s his fault that the entire team and coach are doing nothing remotely intelligent on offense.

    I guess not passing is better than passing the ball out of bands or directly to the other team.

    4 fouls on Thompson in the first 30 seconds…no problem, (bad) luck happens, it not like the suns can go at a person in foul trouble intentionally and get them out of the game – the only way someone fouls out against the suns is by accident or sheer stupidity.

    Thompson was on fire – and was being dumb as hell with fouling, and the suns STILL couldn’t get him fouled out of the game or into even more foul trouble to get him off the court.

    Ug, I doubt they can play any worse. There is that.

  • Voqar

    Suns really need to get into offense faster, get/keep the ball in the hands of people who SHOULD have it (ie, not plumlee at the 3 point line…wtf idiocy is that), and maybe move and pass some.