Suns Recap: Latest Heartbreak A Typical Occurrence

April 2, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) shoots the game-winning basket during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Suns 107-106. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
April 2, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) shoots the game-winning basket during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Suns 107-106. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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Well that was typical.

Five defeats by game-winners and 17 losses by five points or fewer. Those are the stats that will ultimately define this 2014-15 season for the Phoenix Suns.

In a chaotic final minute, the Golden State Warriors had the ball last and Harrison Barnes bodied his way past Archie Goodwin before pushing up a runner that bounced high off the back rim and fell through the net, simultaneously breaking the (already broken) hearts of Suns fans everywhere while igniting a typically loud Oracle Arena crowd as the Warriors won their 13th straight game, 107-103.

After T.J. Warren gifted the Suns a three-point lead with just over a minute to go, Klay Thompson fired back with a three to tie it up yet again.

Phoenix went to their proven method of €œiso-P.J.€ and the feisty forward delivered, blowing (okay plodding) past Andrew Bogut and finishing with a reverse lay-up. P.J. Tucker‘s layup was just the beginning of a hectic final minute to the game.

That’s when the hilarity ensued.

Stephen Curry missed a tough floater, Andrew Bogut couldn’€™t hit an easy tip in and Brandan Wright tapped it out leaving three Suns around the ball without a blue and gold jersey in sight. Of course, that was a death sentence for the snakebitten Suns, as both Eric Bledsoe and Tucker got a hand on the ball deflecting it to an open Harrison Barnes who proceeded to miss a layup.

Andrew Bogut continued to make Phoenix’€™s position of weakness increasingly obvious as he got yet another offensive rebound and kicked it out to Klay Thompson, who tossed it over to his Splash Brother. Curry drilled the back-breaking three-pointer to give the Warriors a one-point lead with six seconds left.

Phoenix, continuing to showcase the heart that’€™s been missing over the last couple of outing, scored quickly on an inbounds play as Bledsoe sprinted past Thompson on a curl and finished with ease at the basket.

All that preceded Barnes’ shot.

Chaos.

The Warriors took an 11-point halftime lead after an anemic start on offense, but the Suns fought their way back in behind the play of T.J. Warren and Goodwin.

Curry led the way for the Warriors with 28 points, eight rebounds (ridiculous) and five assists.

Bledsoe finished with an impressive 18 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and a less than impressive 6-for-11 mark from the field.

The Inevitable Run

For the third consecutive game, the Suns got off to a strong start and failed to carry that momentum beyond on the first quarter. Phoenix led by 18 early against Oklahoma City and 10 against Portland, only to lose those two games by a combined 35 points.

Against the best offense in basketball a run seemed inevitable after Golden State dropped just four points over the game’s opening five minutes. Sure enough, the Fighting Kerr€™s ripped off 10 points over the next two minutes and the bleeding didn’€™t stop there.

The run was keyed by Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala repeatedly making the extra pass. Golden State’€™s ball movement stuck out like a sore thumb after watching the Suns’ utter indecision on the other end.

The Wright Starter

Whenever Alex Len is out, Brandan Wright has found a way to make his absence negligible. In the two games Len missed earlier this month, Wright averaged 17.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.0 blocks. With Len out for at least a week Wright has another opportunity to make his case for a big contract this summer and he started on a strong note dropping 16 and 12.

He showcased some beautiful ball handling in the first quarter after he led a run out, stepped through over a smaller defender and kept the ball high before flushing it home. It’€™ll certainly be fascinating to see how much interest Wright, an analytics darling, gets over the summer and whether or not he stays within the Suns’ price range.

Youth In Revolt

I argued on Wednesday that Phoenix should start throwing their young bench into pressure situations and see what they can do. Playing a Golden State team that had won 34 of its 36 games in Oracle certainly qualified. T.J. Warren scored 15 points in the final quarter, showcasing a feathery touch around the rim and a midrange game beyond his years.

Warren was also cool under pressure, hitting a 12-foot pull-up at the minute mark and then going right at Andre Iguodala, spinning against his momentum and hitting an eight-foot push shot to extend the lead to three with just over 26 seconds to go.

Warren twice bailed out Bledsoe after he got caught too deep in the lane, and he just stands out with his ability to move off the ball and his activity around the rim.

He finished with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go with five rebounds, and was one of the few bright spots after yet another disheartening loss right before the buzzer.

Next: Phoenix Suns: 5 Expectations For Remainder Of 2014-15 Season

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