Most disturbing part of the Phoenix Suns loss to Golden State Warriors

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The loss to Golden State on Monday evening in California, and while the loss itself was not the end of the world, there were two disturbing signs for the Phoenix Suns.

Phoenix losing the final match-up of the regular season with Golden State is not a big deal, especially when we remember that Kevin Durant did not play. However, not all losses are equal, and there were a couple of real negatives in the loss that Phoenix need to turn around quickly, with or without the slim reaper.

First-quarter flop back for Phoenix against Golden State

Maybe the best part of the Phoenix Suns since the All-Star break has been how the team started basketball games. During the dark times of December and January, when everyone was injured, and Phoenix was in free fall, getting jumped from the jump ball was commonplace. Since the All-Star break, those terrible starts, leaving the team in a gigantic hole, were seemingly a thing of the past.

Monday against the Warriors, Golden State came out in playoff mode, and the Suns came out to play a game. The Suns were down 8-0 before they knew what hit them, it did not get better. Even when the Warriors went quiet, like the minute and a half where they couldn’t score, turnovers, missed shots, and more turnovers cost the Suns the opportunity to close the gap early.

Following a timeout, back-to-back three-pointers from Klay Thompson, who had 16 of the first 24 for Golden State, left Phoenix sputtering down 24-9 and out of action.

Yes, the Suns fought back, but big shots and smart use of the timeout by Steve Kerr kept Phoenix from ever getting over the hump. In quarters two through four, the Suns outscored the Warriors by 11; however, when you lose the first quarter by 22 points, you will likely lose the game as Phoenix did.

Suns again lack execution down the stretch to come back

As worrisome for Monty Williams and the team as the first quarter flop from his team is the lack of execution down the stretch. While the 43-point first quarter put a real dent in the effort, if you only give up 48 points in the second half, you should win the basketball game, and the Suns didn’t.

After putting up 67 points in the middle two quarters, the Suns failed to execute down the stretch scoring only 24 points in the fourth quarter. While they did hold Golden State to 25, if you only score 24 points in the final period, you will not will many basketball games.

Of course, the Suns will automatically execute better when Durant returns. However, there is a long road between now and Durant’s return, beginning with Milwaukee at home tonight. If Phoenix has a chance, they must give themselves a chance and play better in the first and last quarters.

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