The Suns avoid the sweep to beat the reigning champs
The Suns headed to Oakland for the second night of a back-to-back, hoping to at least get one win on the road after losing to the Blazers on Saturday night. This is the fourth and final time the Suns faced the Warriors this season and they hoped to avoid the sweep.
Golden State had a 16-point lead in the first half but Phoenix slowly chipped away at it and had an 8-point lead in the third quarter. The Warriors died by the three and shot 21 percent from that range. Devin Booker took advantage, scoring 37 points in a 115-111 win. Kelly Oubre Jr. went 4-5 shooting from downtown with 22 points.
Both the Suns and Warriors got off to a slow start. That was until Klay Thompson caught fire, picking up right where he left off from his Friday night game against Denver.
Phoenix went 0-4 to start as Golden State took a 12-3 lead early. Suns struggles from downtown continued as they went 1-9 from that range in the first quarter.
Phoenix closed the quarter with a 5-2 run after a three-pointer from Josh Jackson and a midrange jumper from Booker. Not the start the Suns wanted but they were still within reach. Warriors had a 29-16 after one.
Booker scored nine of his 11 points in the second to give the Suns the spark they needed on the offensive end. Deandre Ayton was also having his way with Cousins showing off his spin move and midrange jumper right over him. He went 6-9 from the field for 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Phoenix got within four but the Warriors will be the Warriors and continued to respond to the Suns runs with a couple triples from basically everyone including Thompson who continued to go off and Stephen Curry.
The Suns stayed with it as they got things going from beyond the arc. Josh Jackson hit a couple three-pointers along with Oubre Jr. On the other end, Phoenix forced a much-needed turnover and Booker capitalized in transition to tie up the game at 53.
Thompson with a rare miss led to another basket for the Suns. Richaun Holmes scored and went to the foul line giving the Suns their first lead of the game 56-55 with 30 seconds left.
That lead didn’t last for long as Thompson hit another shot to give Golden State a 57-56 lead going into halftime. He had 19 points on 7-13 shooting.
The Suns came out strong on both ends of the floor. Both Oubre Jr. and Booker had 5 quick points to give the Suns a 73-65 lead early in the third.
It helped that the Warriors missed four straight three-pointers. They were 18 percent from that range. Curry continued to struggle from downtown going 3-13 from that range but we all remember what happened the last time he faced the Suns. He went off in the fourth.
Booker took the lead back on a drive through the lane but had been chirping at the referees all night for the lack of foul calls. He ended up getting a technical foul and the Warriors were back within 1. The Suns had three technical fouls in their game against the Blazers the night before.
Booker let the clock run out and got fouled on a drive. He hit two free throws to end the third. Golden State with the 80-79 lead over Phoenix.
Warriors opened the quarter on an 8-2 run with back-to-back scores from Cousins. Since their struggles from outside continued, they scored 46 of their points in the paint.
Suns coach Igor Kokoskov called a desperate timeout to get his Suns back in the game and they responded well. Tyler Johnson hit a pair of free throws and drew a charge at the other end, Mikal Bridges knocked down a shot from downtown and Ayton continued to shine down low to give Phoenix an 89-88 advantage with 8:21 left in the fourth.
Curry started to heat up from beyond the arc as he hit two straight three-pointers but Booker was heating up as well scoring 13 straight points including a three to extend the Suns lead 106-98 with 3:20 left to play.
Golden State got within five points with 1:35 left to go and Warriors fans were loud and on their feet.
Suns forced a Warriors turnover but Thompson’s lock down defense at the other end forced Booker to turn the ball over.
Golden State was within three points with 20 seconds left and Curry looked to save the day with a wide open three but can’t convert.
Booker will lead the Suns with 37 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds to a 115-111 victory at Oracle.