Notebook: Warriors 113, Suns 93

Posted Feb 3, 2013 1:49 AM

Geoff Lepper, for

THE FACTS: Stephen Curry returned from a two-game absence due to another right ankle sprain to provide a game-high 29 points and eight assists in the Golden State Warriors' 113-93 victory against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.

Warriors rookie forward Harrison Barnes tied his career high with 21 points, while David Lee added 16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. That helped ensure Golden State will take a four-game winning streak into a four-game road trip next week against some of the Western Conference's elite competition, including stops in Oklahoma City and Memphis.

Michael Beasley led Phoenix with 24 points, although he needed 23 shot attempts to get there. The Suns have now lost four of five since greeting interim coach Lindsey Hunter with a two-game winning streak.

QUOTABLE: "Earlier today, he was pleading, but I just wanted to use wisdom and make sure it was the right thing to do. The worst thing to do was to rush him out there and then we have something else to deal with. We have a bunch of games coming up and we wanted to be smart. . . . He had a heck of a ball game."
-- Warriors coach Mark Jackson

THE STAT: Golden State drilled Phoenix for 66 points in the paint, the most the Warriors have scored and the most the Suns have allowed this season. The Warriors weren't bad outside the lane, either, shooting 9-for-19 on 3-pointers.

TURNING POINT: Although Phoenix led 52-48 at the half, it didn't feel particularly sustainable, since it was fueled to such an extent by the Suns' 19 points off nine Golden State turnovers. It proved to be so in the third quarter. The Suns took a 58-48 lead 92 seconds after halftime by converting David Lee's stolen pass into a three-point play by Goran Dragic. But the Warriors didn't cough the ball up for the rest of the period, which helped fuel a 30-10 run that blew the game wide open.

HOT: When Curry sprained his right ankle in mid-January, he struggled with his shooting touch in his first game back, going 5-for-17 in a 116-112 win at New Orleans. Saturday opened in the same vein, but Curry came alive in the second half, going 7-for-12 and 4-for-5 from deep en route to 19 points after intermission.

QUOTABLE II: "This is the third time this season we've had this back-and-forth, about how I feel versus what the trainers are saying, and when the right time to come back was. I put up a good fight today."
-- Stephen Curry

NOT: Beasley and Luis Scola split time at one of Phoenix's frontcourt spots in the third quarter and the Suns got a scoreless 0-for-7 shooting performance to show for it.

ROOKIE WATCH: Barnes is often a third or fourth option in the Warriors' offense, but he made the most of his opportunities Saturday, consistently storming through Phoenix defenders en route to a 9-for-11 night where all but two of the shots came from inside eight feet.

GOOD MOVE: The Warriors have taken of late to putting 6-foot-7 shooting guard Klay Thompson on the opponent's point guard, but after Dragic keyed the Suns' offense with 10 points and three assists in the first half, coach Mark Jackson went back to using Curry straight up instead of cross-matching. Dragic was limited to three points the rest of the way.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Lee has now become the first player to put up at least 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in four consecutive games since Kevin Garnett did it for Minnesota in April 2003.

INSIDE THE ARENA: There was plenty of cheering from fans in the second quarter when the Warirors put up a video-board message wishing the San Francisco 49ers good luck in Super Bowl XLVII tomorrow. But there was an undercurrent of clearly audible boos as well -- possibly Oakland Raiders supporters or disaffected Golden State fans unhappy over the team's planned move to San Francisco in 2017.

NOTABLE: Curry, Lee, Jarrett Jack and Thompson all had at least seven assists -- marking the first time the Warriors had done that in franchise history. . . . At 30-17, the Warriors reached the 30-win plateau earlier than in any season since 1975-76, when they were 30-9 on Jan. 16. . . . Golden State was credited with a 13th consecutive sellout, the longest such streak since renovations in 1996-97 expanded Oracle Arena to a 19,596 capacity. The Warriors sold out the old 15,025-seat Coliseum Arena for 301 straight games from 1989-96.

UP NEXT: For the Suns, Tuesday at Memphis, Wednesday at New Orleans, Friday at Oklahoma City. For the Warriors, Tuesday at Houston, Wednesday at Oklahoma City, Friday at Memphis.