Notebook: Warriors 108, Suns 98



Posted Feb 21, 2013 2:15 AM

By Geoff Lepper, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Klay Thompson scored 28 points and Stephen Curry added 20 points and 11 assists as the Golden State Warriors snapped a six-game losing streak with a 108-98 victory against the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night.

Facing what Golden State coach Mark Jackson termed "the biggest game of the season," the Warriors (31-23) led almost from wire to wire. Still, they never could deliver a decisive knockout blow to the last-place Suns (18-37), who had been bidding to sweep a road back-to-back for the first time all season.

David Lee contributed 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for Golden State, which hadn't won since Feb. 2, when the Warriors also beat the Suns at Oracle Arena.

Goran Dragic led Phoenix with 20 points, 10 assists and five steals. Jermaine O'Neal had 17 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.

QUOTABLE: "He said we need to play with too much pride to lose to Phoenix at home with their record, and we got the win."

-- Warriors center Andrew Bogut on Jackson's pregame instructions

THE STAT: Coming into Wednesday, the Suns had broken the 100-point barrier only twice in their previous 23 games. Golden State managed to hold them under that mark, if barely, which represented a huge improvement against the 117.5 points the Warriors hemorrhaged during their six-game skid.

TURNING POINT: The Suns made periodic runs throughout the second half, and closed to within four points (94-90) with 4:20 remaining, forcing a timeout from Jackson. The Warriors regrouped and responded with a 10-2 burst that put the game away for good.

GOOD MOVE: Jackson made a critical decision during that timeout. Rather than asking Jarrett Jack to initiate the offense, as has been typical during fourth quarters this season, Jackson put the ball in Curry's hands. The guard responded by getting loose for a running, banked 13-footer, then draining a pull-up 3-pointer. That stretched the Warriors' lead to 99-90.

QUOTABLE II: "Ultimately, I did not want Steph to be a bystander. I did not want him to wait for the action to come to him. I wanted to put him in the action. There [are] some nights where [Jarrett] Jack is going to make the plays, but I thought the situation called for the ball in Steph's hands and for him to be a playmaker."

-- Mark Jackson

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Bogut finished out the second half of a back-to-back set for the first time all season, and put up 11 rebounds, seven points, five assists, three blocks and two steals in a season-high 29 minutes.

HOT: Was it the 10,000 bobbleheads made in his likeness given away Wednesday by the Warriors? Or was it the rumors of a potential deal that would ship him to New Orleans in exchange for Eric Gordon? Whatever the fuel, Thompson started out blisteringly hot, sinking his first six shots and finishing the first quarter with 14 points.

NOT: Belying their status as the league's next-to-worst 3-point shooting team, Phoenix went 8-for-14 from deep through the first three quarters. Then the bottom dropped out; the Suns were 1-for-3 beyond the arc in the fourth quarter, and 9-for-22 overall as they couldn't put together a last-minute push.

QUOTABLE III: "When you're playing uphill, you almost have to play perfect to come out with a win on the road against a good team. We were far from perfect."

-- Suns interim coach Lindsay Hunter

NOTABLE: O'Neal, playing in his 17th NBA season, delivered a great block at the rim to short-circuit a potentially stupendous jam from Warriors forward Harrison Barnes midway through the second quarter, then gave the rookie a finger wag -- Dikembe Mutombo-style. . . . O'Neal has double-digit boards in three straight games for the first time since 2009. . . . Jack had 21 points for the Warriors, his ninth game scoring more than 20 this season.

UP NEXT: For the Suns, Friday vs. Boston, Sunday vs. San Antonio, Tuesday vs. Minnesota. For the Warriors, Friday vs. San Antonio, Sunday @ Minnesota, Tuesday @ Indiana.