Suns Edge Warriors in Preseason
PHOENIX (AP) Steve Nash scored 16 points, Robin Lopez had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and the Phoenix Suns overcame Monta Ellis' 29 points, beating the Golden State Warriors 92-87 in a preseason game Tuesday night.
The victory snapped a three-game exhibition losing streak for the Suns (2-5). Despite the win the Suns are assured of their first losing preseason since 2003.
The Suns almost frittered away a 12-point fourth-quarter lead, as Golden State rallied behind Brandan Wright's 10 points late in the period and pulled within 87-85. The Warriors had a chance to tie the score, but Ellis missed a drive with 23 seconds remaining. Channing Frye's four free throws helped the Suns hold on.
Wright finished with 14 points for Golden State (3-3).
Frye wound up with 14 points, while Jason Richardson scored 11 and Goran Dragic had 10 for the Suns.
Wright finished with 14 points for Golden State (3-3), while Stephen Curry scored 12, including 11 in the final period, and Dorell Wright had 10.
As befitting these teams, the pace was frantic from the outset. But the shooting was poor, especially in the first period, when the Suns were 9 for 26 (34.6 percent) from the field, including 1 for 6 from 3-point range, and the Warriors were 7 for 26 (26.9 percent) and 1 for 9 on 3s.
After one quarter, the Suns led 21-19, but by halftime they had built a 46-38 lead on the strength of a 13-0 run. That spurt, keyed by a 3-pointer and a turnaround jumper on consecutive shots by Richardson, lifted Phoenix from a 34-31 deficit to a 44-34 lead.
Surprisingly, the Suns, one of the poorest free throw shooting teams during the preseason, hit all eight of their foul shots in the half. Still, the woeful 3-point shooting continued. Golden State converted only 1 of 8 3s in the second period and Phoenix was 1 for 5.
With Nash orchestrating the offense, the Suns extended the lead to 60-46 in the third quarter, but the relentless Ellis kept penetrating Phoenix's defense and rallied the Warriors within 62-58 by the end of the period. Ellis scored eight of Golden State's 13 points in their comeback.
Overall, the Suns shot 34 for 90 (37.8 percent) from the field, connecting on only 5 of 24 on 3-pointers, and the weary Warriors, who played Monday night, finished 33 of 100 overall and 5 of 26 from long range.
Notes: Golden State F Louis Amundson, a former Suns reserve, underwent surgery on his fractured right index finger on Tuesday and will be sidelined indefinitely. The Warriors also were without rookie Ekpe Udoh (wrist) and Reggie Williams (groin). ... The Suns conclude their exhibition schedule Friday night at home against the Denver Nuggets. ... The Warriors have eight new players on their roster from last season, including All-Star David Lee and first-round draft pick Udoh. ... The Suns have won 10 straight regular-season home games against the Warriors. Golden State has not won at US Airways Center since March 18, 2005.