Suns Veterans Lead the Way in Victory Over Warriors

by Cody Cunningham

The Suns added two key veterans in the offseason in Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson. Both former Rockets showed exactly what kind of leadership they can provide on the court as the team took on the Golden State Warriors on Monday. 

The Suns signed Ariza almost immediately when free agency opened up this summer. The young Suns core have already been outspoken about Ariza’s influence in the offseason, but now it was time for him to show it in a game.

Ariza started it off for the Suns on Monday night, knocking down a three for the first points of the game. Anderson followed that up with a three of his own and the two looked to be in control from beyond the arc.

By the end of the first quarter the duo had a combined five three-pointers as the Suns scored 40 points in just the opening frame. The team kept the momentum heading into halftime as they took a 61-57 lead into the break.

There is always a concern when facing the defending champions that just because you are leading at half, doesn’t mean that’s going to keep up. However, the Suns looked like a team that wasn’t going to let up. They caught fire almost immediately after they left the locker room as they began the third quarter on a 10-0 run.

The Suns held onto their lead as they defeated the Warriors in Oakland, 117-109. Ariza and Anderson both shot 60 percent from the field as the veteran pair scored 35 of the Suns points in the victory. Ariza also got it done on the defensive end as he finished with a game-high three steals. The team shot 42.2 percent from deep and 51.2 percent overall for one of their most efficient games of preseason.

The Big Fella, Deandre Ayton, got it done again in the paint as the rookie continues to shine throughout preseason. He scored 18 points on seven-of-eleven shooting while adding seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. 

TJ Warren was a key for the Suns off the bench as he led the second unit with 15 points to go along with his two assists, two steals and two blocks.

The Suns will have one final preseason game as they head to Portland on Wednesday to tip-off against the Trail Blazers. This will be the second meeting between the two teams after the Blazers took a visit to Phoenix last Friday.