Warriors-Suns Live Blog A WCF Preview?
The Warriors-Suns live blog will be the first of the season. This game could represent a WCF preview, but everyone thought that last year as well. The Dallas Mavericks made sure that did not happen, eliminating the Suns in seven games in the second round. Devin Booker and Steph Curry both look to continue hot starts to the season.
Early on the Suns run their offense through Deandre Ayton, and he picks up two quick fouls on Kevon Looney. He also grabs three early boards. Booker has seven early points as well. Andrew Wiggins leads the Warriors with five. Curry hit a very tough shot over Mikail Bridges, which will be a very huge matchup in this game. Chris Paul’s second three of the night leads to a Golden State timeout. Suns, on a 13-0 run, lead 22-12.
A 10-3 Warriors run, led by Moses Moody and James Wiseman brings Golden State to within three. Cameron Payne and Torrey Craig each contribute six off the to help Phoenix lead after the first, 37-29. Booker leads all scorers with 10.
Can Phoenix’s Bench Continue Its Strong Play?
The Warriors bench leads the Suns 15-14 in scoring after the first quarter. Jordan Poole comes out hot in the second with seven quick points. Poole now has a game-high 12 points. 12-2 run, after another Moody three, ties the game. The team that makes the final big run may win this game.
Both teams cool off after Jock Landale’s five points give the Suns the lead back, 44-39. Starters return for both teams with under seven minutes left in the half. Curry hits his first three and the Suns lead is 50-46. Suns turnovers allow Golden State to keep it close. Phoenix’s eight turnovers lead to 11 Warriors points. Poole up to 14 on a dunk off a feed from Curry. Booker takes the game lead in scoring with a three. Rebound number 11 from Ayton, and the putback, pushes Phoenix’s lead back to five, 60-55.
Ayton Must Continue His Strong Play For Phoenix To Win
Suns go up six on Chris Paul’s third three of the night. Paul has 11, but its Deandre’s Ayton 12 points and 11 rebounds has keyed the Phoenix’s 72-66 halftime lead. The two teams combined to shoot over 50% from three, Golden State 9-20, Phoenix 9-15. Phoenix leads due to its 28-21 edge on the boards and 13-16 from the foul line. The Warriors already have four players in double figures: Poole with 14, Curry warmed up in the second and has 13, Wiggins added 12, and Wiseman contributed 10.
Klay Thompson shot just 1-5, and gave the Warriors just two first-half points. While Ayton must continue to play at his high level, Thompson must pick up his effort. He only played 13 first-half minutes due to his struggles. Phoenix’s 11 offensive rebounds, led by Ayton with four, also must concern Steve Kerr. What adjustments can both teams make to improve their defense?
Both Teams Look To Turn Up Intensity
Very quickly Steve Kerr and Draymond Green pick up technical fouls after Green thought he was fouled by Ayton. Booker made both free throws and Bridges and one layup stretches the lead back to 79-70. Green looks to pick up the offensive slack from Thompson, who is now just 1-7. Green’s two early layups in the third give him 12 for the game.
Tempers flare as Chris Paul picked up a technical protesting a foul call on him against Curry. Thompson and Booker then jaw at each other. Thompson picks up two quick techs, and is ejected. Officials assess Booker one as well. We are up to seven technicals between the two teams, four on Golden State.
The Suns’ defensive intensity fuels an 11-1 run. Bridges’ strong third quarter has been a huge part of the reason Phoenix now leads by 13, 90-77. His dunk gives him 15 for the game.
Fouls Continue To Pile Up For Golden State
Golden State, counting the technicals, has picked 24 fouls. The 24 to seven edge in free throws made is a big part of the 105-84 lead the Suns have late in the third. The Suns outscored the Warriors 33-20 in the third quarter, despite missing all six of their three-point attempts. In fact, both teams combined to go 0-13 from three.
Booker leads all scorers through three with 25. Landale has backed up Ayton well with 16 and five rebounds. The Warriors start out the fourth 11-4, capped by a Curry three, to cut the lead to 109-97. The Suns are now 0-10 from beyond the arc in the second half. Golden State also allows just two second half offensive rebounds so far. Booker’s layup pushes the lead back up to 16 with 5:51 left.
Another 30 Point Effort For Booker Leads The Way
Booker’s third three gives him 30 on the night. The two teams combined are only 2-26 in the second half from deep. 28-34 for Phoenix versus 11-15 for Golden State from the line proves a huge difference. The Suns holds the Warriors to just 39 second half points. Phoenix shoots 51% and scores a season high 134. Booker’s final line: 34 points, 10-19 FG, 11-14 FT.
The end of the Warriors-Suns live blog felt anticlimactic. Thompson’s ejection changed things defensively for a Golden State team that must figure out things at that end of the floor if they are to repeat. The Warriors are giving up 124 ppg through the first four games. Phoenix meanwhile gave up 105, right at its season average.
The Warriors are too good, too deep and talented, not to figure things out on the defensive end. These two teams have to feel as if they will see each other again in May. The end of last season left a bad taste in the Suns mouth. This game mattered more to them. Can they turn regular season success in to the only thing missing for this team, a championship?
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