In hindsight, the first quarter between the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns told us everything we needed to know. Steve Curry went ballistic, with the patented Flurry Curry. The team was lively and played hard. And the defense decided, after about three interesting minutes, to hibernate.
Curry scored 17 points and only missed one shot. And the warriors were losing when the bell rang.
It ended up being the entire game. The next 36 minutes followed exactly the same scheme. Curry plays like an MVP. Everyone plays with energy, but they forget how to play defense.
And the suns won.
The Dubs conceded 70 points in the first half, which had become the norm for them. Curry’s offense, some big shots from Andrew Wiggins, and some buckets off the bench saw the Warriors put up some impressive numbers, but they couldn’t resist the temptation to let Phoenix do the same. And so it fell 72-65 at the half.
Our hopes and prayers for the Warriors to appear in the third quarter were met with crickets. The Warriors played an uninspired ball to start the third quarter, with turnover after turnover resulting in easy buckets for the Suns, who were without star guard Chris Paul.
Phoenix led farther and farther, with Golden State trailing by 14 points entering the final frame.
Through it all, Curry has continued to state his case as the best player in the NBA. He never took his foot off the gas, scoring goals from everywhere on the field and in every way. He also continued to show his frustration at the team’s inability to meet him there, committing another uncharacteristic technical foul when he volleyed the ball into the stands.
After two days of a moderate offensive performance as he let his teammates take over, Curry dropped 50 points against the Suns, on impressive efficiency: 17-for-28, 7-for-11 triples and 9-for-9 on free throws. He added a team-high 9 rebounds, and capped the distinguished display with 6 assists.
But he left the field with about two minutes remaining, and the game was decided. The Warriors lost 130-119, and are now 0-8 on the road.
Wiggins finished with 14 assists, but didn’t contribute much elsewhere, with only 2 rebounds, 1 assists, and mediocre defense. Draymond Green made a handful of standout plays and finished with 9 points, 8 assists, and 3 steals, without missing a shot, but now he’s a quarterback on poor defense, and he deserves a lot of the blame.
Klay Thompson had another tough night, but he stayed on the court in garbage time to iron out some wrinkles, and found a little bit of rhythm. He finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists, on 6-for-17 shooting.
Bench struggled mightily, ending up with just 17 points. Jordan Paul caught 8 assists, but did not make a field goal. JaMychal Green played with all sorts of energy, but shot 1-for-7. Donte DiVincenzo was moderately better, going 2-for-7.
But the story was a defense, or lack thereof. Even without Paul and forward Cameron Johnson, the Suns scored at will, dropping 30 or more points in each of the first three quarters. Devin Booker, Cameron Payne and Mikal Bridges all passed the 20-point mark on stellar efficiency, and former Warrior Damion Lee hit a few daggers in response to the rare moments the Dubs showed life in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors are now 6-9, which is definitely not cute. But they’ll be back in the only place they know how to win on Friday, when they host the New York Knicks.
#Waste #Warriors #Curry #pcs