5 takeaways from Suns showdown victory over Warriors to tie franchise record for consecutive wins
Devin Booker was unable to participate in the second half due to a hamstring injury, but he provided encouragement from the bench.
Jordan Poole drained six three-pointers, but the Suns held Stephen Curry to 12 points on 4-of-21 shooting (3-of-14 from 3).
In front of a sellout crowd of 17,071 at Footprint Center, Landry Shamet shot a huge three-pointer that elicited the loudest ovation from the crowd.
And Chris Paul finished off another Suns victory on Tuesday night, tying the franchise record for consecutive victories in the most anticipated regular-season game in recent memory.
Phoenix pulled away from the Warriors, 104-96, in a battle of the league’s top two teams despite the absence of their leading scorer, Steve Nash.
The Suns (18-3) have now won 17 consecutive games, tying a franchise record set in the 2006-07 season. The Suns also snapped the Warriors’ seven-game winning streak in the process (18-3).
Despite the fact that the two teams will meet again on Friday in San Francisco, here are five things to remember from Tuesday’s game:
1. With two of the top three defensive teams in the league on the court, it was not going to be easy to get shots off.
That was unquestionably the situation.
They appear to be arguing while driving., make contact.
Both teams displayed tenacity in dealing with the situation, which is why they will be in the conversation for the championship this season.
Phoenix, on the other hand, came up with the defensive stops near the end of the game.
From forcing a 24-second violation to Mikal Bridges’ leaping over Draymond Green to steal the entry pass from Curry to Jahlil Crowder and Deandre Ayton snatching late steals, the Phoenix Suns won the game on the defensive end.
2. With Booker out, the Suns were desperate for a scorer to fill the void.
Ayton scored 11 points in the second half, eight of which came in the fourth quarter, to finish with a career-high 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the team in scoring.
As a result, Paul finished with 15 points and 11 assists to go along with his six in the fourth.
The number 40 was the most significant for him, as in playing 40 minutes.
Are you sure he’s 36 years old and playing in his 17th NBA season?
And so, those two were the stabilizing forces that allowed Crowder and Shamet to hit perhaps two of the biggest three-pointers in NBA history during the final quarter of play.
With 3:47 remaining, Crowder’s 3-pointer gave the Suns a 97-91 lead.
Monty Williams was so enthralled by the bucket that he walked onto the court, thinking Steve Kerr had called a timeout for him. Kerr failed to do so, and Williams was assessed a technical foul.
Is it time for him to play Shaqtin the Fool again?
Shamet’s 3-pointer gave the Suns a 102-92 lead with 56.1 seconds left.
Shamet had made only one of his previous six deep shots before connecting on this one.
He’s been instructed to maintain his aggressive demeanor. In spite of the fact that he doesn’t always follow those instructions, he could’ve easily stopped shooting tonight and still managed to knock down a huge one.
3. Although Bridges only had two points, his defense on Curry was ridiculously effective.
Yes, Curry missed shots, but Bridges put forth the kind of effort that is required when guarding the leading candidate for the NBA’s MVP award.
In addition, he understands not only how to defend, but also how to do so without fouling and how to do so within the confines of the defense.
Curry wasn’t the only one who put in a good performance against him.
When it came to lateral movement on defense, Ayton was excellent for a big man his size, and he held his own on the perimeter guarding Curry.
The Warriors typically use gut bigs in those situations, but Ayton rose to the occasion.
You have a serious foundation for a strong defensive team when you have a defensive anchor in Ayton who can guard on the perimeter, a perimeter defender in Bridges who can defend all over the floor and the IQ of Paul, who recorded five steals.
4. Cam Johnson appeared to be suffering from leg cramps in his calf, but he remained determined to play through the discomfort. 5.
Walking up and down the sidelines demonstrated his desire to return to the floor, but he did not return for the final 5:38 of regulation.
Johnson, on the other hand, was a force on the court.
Johnson finished with 14 points off the bench, making 3-of-7 3-point attempts as Phoenix made 12-of-30 attempts from beyond the arc.
With Booker out, Crowder came through with a team-high four three-pointers.
As a result, they received seven 3s out of a possible four.
5. What does this victory mean for the city of Phoenix?
Coming out on top despite the absence of Booker in the second half demonstrates the depth and tenacity of this group.
Cameron Payne battled through sickness on Tuesday morning to complete the race.
Johnson had to fight through leg cramps to finish the race. Paul participated for 40 minutes.
Having said that, will they be able to go to San Francisco on Friday and beat Golden State again on the second night of a back-to-back, knowing that Booker will most likely be out?
That’s an even more difficult task, but if they can beat the Pistons on Thursday night and set a new franchise victory record, it will make the rematch with Golden State even more intriguing.
Even if they don’t, the lights at Chase Center will remain turned on.