Summing it Up
The Suns came out flat from the opening tip, struggling to hit shots from everywhere on the court and not putting up much of a fight defensively. The Splash Brothers definitely won the battle of the backcourts as Stephen Curry starred with a triple double, while the Suns only had one player in double figures in scoring. The Warriors shot 52.9 percent from the field and hit eight 3-pointers, while the Suns shot 36 percent with four 3-pointers. That right there pretty much tells you everything you need to know.
Telling the Story
The two teams went back and forth early on. The Suns were scoring points, but the defense continued to be a problem as Golden State got far too many easy looks. Two of the best 3-point shooting teams in the NBA combined to go 1-11 from deep in the quarter, but the Warriors scored 18 points in the paint and jumped ahead 28-22 by the end of the first period.
Eric Bledsoe, who scored five points in the first but struggled both defensively and offensively in the first quarter, picked up his third foul early in the second and had to take a seat with zero assists and three turnovers.
The second quarter was nearly identical to the second, with the Warriors getting every shot they wanted and the Suns struggling to convert anything. Steph Curry was doing some of everything for the Warriors, finishing the half with a near triple-double with 14 points, nine assists and nine rebounds.
P.J. Tucker played hard and pulled down six boards in the first quarter, while Miles Plumlee snagged five himself in the second. The two combined for 12 points and 14 rebounds as one of the few bright spots for the Suns.
Splash Brothers Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 25, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, while the Suns' Slash Borthers of Goran Dragic and Bledsoe had 13, one and one. The match-up, which was so competitive and so thrilling in the previous meeting, was dominated from the start by the Golden State backcourt and was over by halftime.
Little changed after halftime, as the Warriors continued to roll and the Suns continued to sputter. Curry completed his triple-double two minutes into the quarter and continued to rack up numbers. The 3-ball began to fall for the Warriors (6-9 in the second half) but not for the Suns, and the Suns' offense completely devolved into isolation play. The lead swelled to 29 at one point, and Jeff Hornacek waived the white flag a couple minutes into the fourth by sending out an Ish Smith, Dionte Christmas, Archie Goodwin, Gerald Green and Slava Kravtsov line-up.
Smith gave the team a bit of a spark by getting to the basket and scoring, finishing with eight points, three rebounds and two assists, but even the Warriors bench group outplayed the Suns and the final margin was 29.
- Stephen Curry: Even without his shot falling (5-17 from the field, 1-6 from deep) Curry was the best player on the floor all night. He secured a triple-double a couple minutes into the second half and finished with 14 points, 16 assists and 13 rebounds.
- Klay Thompson: The second Splash Brother benefited from his partner's playmaking to the tune of 21 points on 9-11 shooting.
- P.J. Tucker: Tucker was the only regular rotation player (honorable mention to Plumlee) who really showed up and gave it his all. He led the Suns in points and rebounds with an 11-12 double-double. He didn't hit a three but did some damage in the paint and at the charity stripe to get to double digits.
- This was the Suns' first game back after the extended holiday break, and they certainly played like it. This is one of those games that you just throw out and move on from.
- This tweet by Paul Coro sums things up pretty well:
FINAL: Ws 115, #Suns 86. Most points surrendered, least points scored, worst deficit (29), worst loss (29), worst shooting (36%) this season— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) December 28, 2013
- The Suns did not bring an offense tonight. Turnovers, bricked shots, an inability to finish even when they got in the paint, and finally it reverted to whoever had the ball just going one-on-five. Ugly.
- Eric Bledsoe had a real problem handling the ball tonight, turning it over or mishandling it several times, sometimes even without any pressure. His defense was far from inspired as well. Dragic wasn't much better outside of a fast break Euro-step layup. He's been struggling a bit lately. Hopefully Jeff Hornacek can get him going early tomorrow.
- The streak of consecutive games of 10 or more rebounds by both Andrew Bogut and David Lee came to an end tonight, as Bogut finished with six and Lee with seven. Curry was hogging all the rebounds.
- Round one of Slash Vs. Splash went to the Suns, and round two went emphatically in favor of the Warriors. We're going to have to wait a while for the rubber match, as the next meeting isn't until February 8.
That's all I've got Suns fans. Let's wipe this game from our memories and move on to the 76ers. These are the times when a back-to-back is a good thing. I'm sure the Suns are happy to get right back out there as soon as possible to make up for this mess of a performance.