A fellow media member coined the Chuck Wagon term for the Isaiah Thomas, Gerald Green second unit and it just has to stick. They ran and shot all over the Warriors in the fourth quarter to lead the Suns to a much-needed win.
Green and Thomas scored 31 points in the fourth quarter alone, and the Suns beat the Warriors 107-95 after starting the 4th on a 34-12 run.
The game started with Markieff Morris and Draymond Green going at each other offensively. Markieff posting and Green shooting off the pick and rolls with Steph Curry. The Warriors needed Green, the team's only other double-digit scorer, to step up big with Klay Thompson out.
After an even start (6-6) the Warriors went on a run thanks to a bunch of missed long jumpers by the Morris brothers while the Warriors scored time after time on beautiful offense full of motion and passing. Steph Curry led the charge by accounting for 12 of the Warriors first 17 points on shooting (8) and assists.
The Suns came back after that by hitting some big shots - including two threes from Dragic - but Marcus Morris' third miss of an open shot solidified the need for a change to the second unit.
The Suns kept up with the Warriors in the first quarter by forcing some turnovers (and benefitting from some unforced ones), despite the Warriors shooting 55%. It helped that Goran had 13 points (3 threes) and two steals.
Suns down 30-28 after one.
In the second, the Warriors started well but then the Suns came back to within 2 before starters began re-entering the game. Gerald Green was Gerald Green taking "what?" shots and making just one of them, while getting called for two traveling violations. Isaiah Thomas contributed his own carrying violation and two travelings as well. Not a very efficient start to the quarter, but the Suns kept it close because the Warriors were mixing incredible passing with egregious passing turnovers themselves.
The Warriors pulled away when Steph Curry came back in. He was clearly the best player on the court. And after Goran Dragic lit up the nets in the first quarter, he didn't even take a shot in the second. Andre Iguodala picked up the assignment to stick to Dragic, while they stayed small (and killed the Suns).
Marcus Morris had a particularly bad second quarter. And so did coach Jeff Hornacek. He was so mad at some non-calls that at one point toward the end of the half he just took off his jacket and walked off the court.
The Suns second quarter tally: 25% shooting, 8 turnovers vs. 4 field goals, 2 assists. The Warriors second quarter tally: 62.5% shooting, 5 turnovers vs. 10 field goals, 5 assists.
Steph Curry: 22 points, 7 assists, 4 steals AT HALFTIME.
Frankly, the Suns were lucky to be within 11 points at halftime (58-47).
The Suns came out much stronger and more aggressive in the second half, going for steals on the perimeter. The Suns didn't get any but the Warriors were a bit disrupted because of it. And the Suns were able to turn some of that fire into offensive success.
They pulled within 3 on a couple of timely three-pointers, but then went back to committing turnovers (3) while having bad defensive rotations and allowing open shots on the other end. So frustrating! The Warriors lead was quickly back to eight without even trying too hard.
The Suns were able to cut the lead down to five, while Markieff Morris drew consecutive shooting fouls. But he missed all four free throws. ALL FOUR.
In that third quarter, the Suns barely cut into the Warriors lead despite Steph Curry only taking two shots. Two. It's like the Warriors said "we can beat you without Steph, Klay or Lee." Ugh.
Warriors 79-71 after three.
But then something weird happened. The Warriors stopped playing well and the Suns started to hit shots. The Suns went on a quick 9-1 run to tie the game and the crowd finally had something to cheer about. Thomas, Green, Mook, Plumlee and Tucker.
The Suns kept the lead into the final 5 minutes, and Hornacek rewarded the group by keeping them in rather than go back to the starters.
IT even got Curry into foul trouble to further hurt the Warriors comeback chances. Thomas just kept working Curry into foul trouble.
Green kept taking crazy shots (and making some of them) and Isaiah Thomas was the best player on the court in the fourth quarter.
It's amazing what some energy can do.
THE CHUCK WAGON WAS ROLLING!
Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green combined to score 31 points IN THE FOURTH QUARTER ALONE. The entire Warriors team only scored 12 in that time.
Oh. My. God.