Led by their prolific scoring All-Star backcourt, the Golden State Warriors shot an NBA-season-high 62.8 percent against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night. After an abysmal shooting performance in a loss to the Houston Rockets, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had a splash back game, combining to score 57 points on only 32 field goal attempts. Kevin Durant chipped in with 20 and Draymond Green had his usual little-bit-of-everything night (9 points, 5 boards, 13 assists, 3 steals, and 1 incidental leg flail) as the Dubs blew out the visiting Suns by 29 in a game that was effectively over midway through the third quarter.
Here are 10 thoughts on the game:
1. The Warriors haven’t lost two regular-season games in a row in over 18 months. And after that sub-optimal offensive showing against James Harden and the Rockets, it was clear they weren’t going to lose to the 6-14 Suns. The Dubs wasted little time in building a 21-point second-quarter advantage against Phoenix’s bottom-10 defense, but Eric Bledsoe (27 points) led a spirited Suns attack and managed to trim the lead down to nine at the half. But in the third stanza, the two-time MVP woke up and dropped 20 quick points (31 total) as the Warriors outscored the Suns 42-27 to end the competitive portion of the game.
2. Kevin Durant passed up two wide-open looks from behind the arc to swing the ball to a teammate. For a four-time scoring champ that could probably “fall out of bed and get 20,” according to Steve Kerr, he’s a much more willing passer than one would expect. KD had eight assists on the night and an absurd 20 points on only 7 shots and 9 free throw attempts.
3. Draymond’s giddy-up 3-pointer was his first make in four games. After increasing his accuracy from deep in each of his first four seasons (38.8% last year), Dray is currently connecting on only 28 percent from behind the arc.
4. The Dubs definitely lead the league in “Ima turn your regular highlight into a super highlight” plays.
5. KD looks like he’s playing whack-a-mole on the court this season (16 swats in the last 5 games). He’s ninth in the league in blocks per game, ahead of Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan and Serge Ibaka. He and Greek Freak are the only small forwards in the top 30.
6. Devin Booker (21 points, 5 assists) is one of my favorite young players to watch. His defense is suspect but he’s got a smooth mid-range game and he’s adept at facilitating a pick-and-roll, especially for someone that just turned 20 years old. But is it weird that a guy who’s supposed to be a great shooter is making only 33 percent of his 3-pointers and is shooting 42% from the field overall? Both numbers are a tad worse than his averages from his rookie year.
7. JaVale McGee is the one NBA guy who probably wasn’t sad when it was announced Vine was shutting down. He had an effective 11-point, 2-rebound night, but all anyone is going to remember is the 6-second loop of him trying to take the ball out of bounds … for the other team. (He took it like a champ though.)
9. The Warriors were up by 28 points with under five minutes of action left and KD and Klay were both still in the game. Come on, Kerr. You’re willing to play Anderson Varejao, James McAdoo and Festus Ezeli in high leverage situations in the playoffs, but you don’t trust your bench to hold a monster lead against the lottery bound Suns in December?
10. There was a moment of silence for the victims of the Ghostship Oakland Fire. The Warriors are pledging $50,000 to the families affected by the tragedy. If you feel inclined to help, here’s a link.