Sloppy Second Quarter Leads to Suns’ Demise, Fall 112-104

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The Suns played the Warriors tight in every quarter but the second, and fell to the Golden State Warriors 112-104.  Golden State managed to outscore the Suns by 13 points in the second quarter, but otherwise, the Suns held their own tonight against the best team in the league.  Tonight’s loss dropped the Suns to a record of 14-40, and this ugly season got a little uglier very quickly into the game.

Suns’ starting PG Archie Goodwin looked a bit lackadaisical to start the game.  Right off the tip, he had a chance to run down the ball, but stood idly as the ball went out of bounds to the Warriors.  Suns’ veteran P.J. Tucker seemed to call out Goodwin on the lack of effort, which in my opinion was totally warranted. Two possessions later, after a Markieff Morris jumper to tie the game at two, the Warriors missed a jumper and the rebound looked to be bouncing Goodwin’s way.  Goodwin didn’t go after the ball, which led to an easy Steph Curry offensive rebound and layup.  Curry and Klay Thompson hit back-to-back three pointers which caused Suns’ head coach Earl Watson to call the early time-out, and here is where things start to get ugly.

Once the team got to the bench, Morris started getting after Goodwin.  Shortly, Morris shoved Goodwin and ended up with a hand around Goodwin’s neck.  I am assuming this had something to do with the lack of effort Goodwin was showing on the court, but this really seemed to be an overreaction from Morris.  The two were quickly split up, with Goodwin heading to the bench and Morris staying on the floor.

The Splash Bros started doing their thing in the second quarter and started distancing themselves from the struggling Suns.  The duo combined for 29 points in the half, taking advantage of a depleted Suns’ back court.  Devin Booker had a solid first half for the Suns, finding big-man Tyson Chandler on three alley-oops in the first half, and brought a stat line of seven points, four rebounds, and four assists into the locker room at halftime.  After a rough second quarter, the Suns found themselves down 57-43 heading into the third quarter.

The Suns came out strong in the second half and got the game back to single digits before the Warriors called a time-out with 8:36 left in the quarter.  That time-out did wonders for them which lead to a 12-2 run to keep a double-digit lead until the buzzer.  Mirza Teletovic did all he could to keep this game respectable, scoring a quick eight points on two threes and a couple free throws.  Phoenix trailed by 16 going into the fourth.  The Warriors took their big lead into the fourth and took the opportunity to rest the majority of their starters.  The Suns’ made back quite a bit of ground throughout the quarter, making the final score look a little closer than the game actually was.

For the Suns, Goodwin led the way with 20 points, which were all scored in the second half.  It was encouraging to see Archie looking determined and confident after his shaky start to the game.  Morris put together a solid game, scoring 19 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and passing out four assists.  Booker had a nice all-around game for the Suns, going for 15 points, a career-high 10 assists, and seven rebounds.

Curry nearly managed a triple-double tonight, with a stat line of 26 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists in just 30 minutes of play.  Thompson went for 24 points, and Leandro Barbosa was the only other Warrior in double figures, with 12.

The All-Star break is finally here.  I’m sure that all of us Suns fans have been looking forward to this for at least a month.  Make sure to root for Devin Booker in the three point contest!

Charlie Erling

Long-standing Phoenix Suns fan, longer-standing burrito enthusiast.

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