In the comments, Reggie Miller and Candace Parker kept repeating that this meeting was nothing like a fourth regular season game. A perfume of playoffs was clearly felt between these two teams which could have faced each other in the last conference final in the West. And that night, the Suns did not miss this big meeting and crushed the defending champions in good standing (134-105).
The match tipped in favor of the locals, leading at the break after a very attacking first half (72-66), from the third quarter. A period marked by numerous technical fouls distributed and the expulsion of Klay Thompson (read below) which Phoenix took advantage of to stick an 11-0 in two minutes.
With all their incumbents well in their register, except for a less comfortable Cam Johnson with his shot, the Suns have thus widened a substantial gap (105-86) before starting the last period. They confirmed these good impressions, especially in defense to contain the Californians, to manage their lead and even make it worse.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– A boiling third quarter! To get an idea of the level of intensity in this meeting, this is the period to watch. No less than… seven technical fouls were handed out in this quarter! In addition to sanctions to Chris Paul or Deandre Ayton for having challenged a whistle, we especially remember the quarrel between Devin Booker and Klay Thompson which stretched over several minutes. The second was particularly expansive towards the first, until the two men ended up talking to each other chest to chest, worth a T foul to each. But Klay, decidedly boiling, continued to grumble and took a second sanction in stride, synonymous with expulsion. A career first for him!
– Warriors offense muzzled in second half. Again this season, the Warriors were unable to step on the gas in the third quarter, which they love. Blame it on a very serious Suns defense, like the lines cut by Mikal Bridges or the constant harassment of Stephen Curry. The visitors struggled to generate good shots after the break, finishing the second half with just 39 points. A total that contrasts with the 37 points scored… in the second quarter alone.
– The big gap in free throws. Stephen Curry raises his arms in the sky after a converted technical free throw. The leader had just missed two others, a first for him since February. The leader of the Warriors was surprisingly the only holder of the team to invite himself on this line. Where Devin Booker spent a good part of the evening, recovering almost as many throws alone as the Warriors. The latter obtained only 17 shots (13/17) against the double for their opponents (28/34).
✅ Devin Booker. We do not know what he could have said to Klay Thompson but it obviously worked. Beyond this confusion, the back of the Suns signed a new game very strong and full of confidence in attack. It’s already his third game in a row with 33 points or more. We also retain his +32 when he was in play.
✅ Jock Landale. Chris Paul, Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton deserve a mention, but the substitute pivot had his best game since arriving in Arizona. Useful in defense, where he notably countered Jordan Poole in the circle, he showed his know-how in attack, in the post, where he received a lot of good balls from Chris Paul. Monty Williams liked his performance so much that he sent him back on the floor with less than seven minutes left to end the game. Deandre Ayton still seemed to wonder why…
⛔ Klay Thompson. If he gave himself in defense, in front of Devin Booker precisely, the back experienced another galley evening in terms of shooting. An evening that ended prematurely after these words exchanged with his counterpart from the Suns having led to his expulsion. Not the most “useful” behavior for his team because Phoenix took advantage of this sequence to widen the gap.
Suns (3-1) : reception of the Pelicans, Friday.
Warriors (2-2) : reception of the Heat, Thursday.