Playing without their two starting frontcourt players, the Golden State Warriors had already plenty on their minds, so having Gorand Dragic and to a lesser extent Gerald Green put on a shooting clinic, while Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson simply couldn’t keep up.
Dragic had a reason for his special performance: His three-months old son was attending his first NBA and as the Slovenian point guard referred to it, he wanted to show Mateo that his dad has some skills.
Dragic scored 34 points on 10-of-13 from the field, 6-of-7 from beyond the arc while adding 10 assists. Gerlad Green, going through something of a revival season to his NBA career as more than just a guy who dunks, added 25 points on 10-of-15 from the field. But with all the great shooting (53.8% from the field, 52.4% from beyond the arc) the key for the Suns was not letting the Warriors gang up on them beneath the basket.
We had to crash the boards. The boards were key, the paint was key. We know Steph is going to make crazy shots, Klay will get a couple off. That’s stuff we can live with. With the boards, not giving up second opportunity points was key and that’s what I really wanted to capitalize on tonight.
P.J. Tucker had a big game with 16 points and 15 rebounds, as the Suns outrebounded the Warriors 45-34, grabbing 12 offensive rebounds. Jermaine O’Neal and Draymond Green aren’t bad options to replace David Lee and Andrew Bogut, but they’re not quite the same on both ends of the floor, leading to relying possibly too heavily on Curry and Thompson.
And when the two aren’t having a great day shooting from the outside, the Warriors are in trouble. Curry did score 28 points to go with his 9 assists, but he was only 3-of-10 from beyond the arc. Klay Thompson scored 17 points on 2-of-7 from beyond the arc, and the Warriors biggest weapon was beaten by the Suns’ own outside shooting.
Obviously we’re missing those guys but we still have more than enough to win ball games. Give the credit they played extremely well. They are a very good offensive team. They got hot. Gerald Green and Dragic made some big-time shots. We had some shots that spun in and out. It was one of those nights we thought that, besides the boards, we played well all-around. We didn’t have timely stops.
The Suns have their own key omission with Eric Bledsoe still out, but they’ve done well to make up for that, especially Dragic. He’s averaging 26.4 points over the last seven games, as if to show that not being part of the All-Star game in a season that makes it seem he deserved to be a much bigger part of the consideration, possibly even more than Anthony Davis who got in for the injured Kobe Bryant, is only going to fuel his ability and skills even further.
The Warriors are in trouble now, as the Suns are now ahead of them (6th in the West) with a 30-20 record, while the Warriors are now tied with the Mavs at 30-21, two games above the best team not in the postseason at the moment.