OAKLAND — The Warriors spent much of the first half trying to chase down Phoenix. Time and time again, they drew close before the Suns hit big shots to extend the lead. Goran Dragic and Gerald Green were lighting up Golden State.
But then, the Warriors opened the floodgates. Klay Thompson put them ahead in the third quarter with a 3-pointer, and by the time he hit a shot to start the fourth, the Warriors were leading by 18 points.
That’s how powerful the Warriors offense can be when it is clicking along with a defense that continues to shine.
Don’t think the Warriors are a threat to knock off a team in the first round of the playoffs? Right now, Golden State is showing it can play with anyone.
“They were knocking down three after three after three and getting offensive rebounds,” Green said. “They got hot, and all their other guys got going. We were just on a downhill from there.”
Phoenix has surprised this year and last month dismantled the Warriors at US Airways Center, so this was a big win for them to put some distance between the two teams.
And for Stephen Curry to show he could play through a quad strain that was ailing him was a relief for the Warriors, who know how much they place on his shoulders night in night out. He wasn’t 100 percent, but showed up in key moments when Golden State needed him to.
The jump shot with 2:02 left to give the Warriors an eight-point lead was vintage Curry, who dished out nine assists and had one turnover to get the offense going.
With David Lee playing well again and Thompson getting the hot hand, the Warriors are loving life at this stage of the season. A move up in the standings is doable. Gone are the questions about a lack of intensity, even though injuries however minor continue to mount.
Beating Phoenix in a game coach Mark Jackson said would be huge goes a long way toward making Golden State feel even better about itself.