The Phoenix Suns did what they had to do against a tired Golden State Warriors team that played the night before in California and have very little depth. Defensively, the Warriors tried a variety of looks to slow down the bigger Suns but the result was often an unguarded shooter.
The Suns converted those looks and used a 19-3 run at the end of the second quarter to pull away. Unlike in many games this season, the bench was able to hold the lead in the fourth quarter allowing Steve Nash to only play 27 minutes. None of the Suns starters played over 30 minutes which in theory will be helpful as Phoenix plays in Utah tomorrow in what will surely be an emotionally charged game -- the Jazz' first without Jerry Sloan.
Defensively, Phoenix held the Warriors to 40 percent shooting and out-rebounded their opponent 47-32.
"The whole team is winning with defense, not only one guy. If the whole team is going to play great defense then we are obviously going to win the game," Suns center Marcin Gortat said.
The Suns were led by 18 points and 11 assists from Steve Nash.
With this win, the Suns climb back to .500 and continue to build confidence for a late-season playoff chase.
"Well, we're at .500...we'd like to be at about .650 but we have a lot of work to do. I thought we did a good job. We took care of business right from the start," Alvin Gentry said.
Warriors forward David Lee agreed. Asked when the game got away, he responded with a question of his own, "What time did the game start?"
To make this game even more memorable, Jared Dudley recorded his first in-game dunk of the season and it was a beauty as seen in this video.
"I don't think they really wanted to play today," Gortat said about the Warriors play tonight.
Over the past 10 games, the Suns have held their opponents to 42.1 percent shooting and 92.3 points. That includes games against some pretty good teams: Celtics, Hornets, Thunder and twice against the Warriors.