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Warriors revenge, take the Suns’ 18-game winning streak with playoff-level defense, energy, and tuning

SAN FRANCISCO – Steph Curry’s The famous pregnancy photography procedure took a little longer than usual on Friday night. In the midst of a series of corners, his former and current teammates Phoenix Suns Assistant coach Jarrett Jack stopped for a fun exchange. Minutes later, Curry moved to the sidelines to chat with his former head coach, Mark Jackson, who was on the ESPN broadcast team. Before taking to the field to take his final shot, Curry stopped to take a selfie with a young fan.

All of this to say, this is no ordinary game, early December, a regular one.

Chase Center was almost at full capacity before the team’s opening whistle Golden Empire Warriors‘The 118-96 win over the Phoenix Suns, ending Phoenix’s 18-game winning streak and exact revenge for their loss to Golden State in their first game just three nights earlier. With the win, the Warriors improved to a league-best 19-3, moving half a game against the Suns as both teams went on to break up the rest of the Western Conference.

The term “playoff atmosphere” is used to refer to willy-nilly all too often in the sports world, so you should approach this phrase with caution. But having attended dozens of Warriors playoffs over the past few years at Oracle Arena, I feel confident in saying that if this wasn’t a post-season environment, it would have been pretty close to being in the regular season. .

“It was physical. I think they won that battle tonight. It was just one of the tough ones,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said afterward. “We learned a lot. …It’s just a slugfest.”

The playoff atmosphere isn’t just coming from a passionate crowd – it’s there – or the performance of the two teams – but it’s fantastic. It comes from the hum of the arena, the extra cameras on the baseline during pregnancy, the number of reporters going on the sidelines. And once the game starts, there must be those signature flashbulb moments, like Juan Toscano-Anderson delivered through the center of Suns JaVale McGee at the end of the first quarter.

“It’s the best dunk I think I’ve ever had in the game. On the 7-foot game, in NBA. The two best teams in the tournament. Playing for the Warriors,” Toscano-Anderson said after the game. It’s like the perfect banh chung to me. Whipped cream and cherries, sprinkles, all that. That’s a hell of a picture, man. I will hang it in my mother’s house. It’s a dope painting, man. “

Despite the absence of All-Star bodyguards Devin Booker and Klay Thompson, there are also many star power. Curry scored 6 to 11 from a 3-point range on the way to 23, while Chris Paul shines with his unique ball handling and acumen, even at a relatively low effort. Deanre Ayton, the Suns breakout star during his trip to the NBA Finals a few months ago, scored 23 points, six rebounds and two saves.

However, just like the playoffs, the game revolves around role-playing players. The old adage is that they play better at home, and that was certainly the case with the Warriors on Friday. In addition to his forgettable trick, Toscano-Anderson finished with 17 points, five rebounds and five assists. The Bay Area’s most recent fan favorite, Gary Payton II, scored 19 points in a 3-point 3-to-5 shot against his choking defence. Lasting-year Nemanja Bjelica scored 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 pointers in 15 minutes.

And then there’s the “A” that comes with any playoff series – the tweaks. The Warriors made some diagrammatic changes after Tuesday’s loss, namely placing Andrew Wiggins on Paul for much of the game – a move that could have occurred in Booker’s absence. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said that Wiggins established his defensive phase early, which allowed the Warriors to get an early lead along with momentum.

“He’s the head of the snake. He’s the guy who gets everyone involved and can control the tempo of the game,” Wiggins said of Paul’s defense. “Just make it hard for him, and that’s hard to do. That’s CP. I just do my best.”

There was another benefit to Wiggins in taking on Paul’s guard duty. It liberates Draymond Green devastating free safety, leading to one of his best games in an already stellar defensive season. Green finished with six of the season’s peak steals along with three blocks and nine recoveries, while protecting everyone from point to center guards. As we often see, Green’s offensive behavior was fueled by his defense, as he scored 9 points, including a 3-pointer and a mid-range jump, along with 9 assists. climax in his game.

Green wasn’t pleased with his performance in Tuesday’s loss in the Warriors’ first game against the Suns, when he posted as many assists (five). Kerr has the feeling that his leader could come off the field with a sense of urgency in Friday’s rematch, and he delivered a classic performance.

“That’s impressive, man. [Green] is what Steph offended. It’s just not sexy,” Toscano-Anderson said after the match. The average viewer doesn’t understand the angle and touching the ball screen, sliding over, is the most important person – we call it MIG – defending, trapping the ball. They don’t see it because it doesn’t show up in the statistics. … It was a guide for me. “

You only have to look back a season or two to confirm that Green only delivered defensively to this degree and focused when he thought it was warranted. He’s been doing that for quite a few seasons, which tells you how far he thinks this team can go and now he’s done it in front of the Sun, letting you know he respects them. To what extent, if not playoff opponents.

While Friday’s game doesn’t take place in the post-season, there’s sure to be a little something extra from both sides – let’s call it a warm-up to what’s to come. If nothing else, the last two games between the Warriors and the Suns have proven, unquestionably, that they are the strongest team in the league at the moment and that the playoff series between the two teams will be absolutely fascinating.

“We’re trying to catch them. Not the other way around,” Kerr said of the Suns after the game. “We knew they were the best team in the West until someone knocked them out. It was fun to play against them.”

https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/warriors-get-revenge-snap-suns-18-game-win-streak-with-playoff-level-defense-energy-and-adjustments/ Warriors revenge, take the Suns’ 18-game winning streak with playoff-level defense, energy, and tuning

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