Updated Dec 16, 2013 - 8:10 am
Suns Strokes: Suns hold off Warriors behind stellar shooting, defense in final moments
While both teams' backcourts shined, it was the Suns duo of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe who came away with their heads held high. Dragic netted 21 points, including a perfect 4-for-4 from behind the three-point arc. Bledsoe's 24 points and eight assists led the team. Channing Frye also finished with 20 points supported by a 5-of-7 night from three-point-range.
Phoenix played with lead from the 6:41 mark in the first quarter and would only allow the Warriors to tie the score once in the third quarter. Stephen Curry put the team on his back for most of the second half. However, Curry's 30-point effort wasn't enough as the Suns responded to the pressure.
Whenever Golden State went on a run, Phoenix answered back with a Bledsoe off-balanced, acrobatic layup on one occasion and Frye swishing a three-pointer late in the final minutes on another.
The Suns ultimately won this game with clutch defense down the stretch. P.J. Tucker suffocated Curry in the final minute with the Suns leading 102-100, forcing a missed 18-foot jumper and a change of possession. Bledsoe's free throws made the score 104-100 with 18 seconds left.
The Suns are streaking at a crucial time and Dragic, "The Dragon" is excited.
"We haven't felt this good in a long time and we know we have a tough schedule that is coming up and we know we have to win every home game," Dragic said. "Tonight's win was huge for us."
The Suns had a lot of success shooting from long range. They went 13 of 27, 48% in three-point percentage.
Miles Plumlee stepped up again defensively with three blocks and 10 rebounds. Each swat seemed to energize the crowd and give the Suns a momentum boost.
The Suns shot just 68 percent (23 of 34) from the free throw line. Coach Jeff Hornacek made sure he congratulated his team after the victory, but told them, "they better start practicing their free throws again."
STATS OF THE NIGHT
20 - The number of turnovers the Warriors committed.
3 - The number of consecutive possessions the Suns held the Warriors scoreless in the final minute to protect their lead.
1 - Phoenix trails the Clippers by one game for first place in the Pacific Division -- zero in the loss column.
HE SAID IT
"They made their run but then we made two big defensive stops: P.J. on Curry and then Miles getting a piece of Klay Thompson's layup. So defense is what ends up winning the game for us." - Coach Jeff Hornacek
The Suns get a few days rest before hosting their hated rivals, the San Antonio Spurs. They will play four games in six days -- three of which will be at US Airways Arena.
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