ORACLE ARENA — The Warriors had to win this game against a last place Phoenix Suns team. Easier said than done but at the end of the day, mission accomplished.
On his bobblehead night, Klay Thompson rose to the occasion leading the Warriors with a game high 28 points including four 3-pointers en route to a 108-98 win.
Post-Game Audio: Warriors guard Klay Thompson
“I was very inspired tonight, I thought they did a great job on it. It’s crazy I got a bobblehead now, it’s like a pinch yourself moment. I used to collect bobbleheads, especially the baseball ones when I was a kid so it’s pretty cool.”
Stephen Curry added 20 points and 11 assists while All-Star David Lee had 19 points and 11 rebounds as the Warriors ended their six game losing streak.
Oddly enough, the last win for Golden State prior to this victory was also against Phoenix back on February 2nd, a day before the 49ers lost Super Bowl XLVII to the Ravens in a heartbreaker.
The Suns got within striking distance twice. Ahead 85-82, the Warriors went on a 9-2 run to take a 10 point lead. But Phoenix again closed the gap to four points down 94-90. Curry made a driving bank shot followed by a pull up 3-pointer to start a 10-2 run. Golden State would pull away to win by 10 points and only the second time in seven games, they held their opponent to under 100 points.
Center Jermaine O’Neal, once a youngster out of high school, is now the grizzled veteran and he delivered with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns off the bench. He enjoys his role as a team leader and hopes he sticks around to rebuild this once successful franchise.
Post-Game Audio: Suns Center Jermaine O’Neal
“I’ve had my day (in the sun). I definitely feel I can still play this game at a pretty high level. Yeah I feel like I can still do that but at the same time it’s my job to make sure these guys get developed and understand what this league is really all about not only on the court but away from basketball as well.”
Granted, Phoenix is NOT a playoff team, if anything they’re vying for a top draft pick in the upcoming lottery. But a win is a win, and beggars can’t be choosers at this point.
Andrew Bogut has struggled because of limited playing time as he continues to rehab his surgically repaired left ankle. The 7 ft. Aussie contributed with 11 rebounds and seven points and like the rest of the Warriors knew how vital it was to win this game.
Post-Game Audio: Warriors Center Andrew Bogut
“It was a very important game because it’s a team, no disrespect to Phoenix, they’re not battling for a playoff spot. They made a coaching change (Lindsey Hunter replaced Alvin Gentry) and they’re just playing for pride at the moment and so we couldn’t afford to lose at home to a sellout crowd, to a team that’s not going to be in the playoffs, if we want to go where we’re talking about going which is the playoffs so it was very, very important we got the win. Now let’s move onto towards San Antonio.”
The Warriors have a day to enjoy this win. They practice on Thursday and then host the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. This will be no small feat trying to defeat Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. The Dubs have lost 16 in a row to the Spurs dating back back to January 7, 2008, a 130-121 win in overtime.
Maybe they’ll get some good luck from those new short-sleeve yellow jerseys they’ll be debuting on Friday night.
Not many are fans of the new duds but Bogut seemed to have the right attitude about it and told SFBay his thoughts on the ‘fashion statement.’
“I’ll wear a honcho and a tutu if they tell me to, they pay the bills. I’m a traditionalist I like the regular singlets but at the end of the day it’s like if your boss tells you to wear a collared shirt to interview guys you gotta do it so I have no problems with it. I don’t think they look as bad as people say. It’s going to take some adjustments from the fans to accept it.”
For the record, wearing a collared shirt is good because it holds onto my credential better than if I don’t wear a collared shirt.
The Warriors committed only 10 turnovers, just the fourth time this season they turned it over 10 or fewer times after averaging 15.0 during their six-game losing streak. … Golden State dished out 29 assists on 42 made buckets. 10 of those assists coming from Bogut and Lee who totaled five apiece. … The Warriors have now totaled 25-plus assists in 19 games this season. … Golden State out-rebounded Phoenix 44-41 and are 24-5 when out-rebounding opponents. … The Warriors have sold out their last 15 home games.