The Golden State Warriors were tired of losing to the division-rival Suns this season and set their mind on defending versus Phoenix just as they did against the talented Bucks last game.
Klay Thompson scored 33 of his 38 points in the first half, Stephen Curry added 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and the Warriors defeated the Suns 123-112 on Monday night.
“There’s always a little bit of extra motivation when you got smacked a couple times against a certain team but it’s more so about our own focus,” Curry said.
Thompson made eight 3-pointers and shot 14 of 23 overall.
“We knew how big a game it was and Klay knew how big it was and came out and set the tone,” coach Steve Kerr said.
Jordan Poole had 20 points and six assists off the bench for the defending champions. Kevon Looney helped the Warriors win their eighth straight home game and 12th of 13 with nine points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Golden State is 29-7 at home but 7-26 on the road.
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Devin Booker scored 32 points and Deandre Ayton had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns, who roared back after halftime to make it interesting.
Josh Okogie’s 3 with 4:59 left in the third pulled Phoenix within 85-81 and his putback a minute later made it 87-84 before Curry and Co. came on again.
Things got heated in the closing minutes when JaMychal Green and ex-Warriors guard Damion Lee received a double technical with 1:12 left. Curry’s mom, Sonya, hopped out of her seat and became emotional yelling and making sure son-in-law Lee was OK.
“That was like old-school AAU back in the day where parents get involved,” Curry said. “Family over everything at times.”
Kevin Durant again missed facing his former team with fans present in San Francisco, sitting out a third consecutive game for the Suns because of a sprained left ankle. Golden State’s Chase Center crowd has still not been able to acknowledge the star who led the Warriors to a pair of titles and captured NBA Finals MVP honors in 2017 and ’18.
Durant played for Brooklyn at Chase Center in February 2021 during the pandemic period when no spectators were allowed.
“It’s nuts. It’s insane,” Kerr said of Durant not yet being greeted by the San Francisco crowd.
Chris Paul contributed 11 points and 11 assists for Phoenix, coming off a 128-119 loss to division-leading Sacramento at home Saturday that snapped a four-game winning streak.
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