Warriors trip up Suns 106-95 for fourth straight win
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — With four consecutive wins, Golden State coach Steve Kerr joked that there is really no stopping the Warriors.
“You can only hope to contain us right now,” Kerr said with a grin.
That’s how good things are going these days for the worst team in the Western Conference. Small winning streaks, which use to be taken for granted while Golden State was winning three NBA titles in five years, are now a rarity worth chucking over.
D’Angelo Russell had 31 points and six assists, and the Warriors rallied from 10 down in the fourth quarter to beat the Phoenix Suns 106-95 on Friday night.
Damion Lee added 16 points, Alec Burks scored nine of his 13 in the fourth quarter, and Draymond Green had 11 points and seven rebounds.
“I just think we’ve got a little momentum and our guys are feeling it,” Kerr said. “Just stayed with it. At this point we believe we can win down the stretch. We’ve definitely taken a step forward in that regard.”
Two days after beating Houston on Christmas, the Warriors trailed for most of the second half against Phoenix and were down 86-76 with 7 ½ minutes remaining.
Russell started the comeback with a pair of free throws and Burks followed with a three-point play. Burks later had an assist on Willie Cauley-Stein’s alley-oop dunk.
Phoenix led 89-87 before Golden State went on an 8-0 run. Glenn Robinson III’s putback dunk following a miss by Russell put the Warriors ahead for good 91-89.
Russell shot 10 of 25 while topping 30 points for the sixth time this season.
“We’re getting better as a team,” Green said. “A month ago we would have lost this game by 40 with the way we were playing in the first half. We were able to stick around. When you stick around the way we did, eventually shots will fall.”
Devin Booker scored 34 points for Phoenix. The Suns committed 27 turnovers and have lost eight straight.
“We put ourselves in situations where we weren’t playing good,” Phoenix coach Monty Williams said. “I thought we would play with more energy and an edge. We just have to be more solid.”
The Warriors, who lost to the Suns 121-110 on Oct. 30, have won 19 of 21 against Phoenix.
Booker, who was limited to 11 points in a loss to Denver on Monday, had 17 in the first half against Golden State, including a one-handed dunk that put the Suns ahead 47-38. Booker later banked in a 16-footer to give Phoenix a 51-43 halftime lead.
After Booker had his shot blocked from behind by Golden State’s Ky Bowman, Mikal Bridges scooped up the loose ball and scored on a three-point play. Bridges added a 3-pointer that -made it 74-63.
Suns: Phoenix had 22 assists, the first time in 16 games that the Suns failed to have at least 25. … Cameron Johnson made a buzzer-beating 17-footer to end the third quarter. .. Kelly Oubre Jr. picked up two fouls in the first 79 seconds of the opening quarter and was called for a technical after getting whistled for his fourth in the third quarter.
Warriors: Green shot 4 of 14. … Eric Paschall (hip contusion) sat out a second consecutive game. … Jordan Poole will join Santa Cruz of the G League on Saturday in Stockton.
Alen Smailagic made his NBA debut for Golden State in the first quarter. The 19-year-old entered the game to a rousing ovation which only got louder when Smailagic scored. Smailagic finished with four points and one rebound in five minutes. “I heard (the cheers),” Smailagic said. “That’s the only thing that made me nervous.” Smailagic was recently called up from the G League, where he was the youngest player in league history.
Suns: Take a 60-minute ride north to play the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. Phoenix came back from 21 down to beat Sacramento earlier this season.
Warriors: Play the second half of a back-to-back against Dallas on Saturday. The Mavericks won the first game between the two teams by 48 points in November.