NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 8th
(All times Eastern)
Golden State Warriors (30-20) at Phoenix Suns (29-20), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - All-Star Steph Curry is carrying a hot hand right now
for the Golden State Warriors and will take his show to the road Saturday
against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center.
Curry is averaging 30.1 points and 8.3 assists in his last seven games and has
four 30-point performances in that time. He finished with 34 points and nine
assists in Thursday's 102-87 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
The Warriors were without center Andrew Bogut and power forward David Lee due
to injury, so Klay Thompson was needed and posted 22 points. Harrison Barnes
and Jordan Crawford both scored 11 points for Golden State, which made 48.2
percent from the field and sank 11-of-22 3-pointers.
"We are a no excuse basketball team, so whoever is in uniform it is a great
opportunity for them to step up and take advantage of the opportunity in front
them," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said.
Jackson's unit used a 32-12 run to erase a 16-point deficit and rallied from
15 points or more for the fifth time this season. Jackson also notched the
100th victory in his coaching career.
Lee is out with a sprained left shoulder and is expected to miss Saturday's
game at Phoenix. Bogut is dealing with a shoulder and knee issue, but is
expected to play against the Suns.
Golden State, which has a 22-4 mark when holding the opposition below 100
points, is scheduled to play eight of the next 12 games on the road and has a
15-11 record outside of Oakland this season.
The Suns hope to get back on track when they open a pair of tough contests at
home Saturday night. After the Warriors visit the desert, LeBron James and the
two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat come to town Tuesday.
Phoenix has lost two in a row after winning five straight and seven of eight
games. In Wednesday's 122-108 loss at Houston, Rockets center Dwight Howard
muscled his way to 34 points and 14 rebounds, and the Rockets scored no less
than 27 points in each quarter.
Houston shot 63.0 percent from the field in the second half.
"Our defense hasn't been very good," said Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek,
whose squad had a four-game road winning streak halted. "For us, we can't have
the little mental mistakes."
Goran Dragic paced the Suns with 23 points, while P.J. Tucker, Gerald Green
and Leandro Barbosa all scored 13 points. The Suns shot well in defeat, making
46.7 percent for the game, but were off the mark from 3-point range, finishing
just 8-of-30 downtown. The Suns are making 9.3 3-pointers per game (2nd NBA).
Dragic is averaging 22.7 points per game in his last 21 contests and has
scored 20-plus points 15 times in that stretch. Dragic, who was named Player
of the Week in the West for Jan. 27-Feb. 2, has posted that many points
during a six-game stretch, averaging 25.7 ppg in that span.
Only four of Phoenix's 20 losses this season have come by double-digits. The
Suns suffered a loss of that kind to the Warriors on Dec. 27 in a 115-86
setback out west. The two teams have split a pair of meetings so far and the
Warriors own a 7-1 mark in the previous eight encounters.
Golden State, though, has dropped 14 of 17 games in the desert.
The Suns are allowing 101.7 ppg and Golden State is posting 102.9 on offense.
02/08 10:24:59 ET