December 27, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Nemanja Nedovic (8) dribbles against Phoenix Suns shooting guard Archie Goodwin (20, left) during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Suns 115-86. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns: From Start to Finish

Pre-game: 

Head coach Mark Jackson talks with the press about, “Keeping the rhythm going.”

Pregame stories from the CSN Bay Area crew revolve around defending Eric Bledsoe and Channing Frye,  as well as David Lee and Andrew Bogut’s rebounding prowess. Jim Barnett’s key was getting the Splash Brothers (Stephen “En Fuego Man” Curry and Klay “The Pool Shark” Thompson) to get it going in the same game together.

For the record: Water may be wet, but Stephen Curry makes it rain fire. Gary St. Jean chimes in with defending smalls and bigs on the pick and roll, as well as Klay Thompson’s size advantage and deterring dribble penetration.

My pre-game key: Intensity. Let’s ride.

Game Begins 

Early on, David Lee could be found using his handle to create havoc on the scoreboard. Curry found Thompson on a 40 foot lob pass for a nice layup. Yo-Yo Curry showed off the handle dropping a bounce pass to Bogut for a layup.

Warriors points 11 ,12, and 13 by Curry tie Mark Jackson for three pointers made in an NBA career. Then, a small stretch of three straight plays: Pool Shark to Boges for a beastly jam, followed by a huge Bogut block, which turned into a Thompson fadeaway jumper…

Big whistle —  Thompson mistakenly picks up foul number three with 5:58 left in the first. Kent Bazemore got some early playing time, which is good. From there Harrison Barnes decides to step up, taking it hard through contact to the rim putting the ball through the net. Curry still hasn’t hit the rim on any of his jumpers; they went straight through the net like finding the bulls eye on a dart board. Bogut then smacks away block number two.

In retrospect, I noticed a lot of two-man game carrying the team early offensively, which brings us to the 4:22 mark where Bazemore flies in defensively and gets the Warriors possession of the basketball. Draymond Green is “standing on it,” and lets the world know how confident he is, scoring two points.

First Commercial Break: Love the intensity, love the aggressive play (2:51).

Getting back to the game. “Bazemore is smooth,” I say to my friends, as he takes it all the way to the rim scoring on a full extension layup. KBsmoove anyone?

I realize I haven’t talked about the Suns. So, the Morris Twins have identical tattoos.

Green then shows me he was looking to get to the rim this game and he had the legs for it too, as he drops in a one-on-one take to the rack. Marreese Speights tosses a fastball down court which is a good sign. Green gets down on the floor for a loose ball, that ends up getting the just due applause of the “Roaracle Riders.” Markieff Morris of the Suns tries ruining the fun of Dub Nation by taking Mo Speights to task on a couple of post fades that had Mo shaking his head in disbelief.

The Warriors look to keep the pedal to the medal to start the second quarter as Barnes steals the inbounds pass whipping it ahead to Toney Douglas, who ends up going to the line for two. Markieff Morris responds with a three pointer of his own. The next time down court “The Coffin Maker,” Speights was caught on camera yelling “Keep that ‘poop’ outta hear!”

Second Commercial Break: Have to go see Anchorman 2.

Coming back, the score is 32-30 Dubs. Curry gets mismatched onto a big and wisely takes him one on one, all the way to the rim for two. KT then getst an advantage in size over Harris and then procedes to pump and lean into his opponent, coring a two point basket over him.

The gunslinger is now showing an aptitude for bar room brawl basketball and I love it. Bogut checks in with block number three, and I say out loud “We’re Ridin’.”

Thompson six-guns in a two from the hip (or left elbow if you aren’t), and Jeff Hornacek immediately calls a timeout. Many coaches in the NBA are turning to timeouts when the Warriors rev it up…I’ve got news: itwon’t work. Ric Bucher steps in and calls Eric Bledsoe a “one man army” that gets some jeers from the crowd at my house.

Thompson then makes a beautiful play throwing over the shoulder to Lee, who softly lays one in. Curry lazers in a top of the key three, again, “we’re ridin’.” At the 4:39 mark of the second quarter Roaracle erupts into their first audible “Let’s Go Warriors” chant. Jackson turns to Andre Iguodala to run point forward for the remaining three minutes of the first half; let’s just call that instant offense on this occasion at the very least.

Third Commercial Break: The intensity was still there up to this point with no forecast for fading.

SC30 gets fouled shooting a three, goes to the line and drops in two. It begins to slow down a little the last 1:50 of the half. Tell me Dub Nation, was that the first play call from the sideline of the game?

Curry keeps the rhythm going playing his own tune called “all eyes on me,” on a play where three defenders couldn’t help but stare as Bogut glady glided down the lane to receive an uncontested pogo-stick jam. Then, here comes AI to step into the groove, knocking down a three that clangs violently through the net like a snare drum. The last play of the half offensively turns into a David Lee hip check. The thing I liked was Jackson didn’t hesitate to put D Green in on defense. Dubs up 14, thanks to a 17-6 roll to close the half.

Stephen Curry’s halftime stat line: 14/9/9.

Curry is pulled aside for comment. He praises the bigs, talks a little P&R, along with contesting shots.

The Warriors hit the afterburners that half. They ride hard to collect an at the time seemingly insurmountable 19 point advantage. I thought, if they come with the same fire in the third quarter they’ll be able to get some starter rest. More importantly, the bench will get a chance to find their rhythm as I personally look forward to watching the half court brand they employ on most nights.

That group pops the ball around the perimeter well and Bazemore handling always gives the opportunity to go one-on-one if necessary. While H. Barnes is not getting as many chances, he’s making an impact that started on Christmas night, when he decided he was playing for “Him.” Really turning the you and me approach into charity events or free throws.

The Warriors find most of the cracks in the defense, passing the ball fluently and creatively in a brand I call “Ride or Die” basketball.

Jim Barnett announces the Splash Brothers went 10-17 in the first half. Meanwhile, I’m thinking to myself, good thing Bledsoe doesn’t have it going, this is the pace of play he should flourish in.

Magic timing… thanks Saint. Off a Curry to Lee P&R layup to start the second half, Bogut block number four gets him loud. “The eraser of time” Andrew Bogut, because if you bring it in his world (the paint), you’re only wasting it.

Little plays head up the next portion of the game, starting with a Lee rebound and put back and one. Thompson drops a pass to Lee that results in a couple made free throws. Bogut gets involved offensively because of his effort getting a hand up in three point shooters faces all night. He is rewarded with a charge. Steph has a little dribble penetration and kicks out to AI for another three bird… still riding. KT for three in the blink on an eye.

That takes us to the 5:19 mark, Dubs up twenty. My friend states Steph’s got the triple-double already…why aren’t they talking about it. When they do get to announcing it, the line was 14/13/12. Jackson leaves his starters out to finish em’ off, a good coaching move in my eye’s.

4:21 Magic! Lee to Green for a layup. HeHe. Former Warrior Ish Smith checks into the game with 3:00 left in the third. Klay Thompson proceeds to get to work. P.J. Tucker works his tail off to grab his 11th rebound and put it back in strong for two.

My cat had passed out during commercial break, dreaming of beating Arizona this weekend, I suppose.

Curry gave 400 families presents in one day…GiveBig. At this point Bledsoe is 6 for 16 and the Warriors can thank Iguodala for a major part of those ten bricks laid. Four Dubs touch the ball to end the third quarter with the play resulting in a drop pass from Green to Speights for a slap layup; 85-64. I’m thinking it’s time to rest up and get the bench loose.

Jackson decides to leave Thompson in to play with the bench squad. He picks up foul number five early in the fourth, but it doesn’t stop him from being his usual trigger happy self rifling in a couple quick forget about it threes.

Then I notice the bench in riding. HB for three, Barnes and Klay pulling up for transition threes didn’t suggest otherwise. Barnes then decides the love was meant to be shared and patiently finds “So Money” Green for a three. Speights decides it is time to show off his baseline fad away. A look at the bench shows Bogut leading a secretive laugh. Barnett gives some lucky kids some of the pages from the book of Barnett recently which the Warriors briefly showed. Hilton Armstrong gets himself to the line after Barnes made a million moves for a tough miss.

With 6:04 remaining, the Dubs go with pick and roll action between Bazemore and Armstrong, which results in some free throws. The big fella hits the first and gets some heckle-ish cheers from some fans. Then he got some genuine ones when he netted the second. Armstrong then proceeds to pin one against the backboard on defense, which got Superman (Kent) flying out on a fast break with friend Toney Douglas who ends up going to the line for two.

Ish Smith scores. Bazemore finds Douglass after a steal for a layup. Barnes thought he’d get himself into the passing lanes act and earned a couple free throws of his own, two for two. 11 points for Barnes up to that point. Then Armstrong shows Dub Nation he can hit a 15-footer as the net went swoosh.

2:22 left in the fourth, 110-84 Dubs. Show some love for the kids who are telling you to Dub the Vote, by Dubin’ the vote. Stephen Curry checks out with a career high 16 assists and a career high 13 rebounds… Wow! Vote En Fuego Man! Nemanja Nedovic checks into the box score with a distance three. His mantra should bem “I am confident.” Wouldn’t you know it, Armstrong even finds Douglas for two. Great showing from him tonight.

Opponent number 13 to be held under 40%. Dubs win, 86ing the Suns out of Roaracle, while scoring 115 themselves. A 29 point good ol’ fashioned payback statement. The Warrior won all four quarters of basketball. One Sun scored in double figures… One: P.J. Tucker finished the game with 11 point and 12 rebounds. #48 minutes.

Ride or Die…

Man of the match: Stephen Curry, who scored 14 points to go along with the two career highs. Curry was caught up with by reporters after the contest where he made statements like: “Aggresive,” “Teamates,” and “Can’t be outworked by any team.” When asked about the forthcoming road trip, this is what I pulled out of it, “Ready.” Greg Pap and I agree, Steph has got some Steve Nash in him.

When coach Jackson was asked about Curry’s performance, he responded by saying, “All time level.”

When asked about number 13 (OFGP) he said, “take pride in it.” “Thing of beauty, the way we defended tonight.” When asked about the bench it was, “Rebounded, shared the ball, Kent, bench sustaining the level of play, not trying to do to much.”

When asked about Jeff Hornacek’s Suns, it was a compliment, “hard working basketball team.” For the long road ahead, “Continuing to establish a rhythm, continuing to roll. Hopefully it will propel us into special things during the East Coast trip.”

It’s 3 A.M. and I must say that we witnessed considerable synergy in the Warriors last night.

Ride on for riding…

Tags: Golden State Warriors

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