December 27, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns shooting guard Goran Dragic (1, left) dribbles against Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors Begin Tough Stretch vs. Suns: Game Preview


If there’s ever a time for the Golden State Warriors to be peaking, it’s now.

Carrying a three-game win-streak, the Warriors will be challenged to continue it as four of their next five games will be against Western Conference playoff teams. Winning these games would bring them tremendous confidence and boost their spot in the standings, but they could also struggle and lose confidence.

It all starts on Sunday night, when the Phoenix Suns pay a visit to Oracle Arena. The Suns, who have been one of the surprise teams in the league this season, are two games back of the Warriors for the sixth seed in the West. Phoenix has won three of its last four games, and are coming off a win over the Thunder last Thursday.

The last time the Warriors and Suns met, Goran Dragic exploded for 34 points, shooting 6-of-7 from three-point range as the Suns bested the Warriors 122-109 back on Feb. 8. However, it should be worth mentioning that the Warriors were without both Andrew Bogut and David Lee in that game, as both were nursing injuries. With Bogut and Lee in the lineup on Sunday night, the Warriors look to defend their home court against the upstart Suns.

Tale of the Tape

Warriors

  • Points per game: 103.4 (10th)
  • Field-goal percentage: 45.7 (11th)
  • Three-point percentage: 37.5% (T-7th)
  • Defensive field-goal percentage: 43.3% (T-2nd)
  • Rebounds per game: 45.7 (T-2nd)
  • Turnovers: 15.3 (T-27th)

Suns:

  • Points per game: 105.5 (6th)
  • Field-goal percentage: 46.0% (7th)
  • Three-point percentage: 37.5% (T-7th)
  • Defensive field-goal percentage: 45.4% (T-15th)
  • Rebounds per game: 43.3 (14th)
  • Turnovers: 14.7 (T-21st)

History Says

Via Warriors.com game notes:

  • Golden State has won seven of the last nine games against Phoenix.
  • The Warriors swept the season series with the Suns in 2012-13 and earned a 2-1 series edge in 2011-12.

Injury Report

GSW: Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) and Nemanja Nedovic (left hamstring strain/right foot inflammation) are out.

PHX: Miles Plumlee (right knee sprain) is a game-time decision. Emeka Okafor (herniated disc), Eric Bledsoe (right knee arthroscopy) and Leandro Barbosa (left hand fracture) are out.

Probable Starters

GOLDEN STATE (39-24)

  • F Andre Iguodala (9.4 PPG)
  • F David Lee (18.6 PPG)
  • C Andrew Bogut (7.8 PPG)
  • G Klay Thompson (17.8 PPG)
  • G Stephen Curry (23.8 PPG)

PHOENIX (36-25)

  • F P.J. Tucker (9.3 PPG)
  • F Channing Frye (11.8 PPG)
  • C Alex Len (2.3 PPG)
  • G Gerald Green (15.6 PPG)
  • G Goran Dragic (20.5 PPG)

Game Info

Tip-off: 6:00 PST

Location: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA

TV: LOCAL (CSNBA)

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