Crunch time is steadily approaching for the Phoenix Suns, and the Golden State Warriors aren’t making it easy on Monday.
The Suns, much like every other contender, are fighting for their respective spot in the playoff rankings. The Warriors have returned to full strength and are making a last-minute push for the playoffs.
With Phoenix being without Kevin Durant, the remaining competition will be more challenging than previously projected.
As such, the Warriors made sure of that, leading 75-58 over the Suns at halftime.
Lowly First Quarter Scoring
There’s a vast difference in the amount of points Phoenix scores in the first quarter with Kevin Durant off the court. The Suns have made a habit of having slow starts for most of the season, but Monday definitely hit a new low.
Phoenix only managed to muster up 21 points for the first quarter. As such, it was a lackluster shooting effort from the floor, which certainly doesn’t spell success.
Devin Booker, the leading scorer, put up eight points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field. He was also a minus-23 during the first quarter, the worst of any player that logged minutes.
Both Chris Paul and Torrey Craig went scoreless in the quarter, with Deandre Ayton only managing two points.
Phoenix hasn’t done themselves any favors by digging holes early on in games. Doing such against the Warriors has its consequences.
Bombs Away for Golden State
The Warriors are a cheat code when it comes to the NBA. A team that was once clearly removed from the playoffs has reemerged as a serious contender for the Western Conference with the return of Stephen Curry.
Shooting 65 percent from three-point range as a unit is the overall cheat code for Golden State, which describes the brutal beatdown that transpired in the first half.
Curry wasn’t the lone hero for Golden State in the first half, as Klay Thompson delivered one massive three-pointer after another to widen the deficit for the Suns’ attempts at sustaining some momentum.
Thompson was able to deliver a 33-point performance in just the first half alone, shooting 8-of-12 from three-point range.
Curry similarly followed suit to a lesser degree, going 3-of=3 from downtown for 15 points in the half.
Facing such a huge deficit for the Suns on the road is a challenge, as it would be for most teams. Attempting a comeback against the Warriors, however, will be an even greater challenge in the second half.
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