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Suns Strokes: Good effort not enough for Phoenix by the Bay

Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a basketball game. So, we will give you Suns Strokes, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from the Suns’ 108-98 loss to the Warriors on February 20.

The Good:

The Suns didn’t have nearly the energy they had a night earlier in a 102-98 win over the Trail Blazers. With that said, outside of a dreadful defensive first quarter (allowed Golden State to shoot 74 percent from the field), Lindsey Hunter’s squad fought its tail off against a superior foe.

Paced by Jared Dudley’s eight straight points in the third quarter, the Suns cut the Warriors’ comfortable lead down to one on multiple occasions. Talent would win out ultimately, but Phoenix’s effort level on the second game of a road back-to-back was impressive.

Moral victories don’t count for much, but Hunter has the Suns playing hard again and that was evident against the Warriors.

In the loss, Phoenix was also lights out from three-point range, going 9-of-17 on the night.

The Bad:

Marcin Gortat looked like a shell of the player he was a night earlier in Portland. The Suns center didn’t have to do much defensively, as Andrew Bogut was a willing passer (seven points and five assists). However at the offensive end, the Polish Hammer never got into a rhythm (3-of-8) and looked awkward trying to post up on Bogut.

Whether it was Jared Dudley, P.J. Tucker, Goran Dragic or Wesley Johnson, nobody could stop Klay Thompson Wednesday night.

The former WSU star hit corner jump shots, curled off picks and scored in just about every imaginable way. Thompson finished with a game-high 28 points.

Coming into Wednesday night’s contest, David Lee was averaging a double-double (16.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game) in his career against the Suns. The career trend continued yet again, as the two-time All-Star had 19 points and 11 rebounds.

He Said It:

“He is such a good shot blocker and a great passer in the post… He’s the anchor of our defense, he’s a leader. He just adds a whole other dimension to our team.” – Klay Thompson on Andrew Bogut


• The Warriors are now 3-0 on the season against the Suns.

• Goran Dragic has come out of the All-Star break much more assertive. The Slovenian guard led the Suns with 20 points, 10 assists and a career-high five steals in a losing effort.

• If Jermaine O’Neal is auditioning for other teams ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, he’s doing a pretty decent job of it. Wednesday, O’Neal had 17 points and 12 rebounds in 23 minutes of play.

• With a victory over Phoenix, Golden State snapped a season-high six-game losing streak.

Up Next:

The Suns (18-37) head home to host the Boston Celtics at US Airways Center Friday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MST.