Warriors’ last-second shot extends Phoenix Suns’ losing streak to five: By the Numbers
Apr 3, 2015, 6:08 AM | Updated: 8:00 am
The Phoenix Suns got back to exciting basketball on Thursday.
They went toe to toe with the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena, with the game coming down to the final shot.
Unfortunately, the effort just wasn’t quite strong enough in Oakland, as the home team prevailed 107-106, thanks to a go-ahead driving shot by Harrison Barnes with 0.4 seconds left in the contest.
T.J. Warren, P.J. Tucker and Eric Bledsoe all made big buckets down the stretch, and the Suns looked poised to steal one on the road, but Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Barnes had answers for Golden State each step of the way.
The heartbreaking result marked the Suns’ fifth loss in a row, dropping their record to 38-38. They’ve lost the last three meetings with the Warriors, finishing the season series 1-3. Jeff Hornacek’s group will look to avoid dipping under .500 for the first time since December as it takes on the Utah Jazz at home Saturday night.
Here’s a look at Thursday’s nail-biter, by the numbers:
Phoenix brought up Jerel McNeal from the D-League’s Bakersfield Jam on a 10-day contract Wednesday, and the shooting guard made his first attempt in his Suns debut. He finished with two points on 1-of-2 shooting in just under three minutes of action.
Jerel McNeal (@RealJerelMcNeal) made his NBA debut tonight against the Golden State Warriors! (2 points, 2 minutes). pic.twitter.com/IbSLzzqNz2
— Bakersfield Jam (@BakersfieldJam) April 3, 2015
3 (part I)
Warren shot 8-for-12 from the field and finished with 17 points, with 15 coming in the final quarter.
TJ Warren gets to the rack in transition for the hoop and the harm on TNT. #NBARapidReplay http://t.co/BINpau9ZKl
— NBA (@NBA) April 3, 2015
The effort was good for the rookie’s third straight game in double-figures, and he was one of six Suns to reach the mark Thursday — including all five starters. The 6-foot-8 forward also contributed five rebounds and two assists in the loss.
3 (part II)
The loss marks Phoenix’s third streak this season of five defeats or more. The previous five-game skid happened from Feb. 8-23, while a season-worst six-game slide occurred from Dec. 6-15.
5 (part I)
The Suns outscored Golden State 27-22 in the third period, snapping a five-game streak of sub-20-point third quarters. Phoenix also bested the home team 35-30 in the final quarter, but it wasn’t quite enough to snag a victory.
5 (part II)
Phoenix was on the wrong end of four game-winning buzzer-beaters before All-Star Weekend even commenced. Barnes’ late bucket Thursday can be counted as the fifth shot to down the Suns in the final second of a game this year.
BARNES WINS IT! https://t.co/km855caIpd
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 3, 2015
Bledsoe reached double-figures in assists for the eighth time this season, finishing with a game-high 11. He struggled from the field, going 6-for-17, but hit a big three-pointer and a reverse layup in the closing minutes to end up with a team-high 18 points. The 6-foot-1 guard also turned the ball over only two times.
Markieff Morris tied a team and game high with 12 rebounds. He has had stretches where he’s struggled to get boards, but the 6-foot-10 forward has grabbed at least five in each of the last 10 games, including two of 12 or more. Morris also had 17 points in Oakland on 7-of-10 shooting with five assists. The performance marked his 11th double-double of the season.
Brandan Wright got the start at center in place of the injured Alex Len, and the left-handed big man had a hot first half of 10 points and seven rebounds. The 27-year-old Wright finished with 16 points, two blocks and a game-high-tying 12 boards, marking his second double-double since joining the Suns in January.
Despite missing starter Draymond Green, the Warriors extended their winning streak to 11 games — their second in double-figures this season — and improved to 62-13. With the victory, Steve Kerr tied the NBA rookie coaching record of 62 wins, a mark shared by Paul Westphal of the Suns in 1992-93 and Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls in 2010-11.
With MVP candidate Stephen Curry (game-high 28 points Thursday) in tow, Kerr is a shoo-in to set the coaching record, as the team still has seven regular season games remaining.
The Curry Salsa pic.twitter.com/vrWi7I37IF
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 3, 2015
The Suns haven’t been at .500 since Dec. 20, when they won in New York on the second of a six-game winning streak. Five days earlier, a buzzer-beater by Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton dropped Phoenix to a season-worst two games under .500 (12-14), which was the last of a six-game losing streak.