PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns figuratively and literally rode Goran Dragic to victory, as he set a career high with 34 points as the Suns made yet another statement in the Western Conference with a 122-109 victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors.
With his infant son Mateo in the crowd watching his daddy play for the first time, Dragic scored 34 points on 10-for-13 from the field, 6-for-7 from the 3-point line and 8-for-10 from the free-throw line. Goran also added 10 assists and two steals and came up with big play after big play.
This was an important win for the Suns (30-20) on a number of different levels, as every time it seems like they’re going to regress towards the mean, they come up with a big victory. The Suns are now a half game ahead of the Warriors for the No. 6 seed in the conference.
Without downplaying the victory too much, the Warriors played without David Lee and Andrew Bogut. The Suns did what they needed to do, controlling the glass and outrebounding the Warriors 45-34. P.J. Tucker set a career-high with 15 rebounds to go along with his 16 points and four steals.
The Warriors (30-21) were led by All-Star starter Stephen Curry, who scored 28 points with nine assists, but couldn’t match Dragic basket-for-basket. Curry was just 3-for-10 from the 3-point line, which is increasingly rare these days. Harrison Barnes added 23 points and six rebounds for the Warriors, who shot 48.8 percent as a team.
Suns by the Numbers
- 52.4 percent – The Suns shot 11-for-21 from the 3-point line and outshot the Warriors (8-for-25, 32 percent).
- 83.3 percent – Phoenix got to the free-throw line 30 times, making 25 of them.
- 17 – The Suns won, despite turning the ball over 17 times.
As Goran Dragic goes, the Suns go. Dragic continued his terrific run, setting a career-high in points on just 13 shots from the field. In addition to scoring, Dragic set up his teammates and consistently drew a crowd, freeing up others to contribute. Dragic looked a lot like Steve Nash, as he kept his dribble alive and used every angle beautifully.
Markieff Morris laid quite the goose egg, scoring zero points in 16:59, missing all three shots he took. He played without his usual energy and intensity, pulling down just four rebounds. He turned the ball over twice and didn’t get to the free-throw line once. Morris’ consistency has been an issue, but his brother Marcus Morris was there to pick him up.
The Suns will host the defending NBA champion Miami Heat on Tuesday, February 11 from US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.