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News » Warriors struggle in lopsided loss to Phoenix

Warriors struggle in lopsided loss to Phoenix

Warriors struggle in lopsided loss to Phoenix PHOENIX Inept.

That's how Warriors coach Don Nelson described his team's offense in Friday's 123-101 loss to the Phoenix Suns at U.S. Airways Center.

Golden State shot 42.4 percent, turned over the ball 22 times (leading to 31 points), and failed to produce a 20-point scorer. Guard Monta Ellis led the Warriors with 19 points on 7-for-19 shooting. Swingman Kelenna Azubuike had 17 off the bench.

"Not executing the plays very well," said rookie guard Stephen Curry, who had 12 points, four assists and three turnovers in 39 minutes. "I think it was just not being able to run the plays that we wanted to and getting the shots we wanted. And we were kind of scrambling all night. That's what inept means to me, I guess."

If the Warriors' offense was inept, the Suns' looked downright dexterous. Phoenix set the new league high for points in a game this season while shooting 53.6 percent from the field.

Point guard Steve Nash toyed with the Warriors' defense to the tune of 18 points and 20 assists.

Phoenix's starting center Channing Frye had 22 points and knocked down six 3-pointers, most of them open looks. Guard Leandro Barbosa had 24 points on 13 shots and Amar'e Stoudemire added 20 points.

"Nash did what he wanted," Nelson said. "He found holes in the defensive coverage we were playing and just lit us up. But we weren't up to the task, so we made it pretty easy for them, I thought."

The Warriors (0-2) have four days off before their next game, Wednesday against visiting Memphis. Friday's contest against Phoenix was the first in a string of eight consecutive games against fellow lottery teams from last season.

This collection of Warriors features young players in key positions. But the team will have to improve on offense its foundation if it is to capitalize on what many consider an easy schedule to begin the season.

In both of their losses, the Warriors have had third-quarter lulls that came back to haunt them. Those offensive droughts were because of poor ball movement. Wednesday, they scored 19 third-quarter points on 7-for-21 shooting.

Friday, Golden State was 7-for-20 from the field in the third quarter, managing just three assists as the Suns' 11-point halftime lead grew to 93-72. The Warriors totaled six points in the paint and two fast-break points in the third quarter while turning the ball over five times.

One sequence early in the third quarter summed up Friday's game in a nutshell. Curry had his driving layup blocked by Stoudemire. The Warriors corralled the rebound, and the ball wound up in Anthony Morrow's hands. Morrow then drove into traffic and lost the ball.

Nash picked up the loose ball and launched a full-court pass over the Warriors' defense to a streaking Barbosa, who was fouled by Azubuike as he converted the fast-break layup.

And there you have it: The Warriors' selfish offense, plus the offensive wizardry of Nash, plus poor Warriors' defense, compounded by a silly mistake, and it added up to easy money for Phoenix.

"It's been two games and we've got a lot to go," Ellis said. "But we need to find a way, somehow and quick."Suns 123, Warriors 101NEXT GAME: Wednesday, vs. Grizzlies, 7:30 p.m.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 2, 2009


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