There is paint-by-the-numbers art and then there is the Suns' paint-full-of-numbers defense that is anything but art.
On a mission to become a team that denies the paint with a tougher defense, the Suns defended as softly as a whisper in Saturday night's 113-93 loss to Golden State at a sold-out Oracle Arena.
The Suns (16-32) held a double-digit lead in the third quarter for a second consecutive night but deteriorated faster and harder against the Warriors (30-17). Golden State barely needed a perimeter game, although it had that too with Stephen Curry's return from an ankle sprain for six 3-pointers and 29 points. The Warriors piled up 66 points in the paint and kept the Suns to 39 second-half points to run away with a win that made the Suns 2-10 in the second games of back-to-back sets this season.
It was the Suns' sixth 20-point loss of the season. Golden State's points in the paint tally was its season high and a season high for a Suns opponent. The Warriors, who rank in the NBA's bottom five for points in the paint, made 45 shots in the game but only needed to go outside the lane for 12 of them. Meanwhile, the Suns' starting big men, Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola, did not make a shot in the second half.
"I think some players just played soft today and usually their nature is playing hard," Gortat said. "That was a very good team but we just made too many mistakes."
Phoenix Suns can't slow down Golden State Warriors
Arizona Republic | Feb 3