NBA: Warriors win again despite not clicking

Golden State guard Stephen Curry trying to slash past Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns en route to the basket in a 106-100 victory on Sunday.
Golden State guard Stephen Curry trying to slash past Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns en route to the basket in a 106-100 victory on Sunday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

No shooting rhythm, but they edge Phoenix with Durant's 37pts and improved defence

PHOENIX (Arizona) • The new-look Golden State are very much a work in progress. But on a night when their engine was not purring, they still had enough in the tank to win.

Kevin Durant scored 37 points and Stephen Curry added 28 to help the Warriors erase a 13-point deficit in the first half and hold off the Phoenix Suns 106-100 on Sunday.

Golden State (2-1) overcame a ragged first quarter and cold shooting to win a second straight National Basketball Association (NBA) road game, after getting blown out in their season opener at home by the San Antonio Spurs last Tuesday.

"This is not coming easily. We have a new team with a lot of different faces," said coach Steve Kerr of his Warriors, who made just 35 of 83 shots (42 per cent).

"Even for the returning guys, there is a different mix; in the first half, there was some frustration.

"But in the second half, everyone said, 'Let's grind it out and compete'. We defended much better, guys got on the glass and we had some good individual efforts to help us pull it off."

Klay Thompson had 14 points and Draymond Green had 13 rebounds for the Warriors, who trailed 17-30 late in the first quarter and conceded 57 points in the first half.

But most of the second half belonged to them.

"I don't mind being in this position now, rather than last season when I felt we peaked too early," said Green, referring to the 2015-16 Warriors, who won their first 24 games on their way to an NBA-record 73 wins.

"Our offence isn't clicking right now like it will. We brought the defensive intensity in the second half and that carried us.

"With the firepower on this team, you'd figure we'd shoot the lights out. But part of shooting is rhythm and we haven't found that yet."

Golden State had their biggest lead - seven points - at 101-94 after a Durant alley-oop lay-up from Andre Iguodala with 1min 19sec left.

The Suns pulled back to within two points on a Jared Dudley lay-up with 14.8sec left, but did not score again after Curry hit two free throws with 12.9sec to play.

Durant sealed the game with two free throws with seven seconds left to make it 15 for 16 from the line.

"They told me they needed me to be aggressive in isolation and that draws fouls," said the forward, who shot 10 of 16 from the field.

"This team is so used to back-cutting and setting screens and, sometimes, it's hard to get to the free-throw line that way."

T.J. Warren had 26 points and Eric Bledsoe added 21 for the Suns, who have opened the season with three straight losses. Tyson Chandler had eight points and a season-high 18 rebounds.

"The wins are going to come this season," Warren said.

"So we're not worried.

"My team-mates are doing a good job of finding me and I just have to stay aggressive."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2016, with the headline 'Warriors win again despite not clicking'. Print Edition | Subscribe