The Suns host the Warriors tonight in Phoenix who are coming off of a 116-114 victory over the Nuggets behind Monta Ellis’ 37 points. The Suns on the other hand, haven’t played since they beat the Warriors 104-92 in Oakland on Monday night. Tired or not from playing on the back end of a back-to-back, the Warriors are coming to town looking for revenge.
This game is big for the Suns, if not for the playoff race, then at least for their psyche as they again try and get to the .500 mark. They failed to get back to .500 last Friday when they fell to the Thunder. Certainly times have changed when the Suns have to improve to get to .500 in February.
In their last match up with the Warriors, the Suns were comfortably in the lead the majority of the game. As they often do, the Suns let the Warriors back into the game late. What was once a 20-plus point winning margin, was down to six with just under five minutes left in the game.
A couple of Channing Frye jump shots later, everything was back under control and the Suns held on to win, but if nothing else, it has to give the Warriors confidence that no matter what happens early, they are never really out of the game against the Suns.
No team is against Phoenix.
With the games being played in such close proximity, matchups will be key. If the teams keep their same matchups as Monday, there will be cross matching at the two and three. Both coaches had Hill and Ellis going at each other rather than Carter and Ellis matching up. Hill did a good job on Ellis, holding him under his 25 points per game average.
Ellis scored 21 points on just five-of-17 shooting from the field. On the other end, Ellis didn’t fare so well against Hill. Hill, who averages 14 points per contest on the season, had 18 points on five-of-12 shooting.
Another interesting note will be if the Suns can knock down 13 threes again like they did Monday. The Suns have certainly shown the ability to make jumper after jumper. The concern is the way they have played at times when the jumpers are not falling.
On the Golden State side, don’t expect Steph Curry to have another night as bad as Monday night’s. He scored 15 points on seven-of-17 shooting including zero-of-six from deep with five turnovers to top it off. He only scored 13 last night against the Nuggets, but shot much better from the floor. If he gets hot, it could be a long night for the Suns faithful hoping to see the team get back to .500 for the first time since December 19th.
The action tips off at seven o’clock and can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona.