Suns, Warriors duke it out in Oakland
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Suns have played brilliantly for weeks and they'll try to keep it up Friday night when they visit the Golden State Warriors.
The Suns have won three in a row and eight of their last nine. The lone setback was a home loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Phoenix has won three straight on the road and it's the Suns, not the Warriors, who are closest to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Pacific Division standings.
Phoenix is a game behind the Clips, while the Warriors are 2 1/2 off LA's pace.
Phoenix's most recent victory was a 117-90 drubbing of the Los Angeles Lakers Monday at US Airways Center.
Gerald Green scored 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc and Miles Plumlee had a monster outing with 17 points and a career-high 20 rebounds.
"He's long, he's athletic, and he protects the rim for us," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek gushed about Plumlee. "Teams worry about him when they drive the ball to the basket because they know he can get his hands on balls."
Marcus Morris contributed 19 points off the bench, while the backcourt of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic scored 16 and 12, respectively, with Bledsoe adding a season-high 11 rebounds. Both players also had seven assists.
All 12 Phoenix players who saw action scored.
The Warriors have won three straight, culminating in the 105-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Christmas night. The affair got quite heated as Golden State's Draymond Green was ejected for elbowing Blake Griffin in the throat. Griffin was also tossed after a skirmish with Warriors center Andrew Bogut.
"It's just physical basketball. We don't get caught up in it," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. "Fouls, hard fouls, rebounds and screens - just good old fashioned basketball."
The NBA disagreed somewhat. Green was fined $15,000 and the league released a statement that Griffin shouldn't have been ejected since he didn't really do anything.
But the Warriors walked off with the win thanks to a great all-around effort. David Lee had 23 points and 13 rebounds. Klay Thompson scored 23, and Stephen Curry totaled 15 points and 11 assists. Bogut contributed 10 points and 14 boards and Harrison Barnes chipped in 14 off the bench.
During the three-game winning streak, the Warriors allowed 89 points per game.
Golden State embarks on a seven-game road trip, starting Saturday in Cleveland. The Warriors don't return home until Jan. 10 against the Boston Celtics.
The Suns bested the Warriors by four (106-102) in Phoenix on Dec. 15. The Warriors had won six straight before that, but the Suns are just 4-8 in their last 12 at Oracle Arena.
12/27 10:31:39 ET