SAN FRANCISCO — The Phoenix Suns‘ franchise record 18-game winning streak is over. Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors made sure of that by knocking off the Suns 118-96 on Friday night at Chase Center.
As usual, it was Curry, who finished with 23 points, five rebounds and five assists, who set the tone for the Warriors, exacting some revenge for a poor performance in Tuesday’s loss in which he went just 4-for-21 from the field and had a tough time shaking Suns guard Mikal Bridges. Curry also drilled six more 3-pointers, leaving him just 28 away from passing Hall of Famer Ray Allen at the top of the all-time 3-point list.
Aside from Curry’s regular brilliance, and 19 points from starting swingman Andrew Wiggins, the Warriors picked up a huge lift from a bench group that racked up 51 points of its own. Juan Toscano-Anderson had 17 points, providing several big highlights, including a second-quarter dunk over Suns center JaVale McGee that left the crowd roaring as replays played on the video board. Gary Payton II chipped in with 19 points and five rebounds of his own, giving head coach Steve Kerr the type of spark from the bench that has become the Warriors’ calling card during the first month and a half of the season.
Playing without star guard Devin Booker (hamstring) and on the second night of a back-to-back, the Suns, now 19-4, never found the kind of rhythm on either end of the floor that helped define the streak. Center Deandre Ayton finished with a team-high 23 points, but the Suns faded down the stretch against a Warriors group that was hungry to prove that it could end the streak and played strong defense throughout the night. Suns reserve guard Cameron Payne finished just 3-for-17 from the field.
The two teams won’t see each other again until a Christmas Day showdown in Phoenix that has the added possibility of not only having Booker back, but former All-Star Klay Thompson, who continues to do a little bit more in practice for the Warriors after being out for two and a half years while recovering from separate ACL and Achilles injuries.