Warriors take down Suns, move atop Western Conference
Otto Porter Jr. saved seven points of his season-high 19 for a personal scoring flurry in the final 2:09 as the short-handed Golden State Warriors stunned the host Phoenix Suns 116-107 in an NBA showcase games on Christmas Day.
Stephen Curry connected on five 3-pointers during a game-high, 33-point performance – his high Christmas game – as the Warriors (27-6) reclaimed the top spot in the Western Conference with a second win in three head-to-head matchups with the Suns (26-6) this season.
Chris Paul led a balanced attack with 21 points and a team-high eight assists for Phoenix, which saw its 15-game home winning streak come to an end.
10 points in the final five minutes for Otto Porter Jr. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/2SYGiQD5KVFEATURED STORIES
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 26, 2021
Getting a rare start with the Warriors missing Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Damion Lee and Moses Moody for COVID reasons, as well as injured Klay Thompson, James Wiseman and Andre Iguodala, Porter hit eight of his 13 shots, including three straight after the Suns had closed within 109-107 on a Jae Crowder 3-pointer with 3:01 to play.
Porter converted a Gary Payton II assist into a 16-footer for a 111-107 lead with 2:09 to go, a Draymond Green pass into another midrange jumper for a six-point advantage with 1:40 left and another Green dish for a back-breaking 3-pointer that left the Suns in a 116-107 hole with just 1:07 remaining.
In a tightly contested contest in which neither team led by more than 10, the Warriors appeared to be taking command when Porter buried a 3-pointer for a 107-99 advantage with 4:50 to go.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 26, 2021ADVERTISEMENT
But the Suns bounced right back, getting 3-pointers from Paul and Crowder in a quick 8-2 burst that made it a two-point game again.
Phoenix had a subsequent chance to tie, but Curry stole the ball from Paul and, despite missing a floater at the other end, Kevon Looney retrieved the miss, got it to Payton, who in turn found Porter for the first of his difference-making hoops.
Payton finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors, who won their third straight. Jonathan Kuminga chipped in with 12 points and Nemanja Bjelica 10 for Golden State, which outscored Phoenix 42-33 on 3-pointers.
Looney was the game’s leading rebounder with 10 to go with eight points, while Green had a well-rounded stats line with eight points, seven rebounds, a game-high 10 assists and three steals.
Paul complemented his 21 points and eight assists with six rebounds for the Suns, who hadn’t lost at home since opening the season with a pair of home setbacks at the hands of the Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings.
Deandre Ayton backed Paul with 18 points, while Mikal Bridges had 17, Devin Booker 13 on just 5-for-19 shooting and Cam Johnson 11.
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