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Three thoughts from Warriors’ road win over Suns

Klay with the birthday corner three

On Klay Thompson’s birthday, he led the Warriors in scoring on what was an odd night. The Warriors picked up four technical fouls, yet ended up winning somewhat comfortably in a game in which they trailed by 17 in the first quarter.

Here are three thoughts from the Warriors’ 117-107 win, and the team’s 11th-straight win on the road.

“Turn around, see me running”

Tonight’s DeMarcus Cousins-DeAndre Ayton matchup featured two of the most athletic and physically imposing centers in the NBA. Both Cousins and Ayton displayed that full court pace throughout the entire game, with some highlight plays to provide an exclamation point. As a team, the Suns slammed down a whopping seven dunks, with many of them coming from Warriors turnovers.

Here’s a beautiful end-to-end play from DeMarcus Cousins, who, with roughly six minutes in the fourth quarter, refused to come out of the game:

Here’s the moment when Cousins told the Warriors coaching staff that he was OK to remain in the game, with the Warriors devoid of the ejected Draymond Green (more on that below):

Why was Cousins so desperate to stay in the game? He’s a natural competitor, obviously, but it might have had something to do with the fact that his counterpart, DeAndre Ayton, was still in the game. Here’s one of Ayton’s monster dunks on a night in which he had 23 points (10-of-20), 12 rebounds, 3 steals and a block:

Here’s another dunk from Ayton, with equal force:

As Stevie Nicks, the Phoenix, Arizona native sang for Fleetwood Mac on “Silver Springs,” both centers, and the Suns as a whole were running, if you looked. “Turn around, see me running,” Nicks sang.

Let’s get technical

Draymond Green picked up two technical fouls tonight, and DeMarcus Cousins picked up one himself. They’re two of the NBA’s most frequent recipients of technical fouls, so that’s not entirely surprising, despite the circumstances in which they came. But, there was another Warriors player who received a “T” tonight, and you’d hardly expect to see it happen again: Shaun Livingston.

Livingston, the generally even-keel veteran guard who often keeps his teammates in check, picked up a technical tonight… and promptly apologized for it. Here’s the interaction after Livingston notched a tech:

Cousins’ technical foul, however, came with a less than enthusiastic response. He picked it up after he headed to the bench with his fourth personal:

Here’s his response to the technical:

Lastly, you’ll see Green’s second technical foul and subsequent ejection, which came after he argued with a referee about Kelly Oubre Jr. head-butting him:

First half sloppiness goes unpunished

The Warriors turned the ball over an astounding 11 times in the first half, and at one point, trailed 24-9 after Draymond Green picked up his first technical foul. Despite the Suns’ best player, Devin Booker, sitting out, they were spearheaded by tremendous efforts from their young core.

This video exemplifies the Warriors’ cement-in-shoes-like start to the game:

Kelly Oubre Jr. had 25 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals, while Ayton had 23 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals and a block (and 3 turnovers). Both Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson chipped in 19 points each, but with a hot fourth-quarter performance from Stephen Curry, and double-digit scoring nights from every Warriors starter (and without Booker), the Suns had no chance.

Thompson, on his birthday, was tied for a game-high 25 points, along with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, and a shocking 3 blocks (plus a pair of turnovers). Curry chipped in 20 points, 7 boards, 7 assists, a steal and a block (also two turnovers), while the front court three were equally dominant. Here are their game lines:

Cousins: 18 points (7-of-11, 1-of-2 from 3-pt), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, one block, 4 turnovers

Green: 13 points (5-of-7, 0-of-2 from 3-pt), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, one block, 4 turnovers

Kevin Durant: 21 points (6-of-11, 1-of-3 from 3-pt), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 turnovers

For more Warriors videos click here.


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