When the Phoenix Suns visit the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco on Saturday night, two teams looking to expand their fan bases will meet.Both teams have won three in a row, but there is more reason for each team to be optimistic as they could receive reinforcements in the fourth and final meeting of the regular season.
Phoenix won the first three games, but was held to a total of 15 points as the Suns’ bench scored a total of 72 points.The Suns hope to solve their depth issues by signing Royce O’Neal and David Roddy from the Brooklyn Nets and Memphis Grizzlies. Ironically, the Warriors may be more familiar with O’Neal and Roddy than the Suns. O’Neal had 15 points, all 3-pointers, as the Warriors beat Brooklyn on Monday, while Roddy had 12 and 16 points in two meetings with Golden State this season.
Before seeing the two in Suns uniforms, Phoenix coach Frank Vogel applauded owner Mat Ishbia for meeting the team’s needs.”I love that Matt Ishbia is willing to go the extra mile and do whatever it takes to give us the best opportunity to win an NBA championship,” Vogel said. “I mean, it’s all there.”Neither starter was allowed to play as the Suns got just 25 points off their reserves in a 129-115 home win against the Utah Jazz on Thursday.
Kevin Durant (31) and Bradley Beal (30) combined for 61 points and Devin Booker was sidelined with a groin injury. Booker, who has averaged 29.7 points in three wins for Golden State, has earned a spot on the starting roster and could return against the Warriors.Golden State ended its five-game road trip with a 131-109 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.
The Warriors have won three in a row despite resting Klay Thompson.Thompson, who scored 18 points in a loss to Philadelphia the night before, is expected to return to the Suns. Gary Payton II, who missed the last 16 games with a hamstring injury, could also return.The Warriors also got Moses Moody back from a calf injury and were boosted by Chris Paul’s recovery from a broken left hand in the 4-1 road trip.
The veteran is expected to return immediately after the All-Star break.In Payton’s absence, Paul and occasionally Moody and Thompson, Lester Quinones and Guy Santos have made valuable contributions behind Golden State’s bench. Quinones, who scored just 27 points earlier in the season, scored 10, 17 and 13 points on the road. Meanwhile, Santos, a much smaller rookie (35 total minutes), played 21 minutes and scored a season-high 13 points against Indiana. Santos said he’s learning how to play alongside superstar Stephen Curry, who hit 11 3-pointers against the Pacers.”I always try to keep an open mind,” said the Brazilian after his victory in Indianapolis.
“There’s a certain weight to him. Wherever he is, everybody looks at him and says, ‘Don’t let him shoot.’ So I set up a screen and everybody goes to that screen and I’m open. “I scored 2 (3-pointers) today and it felt good,” he said.