The Phoenix Suns earned home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs last season.
They’re still looking for their first home win this season as they host the Golden State Warriors.
With star forward Amare Stoudemire sidelined at least four months as he recovers from knee surgery, Phoenix was expected to struggle. The Suns have allowed an average of 113.3 points in starting 0-3 at home.
Phoenix has lost a fourth-quarter lead in each of its home losses, including a 111-104 setback to Detroit on Thursday, dropping to 0-2 on their five-game homestand. The Suns allowed 37 points in the final quarter as Detroit closed the game on a 20-6 run.
“It seems like we need about a nickel more to make a dollar,” Phoenix coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We’re almost there and we can’t quite finish it up.”
It’s the first time the Suns have started with three straight home losses since going 0-6 at home to begin the 1996-97 season.
After the frustrating loss, reigning league MVP Steve Nash uncharacteristically refused to talk to reporters.
Backup guard Leandro Barbosa has been a major bright spot for the Suns. Barbosa has turned in back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his career, including 21 against Detroit.
He is the first Suns reserve to lead the team in scoring in consecutive games since Joe Johnson from April 15-16, 2003.
Phoenix forward Shawn Marion has five double-doubles to begin the season, the most by a Sun since Charles Barkley had eight straight to open the 1993-94 campaign. Marion has had at least 30 double-doubles in each of his previous five seasons.
Golden State enters after an 86-84 victory over New York on Friday. Baron Davis fed Adonal Foyle for a go-ahead layup in the final minute and stripped Jamal Crawford in the closing seconds to preserve the win.
Richardson averaged 24.3 points and 9.8 rebounds in four games against the Suns last season.
The Warriors have dropped 16 of their last 19 visits to Phoenix.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 11): Warriors - 2nd place, 1 GB, Pacific Division. Suns - 4th place, 2 1/2 GB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Warriors - Richardson, 22 ppg; Murphy, 7.3 rpg; Davis, 9.6 apg. Suns - Nash, 18.4 ppg and 11.6 apg; Marion, 13 rpg.
2004-05 SEASON SERIES: 2-2.
LAST MEETING: April 8; Warriors, 127-119. At Oakland, Calif., Richardson, Dunleavy and Mickael Pietrus all finished with 28 points as the Warriors drained a team-record 18 3-pointers en route to their eighth straight win. Stoudemire had 44 points and 16 boards to lead the Suns.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Warriors - 2-1 on the road; Suns - 0-3 at home.