After extending one winning streak against Golden State earlier this week, the Phoenix Suns now have a good chance to continue an even lengthier run of success at home over the Warriors.
In position to reach the .500 mark for the first time in almost two months, the Suns try for an 11th consecutive home victory over the Warriors when the teams meet Thursday night.
Phoenix’s 104-92 win at Golden State on Monday was its fourth in five games. The 10th-place Suns (24-25), currently 2 1/2 games out of the final Western Conference playoff spot, have not been at .500 since they were 13-13 on Dec. 19.
“It hasn’t been a very fun year in large part, but it’s been more fun lately,” said Steve Nash(notes), who had 14 points with 15 assists on his 37th birthday. “We just have to keep working every day, we have to continue to improve and we also have to get a little bit tougher.”
Channing Frye(notes) scored 19 with 11 rebounds and Grant Hill(notes) added 18 points as the Suns ran out to a 33-17 first-quarter lead and made 13 3-pointers en route to their fourth straight win and eighth in nine games against the Warriors (23-28).
Phoenix has averaged 115.8 points and shot 48.5 percent during a 10-game home winning streak over Golden State that followed a 110-100 loss on March 18, 2005.
Nash has averaged 19.3 points and 13.0 assists in his last six games against the Warriors.
While Golden State prefers to push the tempo like the Suns, it has not had much success in two losses to Phoenix this season.
“You’re not going to beat them at their game,” said Warriors coach Keith Smart, whose team trailed by 23 points at one point Monday. “It’s not going to happen.”
The Warriors, who went 2 of 18 from 3-point range, can’t afford their intensity level to waver against a Phoenix club giving up 90.6 points per game over the last five contests.
Ellis has averaged 30.5 points his last four games against the Suns, all in Oakland. However, he’s totaled 34 while injuries have limited him to two appearances during the teams’ last four meetings at US Airways Center.
Despite Ellis’ and the Warriors’ struggles at Phoenix, Monday’s loss to the Suns is their only defeat in five games.
“The guy that no one seems to talk about, every time he plays against us he seems to play great is Reggie Williams,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry told the team’s official website.
The Warriors have lost two in a row and four of five on the road.