The Phoenix Suns are finally about to get the rest they probably need despite playing some of their best basketball of the season.
The Suns are coming off a pair of easy home victories and should have a good chance for another one Wednesday night before getting a week off, facing a Golden State Warriors team which hasn’t won in Phoenix nearly seven years.
No team has played more this month than the Suns (14-19). This will be their 14th game of February, but they don’t play another one until hosting Minnesota next Thursday thanks to having an extra two days off following the All-Star break.
“We haven’t had a couple of days off in it feels like forever,” said Steve Nash, Phoenix’s lone All-Star.
The Suns haven’t won more than three in a row all season but could match that streak Wednesday. After leading by as many as 27 in a 102-90 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Phoenix built a 26-point lead against Washington the following night en route to a 104-88 victory.
“It’s been a difficult season for us,” said Nash, who has reached double figures in assists in 10 straight games. “We haven’t quite turned the corner - we’ve been close a couple times to getting back to .500 and gone on a couple little losing streaks. But hopefully if we continue to play the way we’ve played the last couple games we can find our way back in there.”
Phoenix had surpassed 100 points just twice in 22 games before doing so in its last two.
The Suns have reached the century mark the last 16 times Golden State has come to town and have won the last 13 dating back to March 18, 2005. The Warriors lost 102-91 in Phoenix on Jan. 2 as Nash scored a game-high 21.
Monta Ellis is among the Warriors to have never won at US Airways Center. He’s appeared in 11 games there and shot 37.8 percent - his worst in any arena - and his 14.6 scoring average at Phoenix is five below his career mark.
However, Golden State (12-17) did snap a seven-game losing streak in this series in the most recent meeting, winning 102-96 on Feb. 13 despite Ellis and Stephen Curry shooting a combined 8 for 30. David Lee had 28 points and 12 rebounds after missing the first meeting with an illness.
The Warriors snapped a three-game losing streak Monday with a 104-97 home win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Ellis scored 32 points while Lee had 24 with 13 rebounds.
The victory marked a breakout game for center Ekpe Udoh, who started for an ill Andris Biedrins and had a career-high 19 points with eight rebounds. It’s possible Udoh will keep the starting spot considering Biedrins has struggled, averaging 1.1 points and 3.6 boards over his last 14 games.
“The way he played tonight, he gives us something totally different,” coach Mark Jackson said of Udoh. “I will take my time and assess our basketball team and we’ll move forward. But he certainly is a guy, when the opportunity presented itself, to command more minutes.”
Udoh could face a tough matchup with Marcin Gortat, who has averaged 20.7 points and 12.7 rebounds over the last three games while shooting 60.0 percent.
Golden State, 3-8 away from home, is playing the first of six consecutive road games.