Warriors observations: Complete effort ends Suns' 18-game win streak

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  • Golden State Warriors
    Golden State Warriors
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  • Phoenix Suns
    Phoenix Suns
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  • Stephen Curry
    Stephen Curry
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What we learned as Warriors put end to Suns' 18-game streak originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO -- Friday night offered the Warriors a unique opportunity. 

It gave them the chance to face the team they lost two just three days prior -- something that rarely happens during the regular season. And the fact that it was against the Phoenix Suns, the hottest team in the NBA, made it even more of an opportunity. 

The Warriors had a lot of room to grow after Tuesday's loss. And they seemed to address most of them on Friday. It's what propelled them to their 118-96 victory. Well, the adjustments and the run they went on in the latter portion of the fourth quarter. 

Steph Curry got back into his MVP-caliber groove. Draymond Green was active. Phoenix's size didn't seem to give Golden State as much trouble. And the Warriors (19-3) got more production from the "other guys" off the bench. 

The areas that hindered the Warriors were apparent. After committing 22 turnovers on Tuesday, they coughed up 16 more on Friday -- nine in the first half. And the Suns (19-4) went 26-of-35 from the free-throw line, while the Warriors were just 9-of-12. 

Nevertheless, the Warriors learned from their loss earlier in the week and took care of business back home. Here are three takeaways from the win:

Curry finds his groove

It's uncommon for Curry to have consecutive bad games. And Friday night was another instance where he bounced back. 

Coming off the worst shooting performance in his career (4-of-21), Curry dazzled Chase Center with 23 points on 8-of-20 shooting, six of which were 3-pointers. He also had three rebounds and five assists. 

Curry had his usual shooting touch from the jump, knocking down his first 3-pointer of the night early in the first quarter. And unlike in Phoenix, Curry was knocking both his contested and wide-opened shots.

Mikal Bridges was the primary defender on Curry on Tuesday, but he didn't spend nearly as much time on him Friday. Perhaps it's because Curry figured out Bridges' defense. Instead, the Suns had a steady rotation of players go up against the reigning Western Conference Player of the Month. 

But it didn't really matter who defended him. Curry had his mojo going

Active Draymond

The Warriors are immensely better when they get the version of Green that does a little bit of everything. And it's the version of him they got Friday. 

Green finished the game with nine points, nine rebounds, nine assists, six steals and three blocks, all good for a plus-25 net rating.

On Tuesday, Green fell too much into the facilitator role and didn't attack enough on offense. The fact that Curry was having an off night only highlighted how much more the Warriors needed Green. 

And while Curry found his stroke back in San Francisco on Friday, Green's contributions were still needed as Jordan Poole struggled. 

Green knew he needed to give the Warriors a boost on offense. And he did it by attacking, hitting mid-range jumpers and knocking down one 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. And on defense, he was up to his usual activities. 

JTA takes flight

In the nightly game of "Which player off the bench will step up for the Warriors?" Juan Toscano-Anderson was the winner on Friday. 

After a poor night in Phoenix, he put up 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting, four rebounds, four assists, one steals and one block on Friday. He also had the play of the night when he took flight and dunked on JaVale McGee.

Just a few weeks ago, Toscano-Anderson found himself on the losing end of the Warriors' incredibly deep bench. He barely saw any playing time and fell out of the rotation. But after a strong fourth quarter in Cleveland, he got the start the next night in Detroit. And he's been back in the steady rotation since. 

On Friday, JTA gave the Warriors the burst of energy he has become known for while also being highly efficient. If he keeps it up, he won't fall back out of the rotation any time soon.