Landry’s Big 4th Leads Warriors Past Suns In Opener
PHOENIX (CBS / AP) — Stephen Curry’s big day turned into a long night, and the Golden State Warriors turned to Carl Landry to escape with a season-opening victory over the rebuilt Phoenix Suns.
Landry scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and the Warriors beat the Suns 87-85 on Wednesday in Phoenix’s first game of the post-Steve Nash era.
Curry, who earlier in the day agreed to a four-year, $44 million extension with the Warriors, missed his first 10 shots from the field and wound up 2 of 14 with five points.
“It was one of those games,” Curry said, “but it was a crazy day.”
He even missed two free throws with 4.4 seconds left to allow the Suns a chance at a game-winning shot.
“That was a sign on how my night went,” Curry said. “Thankfully there was not enough time to get a shot off and we were able to walk off with a win.’
Sebastian Telfair’s 3-point attempt for Phoenix came after the buzzer, and misfired anyway.
Goran Dragic had 17 points and Luis Scola added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix. Marcin Gortat had 10 points and nine rebounds and matched his career best with five blocked shots for the Suns, who have only five players back from last season’s roster.
“If you would have told me coming in that David Lee and Steph Curry would go 4 for 30, I’d say we’d be in trouble,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.
But others came through.
Klay Thompson was the only Warriors starter in double figures
with 16 points. He made just 6 of 16 shots but was 4 of 7 on 3-pointers and grabbed eight rebounds. Brandon Rush added 14 points for Golden State, all in the first half.
Andrew Bogut, playing for the first time since breaking his left ankle last Jan. 25, had eight points and six rebounds in 18 1-2 minutes for Golden State.
The Warriors outscored the Suns 17-4 to start the second quarter to go up by 17 points.
Scola scored nine points in a 13-2 run that cut Golden State’s halftime lead to 48-42. On consecutive Suns possessions, he made a 19-footer, 18-footer and 24-footer. The last basket was his second career 3-pointer, in 18 attempts.
Down 59-51 after Thompson’s 3-pointer with 6:17 to play in the third quarter, the Suns went on a 15-6 run to take a 67-65 lead entering the fourth. Dragic started it with a 3, and Gortat’s rebound basket put Phoenix ahead 63-62. Jared Dudley made one of two free throws to boost the lead to 64-62 with 2:18 left in the quarter.
The run reached 23-7 when Shannon Brown made a free throw on a defensive 3-second call to put the Suns ahead 74-66 with 8:41 to play. Landry, though, kept coming at the Suns, with short- to mid-range jumpers and baskets around the hoop.
Curry’s night of futility ended when, after misfiring 10 times, he hit an 18-footer with 8:40 to play. The basket triggered a 10-2 run that tied it at 76-76 on Landry’s dunk with 5:32 to play. P.J. Tucker’s inside basket put Phoenix back on top, 78-76, then Thompson’s fourth 3-pointer of the game gave the Warriors a 79-78 lead with 4:42 to play.
Scola’s turnaround 9-foot bank shot gave the Suns their final lead, 84-83, with 1:43 to play. Landry’s dunk put Golden State ahead 85-84, then his 17-footer put the Warriors ahead 87-84 with 54 seconds to go.
Dragic made one of two free throws with 5.6 seconds left to cut the lead to 87-85, and Curry, the Warriors’ best free throw shooter on most nights, missed two from the line with 4.4 seconds left. Dragic brought the ball downcourt but instead of taking the shot, passed to Telfair.
“We looked like a team that had nine new players tonight,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “I really feel that we’re going to become a good team. I really feel that we’re going to have to play together and we’re going to have to learn each other and know each other and as a coach, I have to learn the guys.”
Motes: Gentry and C Jermaine O’Neal drew technical fouls in the first half, F Markieff Morris got one in the second. … Bogut missed the final 52 games of last season. He was traded by Milwaukee to Golden State 1 1-2 months after he was hurt. … The crowd of 15,678 was far below the US Airways Center capacity of 18,442.
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