While the Warriors this season have had four two-game losing streaks, they’ve had only one that reached three. They’ll try to avoid a second occurrence when they face the Suns on Sunday in Phoenix.
Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 5 o’clock, with tipoff from Talking Stick Resort Arena scheduled for 6:10.
In losing back-to-back games, the Warriors (57-23) allowed 126 points in each, an absurdly high number for a team that needs top-shelf defense to succeed in the absence of Stephen Curry. The good news is over three games they’ve allowed an average of 99.7 points to Phoenix while scoring an average score of 123.3.
The Suns (20-60) have won only twice over the past since January, going 2-26 during that span, and clearly have been using the last half of the season to evaluate young players and position themselves for the June draft.
Warriors by 13
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Kevin Durant vs. Josh Jackson: Durant was fantastic on offense Saturday in the 126-120 loss to New Orleans, scoring 41 points, 30 of which came in the second half. Jackson, the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft, has averaged 21.8 ppg over his last 12 games -- and 58 in his last two against the Warriors. Though either Draymond Green or Durant could match up against either Dragan Bender or Jackson, the Durant-Jackson clash is most intriguing.
Warriors: G Shaun Livingston (R knee soreness) is available to play. F/G Andre Iguodala (L knee soreness), G Stephen Curry (L MCL sprain) and G Pat McCaw (lumbosacral bone bruise) are listed as out.
Suns: G Devin Booker (R hand sprain), C/F Marquese Chriss (L hip pain), G Troy Daniels (R ankle sprain), F Josh Jackson (R quad contusion), G Elfrid Payton (L knee tendinopathy), F T.J. Warren (L knee inflammation) are listed as questionable. G Brandon Knight (L ACL surgery) and F/C Alan Williams (R knee soreness) are listed as out.
Warriors: 4-6. Suns: 1-9.
Marc Davis (crew chief), Kevin Cutler, Rodney Mott
The Warriors won the first three meetings this season, 129-83 on Feb. 12 in Oakland, 124-109 on March 17 in Phoenix and 117-107 on April 1 in Oakland. The Warriors swept four games last season and have won the last 14 meetings and are 14-1 against the Suns in the Steve Kerr era.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
FINDING DEFENSE: Since playing fabulous defense Tuesday in Oklahoma City, the Warriors were a mess in the next two games, allowing 252 points, more than in any two-game stretch in 326 regular-season games under Steve Kerr. If the final two games are about building habits ahead of the playoffs, this is the perfect matchup.
THE BIG MEN: JaVale McGee or Zaza Pachulia has started 20 of 22 games since the All-Star break. Neither played minute Saturday night. Kevon Looney started, playing 28 minutes. Damian Jones played five minutes and David West 13. Kerr has said for weeks that he’ll rotate his centers. He’s living up to that pledge.
JORDAN BELL: He played only five minutes Saturday and did not look good, totaling one free throw and one rebound while committing two turnovers. The Warriors are eager to see a breakout game from the forward/center who had an impressive start to his rookie season because they want him to play an important role in the playoffs.