The Warriors and Phoenix Suns usually play high-energy, tightly contested games at Oracle Arena. Saturday was the latest in collection of memorable games between the Pacific Division rivals.
The Warriors snapped their seven-game losing streak by outlasting the Suns 132-127. The Warriors got 33 points, 10 assists and six rebounds from guard Monta Ellis, who barely one-upped Phoenix guard Steve Nash (36 points, nine assists and four rebounds).
It was the Warriors' first win in the division of the season and their second win in their last 13 games.
Forward Corey Maggette had 33 points and eight rebounds. Anthony Randolph added 17, while guard Anthony Morrow and C.J. Watson had 14 points each.
The trio of Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Vladimir Radmanovic combined to hold Amare Stoudemire to one of his worst performances of the season. He finished with nine points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes, leaving Phoenix with little inside presence.
That put the Suns on par with the Warriors, who won the battle of the boards for the first time since their win at New Jersey on Dec. 9.
The teams traded baskets throughout the game. There were 25 lead changes, 20 ties and no team led by more than eight points. And the ending was befitting of the rivalry between the league's most frenetic teams.
The Warriors led 121-116 after a driving finger roll by Ellis. By the Suns tied the game moments later after getting a Jared Dudley 3-pointer
Guard C.J. Watson — who played the final 16 minutes of the game over rookie guard Stephen Curry — nailed a jumper to give the Warriors the lead again. Watson's pressure on Nash led to a 24-second violation, which turned into a follow dunk by Maggette for a 127-123 Warriors' lead with 1:30 left.
A Nash layup cut the Warriors' lead to a basket. But after dropping a wide-open pass in the lane from Watson, resulting in a turnover, Maggette redeemed himself with a clutch defensive rebound in traffic followed by two free throws to put the Warriors up 129-125 with 20.8 remaining.
Nash converted another layup, and guard Anthony Morrow followed by splitting a pair of free throws. That left the Warriors with a three-point lead and in need of a defensive stop with 10.7 seconds remaining.
Watson recovered to make a textbook contest on Nash's 3-pointer. Curry, who checked in for the final 20 seconds, picked off Suns center Channing Frye's pass and nailed two free throws to seal the game.
Phoenix shot 60 percent from the field in the first half, including 8 of 16 from 3-point range. The Warriors stayed close by outrebounding the Suns and scoring in transition.
The Warriors trailed 63-58 after a 3-pointer by Jason Richardson at the 3:36 mark of the second quarter. But Golden State put together a 7-2 run over the next two minutes to tie it at 65, a spurt capped by a fast-break jumper by Morrow and a 3-pointer in transition by Curry.
Nash took over in the third quarter with his scoring in the third quarter. He knocked down all four of his 3-point attempts en route to 16 points in the third. The Warriors got 12 each from Ellis and Maggette in the quarter. The Warriors trailed 108-104 entering the fourth quarter and started the quarter by going on a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead and set up a tit-for-tat conclusion.