Dragic scored 18 of his career-high 20 points in the fourth quarter and the Suns finally pulled away from the depleted Golden State Warriors, winning 112-103 on Saturday night.
"He made some big shots. He had that look in his eye," Suns star Steve Nash said. "He was really aggressive. It was fun to see him step up and make some big shots and key plays."
Dragic, a second-year guard from Slovenia, was 4 of 6 from the field, including 3 of 5 on 3-pointers, and made 7 of 8 free throws in the quarter. He also had two steals and a crucial blocked shot in the period.
"I was just looking for my game," Dragic said. "The first quarter, second quarter, I didn't find my game, but in the third and fourth I was more aggressive on defense and offense and I hit my shots."
Nash scored 23 points for the Suns in their 10th consecutive victory over Golden State in Phoenix. The Suns had lost five of their previous six, with the lone win over New Jersey.
"It would have been a devastating loss," Nash said. "It wasn't pretty but we had just enough toughness and depth to pull through when we weren't really playing our best."
Anthony Tolliver had career bests of 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors, playing without Monta Ellis (26.1 points per game). Ellis sprained his right ankle Friday night in Golden State's home victory over New Jersey.
"I have no complaints about what we did," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "Give them the credit. Their bench came in and played well. They were a huge factor."
"The second unit did a phenomenal job," Stoudemire said. "The second unit definitely came out with the energy we needed to give us that lift, to give us that spark. That pretty much carried us."
Still, they led virtually the entire first half, by as many as 10. Only a late spurt cut it to 60-55 at the break, thanks to Nash's 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Nash's 3-pointer capped an 11-0 run that put Phoenix up 66-62 with 7:26 left in the third quarter. Curry responded with a 21-footer and neither team led by more than three the rest of the period, with the Warriors up 80-79 entering the fourth.
Consecutive 3s by Frye and Dragic followed by two free throws from rookie Clark put Phoenix up for good 91-85 with 8:04 to play. Golden State twice cut it to one, the last time at 96-95 on C.J. Watson's 19-footer with 4:18 left.
Amundson made two free throws, Dragic blocked Watson's breakaway layup and Frye sank a 5-footer to put Phoenix ahead 101-95. Warriors coach Don Nelson drew a technical foul complaining about the no-call on Dragic and Nash made the free throw, giving the Suns a 101-95 lead with 3:12 to play.
Suns coach Alvin Gentry called Dragic's block "an unbelievable defensive play." Nelson simply called it a foul.
|Goran Dragic (2) drops 18 of his career-high 20 points in the fourth quarter for Phoenix. (AP)|
|Golden State (13-29)||28||32||20||23||103|
|Phoenix (26-19) «||25||30||24||33||112|
|GS:C. Maggette 27 Pts
GS:A. Tolliver 11 Reb
GS:C. Maggette 4 Ast
|PHO:S. Nash 23 Pts
PHO:L. Amundson 9 Reb
PHO:S. Nash 6 Ast
|Players of the Game|
|S. Curry, PG||40||10-25||1-1||5||2||4||25|
|C. Maggette, SF||39||10-23||7-7||6||4||4||27|
|A. Tolliver, PF||38||9-15||0-0||11||1||2||19|
|C. Martin, PF||37||4-10||3-3||5||2||4||13|
|A. Biedrins, C||25||1-5||0-0||8||2||3||2|
|C. Watson, PG||25||5-8||1-2||3||2||3||11|
|R. Turiaf, C||20||1-3||1-2||5||2||3||3|
|D. George, SG||8||1-3||0-0||0||0||0||3|
|C. Hunter, PF||8||0-2||0-0||1||0||1||0|
|A. Randolph, PF||Did Not Play|
|V. Radmanovic, SF||Did Not Play|
|R. Bell, SG||Did Not Play|
|K. Azubuike, SF||Did Not Play|
|A. Morrow, SG||Did Not Play|
|B. Wright, PF||Did Not Play|
|M. Ellis, PG||Did Not Play|
|S. Claxton, PG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|A. Stoudemire, PF||34||5-13||5-6||5||1||2||15|
|S. Nash, PG||32||9-20||2-2||4||6||2||23|
|R. Lopez, C||30||4-6||8-8||9||0||1||16|
|G. Hill, SF||29||6-12||2-3||8||2||2||15|
|J. Richardson, SG||27||4-11||0-0||8||1||1||8|
|G. Dragic, PG||26||5-9||7-8||3||2||1||20|
|C. Frye, C||17||3-5||0-0||4||1||3||8|
|J. Dudley, SF||17||0-3||1-2||1||0||3||1|
|L. Amundson, PF||16||0-1||2-2||9||3||2||2|
|E. Clark, SF||11||1-5||2-2||0||0||0||4|
|J. Collins, C||Did Not Play|
|L. Barbosa, SG||Did Not Play|
|T. Griffin, PF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|