PHOENIX (AP) — The Golden State Warriors with Kevin Durant are still an early season work in progress, as evidenced by a close call against the Suns in Phoenix.
Durant scored 37 points, Stephen Curry added 28 and the Warriors held off the pesky Suns 106-100 on Sunday.
“We are not clicking and everybody can see that,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “It will come but the main thing while we are going through this process is to continue to compete and try to pick up wins.”
The Warriors didn’t seal the victory until Curry’s two free throws with 12.9 seconds to play. Durant added a pair of free throws with seven seconds left to provide the final margin.
Durant was 15 of 16 at the line.
“I was just taking what the defense was giving me,” he said. “If you play me straight up, I like my chances. I try to get there (the foul line) as much as possible. My guys were setting great screens for me and I was able to get downhill some.
T.J. Warren scored 26 points and Eric Bledsoe had 21 for the winless Suns, who took the Thunder into overtime in Oklahoma City on Friday night. Tyson Chandler grabbed 18 rebounds for Phoenix.
“Game 3 with a young squad, have a chance to beat OKC on the road, have a chance to beat Golden State at home,” Phoenix coach Earl Watson said. “I think we’re right where we need to be.”
Warren was coming off a career-high 30 points against the Thunder.
“Unbelievable,” Bledsoe said. “I mean, he’s ‘Tony Buckets.’ He does what his name says, he gets buckets.”
The Suns led by as many as 13 in the first half. The Warriors finally took somewhat shaky control midway through the final quarter.
The game looked well in hand for the reigning Western Conference champs when Durant took a lob pass from Andre Iguodala, dunked and was fouled. The three-point play put the Warriors up 102-94 — their biggest lead of the day — with 1:19 to play.
But Phoenix got consecutive driving layups from Bledsoe, Warren and Jared Dudley to cut it to 102-100 with 14.8 seconds remaining. The Suns had to foul Curry, and arguably the best free throw shooter in the game made them both to put away Golden State’s second victory after a loss in its home opener.
Phoenix scored 16 straight points in what became a 22-2 run to lead 30-17 when Alex Len sank a pair of free throws with 38.4 seconds left in the first quarter. Six Suns scored in the run.
The Suns’ Devin Booker, playing despite a toe injury, had a rough day on the court on his 20th birthday, but he did some serious damage in the NBA as a teenager.
Booker scored 1,078 points in 78 games as a teen. The only teens to score more are LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmello Anthony, Durant and Dwight Howard. Booker had six 30-point games as a teenager, one fewer than Durant.
He missed six of his first seven shots Sunday and wound up 3-for-12 for seven points.
“Devin’s tough,” Watson said. “If you watch him, he’s limping around a lot. He has no excuses or anything. He goes out there and plays.”
Booker said that the toe injury restricted him some but insisted it was not affecting his shooting.
“I’ve cant’ make no excuses. I’m just missing shots,” Booker said. “I’m going to catch my rhythm. … I’m kind of anxious on some of my shots. I’ve just got to let the game come to me and I’ll be fine.”
Warriors: Golden State committed 16 turnovers, leading to 25 Phoenix points. … Golden State beat the Suns for the eighth straight time. … Golden State swept the four-game series with the Suns two of the last three years.
Suns: Rookie Marquese Chriss drew his third technical foul of the season. He had two and was tossed from the previous game at Oklahoma City. … Booker was 0 for 6 from the field before sinking a 3 at the shot-clock buzzer to tie it at 62.
Suns: Play at the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
Warriors: Play at Portland on Tuesday night