Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/1/12
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- When reporters entered the Golden State dressing room after Wednesday's season opener, Warrior stars Stephen Curry and David Lee joking covered their shoulders with towels and acted as if their teeth were chattering. "Don't come over here," Lee warned. "It's ice cold right here, man." But even with Curry and Lee combining to miss 26 of 30 shots -- and with Curry missing two free throws with a chance to ice the game in the final seconds to boot -- the Warriors used 14 first-half points from Brandon Rush and 12 of Carl Landry's 17 points in the fourth quarter to grind out an 87-85 win over the Phoenix Suns in a sloppy game at half-empty US Airways Center. Curry signed a four-year, $44 million contract extension on Wednesday and admitted the excitement of the day had him jittery and rushing his shots. He finished the night 2-for-14 -- Lee was even worse at 2-for-16 -- and didn't score until hitting a technical foul free throw with 10:15 left in the game. A 90 percent career free-throw shooter, Curry missed two free throws with throws with 4.4 seconds left to give the Suns one more chance. But Sebastian Telfair's desperation three-point attempt didn't beat the buzzer. "That was the sign of how my night went right there," he said. But he ended the night the same way the day started, with a smile on his face. "It's still a good day because we didn't win games like this last year," Curry said. "Some of the starters didn't play well, but we handled adversity and we won a game we wouldn't have won last year. To come together in the last three minutes, get some stops and get some key baskets when we needed them. That's the sign of a good team." Goran Dragic, taking over for Steve Nash at point guard on a team with nine new players, led five Suns in double figures with 17 points and added eight assists in front of an announced Halloween night crowd of 15,678. Luis Scola had 15 points and 10 rebounds and PJ Tucker added 10 points off the bench including a run of eight consecutive Phoenix points in the fourth quarter to keep his team in the game. "We had good looks ... I myself had multiple chances to knock (a shot) down to tie it or take the lead at the end," said Suns guard Jared Dudley, who had only one of his 11 points after intermission. "Those are shots that we'll make throughout the season, but obviously it hurts now." The Suns missed 17 of 21 three-pointers in the game, including all eight tries in the fourth quarter. Coach Alvin Gentry pointed to 18 turnovers and 17 Golden State offensive rebounds as keys in the game. "It's still and Achilles' heel for us. Those 17 rebounds, that's 17 opportunities that we don't get to run," Gentry said. "We looked like a team that had nine new players tonight, but I really feel like we're going to have a good team." The Warriors blew a 17-point lead in the second quarter and a 10-point bulge in the third, but Landry and Klay Thompson (16 points) picked up the offensive slack and gave Golden State just enough to win. "My teammates did a good job of finding me in positions to make buckets," Landry said. "Guys are going to have nights like that where shots don't fall, but that's where having a good team, a deep team, takes over. We've got a lot of guys who can make plays." Thompson had eight first-quarter points for Golden State and center Andrew Bogut, a game-time decision coming back from a fractured left ankle suffered in January, added six. Bogut played only four minutes in the second half -- the Warriors wanted to hold him to 20 minutes on Wednesday -- and said he understood the decision. "I wasn't too happy about it and I'm already fighting with the trainer to get some more minutes in the next game," Bogut said with a smile. "If we would have lost the game, I would have been a lot more (upset). But at the end of the night, we're undefeated." NOTES: The Suns and Warriors have met seven times in a season opener prior to Wednesday, with Phoenix winning six times. ... The average combined age of starters Michael Beasley (23), Luis Scola (32), Marcin Gotat (28), Jared Dudley (27) and Goran Dragic (26) is 27. 2 years, the youngest Phoenix lineup to start a season since the 2004-05 season (24.8). ... The Warriors opened a season on the road for the first time in 11 years, since losing 92-87 in Portland on Halloween in 2001.
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