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OAKLAND — The Warriors coached themselves to a 129-83 blowout victory against the Phoenix Suns Monday night.

The first four words of the previous sentence are no exaggeration or figure of speech. The Warriors literally coached themselves. Head coach Steve Kerr stood and watched as his players ran the huddle during timeouts, drew up plays and made in-game adjustments.

Most of the time, Kerr didn’t watch at all. He stood off to the side with his back turned while players took turns coaching.

“It’s the players’ team,” Kerr said after the game, “and they have to take ownership of it. As coaches, our job is job is to nudge them in the right direction, guide them. But, we don’t control them. They determine their own fate.”

Andre Iguodala was the head coach first. Then, David West was the head coach during the next timeout. Then, Draymond Green took a turn.

How embarrassing for the Suns.

“It had nothing to do with being disrespectful,” Kerr said. “It had to do with me trying to reach my team. I have not reached them for the last month. They’re tired of my voice. I’m tired of my voice.

“It has been a long haul these last few years. We figured it was a good night to pull a trick out of the hat and do something different.”

With Kerr playing the role of passive observer, the Warriors had one of their best games of the season. They dished 36 assists, committed only 12 turnovers and held the Suns to a miniscule 34.7 percent shooting from the field.

Stephen Curry finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in just 30 minutes (he did not play in the fourth quarter). Kevin Durant had 17 points on eight-of-nine shooting. And Klay Thompson had 16 points on seven-of-12 shooting.

The Suns, whose record is 18-40, were not missing their head coach, Jay Triano. He ran his team’s huddles. The Suns were missing their shooting guard, Devin Booker, who leads Phoenix in points per game with 24.1. He has missed the Suns past four contests with a left hip pointer.

The Warriors, whose record is 44-13, were missing Green. He sat out with a sprained left index finger. Mostly, he coached.

How did Kerr assess Green’s coaching?

“I don’t know,” Kerr said, “I wasn’t listening.”

Of the Warriors’ 57 games this season, Green has missed eight, including six with a right shoulder injury he suffered December 6. The Warriors never revealed exactly how Green hurt his shoulder. They described his injury as general “wear and tear.” Before this season, Green had missed only 12 of 397 career games.

Omri Casspi started in place of Green against the Suns. Casspi played 27 minutes, scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Warriors outscored Phoenix by 28 points when Casspi was in the game. Their record is 6-1 this season when Casspi starts.

“I’ve hardly played him, to no fault of his own,” Kerr said. “He just hasn’t had much of a chance.”

“It’s tough,” Casspi said. “The team is running well. I had to make some adjustments. I felt like the guys found me early with some easy ones to get going.”

The Warriors had a first-quarter problem coming into Monday night. In their previous three first quarters, they had gotten outscored 112-80. Their starters would seem bored and play terrible defense, then their bench unit would enter the game and wake the Warriors up.

“Just have to play harder,” Kerr said about his starters during his pregame press conference. “Play better defense.

“It’s not about anybody else. It’s about us. It’s something that we should be able to rectify. We do have four All Stars in the starting lineup. For god’s sake, we should be able to get off to better starts.”

The Warriors merely had three All Stars in their starting lineup Monday night, and finally they got off to a decent start. They played terrific defense (for the most part), held the Suns to 10 field goals on 25 shots (40 percent), and led 25-24 at the end of the first quarter.

Maybe three All Stars is the Warriors magic number. Or, maybe Kerr is the cause of the slow starts. Maybe the Warriors are better without him. Without a coach.

“Let’s not get carried away,” Kerr said. “I like it here.”

One player the Warriors didn’t defend well early: Suns point guard Elfrid Payton. He made each of his seven shots and scored 16 points in the first quarter. But, he scored only four points during the second quarter.

That’s when the Warriors put away Payton and the rest of the Suns.

Usually, the Warriors put away teams during the third quarter. Monday night, they took care of business before halftime. The Warriors outscored the Suns by 16 points during the second quarter and made 14 of 22 shots (63.6 percent).

At the beginning of the third quarter, the game was over. The Warriors led 62-45.

Then, Curry grabbed the clipboard.

“I was horrible,” Curry said. “I thought about a play, and then I forgot the second option, and I had two guys at the wrong place on the board. Then I got a delay of game coming out of halftime. I was scrambling.”

Hey, at least he still can play.


Shooting guard Patrick McCaw came into the game with a sprained left thumb. He scored nine points in eight minutes, then left with a sprained right wrist.

The Warriors won their 12th game in a row against the Suns. This winning streak currently is the Warriors’ longest against any opponent.

The Warriors improved their record to 25-1 this season when scoring at least 120 points. Their one loss came opening night against the Houston Rockets, who beat the Warriors 122-121.

Stephen Curry and Dell Curry tied Rick Barry and Brent Barry as the third-highest-scoring father-son duo in NBA history. Both the Barrys and Currys have scored exactly 26,883 points.

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