Stephen Curry returns for the Warriors after missing 11 games

Are the Warriors just rolling through the regular season, or do bigger problems linger?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – When Monty Williams learned Stephen Curry would be back on his feet and Splash Brother Klay Thompson would be ready as well, the Suns coach figured Phoenix needed to do everything right and grab some breaks of his own to defeat the defending NBA champion to beat.

Somehow, the injury-plagued, under-manned Suns went out and absolutely dominated.

Mikal Bridges had 26 points, nine rebounds and five assists and Phoenix beat the Golden State Warriors for the third time this season, 125-113 on Tuesday night to have their worst six-game slip of the season.

Former Warriors guard Damion Lee received his championship ring from his brother-in-law Curry in a pregame ceremony, then scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds against his former team. He finally converted six free throws 1:13 and went a total of 14 out of 14 from the line.

“I just thought it was a very special night,” Williams said, noting the ring ceremony, Lee’s performance and the win, “that’s a trifecta if I’ve ever heard of one.”

Duane Washington Jr. scored 21 points, Dario Saric contributed 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and Torrey Craig had 12 points and 14 rebounds for a deep Phoenix team missing four of five starters and six of eight regulars. The Suns had failed to score 100 points in their last four games.

“It’s obviously a huge win for us that everything has happened to us over the past few weeks, whatever you want to call it, but we had a bond and a spirit together tonight, even when they cut it down to six,” said Williams.

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Curry returned after 11 games with a partially dislocated left shoulder and scored 24 points in 8-for-22 shooting. Thompson had 29 points with six 3-pointers — four 3s and 14 points in the first quarter alone. Jordan Pooles 3 with 1:28 remaining cut it to 117-111 and he scored 27 points.

While Warriors coach Steve Kerr noted that “going 6-5 without Steph is an accomplishment,” the reigning NBA Finals MVP couldn’t do anything against a Phoenix team that included injured stars Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton and Cameron Johnson were absent. The first two encounters in the desert were one-sided, with the Suns winning 134-105 and 130-119.

Kerr said Golden State relaxed its “guard” since the Suns were missing so many players.

“We only started competing when it was too late,” he said.

The Warriors have lost three straight games after a season-best five-game winning streak, completing an eight-game homestand that matched the longest in franchise history.

Andre Iguodala was eliminated in his second game of the season with 4:30 to go. But the defending champions had their starting XI back together for the first time in several weeks.

Thompson suffered a late scrape with pain in his surgically repaired left knee for a 115-101 loss to Magic on Saturday night as the Warriors lost their first straight home games all season. Now they must get back on the road and try to beat their 3-16 record outside the Chase Center.

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