Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Gerald Green set career highs with 41 points
and eight 3-pointers as the Phoenix Suns snapped an 11-game losing streak to
the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 128-122 win on Thursday.
The Suns erased a 16-point third quarter deficit with a huge run that bled
into the fourth quarter to help dispatch the Thunder for the first time since
Dec. 19, 2010.
Markieff Morris contributed 24 points, Goran Dragic tallied 22, and Marcus
Morris added 15 in the win.
"These guys have done that all year," Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek said of
his team's effort. "They get down and keep playing. And then you have a guy
like Gerald get hot. (The Thunder) are a great team. We have to play like that
to barely beat them."
Russell Westbrook filled the stat sheet to the tune of 36 points, nine
rebounds and nine assists for the Thunder, who had their three-game winning
Kevin Durant deposited 34 points to go along with seven rebounds and five
assists, while Serge Ibaka and Caron Butler chipped in with 18 and 14 points,
respectively, in the setback.
Butler's 3-pointer capped a quick 6-0 run that staked the visitors to a 96-80
lead with just under four minutes left in the third frame.
Markieff Morris then made a jumper that sparked a 23-2 run that stretched into
the fourth. Green - who scored 14 points during the surge - followed Morris
with nine straight points and then closed the quarter by hitting 2-of-3 from
the charity stripe to give the Suns a 101-98 lead heading to the final stanza.
Durant halted the momentum with a 3 to cut the deficit to two, but Green made
a layup before Marcus Morris nailed a triple to push the lead to 108-101 with
9 1/2 minutes to play.
The Thunder remained close and Westbrook scored the first five points of a 7-0
spurt that gave the visitors a 118-116 lead with just over four minutes left.
Westbrook hit a 3 to tie the game at 116-apiece and Durant then found Ibaka
inside for a dunk to grab an edge.
Dragic answered with two tough layups to give the Suns another lead, then
Marcus Morris found his brother Markieff for an alley-oop slam to increase the
Durant kept Oklahoma City within striking distance with two jumpers, but the
Morris brothers each hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to secure
The Suns allowed a season-high for points in the first quarter as they trailed
41-32 after 12 minutes of action. Channing Frye's pullup with 0.1 seconds left
trimmed the Phoenix deficit to 65-61 at the halftime.
Westbrook's set a season high for points ... Phoenix's Miles Plumlee missed
his second straight game with a sprained knee ... OKC shot 45-for-90 from the
field ... The Suns connected on 42-of-80 shots from the floor ... OKC had a
52-38 scoring edge in the paint ... The Suns shot 15-of-27 from beyond the
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