Thunder, Suns Continue Streaking
By Randy Renner
The Thunder blew out the Phoenix Suns 112-88 and both teams continue streaking in opposite directions.
Oklahoma City has now won six straight and eight of the last nine, while Phoenix has dropped five straight and seven of the last nine.
The Thunder win now puts them just a half game behind the Suns for eighth place in the Western Conference.
The Thunder started heating up when their injured superstars returned to the lineup and both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had huge nights Sunday evening.
Westbrook led all scorers with 28 points and came close to triple-double territory once again with eight rebounds and eight assists. Westbrook did not play in the fourth quarter.
Durant added 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting and he grabbed eight rebounds. Anthony Morrow came off the bench to score 14 and Serge Ibaka added 12 on 5-for-7 shooting.
The Thunder took control early scoring 41 points in the first quarter (a season high) and 70 points in the first half. OKC also had 70 points in the first half the other night in Minnesota and that marks the first time the Thunder have scored that many points in two straight first halves.
Oklahoma City never trailed and led by as many as 27 points. In addition to cranking out the points the Thunder also did another grat job on the defensive end. The Thunder came into the game allowing the fewest points per game in the NBA (93.5) and bested that by giving up just 88 to Phoenix. The Thunder were second in the league in opponent field goal percentage (42.1) and bested that too allowing the Suns to shoot just 34.3 percent (a season-low for Phoenix).
"It was a combination of defense at a high level and moving the ball that put us in good position," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.
The Thunder are looking more and more like the team everyone thought they would be before all the injury troubles and now they head out to the west coast for a big time road trip, visiting Sacramento on Tuesday and then a showdown at Golden State on Thursday night. The trip wraps up in L.A. against the Lakers on Friday.
"Hopefully we can keep the streak alive," said Jackson. "We're just trying to get as many wins as we can."