Not even the return of Kevin Durant could stop the 2nd half charge that the Phoenix Suns made to overtake, and ultimately, run away with the win. Oklahoma City played well early, especially defensively, holding the Suns to just 18 first quarter points. That would be the last quarter the Thunder win would win the scoring battle as the Suns finally got their scoring issues solved. Utlimately this game was won by the Suns in the 2nd half, and Dominated by them in the 4th quarter. Phoenix outscored the Thunder 60-43 in the final two periods of play and 34-23 to close out the win in the 4th. Kevin Durant did finish with a team high 22 points, but showed a little rust at times tonight and shot only 9-20 on field goals on field goal attemps.
Outside of Kevin Durant, it was the usual suspects in the scoring category for the Thunder again tonight as Russell Westbrook finished with 20 points to go with 6 rebounds and 7 assists (to 8 turnovers), and Uncle Jeff Green scored 17 points to go with 10 rebounds. None of them had a very impressive night shooting, and combined, Durant, Westbrook, and Green shot a combined 22 for 49. The rest of the team was a little better, combining to make 15 of 31 shots on the night. The overall shooting percentage wasn't all that bad, but when the Suns shot better, the Thunder would have had to dominate the boards to win this game, and Oklahoma City trailed by 3 in that department as well.
The loss basically boils down to the Thunder flying out of the gate and doing an excellent job in the first half of setting and controlling the tempo of the game. They were playing solid defense and disrupting a very sloppy Suns offense early. Coming out of halftime it seemed like Phoenix was able to gain control and set the tempo quite a bit more in the second half and because of that were able to overtake and dominate late in the game. They also killed us with their outside shooting, hitting eight 3 pointers, including a 3/4 shooting night from downtown for Leandro Barbosa who lead the Suns with 22 points and was a major headache for the Thunder in the final seven minutes of play, scoring 11 of his 22 points.
Back home at the Ford Center on Monday to take on the San Antonio Spurs who will bring their 20-12 road record to Oklahoma City. It will be the first of three home games next week as the Thunder will take on the Chicago Bulls Wednesday, and the Utah Jazz on Friday.