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Thunder drop second straight at Phoenix

Mar 3, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts in the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On the second night of a back-to-back, Oklahoma City dropped it’s second game in a row, this time coming at Phoenix, 118-111. The Thunder fought back late but could never really get in the driver’s seat to put the game away.

The second quarter killed the Thunder as they were outscored by eight points, and ended up giving up 35 in the quarter.

The Thunder are 35-27 on the season, still seventh in the Western Conference.

Oklahoma City was plagued with another bad shooting night, except they just kept shooting. The Thunder attempted 35 three-point attempts, only converting on nine of them. Doug McDermott and Alex Abrines were a combined 3-of-12 on the night, and Jerami Grant added four misses from downtown as well.

Russell Westbrook had a crazy stat line tonight, racking up 48 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists. He shot 46.7 percent and only committed four turnovers making it an extremely efficient night for Russ.

Westbrook is also the first player since Kobe Bryant in 2012 to have four straight 40-point games.

The defense just wasn’t there for the Thunder tonight as they couldn’t get a stop late. They gave up 118 points and allowed the Suns to shoot nearly 50 percent. Phoenix also doubled Oklahoma City’s assist numbers, 28-14.

The Suns were getting their scoring from a number of players tonight, as six players scored more than 14 points. Eric Bledsoe led the team with 18, and crucial free throws at the end of the game.

Oklahoma City’s bench struggled mightily tonight as they ended up being outscored 55-22. Enes Kanter lead the bench with 11, as no other member from the Thunder bench scored more than six points.

One bright spot for Oklahoma City was Domantas Sabonis showing signs of life tonight, registering his first double-digit scoring game since Jan. 31. He added 11 points in 13 minutes for the Thunder

On a night where the Clippers and Grizzlies both lost, this was a must win for the Thunder. After watching Oklahoma City knock of the Jazz, there were some high hopes for this road trip, but it hasn’t started out as planned. The Thunder desperately need a win in Dallas on Sunday.

Next up, the Thunder will travel to Dallas to take on the Mavericks on Sunday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. Dallas is coming off of an impressive victory over the Grizzlies.

KEYS TO THE GAME:

End Strong: C-

The Thunder would pull within four or five, but could never get past that is what it seemed like. Everytime you looked up, the deficit was back up to 10. Having finished so strong all season, it is strange to see the Thunder not finish well at all in the past two games. Oklahoma City especially didn’t finish the game well on the defensive side, as it seemed nobody wanted to guard tonight.

Thunder Money ball: F

As I mentioned earlier, the Thunder couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn tonight. They went an atrocious 9-of-35 from three point land, and none of their shooters could get going. The Thunder definitely showed their weakness, and played like a team who is one of the NBA’s worst thee point shooting teams.

Defend: D-

In losses this season, the Thunder have been giving up an average of 112 points per game. Tonight they gave up 119 to a struggling Suns team, which made it all the more difficult to watch. Oklahoma City couldn’t get a stop down the stretch, and it ultimately cost them the game.

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