Thunder Scorch the Suns, win 14th straight at home.

Suns led 84-68 in the third quarter, then Oklahoma City decided they wanted to play some basketball. From 3:59 mark in the third quarter to the end of the game, the Thunder outscored the Suns 44-20.  Kevin Durant had 30 points, Russell Westbrook had 31 and James Harden had a career high 30 points as Oklahoma City came back from 16 points down to win their 14th straight home game 115-104. Oklahoma City improved to 31-8 on the season and a league best 17-1 at home.

It wasn’t all easy going for the Thunder, Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 14 in the first half at 42-28, but slowly fought back near halftime where Phoenix led 64-58.  It was Oklahoma City’s largest home deficit of the season, until the Suns went up by even more in the second half.

The Suns didn’t go quietly. They built a lead of 10 really quickly in the third quarter, and every time it seemed Oklahoma City would make a run, the Suns had an answer.   Nash drove for a pair of layups during a 14-4 run, and Dudley restored the lead to 78-64 when he missed two free throws but then grabbed the rebound on the second for a putback.

Oklahoma City limited the Suns to two baskets over an 11-minute stretch, outscoring Phoenix 33-9 to eliminate a big deficit and take control.

Westbrook had a steal for a right-handed, runout slam during a 16-2 burst that got the Thunder back in the game late in the third quarter. His 3-pointer from the top of the key got Oklahoma City within 86-84 in the final minute of the period.

Kevin Durant had 20 second half points to help lead the Thunder back into the lead and eventually the lead.

Post Game Grades

Rebound: D
Phoenix outrebounded Oklahoma City 48-44. The Suns also grabbed 16 offensive rebounds. The suns had 15 second chance points in result of the excess offensive rebounds.

Extra Shots: A
Shot count: OKC 91, Suns 84. Thunder were +7 on the shot total. That hasn’t happened to often. Oklahoma City only had 13 turnovers and forced 18 from the Suns, even though Phoenix won the offensive rebound category. You can credit Serge Ibaka’s career night as he grabbed 9 offensive rebounds.

Kevin Durant: B
Durant really struggled in the first half. He was on the bench a little more than usual due to two quick fouls in 11 seconds in the first half. However, in the second half, he showed why he’s second in the league in scoring as he put up 20 of his 30 points in the second half. He still struggled shooting from the floor, and if the first half had duplicated into the second half, could’ve been a long night for the Thunder. Luckily, he picked it up.

Thunder Thoughts

  • Serge Ibaka had a career night. It was impressive. He had 18 points, 20 rebounds. It was a career high in rebounds for Air Congo. It seemed like every time Oklahoma City needed an offensive rebound, he was there. He also went 9-15 from the floor for 18 points,  and added his 122nd, 123rd and 124th block of the season. He’s the only person in the league with more than 100 blocks.
  • James Harden was just sooooo good. 8-12 from the floor for a career high 30 points. He was 4-7 from downtown, not to mention just a blistering +27 from the floor. Phoenix has no answer for him. Oh, he was just a measly 10-11 from the line. He’s the best free throw shooter Oklahoma City has right now.
  • Russell Westbrook grabbed his fifth double-double of his season. It was the third with assists and points. It was Westbrook’s 70th career double-double.
  • It’s the first time the Thunder franchise has had THREE 30-point scorers in the same game since February 26, 1988, when they were the SuperSonics. Dale Ellis scored 37, Xavier McDaniel scored 31 and Tom Chambers added 30 in a win over the Kings
  • The defense Oklahoma City came out with in the second half, really the last 2/3 of the second half, was championship level. They allowed 104 points, but only 40 after halftime.  Phoenix was shooting over 51% at halftime, finished with 45% from the game.
  • The Thunder came in the game as a top 10 team in defending the perimeter and it showed tonight. They held a team that shot on average 34% from three point range, to just 15.8%.
  • The defensive trend continued on the individual player for the Thunder. The defense forced Steve Nash to have zero assists in the second half. He had 13 assists in the first half.
  • Anyone know what’s wrong with Daequan Cook? He can’t hit anything or play any defense. He was -16 in just 12 game minutes. He also was 0-4 from three-point range.
  • Kate Upton was in the house, a personal favorite of mine.
  • The Upton Effect:  When Thunder faced Upton -6; When played away from Upton:  +17
  • Oklahoma City was able to force 11 steals tonight and 18 full turnovers. They turned those 18 turnovers into 25 points. While OKC just had 13 points and allowed 15 points.
  • OKC’s home winning streak matches the fifth-longest in franchise history for a single season. When the club played in Seattle, the SuperSonics had three win streaks of 17 games and a 16-game run that was part of a record 29-game home win streak spanning two seasons.
  • Westbrook picked up his 8th technical of the season. He has 8 all of last season. It was the 23rd of Westbrook’s career.

Next up: vs Cleveland on Friday

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