Found February 08, 2013 on
Fox Sports Arizona:
Although the Oklahoma City Thunder win a majority of their games behind a high-powered offense led by All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, coach Scott Brooks wants his team to put some extra emphasis on the defensive end. They seemingly shouldn't have much trouble with that request against the offensively challenged Phoenix Suns in Oklahoma City on Friday night. The Thunder (37-12) average a league-best 106.2 points, with Durant leading all scorers at 29.3 per game and Westbrook ranking seventh at 22.6. The team put together one of its better offensive showings Wednesday in a 119-98 victory over Golden State. Durant had 25 points, Westbrook scored 22 and Kevin Martin added 21 as Oklahoma City won consecutive games for the first time in nearly three weeks after alternating wins and losses for the previous eight contests. While the Thunder's offense led the way, the defense limited the Warriors to 19 points in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City has won 28 straight games when holding opponents to 98 points or fewer. "I'm looking for us to just continue to bring the effort on the defensive end," Brooks said. "I've always felt with our guys as the season has gone and the years have gone by that offensively we're going to keep improving in that area but we wanted to focus on defense." Although Brooks is looking for another strong showing from his defense, he wouldn't mind if Oklahoma City's offense continues to have its way with Phoenix. The Thunder are averaging 112.0 points while winning the last eight in the series - two this season. In the last meeting on Jan. 14, Durant and Westbrook combined for 47 of the Thunder's 51 points after halftime in a 102-90 road victory. Durant finished with 41 while Westbrook had 36. Clamping down defensively also shouldn't be a problem for the Thunder, who've won 18 of 19 at home while the Suns have dropped 16 of 19 on the road. Phoenix (17-33) is averaging 91.9 points while cracking triple digits just once over its last 19 games overall, including two losses to Oklahoma City. The Suns sputtered down the stretch in Wednesday's 93-84 loss in New Orleans, scoring 13 fourth-quarter points. "Tough, tough loss for us," said interim coach Lindsey Hunter, who is 4-5 since taking over for Alvin Gentry on Jan. 20. "Not many positives can be taken from the game. Like I said, I am discouraged, but I am still encouraged because I know where we are going to be and I know how we are going to do it." Hunter's vision probably requires better shooting from the perimeter. The Suns were 1 of 15 from 3-point range Wednesday and are shooting 25.0 percent from beyond the arc in their last six games. Center Marcin Gortat has been on target, though, hitting 15 of 20 from the field in his last two contests. He has also posted a pair of double-doubles against the Thunder this season, averaging 15.5 points and 12.5 rebounds.
BEST OF MAXIM
Kevin Durant has been uncharacteristically loose-lipped with the Oklahoma City Thunder this season, and as a result he is tied for the league lead with technical fouls. During Monday night’s win over the Dallas Mavericks, Durant picked up his ninth technical of the season. With slightly less than half of the regular season remaining, he is on pace to hit the 16 technical foul-mark...
OKLAHOMA CITY Russell Westbrook is seen as everything from rogue to apathetic.
And in any given game you'll hear he's an amazing talent and that he doesn't get back on defense.
But one thing Westbrook has never been is phony.
This isn't a Dwight HowardKobe Bryant situation where there are team chemistry issues. This isn't a Dwight HowardStan Van Gundy situation...
A fog-delayed arrival in Oklahoma City made Golden State's task tough enough.
Then the Warriors made the mistake of getting on Kevin Martin's bad side.
Kevin Durant scored 25 points and Martin roared to life with 10 points during a fourth-quarter run that put away the Thunder's 119-98 win on Wednesday night.
Martin hit a pair of 3-pointers, a runner and slammed home...
After awhile, you just have to marvel at the shear athleticism of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.Earlier tonight in the second quarter of play against the Phoenix Suns, Durant found an opening in the Suns defense and threw down a nasty dunk on Phoenix's Markieff Morris:
Although the Oklahoma City Thunder win a majority of their games behind a high-powered offense led by All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, coach Scott Brooks wants his team to put some extra emphasis on the defensive end.
They seemingly shouldn't have much trouble with that request against the offensively challenged Phoenix Suns in Oklahoma City on Friday night.
Kevin Durant scored 21 points, Thabo Sefolosha had a season-high 18 and the Oklahoma City Thunder rode a gigantic third-quarter run to a 127-96 victory Friday night over the Phoenix Suns.
All five Thunder starters had at least one basket during a 21-0 run that put Oklahoma City in position to complete a perfect homestand with a third straight blowout. Russell Westbrook had a right...
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Kevin Durant scored 21 points, Thabo Sefolosha had a season-high 18 and the Oklahoma City Thunder rode a gigantic third-quarter run to a 127-96 victory Friday night over the Phoenix Suns.
All five Thunder starters had at least one basket during a 21-0 run that put Oklahoma City in position to complete a perfect homestand with a third straight blowout. Russell...
photo via USA Today
The Oklahoma City Thunder beat up on the Suns Friday night. Kevin Durant had a sick dunk over Markieff Morris.
video via NBA California
Despite their recent struggles versus Oklahoma City, the Phoenix Suns appear eager for their last chance to avoid another season-series sweep at the hands of the reigning Western Conference champions.
After ending a rough trip by being blown out in Oklahoma, the Suns look to avoid a 10th consecutive defeat to the surging Thunder on Sunday night.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook...
World will collide next weekend in Houston when Russell Westbrook and James Harden coach in a celebrity basketball game involving Usain Bolt.
Westbrook and Harden, former teammates on the Oklahoma City Thunder and U.S. Men's Olympic basketball team, will have the opportunity to coach the Jamaican sprinter in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday in Houston, host of this...
The Oklahoma City Thunder haven't lost more than two in a row this season, but they also haven't won two straight in nearly three weeks.
The Northwest Division-leading Thunder will try to change that Wednesday night when they go for an eighth consecutive victory with the Golden State Warriors in town.
After posting 10 wins during a stretch of 12 of 15 on the road, Oklahoma...