Found February 10, 2013 on
Fox Sports Arizona:
Despite their recent struggles against the Thunder, the 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 Friday night by being blown out in Oklahoma City, the Suns return home looking to avoid a 10th consecutive loss to the surging Thunder on Sunday night.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook carried a relatively light load in Oklahoma City's 127-96 win over Phoenix (17-34) on Friday. Since losing four of seven, the Thunder (38-12) have shot 51.7 percent and averaged 119.3 points while beating Dallas, Golden State and the Suns by a combined 73 during a three-game homestand.
Durant and Westbrook did not play in the fourth quarter in any of those three contests.
Thabo Sefolosha scored a season-high 18 points Friday as Oklahoma City recorded its best home shooting night of the season -- collectively shooting 57.5 percent -- while posting its highest point total of the year.
"They have a really high-level team, and we knew that," interim Suns coach Lindsey Hunter said. "We expected that. It's a great learning process for all of us by showing us where we want to be, where we strive to be, and where we will be."
The Suns hope that type of progress comes sooner rather than later. Ending their nine-game skid against the Thunder could go a long way toward helping a Phoenix club that's lost two in a row and six of eight overall.
"Any competitor would want to have a chance at them again, and I'm sure we do," said Hunter, whose team returns home after a 1-3 trip.
The Suns' last win in this series came on the road Dec. 19, 2010, and Phoenix has lost five straight home meetings with the Thunder dating back to a 106-95 win March 14, 2009.
Oklahoma City has averaged 114.3 points and shot 51.9 percent while winning the three previous matchups with the Suns this season by an average margin of 20.3.
Each starter had at least nine points and Kevin Martin added 16 off the bench Friday for Oklahoma City, which used a 21-0 third-quarter run to blow the game open and scored more than any other opponent has against Phoenix this season.
"Every loss is disheartening, but by that many points? That's embarrassing. That adds a little more," said Suns forward Michael Beasley, who scored a team-high 25 off the bench. "That's where we want to be in the near future."
Durant, who scored 41 in a 102-90 win at Phoenix on Jan. 14, has averaged 30.2 points in his last five against the Suns. He had only 21 on Friday but Kendrick Perkins shot 8 of 9 and scored 17 points - his most since being acquired from Boston in February 2011.
Westbrook, who had a season-high 36 in Phoenix last month, scored 17 points in 25 minutes Friday and is shooting 51.1 percent in his last five games.
Suns center Marcin Gortat averaged 17.0 points with 12.0 rebounds in his previous four games against the Thunder before being held to two and five, respectively, Friday.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
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:
PHOENIX (AP) -- Thabo Sefolosha made a career-high 5 of 7 3-pointers and the Oklahoma City Thunder routed the Phoenix Suns for the second game in a row 97-69 on Sunday night.
The 28-point blowout followed a 127-96 Thunder romp over the Suns in Oklahoma City on Friday night.
Russell Westbrook scored 24 points in 28 minutes in the Thunder's 10th straight victory over Phoenix...
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...
Is it just me, or has this been the year of the Kevin Durant dunk? Seems like night after night, there is a new addition to the portfolio of monster slams for Durant.
The latest comes courtesy of Fatmanwriting.com
Check out Durant as he finishes over the Suns’ Markieff Morris
With the February 21st trade deadline approaching, the Suns have been one of the more active teams around the league. It was reported over the weekend that the Suns are trying to trade for Knicks guard Iman Shumpert, and according to Arizona Republic, Phoenix has also shown interest in Utah’s Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward.
According to Paul Coro, Arizona Republic:
The Suns also...
PHOENIX Judging the impact of the Lindsey Hunter Experiment can be a bit tricky when recent evidence is limited to a pair of weekend dates with the mighty Oklahoma City Thunder.
The last of these events ended with the Phoenix Suns needing a Wes Johnson tip-dunk at 7.8 seconds remaining to avoid establishing a new single-game, franchise record for fewest points. The 1981 Suns once...
The Phoenix Suns are looking into a possible trade with the New York Knicks. The Suns would love to have Iman Shumpert, but the Knicks want appropriate compensation. Phoenix may not be able to provide that, but the two sides are continuing to talk. Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports says that the Suns did not previously know that Shumpert would be available in a trade. The...
Kevin Durant gets up for the huge one-handed poster over Suns’ Markieff Morris.
The Phoenix Suns are dangling Jared Dudley and potentially a future first-round pick in an attempt to pry Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks.
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that "the Knicks
have so far shown no inclination to do such a deal." Nor should they.
Shumpert is a young talent on a team loaded with aging veterans. If the Knicks were...
The Suns have shown interest in Al Jefferson, Gordon Hayward and Iman Shumpert.
One of the perils that fans have to deal with when attending an NBA game is the possibility that they might be hit by the ball if they are sitting close to the action.During Sunday night's Oklahoma City Thunder/Phoenix Suns game, a female fan sitting courtside took a ball to the face after Kevin Durant accidentally deflected it: