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(Sunday, April 6th)
Final Score: Phoenix 122, Oklahoma City 115
Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Goran Dragic led six Suns players in double figures with 26 points and the Phoenix Suns rallied past the Oklahoma City Thunder, 122-115, to move into sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference Standings.
Phoenix led by three late when a pair of hustle plays pushed the hosts to victory. Eric Bledsoe, who finished with 18 points, stripped Kevin Durant and took it coast-to-coast before getting blocked at the rim by Russell Westbrook. Derek Fisher came up with the loose ball for the Thunder, but P.J. Tucker ripped it from him, drawing a foul on the veteran and making two crucial foul shots.
Durant's triple was off the mark on the other end, and Bledsoe made two more from the stripe to ice it.
Tucker scored a career-high 22 points and Gerald Green contributed 24 off the bench as the Suns win for the eighth time in their last 10 games. Tucker and Green shot a combined 9-of-12 from behind the arc.
"We had guys make plays tonight. It is as simple as that," Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek said.
Phoenix sits a full game ahead of Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Both teams have five games to play.
Despite the loss, Durant dropped 38 points to pass Michael Jordan's modern era streak of consecutive games with at least 25 points with his 41st straight. Westbrook finished with 33 points and eight assists in the setback.
"I don't really care about it. I wish it was over," Durant said of passing Jordan.
Westbrook and Durant were responsible for 17 of OKC's 25 first quarter points, while the Suns used a more balanced attack to claim a 28-25 lead after one.
The margin hovered between three and nine for most of the second quarter. Dragic's 3-ball at 2:23 gave the Suns their first double-digit lead at 57-47, and it was 62-53 heading into halftime. After going scoreless in the first, Dragic scored 19 points in the second stanza.
Both teams shot a scorching 60 percent in the third quarter, with the Thunder winning the frame by six after also making 11-of-12 from the stripe. Durant, who had 12 in the period, missed a pull-up 3 at the buzzer that would have tied it.
Durant opened the fourth with a running banker and then put the Thunder on top with a pocket pass to Nick Collison for a jam. Phoenix never wavered, however, and Green's stepback 3-pointer from the right wing at 8:59 made it 101-97 in favor of the home team.
Both teams traded blows throughout the final period. With the score knotted at 105-apiece near the midpoint, Tucker brought the crowd to its feet with a corner 3-pointer and Westbrook silenced it with a trey from the top of the key.
After a pair of Durant free throws put OKC in front, 112-111, with 2:39 to play, Markieff Morris made a driving layup and two free throws for a three- point Phoenix lead with just under a minute left.
The Suns shot 9-of-10 from the line in the final minute after making just 12-of-21 before that.
The Thunder have dropped two games in a row on the heels of three straight wins ... Markieff and Marcus Morris both scored 10 points for Phoenix ... Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson netted 11 apiece for OKC ... There were 10 ties and nine lead changes.
04/07 00:55:54 ET