Oklahoma City Thunder (38-12) at Phoenix Suns (17-34), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Oklahoma City Thunder have owned the Phoenix Suns
lately and shoot for a second straight season sweep Sunday in the back end of
a home-and-home series at US Airways center.
The Thunder have won the first three meetings with the Suns this season and
posted a 127-96 rout on Friday in the OKC. Kevin Durant had 21 points, six
rebounds and four assists, while Russell Westbrook added 17 points and six
assists for the Thunder, who took all three meetings with Phoenix a season ago
and are riding a nine-game winning streak in the series.
Oklahoma City has won three in a row overall after alternating wins and losses
over the previous eight contests.
"We were just more aggressive," Westbrook said after the Thunder's seventh
straight home win. "I think our crowd has a lot to do with it. I think as a
team we're getting better. When teams get closer to the All-Star Break they
tend to relax. I think we just want to pick it up."
The highest scoring team in the league at 106.6 ppg, the Thunder received 18
and 17 points, respectively, from Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins. They
used a 21-0 run in the third quarter to put the game away and scored a season-
high 72 points in the second half.
The 127 points were also a season-best for OKC.
Oklahoma City, which has a comfortable lead atop the Northwest standings, will
play two straight and three of four games on the road. It has lost two
straight and three of four games on the road, however.
The Thunder own a 15-9 ledger away from Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Phoenix closed out a four-game road trip (1-3) with the recent loss to the
Thunder and has dropped six of eight overall.
Michael Beasley finished with 25 points and seven boards for Phoenix, which
got 19 points and six assists from Goran Dragic. Phoenix trailed by just five
at halftime, 55-50, but the second half was a different story (72-46).
"This is no reason to hang our heads," Phoenix coach Lindsey Hunter said.
"They have played in the Finals and they know what it's like, and a lot of our
guys don't. This will be a positive teaching tool for us. It's something to
learn from and something to never forget."
The Suns are now 4-6 (2-1 at home) under Hunter, who took over for Alvin
Gentry last month. Beasley has benefited from the coaching change and is
averaging 16.1 ppg after the switch.
Phoenix is winless in the last five home bouts with Oklahoma City and will
play three straight on the road following Sunday's contest.
02/10 10:52:27 ET
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