NBA Game Summary - Phoenix at Oklahoma City
(Monday, December 29th)
Final Score: Phoenix 110, Oklahoma City 102
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Shaquille O'Neal recorded 28 points and 12 rebounds, and the Phoenix Suns overcame an early exit from Steve Nash to best the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder, 110-102.
Nash experienced back spasms early in the first quarter and left after just nine minutes of action without recording a point and did not return.
Matt Barnes picked up the slack with 19 points for Phoenix, which snapped a four-game road losing streak. Amare Stoudemire scored 14 points and dished out five assists before fouling out late in the game.
Rookie Russell Westbrook tallied a career-high 31 points to go with five assists, while Jeff Green finished with 22 points and 11 boards for the Thunder, who have dropped five straight overall and fell to 3-29 this season.
Kevin Durant had 18 points and eight boards in the loss.
There was hardly any defense in a first quarter that ended in a 34-34 tie. A 14-2 spurt that ended the half -- aided by two three-pointers from Barnes -- had the visitors up 60-55 at the break.
The third frame was another offensive showcase as the Suns held a five-point lead, 92-87, leading up to the fourth quarter.
A Dee Brown three-ball and a Jared Dudley bucket pushed Phoenix's lead to 10 in the first minute of the final frame, and Oklahoma City went more than five minutes without scoring.
The difference was 104-89 before nine consecutive points brought the Thunder within striking distance. Stoudemire and O'Neal halted the rally with back-to- back baskets for a 10-point lead with two minutes to play and the hosts didn't have the fire power to mount a comeback.
The Suns had lost two of three coming into the game...Phoenix has won seven in a row versus the Seattle/Oklahoma City franchise...Grant Hill had 11 points for Phoenix, while Desmond Mason scored 12 for Oklahoma City.
12/29 23:08:28 ET