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Suns Can't Stop Harden, Thunder Win 109-97

James Harden before tonight's game: "I'm gonna score a ton of points. Ya hear me?"
James Harden before tonight's game: "I'm gonna score a ton of points. Ya hear me?"

The Phoenix Suns failed to hold their tenuous grip on the Western Conference's eight position, losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder. James Harden provided the difference with a career-high 40 points, changing the momentum of the game from the moment he entered with 5:03 remaining in the first quarter and the Suns holding a 21-11 lead as the Thunder charged to a 109-97 win in Phoenix.

Jared Dudley led the Suns with 21 points and 6 rebounds, but Marcin Gortat struggled through 2-13 shooting, a primary cause for Steve Nash dishing only 5 assists. The bread and butter of the offense, the pick and roll, wasn't working well tonight and the Suns ended up starving as a result, shooting 41% from the field and sputtering through the game after a fast start.

Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook was held more or less in check with 15 points, Durant seemed to be having a quiet night until you looked up to see he had 29. But Harden played like a superstar, as he also gathered 7 rebounds to go with 3 assists and his prodigious scoring, and the Thunder were +26 with him on the floor. He controlled the game with his deadly accurate shooting, dribble-drives and playmaking.

The Suns were able to hang in the game until early in the fourth, climbing to within a point at 73-72 with 2:21 left in the third. Then the Thunder started the fourth with a 16-7 run to bury the Suns for good at 98-84 with 8:00 remaining, and Phoenix got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.

With the win, the Thunder swept the season series from the Suns, winning each of the three contests by double digits. OKC also remained 1/2 behind San Antonio for the #1 seed in the West with a 45-17 record. Phoenix dropped to 9th in the West with the loss and Utah's thrashing of the Trailblazers.

Too much James Harden tonight, and the Suns had no answer. No time to hang their heads, though. Tomorrow night, the Clippers roll into town in a game that will be televised nationally on TNT.

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Roll Call: Toon Army Sun, SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist, djturbolence, atkammoh, East Bay Ray, Airwave, sidepart, jc79, Omaha Sun, ryansunsfan, trebski, Spit_Fire, modernage13, nashtyish, STUPID KERR, raxado, brian13, phxpurple, Beavis 25, KnowGood, PhoenixSons, twitte07, The Solution, MMotherwell, jatrex4suns, wedge1039, Antwuan, Juac, sun-arc, u_must_chill, Ataraa, Colton Dodson, JoeWisco, lee4, KC_Suns_Fan, ThatOtherCanadianKid, Not Disclosing My Name, sonicking, ilintar, Suns R Us, NashIsBeast, Aztiramtempe, SUNS PORTUGAL, noonoo, nashran3, Ohforf, The Rising Phoenix, rainmann, Chafid Ahmad, N8lol, suns68, Jim Coughenour, Snowbird, WaveOcean, theokiedoke, nash4primeminister, ArizonaCactus, Suns2flyy, PatrickPetersonAZ, ZillaRock, Piotr Szczesniak, Skii, Bostonian Suns Fan, hcblankscreen, SmokinKieff, PHXSunsRunNGun, Fritzy, AZBengal18, haremoor, flagsuns, 2NASHTY, blanke, SS21, shawndy, blank_38, grego85, TheRza82
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Name # of Posts
modernage13 247
PhoenixSons 190
Omaha Sun 168
phxpurple 167
MMotherwell 117
The Solution 111
atkammoh 78
nashran3 73
raxado 64
Antwuan 51
rainmann 51
Beavis 25 43
WaveOcean 42
Juac 41
Suns R Us 34
Jim Coughenour 34
Colton Dodson 32
SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist 32
PHXSunsRunNGun 32
Airwave 24
JoeWisco 23
u_must_chill 23
brian13 23
djturbolence 23
Spit_Fire 20
sidepart 20
NashIsBeast 19
lee4 19
noonoo 18
jc79 17
blank_38 16
ThatOtherCanadianKid 15
KnowGood 15
Ohforf 14
East Bay Ray 12
flagsuns 12
Aztiramtempe 12
Skii 10
nashtyish 9
haremoor 9
Suns2flyy 9
sonicking 8
SS21 8
jatrex4suns 8
wedge1039 7
shawndy 6
twitte07 6
Toon Army Sun 6
Ataraa 5
suns68 5
theokiedoke 4
N8lol 4
blanke 4
Piotr Szczesniak 4
TheRza82 4
ryansunsfan 4
hcblankscreen 3
ilintar 3
Chafid Ahmad 3
Not Disclosing My Name 3
Snowbird 3
nash4primeminister 3
grego85 2
The Rising Phoenix 2
SmokinKieff 2
KC_Suns_Fan 2
Fritzy 2
AZBengal18 2
sun-arc 1
trebski 1
PatrickPetersonAZ 1
ZillaRock 1
ArizonaCactus 1
Bostonian Suns Fan 1

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