After a quick start by the Thunder, Goran Dragic went into "Dragon" mode, scoring 13 of the Suns first 15 points on 6-7 shooting. The Thunder just had too much firepower and led from the first basket after the opening tip. Kevin Durant did his part to match Dragic's pyrotechnics by pouring in four three pointers in four attempts. Dragic finished the quarter with 16. Durant led the Thunder with 12. Both teams shot the ball exceptionally well (Suns - 54.5%, Thunder - 60%) in a frenetic, free-wheeling quarter. Score: OKC 33, Suns 27.
The Suns took advantage of an interlude where Durant and Russell Westbrook (two early fouls) weren't on the floor and closed the gap, using an 8-0 run to tie the score at 35. The Suns stout defense was compromised, however, when Durant made Markieff Morris a Sportscenter top 10 casualty with a physics defying dunk. The Suns took their first lead of the game (46-44) on a 20 foot jumper by Michael Beasley over Westbrook. The better part of the period was tightly contested, but the Thunder ended the half on a 9-2 run. Score: OKC 55, Suns 50.
The Suns shot 53.5% in the first half, while OKC shot 51.2%. The Thunder were 7-10 from three point range. Goran Dragic led the way for Phoenix with 16 points (all in the first quarter) and 4 assists, while Durant had 16 points and 4 rebounds for the Thunder. The Thunder led in fast break points 16-4. Three Suns starters (Gortat, Dudley and Tucker) scored zero points in the first half on 0-4 combined shooting.
The Thunder opened up the third period, and the game, with a 12-5 run. Suns coach Lindsey Hunter tried to stymie the Thunder's run with a timeout four minutes into the quarter, but the Suns couldn't gain traction and it ballooned to 26-5, putting the Thunder on top 81-55 before the Suns finally scored a bucket. Westbrook followed after his partner in crime with a stentorian jam on a breakaway during the game-deciding stretch. The Suns ended up losing the quarter, and the game for that matter, 36-20. Score: OKC 91, Suns 70.
Garbage time. Game over. OKC wins 127-96 (Did you really expect me to keep trying after the Suns obviously quit?)
Player of the Game:
Nobody from the Thunder was really on the floor long enough to put up extraordinarily gaudy stats, although Westbrook's return after early foul trouble coincided with the soul crushing run by OKC, so I'll give the Thunder's starting five the nod. They were a combined +148 after all...
Comments of the Game:
Goran vs Durant so far.
Too bad it's 5 on 5. Their other 4 are quite a bit better that our other 4.
0 FGA for Gortat. He must be loving it.
So, looks like Holiday Inn Beasley is in effect.
If we gonna lose
I am happy for it to be a 115-110 game.
24 to 5 in this quarter.
Way to go in the second half Suns. Bravo.
Stealth tanking strikes again.
Make it seem like we're trying, but really just give up the game in the second half for the purpose of tanking.
Do you remember when the Suns last scored a field goal?
Pepperidge farms remembers...
All part of the plan. We're lulling them to sleep so we can jump all over them and win the second game.
This game shows the uselessness of timeouts.
They haven't once changed the flow of the game.
Parching start by Goran Dragic. The Thunder looked like they might jump out to an early lead, but Goran quelled those concerns with a proliferation of points. I am sure, without checking the veracity of my claim, that 16 first quarter points is a season high for the Suns.
Kevin Durant's posterization of Markieff Morris in the second quarter. Just because the Suns were on the receiving end doesn't mean it wasn't jaw-dropping.
Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley and P.J. Tucker combined for zero points on 0-4 shooting in the first half. Dragic was shouldering the lion's share of the scoring early, but having three starters disappear for an entire half on the offensive end of the court is not a recipe for success.
Who likes 26-5 runs to start the third quarter? Well, sure they're good when you're the 26, but the Suns were definitely the 5. For that matter, it was actually a 21-0 run at one point, which stings even worse. How does a team follow up a competitive half of basketball by laying down and dying? I guess that's a good question for the postgame press conference (and the entire damn season).
The Thunder are really good. The Suns, not so much. Hopefully the Suns can avoid getting humiliated on their home floor in two days. Good luck.