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Phoenix Suns can't close the deal, lose to the Thunder 110-106

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Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Even career highs from T.J. Warren (29 points) and P.J. Tucker (22 points) weren't enough to counteract the Thunder's stars. Russell Westbrook had 36 points and 12 assists, and Kevin Durant chipped in 23 points to beat the Suns 110-106.

Phoenix hung in there with the Thunder, never letting the score get away from them. Even when OKC built a 9-point lead with 7:37 left in the 4th quarter, the Suns kept plugging away. A 7-0 run late in the quarter, capped by a long 2-pointer by Tucker, tied the game at 100. Unfortunately, Tyson Chandler failed to convert a 3-point play that would have put Phoenix ahead 103-102. That was followed by four points from Durant to put the Thunder up 106-102. A layup by Brandon Knight cut the lead to two with 28.5 seconds remaining, but Russell Westbrook hit two free throws after being intentionally fouled that extended the lead to four again. A dunk by Knight cut it back to two; however, Westbrook hit two more free throws and blocked Devin Booker's drive to seal the game.

The Suns trailed 54-53 at halftime as the starting forwards of Tucker and Warren (starting in place of Jon Leuer, who sat out with a sprained ankle) combined for 29 1st half points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field. However, Westbrook had 21 points and 8 assists on 8-of-9 shooting himself, taking it at Booker every chance he had.

Chandler had a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) in his return to the starting lineup, and Knight and Mirza Teletovic added 15 points apiece.