The Phoenix Suns snapped their 13-game losing streak, saving the team from setting another franchise record for losing.
The Oklahoma City Thunder showed Phoenix how much they know that their 6th seed is all locked up - by not even showing up for the second half.
Before they knew it, the Suns scored a season-high 71 points on the way to a 21-point halftime lead. All this while Russell Westbrook struggled through a 1-12 shooting start.
The Suns came out a bit slow to start the third, letting the lead get down to 11 at one point, but then the Suns made shots again and pushed it right back out to 23 by the end of the third.
In the fourth, the Thunder tried again to make a run but Devin Booker made FOUR big three-point plays to get the Suns lead back to 23.
Devin Booker would not be denied, scoring 37 points (21 in the fourth) while dishing 4 assists and grabbing 5 rebounds.
T.J. Warren had a monster game in the first three quarters before Booker’s outburst, pouring in 21 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
The absolute joke part of the game is HOW BADLY these visiting/pseudo Thunder fans wanted that Westbrook triple double - cheering every Westbrook play, booing Thunder players for passing the ball AFTER receiving a Westbrook pass.
At one point, Devin Booker MUGGED for the fans when he made a shot as they chanted LETS GO WESTBROOK. Sorry Devin, but that’s what happens when your team is 22-57 and the only reason to go to the game is to watch RW.
Even as Westbrook shot free throws, down 19 points, the crowd chanted M-V-P.
And when Russ intentionally fouled Booker on his way out of the game for the night, the crowd actually booed Booker for mean-mugging them.
When Westbrook sat with 2 minutes left, the crowd filed out.
Westbrook finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists.
As time wound down, the Suns faithful finally got to their feet to cheer the Suns as they won for the first time in a month.
The game began as you would expect, with every single offensive action being initiated by Russell Westbrook going for that 42nd triple double.
Unfortunately, the Thunder were out of sorts as a result, and the Suns quietly got up 7-2 before Billy Donovan called a timeout. Russ missed a shot and couldn’t complete a few passes, but he DID get an uncontested FT rebound.
The timeout didn’t help Westbrook make shots (two more misses) and the Suns ran the lead to 14-2.
Alex Len had an active start with 5 points and 5 rebounds in the first six minutes. T.J. Warren was exciting on offense, with 8 points and 2 rebounds of his own.
The Suns had a great start, but then Enes Kanter came in and the Thunder got their energy up to make the game respectable.
Still, the active Suns kept a big lead and finished the first quarter UP BY 13 - leading 32-19.
T.J. Warren had 11 points and 3 rebounds, Devin Booker had 8 points and 3 assists.
The Suns kept the lead in the second quarter, just hustling more than the Thunder - who likely thought they had a cake walk coming in.
Later in the quarter, Tyler Ulis took over and the Suns went up 53-34 as Ulis rolled up to 8 points, 4 assists quickly. Alan Williams (11 and 3) and Derrick Jones Jr. (5 and 1) were active forces on the second unit, as was Bender - one each of field goals, assists and rebounds in early action.
The Thunder just could not gain traction, while the Suns couldn’t seem to miss.
Suns up 71-48 at halftime - a season high for points in a half.
T.J. Warren was the BOSS of the first half: 15 points, 8 rebounds in just 16 minutes.
Russell Westbrook 3D watch: 6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists at halftime.
The Thunder came out much stronger in the second half, while the Suns did not. But still, a 23 point lead is tough to lose right?
But then again, the Suns haven’t had a 23-point halftime lead all season...
Within three minutes, the Thunder had cut the Suns lead 17, forcing Watson’s second timeout of the half.
Within six minutes, it was down to 11 and Westbrook was on the verge of the 3D - with 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.
The Suns pushed it back to 17, capped by a Dudley three, as T.J. Warren lit back up and ran his totals to 21 and 13.
And then the Suns got it 21 again. Who are these guys? Must be nice to unload a good game on another team for once.
Suns up 23 after three on a Derrick Jones Jr. offensive board and putback.
When Russell Westbrook took off the warmups with 10:42 left, the crowd cheered hard. But not as loud as when the nightly burger-building race came down to the dive into the bun! I still don’t know who won, lol.
Westbrook returned to the game just 4 assists short of his 42nd triple double (16 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists). The Thunder were still down 20.
On Westbrook’s 7th assist, the crowd went nearly deafeningly loud. On his near-miss next assist (twice) the grief was evident when they missed.
With 7:11 left, Westbrook was still 3 assists shy of the triple-double, and the Suns lead was still 19 points.
Devin Booker was missing a lot of shots - as he is wont to do - but made FOUR different of three-point plays to help the Suns keep the lead, giving him a team-leading 28 points.
(On that last three-pointer, Westbrook got LAID out by Len on a screen. That’s just evident of how frustrated and lackadaisical Russ was at this point with the Thunder shooting 37%)