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Depleted Suns Hold off Thunder, 113-110

Russell Westbrook guards the Suns' Steve Nash in a 2009 game (AP Photo). Russell Westbrook guards the Suns' Steve Nash in a 2009 game (AP Photo).

Originally Published: Dec 19, 2010 9:25 PM CDT

Grant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sometimes when a team is shorthanded, the rest of the players gain almost superhuman drive and desire to make up for it.

As was the case with the Phoenix Suns in their 113-110 victory against Oklahoma City on Sunday.

Phoenix was without forwards Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark and guard Jason Richardson, whom they lost in a trade with the Orlando Magic on Saturday.

Because of NBA rules, the players Phoenix received in return were not able to suit up for the game against the Thunder.

As it turns out, it didn’t matter. The 38-year-old Grant Hill torched the Thunder for 30 points and 11 boards and Steve Nash added 20 points and 12 assists.

The Suns came out of the gate scoring at will, jumping out to a 13-4 lead when Nash hit a 3 four minutes in.

Oklahoma City was able to scratch back to within two by the end of the first quarter, but still did not hold a lead in the entire first half.

The Thunder didn’t lead in the game until an 81-80 advantage with 1:39 in the third on a dunk from Kevin Durant.

But Phoenix regained a steady lead in the fourth and kept the Thunder at arm’s length thanks to 83 percent free throw shooting on the game.

Jeff Green took a rebound with one second to play and launched a prayer that would have tied the game at 113, but it bounced off the front of the rim, snapping the Thunder’s five-game winning streak.

Durant led Oklahoma City (19-9) with 28 points. Russell Westbrook and Green put up 19 each. But the Suns, one of the league’s worst rebounding teams, outrebounded OKC 37-32.

The loss marked the end of a four-game home stand for the Thunder. They will travel to Charlotte on Tuesday to take on the Bobcats at 6 p.m.
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