OKC Thunder Has No Trouble with Phoenix


Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:18 pm
By: News On 6


Originally Published: Mar 30, 2011 11:51 PM CDT

Grant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

PHOENIX – Oklahoma City made a statement on Wednesday and it was too much for the Suns to take.

As OKC racked up a 116-98 victory on the road in Phoenix, frustrations from the Suns boiled over and resulted in an awkward and drawn-out ending as multiple players picked up technicals and got ejected.

When the Thunder began to pull away in the fourth, the Suns began to deliberately commit fouls away from the ball, resulting in an earful and warnings from the officials.

With just more than a minute remaining, those frustrations came to a peak, resulting in Phoenix’s Aaron Brooks and Zabian Dowdell getting ejected from the game.

Meanwhile, OKC flexed its muscles and continued its hot streak, winning a fifth straight game and 11th in the past 12.

The Thunder held the normally offensive-minded Suns to below their 105.1 average while also sharing the offensive spree with nearly everyone on the roster.

Eleven OKC players scored, and five scored in double digits. Kevin Durant and James Harden led Oklahoma City with 22 points each.

Russell Westbrook had 16 and eight assists. Serge Ibaka had a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards.

The Thunder shot 54 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range.

With a playoff slot wrapped up, Oklahoma City is turning its attention to securing home court advantage as well as a Northwest Division title.

With nine games remaining, the “magic number” for the Thunder to secure those advantages is four games.

That means that any combination of four Thunder wins and/or Denver losses for the remainder of the season will be enough to clinch the division title and home court advantage in the playoffs.

OKC will continue a hectic stretch of schedule with its second of four straight road games on Friday.

The Thunder will be in Portland to tip off with the Blazers at 9 p.m. central.