Russell Westbrook scored 40 points, 15 in the game’s final 6 ½ minutes, and the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled away to beat the Phoenix Suns 118-102 on Friday night.
Dennis Schroder scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and the Thunder snapped a two-game skid despite the absence of Paul George, who missed his first game of the season due to a right quad contusion. Abdel Nader scored a career-high 18 for the Thunder.
Devin Booker had 25 points and 10 assists for the Suns, had a three-point lead after three quarters but were outscored 37-18 in the fourth. T.J. Warren scored 19 and Deandre Ayton 16 for Phoenix, which had won five of its previous seven games after opening the season 4-24.
The Thunder swept the four-game season series from the Suns.
Schroder scored 10, including a pair of 3s, in what proved to be the decisive 17-2 fourth-quarter run that put Oklahoma City ahead 102-88 with 6:09 to play. Westbrook capped the outburst with a 3 and pretty much took over the game from there.
The Suns’ reserves were the main contributors in a 16-4 second-quarter run.
Nader converted a three-point play then scored again inside to put the Thunder up 43-35 with 10:02 left in the first half.
But Josh Jackson sank a 19-footer, followed by a 3-pointer, to ignite the surge. Booker also hit a 3-pointer and Mikal Bridges scored from the baseline to put the Suns ahead 51-47 with 5:22 to go. There were five lead changes the rest of the half, with Oklahoma City leading 58-57 at the break.
Phoenix scored the first six points of the second half to lead 63-55 and was up 82-77 after Warren’s 3-pointer, but Raymond Felton’s steal and layup cut it to 82-79. The Suns led 84-81 entering the fourth.
Thunder: Terrance Ferguson left the game due to stomach illness in the first quarter. Alex Abrines missed his second straight game due to stomach illness. … Oklahoma City has not lost three in a row since starting the season 0-4. … Thunder have beaten Phoenix six straight times. … George had started all 33 games this season. … Schroder made 3 of 12 shots in the first three quarters, 5 of 6 in the fourth.
Suns: The Suns opened a season-long, seven-game home stand after a 3-2 road trip. … Booker missed his first six shots and was 1-for-7 shooting in the first quarter but with six assists. … Phoenix had won more games in the last seven than it had in the previous 28. … Kelly Oubre Jr. was 2 of 8 shooting, 0 of 4 on 3s, for four points in his home debut for the Suns.
Thunder: At Dallas on Sunday.
Suns: Host Denver on Saturday night.
Source: The Associated Press