NBA

Thunder handle business against cellar-dwelling Suns

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook directs a teammate during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in Oklahoma City, Thursday, March 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Thunder handle business against cellar-dwelling Suns

If you had only caught the Phoenix Suns’ play against the Oklahoma City Thunder this season (or even seasons past), you couldn’t be blamed for thinking they’re a competitive squad.

On Thursday evening, though, the Thunder handled business and made the Suns (finally) look like the lottery-bound team they are. A final margin isn’t always indicative of how the game went, but the Thunder’s wire-to-wire 115-87 victory was as dominant as we’ve seen in a while.

Leading the way for the Thunder was Russell Westbrook, who finished with 27 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists in three quarters of action. It was an efficient effort for Westbrook, notching 11 of his 14 shots. He also went without a three point attempt.

The Thunder brought their lunch pail on defense, making life difficult on the Suns. Phoenix shot just 34% on the game, and only 24% from beyond the arc. That matches the second-lowest field goal percentage OKC has allowed all season.

OKC also had 11 blocks and six steals on the night.

Corey Brewer rewarded Billy Donovan in kind in his first start, scoring 17. Look for Brewer to garner more starts going forward — it’s possible that he may be the Thunder’s solution for the rest of the season.

Paul George was the Thunder’s second-leading scorer on the night, contributing 21 points, four boards, three assists, and a pair of blocks. Steven Adams added three blocks while pouring in 16 points and securing 12 rebounds.

For the Suns, only two players managed double digit points. Devin Booker, who scored 39 in his last game against the Thunder on Mar. 2nd, scored 30, sinking four of his nine shots. Tyson Chandler scored 10 points. Josh Jackson, the Suns’ promising rookie out of Kansas, left early (knee) and did not return to action.

The Thunder improve to 38-29, while the Suns fall to 19-47. Next up for OKC: they play the Spurs Saturday night. Action tips off at 7:30 P.M.

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