Oklahoma City, OK, United States (4E Sports) – Kevin Durant fired 30 points and Russell Westbrook had 24 markers as the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled away in the fourth period for a 114-96 victory over the Phoenix Suns Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder turned a close 87-85 game with nine minutes left into a blowout by outscoring the Suns, 27-12, the rest of the way for their 24th win in 30 outings.
The victory was the 12th straight home win for the Thunder, who won 11 of their 13 games in December and 15 of their last 17 matches.
Oklahoma is now half-game behind the idle Los Angeles Clippers for the best record in the NBA and the top spot in the Western Conference.
Westbrook also had seven rebounds and nine assists despite suffering a cut over his right eye that required stitches. Serge Ibaka had 16 points and seven caroms, Thabo Sefolosha scored 14 and Nick Collison had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder.
Luis Scola scored 24 point to lead the Suns, who dropped their sixth straight match and lost to the Thunder for the seventh consecutive time since 2010.
Goran Dragic added 16 points and eight assists, Marcin Gortat had 12 points and 10 boards and Jermaine O’Neal chipped in 12 for the Suns, who slipped to 11-21.
The Thunder shot better from the field, 50.6 percent compared to the Suns’ 47.4 percent. Oklahoma had more rebounds (43-41), assists (23-19) and displayed better defense with six steals and seven blocks, two each from Ibaka and backup center Hasheem Thabeet.
The Thunder lost temporarily lost Westbrook when he was accidentally elbowed by Scola while going for a layup, with 1:32 left in the first half.
Holding a 54-53 lead going into the third period, Reggie Jackson started the second half in Westbrook’s place, orchestrating the Thunder as they finally took control of the game with a 68-57 lead.
Then, Westbrook returned and scored seven points to give the Thunder a 77-63 cushion.