Despite Devin Booker’s 46 points, the Phoenix Suns falter late and lose to Oklahoma City.
The Suns blew a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of their 124-120 loss to the Thunder in front of 17,897 fans at Paycom Center on Sunday afternoon.
Coach of the Suns Monty Williams said, “I’ll take this. “I need to bring in players who can find a rhythm, particularly on defence,” said the coach.We’ve given up far too many 30-point quarters in a row. That is entirely my fault. To increase offensive and defensive momentum, I need to identify players who can play together defensively as opposed to starters.”
Booker had 46 points, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 40 as the Thunder used an 18-2 run after trailing by 10 points to pull away for their first win over Phoenix (38-33) this season.
“It shouldn’t have come down to that,” Suns veteran point guard Chris Paul said.Booker had 46 points, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 40 as the Thunder used an 18-2 run after trailing by 10 points to pull away for their first win over Phoenix (38-33) this season.
“It shouldn’t have come down to that,” Suns veteran point guard Chris Paul said.Phoenix, which has now lost four of its last five games, led by as many as 15 points before succumbing to the Thunder (35-36). The two teams will meet again this season on April 2 in Oklahoma City.
Every game counts at this point in the season, according to Booker. “You want as many victories as possible. We made a mistake tonight.”
Phoenix also lost the free throw battle, with the Thunder going 29-of-36 from the line to the Suns’ 17-of-24.
The Suns were called for 31 fouls, while OKC was called for 20.”We’ve been talking about it for a while,” Williams said, noting that the Suns rank 26th in the NBA with 21.4 fouls committed per game.We rank among the league’s worst teams in terms of fouling. We must correct it.”
Deandre Ayton (hip) and Kevin Durant were both out for the Suns (ankle). Ayton suffered a right hip contusion in Thursday’s win over the Magic, while Durant has been out since twisting his left ankle in a pregame workout before his SunsOn March 8, they make their home debut against the Thunder.
Durant and Ayton did not make the trip to Oklahoma City.
“It stinks,” Suns guard Landry Shamet said after returning from a two-month absence due to a foot injury.”We tried a few different things with the game. We weren’t as strong as we needed to be, especially late in the game.”
Williams cited Gilgeous-3-pointer Alexander‘s with 0.4 seconds remaining in the third quarter off a Cameron Payne turnover as a game-changing play for the Thunder.
Booker was called for his fourth foul on the play, which was reviewed to see if he fouled before the quarter ended. The basket plus one gave OKC a six-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, 96-90.”That was a difficult exchange,” Williams admitted.
Still, Phoenix extended its lead to 10 points early in the fourth quarter before Oklahoma City responded with an 18-2 run to take a 108-102 lead with 5:46 remaining, forcing Williams to call a timeout.
The Thunder extended their lead to double digits, 119-109, before withstanding a Booker scoring barrage.With 8.9 seconds remaining, the All-Star guard scored nine of Phoenix’s final 11 points, cutting OKC’s lead to two, 122-120.
Lu Dort sealed the game with two free throws with 4.8 seconds remaining as Phoenix ran out of timeouts.
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