Thunder Sinks Suns In Durant's New-Years Return

Wednesday, December 31st 2014, 11:25 pm
By: News 9

On the final evening of 2014, the Suns went down in Oklahoma City.

In a game that featured seven technical fouls and one ejection, Kevin Durant's 44 points in his return to the court fueled the Thunder to a 137-134 overtime victory.

It was tight throughout this game, especially in the first half. The Thunder led by as many as seven in the second quarter but Phoenix battled back behind Marcus Morris' hot hand. Morris scored 10 in the quarter as the Suns drew even just before the half.

That's when things got ugly.

With 27 seconds remaining in the half, Suns' center Alex Len got mixed up with Russell Westbrook over a rebound and it went downhill from there. Len overpowered Westbrook and the Thunder's short-fused point guard took exception. He charged Len and the two had to be separated. Len was assessed a flagrant while Westbrook received a technical.

Just seconds later, Westbrook drew a foul near the Suns bench and started chirping again. He was hit with another tech and before anyone could blink, he was ejected.

Westbrook scored 20 points in just 17 minutes as the Thunder took a 64-62 lead into the break.

It looked like OKC was going to pull away and win this thing, but Phoenix refused to enter 2015 on a sour note. The Suns chipped away at a nine-point deficit and eventually tied things up at 123-123 on a Morris jumper with 2:45 to play.

Things stayed even in overtime until Anthony Morrow hit the shot of the night. Morrow buried a corner 3-ball and drew contact, earning a four-point play and giving the Thunder a lead it would not relinquish.

Durant complimented his scoring with 10 rebounds and seven assists. Serge Ibaka helped out with 15 points and seven boards while Reggie Jackson added 10 points and Morrow 11.

Eric Bledsoe led Phoenix with 29 points and eight assists. Markieff Morris poured in 25 while brother Marcus added 18. Goran Dragic quietly chipped in 21 points and eight rebounds.

Phoenix shot 51.1 percent from the floor and knocked in 13 3-pointers, but got outrebounded by 11.

Oklahoma City (16-17) pulls within 1 ½ game of the Suns (18-16) for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference. This was the highest-scoring NBA game this season.

The Thunder hosts the Washington Wizards on Friday night at Chesapeake Arena.