The Norman Transcript

National Sports

March 7, 2014

Suns slip by Thunder

PHOENIX — Gerald Green scored 25 of his career-high 41 points in the third quarter and the Phoenix Suns erased a 16-point deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-122 on Thursday night.

Markieff Morris added 24 points, including two free throws with 24.4 seconds to play. Goran Dragic scored 22, including six of the Suns’ final 12 points after Oklahoma City led 118-116.

Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 36 for the Thunder, who would have pulled a half-game ahead of Indiana for the NBA’s best record with a victory. Kevin Durant added 34.

Green’s outburst fell one point shy of a Suns record for most points in a quarter set by Stephon Marbury in 2002. His career-best eight 3-pointers also was one shy of the franchise mark.

It was Phoenix’s second 40-point performance in four games. Dragic had 40 against New Orleans on Friday.

In the third quarter, Green was 7 of 11, including 6 of 6 on 3s. Fouled on a 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds left, Green missed one of the three free throws or he would have tied Marbury’s franchise record.

After trailing by as many as 16 in the quarter, the Suns scored the final 14 points of the third to lead 101-98 entering the fourth. The run reached 21-3 when Marcus Morris’ 3 put Phoenix up 108-101 with 9:34 to play.

But Westbrook brought the Thunder back. He made three 3s, the last to tie it at 116 with 4:34 to play. Ibaka’s dunk put Oklahoma City back on top, 118-116, with 4:10 to go.

Dragic tied it with a driving layup with 2:22 left, then his reverse layup gave the Suns a 118-116 lead with 2:02 left. He was fouled on the play but missed the free throw, one of 10 misses from the line by Phoenix. Oklahoma City was 19 of 19.

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