OKLAHOMA CITY —
“The most disappointing thing was everybody hanging their heads down,” Dragic said. “We should fight. It doesn’t matter if it’s 30- or 25-point difference, we should try to fight every possession. That’s the only way you can get better. Their confidence is way down and they just hang their heads down. It’s really frustrating.”
The Thunder were blazing hot to start the game, hitting their first six shots, including a massive two-handed dunk by Westbrook and a 3-pointer from Durant in the first 60 seconds that forced Hunter to call a timeout.
But Dragic kept the Suns from getting run out of the building early as he scored 13 of the team’s first 15 points. Westbrook had no answer for him on the defensive end.
Durant started the night camped out behind the arc. But midway through the second, he added another highlight to his ever-growing list when he dribbled the ball from halfcourt and turned the corner on his defender, leaving an open lane for him to throw down a dunk on the Suns’ Markieff Morris.
The Thunder led 55-50 at halftime.
Oklahoma City went on a 17-5 run to start the third that saw every player get involved. Perkins was knocking down jumpers from 17 feet out.
“I’m just going to keep working,” Perkins said. “Guys are doubling Kevin and Russ now, so I’m just trying to find the open spot. I’ve been watching a lot of film and going to the gym and working on my game.”
However, it was the Thunder’s defense that sparked the victory. After Dragic victimized Westbrook in the first quarter for 16 points, Thunder coach Scott Brooks moved Sefolosha onto him the rest of the game. Dragic was held scoreless until 1:16 left in the third.
Phoenix went more than six minutes without scoring a point as Oklahoma City took a 21-point lead into the fourth.
“It’s great that guys have confidence,” Westbrook said. “That’ s what we need for guys to be confident. In the first half we kind of just let them move around and do what they want. Once we defend, ain’t too many teams that can stop us from scoring.”
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