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Oklahoma City at Phoenix

Thunder escape with win on road over Suns

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- Oklahoma City need not have a monster game from Kevin Durant to win. There is young talent aplenty around him on a team that's a season-high 15 games above .500.

Jeff Green scored 28 points and Serge Ibaka added 18 on 9-of-10 shooting to help the Thunder escape with a 111-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Durant, who had at least 40 points in three of his previous four games, added 24 in the Thunder's fourth victory in five games. Russell Westbrook scored 19, including an 11-footer that put Oklahoma City up 107-103 with 34 seconds to go.

"It wasn't just a one-man, two-man game tonight," Durant said. "It was everybody."

Vince Carter scored a season-high 33 for Phoenix, but missed three long-range jumpers down the stretch as Oklahoma City outscored the Suns 12-5 over the last 2½ minutes. No other player scored more than 13 for the Suns.

Carter was 1-of-7 shooting in the fourth quarter, missing his last five attempts.

Channing Frye scored 13 but made only 5-of-17 shots. Grant Hill and Steve Nash added 12 apiece for Phoenix.

Oklahoma City tied it at 97 after Hill was whistled for a foul on Durant. Hill and Nash drew technical fouls from referee David Guthrie for complaining about what replays showed to be a dubious call. Durant made only two of the four free throws, though, and Hill's 3-pointer with 3:22 to play put Phoenix back ahead 100-97.

Ibaka's tip-in cut it to 100-99, then Nash made two free throws to put Phoenix ahead 102-99 with 2:38 to go.

The Thunder followed with an 8-1 run, capped by Westbrook's jumper in the lane. Nash's driving layup with 16 seconds to go cut it to 107-105, then Durant and Westbrook put the game away at the foul line, despite loud complaints from Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry that Durant should have been called for traveling before he was fouled.

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"Just give them the game," Gentry complained.

Durant, the NBA's leading scorer, made just 2-of-7 shots in the second half, one of them on an offensive basket interference call against Frye.

Ibaka, in his second NBA season from the Republic of the Congo, scored six in the decisive late surge, including a sweet turnaround 11-footer.

"Serge is a big part of what we do and our success," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "He works and continues to get better. His energy and focus tonight was as well as he could possibly play. He made nearly every shot and they were all big shots down the stretch."

Down 69-64 after Durant's only basket of the third quarter, Phoenix outscored the Thunder 19-7 to go up 83-76 with 2:06 left in the period. The last 12 points of the run came on 3-pointers, two by Carter and one apiece by Hill and Nash. Phoenix led 87-80 entering the fourth quarter.

"Obviously we've got to do a little bit better job defensively in the fourth quarter," Gentry said, "but we also missed a bunch of shots that could've given us a little separation or could've kept us right there in the game."

Carter made all five of his shots, two of them 3-pointers, in a 15-point first quarter.

Neither team led by more than five in the second quarter and the Thunder were up 63-60 at the half.

Notes

  • After speculation that Nash could be named to the NBA All-Star game to replace injured Yao Ming, the spot went to Minnesota's Kevin Love. The Suns are without a player in the game for the first time since 2004.
  • Phoenix guard Goran Dragic missed his third game in a row after cutting his left foot stepping on a piece of broken glass at his home, requiring nine stitches.
  • Durant is his franchise's first All-Star starter since Gary Payton in 1998.
  • Carter's previous high this season was 29 against New York on Jan. 7.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Kevin Durant scores 24 as Oklahoma City escapes Phoenix with a hard-fought win.  (Getty Images)
Kevin Durant scores 24 as Oklahoma City escapes Phoenix with a hard-fought win. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Oklahoma City (32-17) «31321731111
Phoenix (23-25)36242720107
OKC:J. Green 28 Pts
OKC:K. Durant 11 Reb
OKC:R. Westbrook 11 Ast
PHO:V. Carter 33 Pts
PHO:C. Frye 9 Reb
PHO:S. Nash 8 Ast
Players of the Game
Oklahoma CityPhoenix

Russell Westbrook

Vince Carter
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
197113363
Oklahoma City
J. Green, PF4310-175-552228
K. Durant, SF378-168-10111124
R. Westbrook, PG357-174-4711219
N. Krstic, C122-20-02024
T. Sefolosha, SF110-20-02030
J. Harden, SG374-113-465313
S. Ibaka, PF299-100-060518
N. Collison, PF231-21-14213
E. Maynor, PG141-50-02422
M. Peterson, SGDid Not Play
R. Ivey, PGDid Not Play
D. Cook, SGDid Not Play
D. White, PFDid Not Play
B. Mullens, CDid Not Play
C. Aldrich, CDid Not Play
Totals 42-8221-24452521111
 51.2%87.5% 
Phoenix
C. Frye, C415-172-290313
S. Nash, PG354-92-238112
V. Carter, SG3411-215-763333
G. Hill, SF325-90-034212
R. Lopez, C205-61-240211
M. Gortat, PF283-104-682310
J. Dudley, SF173-40-03028
M. Pietrus, SG131-62-22024
Z. Dowdell, PG132-20-00214
H. Warrick, PF70-10-20000
J. Childress, SFDid Not Play
G. Dragic, PGDid Not Play
G. Siler, CDid Not Play
G. Lawal, PFDid Not Play
Totals 39-8516-23381919107
 45.9%69.6% 
Other Games
Port 87 Final
Ind 100
NY 98 Final
Phi 100
Orl 110 Final
Wash 92
Min 100 Final
Tor 111
Mia 109 Final
Char 97
LAC 100 Final
Atl 101
NJ 82 Final
Det 92
Dal 101 Final
Bos 97
Cle 105 Final
Mem 112
SA 113 Final
Sac 100
Utah 113 Final
Den 106