Without their starting center and battling a host of backcourt injuries, the Phoenix Suns looked to be fighting a losing battle before they even took the court against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.
But since when has that been an issue for this year’s Suns?
Gerald Green scored a career-high 41 points while Markieff Morris added 24 and Goran Dragic 22, and the Suns notched another marquee victory in their improbable season, topping Oklahoma City 128-122 in front of 17,816 at US Airways Center.
Here’s a closer look at the win, by the numbers:
Green’s 41-point performance marked the second 40-point game by a Phoenix player in the last week, after Goran Dragic’s 40-point game against New Orleans on Friday.
Green connected on 8-of-10 shots from 3-point range — six of which came during his torrid third quarter — surpassing his previous career-high of six.
With the win over Oklahoma City, Phoenix snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Thunder.
The Suns used a 14-0 third-quarter run — part of a larger 19-2 run — to take the lead and pass the 100-point mark with more than 12 minutes of action left.
Neither team missed many scoring chances on Thursday, and Oklahoma City’s perfect 19-for-19 mark from the free throw lines is a pretty good example of that.
Green’s 25 third-quarter points marked the second-highest total in a quarter for a player in Suns history, falling just one short of Stephon Marbury’s 26-point outburst in 2002.
Green finished with a career-high 41 points, the second time in less than a month he’s set a new career scoring record.
Despite the Suns’ high-flying win, the Thunder were able to control the paint — scoring 52 of their 122 points in the paint.
The Thunder’s talented duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 70 points in Oklahoma City’s loss — 34 from Durant and 36 from Westbrook on a combined 25-of-46 shooting effort.
The two high-scoring offenses combined for 250 points, and totaled 73 combined points in both the first and third quarters.