First the flash, then the fizzle in Suns loss to Thunder: By the Numbers

Mar 30, 2015, 4:04 AM | Updated: 3:20 pm
Follow @AZSports...

Sunday night against the Thunder, the Phoenix Suns were one of those party-popper firecrackers — pull the string, see the flash of flame and smoke, hear the crack…

…And then what?

The Suns gave up a 20-point lead to the Thunder, who ended up winning by 12, 109-97. Concurrently, the loss rendered the glimmer of playoff hopes in Phoenix to about the size of a confetti speck.

T.J. Warren had a career night for the Suns with 18 points, five boards, two assists, two steals and a block and Markieff Morris led his team with 24 points and seven rebounds.

In fact, Morris started the party with some sizzle, hitting seven of his first eight attempts from the field and scoring all 11 of the Suns’ first points.

He finished the quarter with 16 of Phoenix’s 35, the team’s first 35-point period since Feb. 25.

Phoenix would open the second quarter on 62 percent shooting and built the lead to as much as 20 points.

Then Russell Westbrook started hitting.

The Thunder went on an 8-2 run in the second quarter and Westbrook went on one of his own, scoring 16 points in a row for the Thunder.

By halftime, Westbrook had 23 of his game-high 33. Still, Phoenix held an eight-point advantage courtesy of the Morris twins’ 31 combined points and the team’s 55.8 percent shooting.

The Suns opened the second half 1-of-15 and missed nine in a row mid-period. Oklahoma City tied up the game at 71 with five minutes left, and surged from there as the Suns went cold.

The Thunder sealed their victory with a 13-0 run midway through the final quarter and outscored the Suns 33-18 in the final frame.

What were the numbers?

1-9

Markieff Morris started hot for the Suns, but finished cold — he hit just one of his last nine field goal attempts.

10-26

The Thunder hit 10 threes on 26 attempts, eight of which came in the second half.

Phoenix sank just five triples on 22 attempts — and made just one in the second half.

48-40

The Suns were beating Oklahoma City on the glass 24-17 in the first half, but the Thunder won out in the end, 48-40.

3

Suns guard Brandon Knight saw his first action in eight games after suffering an ankle sprain in early March.

He played 22 minutes, scored 3 points and was 1-of-10 from the field before appearing to re-injure his ankle in the third quarter. He was pulled and did not return.

6

Eric Bledsoe had 15 points and seven assists in the effort, but turned the ball over six times — the most of any Suns player.

33-18

The Suns were outscored 33-18 in the fourth quarter, and only two of those points came from Westbrook, who posted his 28th 30-point game of the season early and then sat out the final minutes of the game.

35

The Suns’ promising 35 first-quarter points were matched by the third and fourth periods combined (17, 18).

3-1

Phoenix ultimately lost this years’ series against the Thunder 3-1 and falls to four games behind Oklahoma City in the Western Conference playoff standings with eight games to play.

This means the Suns would have to finish the season ahead of the Thunder to be in the playoffs.

Just for “fun”

These things usually are fun, right?

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton takes the court prior to Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round ...
Wills Rice

Suns’ Ayton becomes 2nd No. 1 pick to hit restricted free agency since 1985

The Suns' Deandre Ayton became the second No. 1 overall pick to hit restricted free agency since the birth of the NBA draft lottery in 1985.
21 hours ago
Denver Nuggets assistant coach Patrick Mutombo talks to the team during practice July 8, 2014 at Pe...
Arizona Sports

Raptors G League coach Patrick Mutombo to join Phoenix Suns

Patrick Mutombo is joining the Suns' coaching staff as an assistant. Additionally, Randy Ayers is transitioning to coaching advisor.
21 hours ago
Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne, left, is hit in the face by Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Suns free-agency focus: Wings, modern power forwards of note

The Phoenix Suns have been linked to Nicolas Batum before free agency and Thaddeus Young at past trade deadlines.
21 hours ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) dunks as New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas looks...
Arizona Sports

Report: Phoenix Suns tender qualifying offer to C Deandre Ayton

The Suns have reportedly tendered a $16.4 million qualifying offer to center Deandre Ayton, making him a restricted free agent on July 1.
21 hours ago
Kevin Durant #7 and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets look on in the final seconds of their 109...
Jake Anderson

Kyrie Irving opts into $36.5 million option with Brooklyn Nets, per reports

All-Star guard Kyrie Irving will be opting into his $36.5 million player option with the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple reports.
2 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on...
Jake Anderson

Odds of Deandre Ayton playing for Nets leap with Kyrie Irving uncertainty

With NBA free agency officially commencing on Thursday, oddsmakers are projecting where free agents will be playing next season.
2 days ago
First the flash, then the fizzle in Suns loss to Thunder: By the Numbers