Game Recap: Thunder 122, Suns 118 OT

News and notes following the Thunder’s 122-118 overtime win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday:

  • After losing three in a row for the first time this season -- a streak that included last-second losses to both San Antonio and the Lakers -- the Thunder has won three in a row to move 17 games over .500. “I thought that was a very entertaining game,” Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said Sunday, “They’re as tough a team as there is. We battled, we hung in there, we got stops when we needed them. I’m just glad we won the game.”

  • An aggressive night on offense put the Thunder at the free-throw line 47 times. The Thunder hit 37 of those. Phoenix was just 8-for-14 at the line.

  • Both teams shot 50 percent in the first quarter. The Thunder out-rebounded Phoenix, 13-11.

  • Outstanding beginning of the game for Serge Ibaka, who scored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting. He also grabbed a couple of rebounds and blocked a shot.

  • Kevin Durant doesn’t hit his first shot until a minute and a half before halftime but it’s a big one, a 3-pointer from the left side. Durant has also played great defense on Suns forward Grant Hill. Hill burned the Thunder for 30 points earlier this season in OKC but at halftime, Hill had zero points on 0-for-3 shooting. Hill finished by missing three more shots. Zero points on the night. “We don’t want our players to have bad nights shooting,” Brooks said, talking about Durant, “but his defense, his toughness and his rebounds were really good.”

  • Durant had eight rebounds, three of them coming in overtime.

  • Brooks wanted to limit the Suns' fast-break points and, through three quarters, the Thunder was doing a good job of that. Phoenix had managed just four points in transition; the Thunder had 10 at that point. For the entire game Phoenix had just six break points, the Thunder 21.

  • The Thunder outscored the Suns, 16-4, in the first five minutes of the last quarter. “We played lockdown defense in the first part of the fourth quarter and in the overtime and that gave us our chance to win the game,” Brooks said.


PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON’T SHOW: Let’s begin with Addison Baker’s performance. The 9-year-old girl from Norman thrilled the crowd with a rousing rendition of the National Anthem. ... Great block by Serge Ibaka as Suns center Robin Lopez went up high in the lane for a slam. Lopez looked shocked that Ibaka could get that high. The play led to a Thunder basket at the other end. ... Russell Westbrook with a nice side-step move around Steve Nash then Nick Collison with a solid pick to keep anyone else off Westbrook, who lays it in. ... Eric Maynor with good defense on Nash, then he slaps a pass away and out of bounds. ... Daequan Cook with a great one-handed catch of a high James Harden pass. Cook then nails a 3-pointer and is fouled. ... Great pass from Westbrook as he gets into traffic in the lane, elevates, turns his body in mid-air and shoots a pass to a wide open Harden out beyond the arc. Harden finishes the play by hitting a 3-pointer seconds before the halftime horn, bringing the Thunder within four, 61-57. .. .Ibaka with a nifty reverse dunk right over the top of Channing Frye’s head. ... Great hustle play by Thabo Sefolosha and Collison on a 3-point miss by Harden. Sefolosha scrapped and battled for the rebound, finally tipping it out to Collison, who jammed it home and was fouled. ... Harden with a huge steal in overtime. Westbrook is then fouled coming down court. ... Durant with another key rebound off a Nash miss.

STATS WORTH REPEATING: The Thunder was 37-for-47 at the line while Phoenix was just 8-for-14. ... Serge Ibaka blocked four shots. ... Russell Westbrook had 11 assists. ... Durant hounded Hill into an 0-for-6 night.

LAST WORD: “It definitely gives the team something to look back on as far as down the season,” center Nazr Mohammed said. “It gives you the confidence in similar situations to know you can close out games down the stretch.”

LAST WORD, PART II: Talking about the defensive effort of the night, Durant said: “It’s something we have been talking about and doing a great job at. Serge (Ibaka) and James (Harden) bring it every night and we feed off their energy. We made them take tough shots. They made some of them but we figured out a way to close out the game.”

UP NEXT: The Thunder will play the second night of a back-to-back on the road Monday night in Memphis. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Central inside FedEx Forum and you can see the game on Fox Sports Oklahoma or listen in on the Thunder Radio Network.