NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, January 14th (All times Eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (29-8) at Phoenix Suns (13-26), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Oklahoma City Thunder failed to score 90 points for only the second time this season and still managed to win their last game.
The Thunder look for a better night scoring-wise Monday against the Phoenix Suns in the finale of a three-game road trip. In Sunday's 87-83 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, Kevin Durant scored 33 points and eclipsed the 20- point barrier for the 13th consecutive game.
Russell Westbrook added 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who are second in the NBA with 105.2 ppg and have won eight of their last 10 games. Oklahoma City toughened up defensively down the stretch.
"It was inspired defensive basketball -- one of our best defensive games of the year, which was surprising, because we didn't have two of our best defensive players in the lineup," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said.
Oklahoma City was without starters Serge Ibaka (chest contusion) and Thabo Sefolosha (neck strain). Both players are questionable against Phoenix.
The Thunder are 11-5 on the road and will return home for a showdown with Denver on Wednesday. They will then play six in a row on the road.
Phoenix put the brakes on a five-game slide its last time out in a 97-81 road victory against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
Luis Scola had 22 points and Michael Beasley ended with 20 for the Suns, who went 1-3 on their four-game road trip and prevailed for just the second time in the past 13 tries.
"For the first time in a long time I thought we played well for four quarters," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said.
Suns swingman Jared Dudley did not play in Chicago because of a balky wrist and is questionable versus the Thunder. Dudley is third on the team with 12.1 ppg.
Phoenix will also host Milwaukee on this brief homestand and is 10-9 in the desert this season.
The Suns dropped a 114-96 decision at Oklahoma City on Dec. 31 this season and have lost seven straight, eight of nine and nine of the past 11 matchups in this series.
OKC is unbeaten in its last four games in the Valley of the Sun.
01/14 10:39:09 ET