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article imageNBA: Thunder outshines Suns in a close one 111- 107

By Kristofor Molson     Feb 5, 2011 in Sports
Phoenix - The Thunder are use to getting a big game from Durant, but tonight others stepped up to lead the Thunder to victory. The Suns had a great effort from a season vet in Carter but it was not enough to overcome the young talent of OKC.
Jeff Green was the leading scorer tonight for the Oklahoma City Thunder (32-17) as they top the Phoenix Suns (23-25) to keep them at the number four spot in the Western Conference. The Thunder are now 15 games above .500 and are looking to have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs if they can keep this kind of play up coming out of the All-Star break. They have five more games before All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, and all of them look like possible wins.
Green carried the team with 28 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assist, while Kevin Durant added another double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Russell Westbrook had 19 points and 11 assist with 7 rebounds and 2 steals.
The serge of the game came from the bench with Serge Ibaka adding 18 points and 6 rebounds while shooting 9 of 10 from the field. James Harden gave them a solid 13 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assist to show the Thunder have young talent on and off the bench.
The Suns had the lead ending the first quarter up 36-31 behind the hot hand of Vince Carter who ended the game with 33 points leading all players. Carter hit all five of his shots to end the first quarter 3 for 3 from the floor and 2 for 2 from behind the arc for a total of 15 points.
Channing Frye had 13 points and 9 rebounds to try and push the suns ahead but they did not have enough scoring power. Grant Hill added 12 while Steve Nash had just 12 points and single digit assist with eight.
The Thunder bounced back to take the lead into halftime 63 to 60 with a 32 point output in the second quarter. The biggest lead in the second quarter was five with multiple lead changes happening.
OKC was down 69-64 in the third quarter, and Phoenix then outscored the Thunder 19-7 to go up 83-76 with 2:06 left in the quarter. The last 12 points of the run came on 3-pointers from Carter who hit two with Hill and Nash who both dropped one apiece. Phoenix led 87-80 entering the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter started and Carter went cold going 1 of 7 from the floor and missing three long-range jumpers down the stretch. OKC outshined the Suns 12-5 over the last two minutes of the fourth quarter where the Thunder took over winning the quarter 31 to 20 and ending the game with a 111 – 107 victory.
The team came up big for the Thunder in the second half with Durant struggling going 2 of 8 from the field. Durant stepped up when it came down to hitting some key free-throws to seal the game along with Westbrook
OKC will face the Utah Jazz tonight in the second game of point guard Deron Williams return to the Jazz line-up. The Thunder will take a two game winning streak into Utah and a season split with them a one game apiece.
Phoenix will head north to take on the Golden State Warriors on Monday before hosting the Warriors three days later in Phoenix. The Suns were on a three game winning streak before this loss and have won eight out of their last 12.
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