Night before last, I suggested: “Maybe [Marcin] Gortat will have recovered his mojo by then.” Or, you know, not. Mojo was definitely not in evidence in Phoenix tonight: only one of the Suns — Markieff Morris — even managed double figures tonight, as the Thunder coasted to a 97-69 win, sweeping the season series.
Once again, it was the Suns bench who did all the heavy lifting: the starters came up with a total of 26 points, or two more than Russell Westbrook. Unlike last time, though, the bleeding started early: OKC was up 27-16 after the first quarter and looked back only to see who was still breathing dust. The Suns didn’t exactly lie down and die — they pulled in a remarkable 53 rebounds, way ahead of the Thunder’s 40 — but they couldn’t manage the ball-to-rim interface with any degree of efficiency: we’re talking 30-91 from the floor for 33 percent. (OKC made four more shots while taking 15 fewer.) Phoenix was dead solid perfect from the foul line, but they took only five foul shots. (Only Kendrick Perkins and Reggie Jackson had as many as two fouls; Perk earned a tech, but Goran Dragić got one simultaneously, so no trip to the line.) The Thunder had only five offensive rebounds all night, though Phoenix did hardly anything with the 17 they got.
And the man with the biggest minutes for the night was Thabo Sefolosha, who played 34 and scored a season-high 20, right behind Westbrook and ahead of Kevin Durant, who put up 18. Kevin Martin had the night off with the classic “flu-like symptoms,” which made more time for Jackson and DeAndre Liggins. Perk, who had 17 Friday night, didn’t score tonight, but he was busy blocking shots (three) and stealing the ball (also three).
Tuesday night, the Thunder will be in Utah; Thursday, they’ll be home to greet the Heat.