With Phoenix up a dozen halfway through the first quarter, Thunder fans were readying their OHNONOTAGAIN thought balloons. Oklahoma City then ran off 16 points in a row, and as the Suns fans slid into the shade, James Harden made a run for the record book. He made it, too: 40 points, a career high, on 12-17 shooting (5-8 for three) and 11-11 from the line. Plus 26, if you count stuff like that. The Thunder, though, will simply cite the W: 109-97, making a 3-0 sweep against the Suns.
Not that this was a one-man show: Kevin Durant turned in a double-double with 29 points and 11 rebounds, and Kendrick Perkins pulled down nine boards while keeping Marcin Gortat off-balance. (Gortat outrebounded everyone, with 12, but was held to nine points on 2-13 shooting.) OKC shot a tolerable 45 percent, 6-16 on treys; but take Harden’s line out, and they went 1-8 from distance.
For some reason, Grant Hill drew a DNP-CD tonight: perhaps the Suns are saving him for tomorrow night against the Clippers. Jared Dudley paced Phoenix with 21 points; Steve Nash was good for 12 and five dimes. Robin Lopez led the bench with 11. The Suns, however, left nine points at the line, while OKC was hitting 31 of 34. (Dudley, 5-10, was the worst.)
And there were a lot of technicals, four on the frustrated Suns (including one on coach Alvin Gentry), and one on, um, what a surprise, Perk. For about the sixth time, it’s his 12th. (The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry says he expects this one to be rescinded.)
Two and one on the road trip, with two to go: next comes Sacramento on Friday night. Admiral Ackbar already has his seat reserved.