NBA: Thunder hand Suns one of worst losses of season
Aleksej Pokusevski had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for his first career triple-double to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-96 home win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.
The win tied for the largest margin of victory this season for the Thunder and was just the Suns’ fourth loss of 20 or more points this season.
Olivier Sarr led Oklahoma City with a career-high 24 points, going 9 of 12 from the field with five 3-pointers.
The Suns (62-16) have lost back-to-back games for just the fourth time this season, missing out once more on breaking the franchise record for regular-season victories.
It was just the third win in 16 games for the Thunder.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) April 4, 2022
Suns star Chris Paul played in his first game in Oklahoma City with fans present since the Thunder traded him to Phoenix before last season, and he was greeted by a loud ovation during introductions.
Paul finished with 11 points and nine assists, but without Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton (rest), the Suns didn’t have enough firepower to pull out the win, even against a team that entered with the fourth-worst record in the NBA.
Pokusevski was never teammates with Paul, but in the second quarter, Pokusevski drew a foul on Paul using Paul’s signature rip move, leaving the veteran shaking his head.
Pokusevski finished off the triple-double with a rebound in the final minute.
Aaron Wiggins added 17 points for the Thunder (23-55), while Jeremiah Robinson-Earl added 14.
Mikal Bridges led the Suns with 18 points.
The game shaped up to be another blowout early, with the Suns jumping ahead by 12 just more than six minutes into the game.
A 10-0 run late in the quarter got the Thunder close, but Oklahoma City didn’t tie the game for the first time until Vit Krejci’s dunk in the final two minutes of the first half.
Krejci then gave the Thunder their first lead in the opening minute of the second half, as Oklahoma City opened the half with a 10-2 run.
Oklahoma City extended the lead with a 10-0 run that began on Pokusevski’s 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
The Thunder’s lead eventually extended to as many as 22.