PHOENIX — Dragan Bender scored 17 of his career-high 20 points in the second half, rookie Josh Jackson had 17 points and 10 rebounds in his first career double-double, and the Phoenix reserves helped the Suns beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-100 on Sunday night.
Bender made a career-best six 3-pointers, going 5 of 6 in the second half. The Suns beat the Thunder for the third straight time dating to last season, with all three wins coming in Phoenix.
Russell Westbrook had his 14th triple-double of the season and second in a row with 26 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but Oklahoma City never led after the first quarter. Paul George added 19 points and Steven Adams 18 for the Thunder.
Devin Booker scored 26 and T.J. Warren 23 for Phoenix.
The Suns took the lead for good in the first quarter and were up by nine at the half. The Thunder cut it to one in the third quarter before Bender’s sharpshooting lifted Phoenix back in control.
Booker’s 3-pointer gave Phoenix a 74-60 lead with 7:56 left in the third, but the Thunder responded with a 15-2 run. Westbrook made one of two free throws to cap the outburst and cut the lead to 76-75 with 5:03 left in the period.
Bender’s 3 ignited a 14-4 Suns surge, Jackson’s 3-pointer boosting the lead to 90-79 with 32 seconds left in the quarter. Carmelo Anthony’s three-point play cut the lead to 90-82 entering the fourth.
Bender sank two more 3s to start a 14-2 outburst that put Phoenix up 107-89 after Tyler Ulis’ 3-pointer with 6:42 remaining.
Thunder: Westbrook missed four of seven free throws. The Thunder were 12 of 21 at the line. … Terrance Ferguson fouled out with 7:42 to play. … George and Westbrook are 1-2 in the NBA in steals. George had one, Westbrook two in the game.
Suns: Marquese Chriss left the game with a right hip strain in the second quarter and did not return. He had scored in double figures the previous five games. … Warren was back after missing a game due to illness. … Tyson Chandler had 13 rebounds and needs 22 to become 40th player in NBA …read more