December 21, 2019 / 3:58 AM / a month ago

No big rally needed as Thunder knock off Suns

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 32 points to lead the host Oklahoma City Thunder to a 126-108 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Dec 20, 2019; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander warms-up before the start of a game against the Phoenix Suns at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder didn’t need a big comeback this time. In each of the first two games of their current five-game homestand, Oklahoma City came back from a big deficit to win.

Monday against Chicago, it was a 26-point deficit. Two days later against Memphis, Oklahoma City trailed by 24 before coming back to win.

Friday, the biggest deficit the Thunder faced was five, and that came in the first two minutes of the game.

Even though they didn’t need to come back from a big deficit, the Thunder still put together a big third quarter.

Oklahoma City scored 44 in the third, including 11 from Danilo Gallinari, to build a 10-point lead. Then it scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to build a comfortable lead.

The Thunder shot better than 76 percent from the floor in the third (16 of 21) and finished shooting 56.3 percent from the field, their second-best shooting performance of the season.

Gilgeous-Alexander was 13 of 18 from the floor, hitting both of his 3-point attempts. His previous career high was 29 points in a win over Minnesota on Dec. 6.

The Suns had guard Devin Booker back after missing three games.

But while Phoenix got one star back, it lost another.

Second-year center Deandre Ayton, who returned Tuesday from a 25-game suspension, missed the game after suffering a sprained right ankle in the game, a loss to the Clippers.

Booker played 28 minutes in his return, scoring 18 points and going 6 for 11 from the floor.

Ricky Rubio led the Suns with 24 points. He was 9 of 11 from the floor.

Dennis Schroder added 24 points and nine rebounds, and Gallinari scored 22 points to lift the Thunder to their third consecutive victory.

Slideshow (40 Images)

The Thunder moved to .500 for the first time since the start of the season. Oklahoma City has won eight of its last 11.

Phoenix dropped its fifth consecutive game.

—Field Level Media

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